Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adoption Faux Pas

Someone recommended this blog post by Single Dad Laughing.  Coincidentally, I have already heard versions of numbers 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 11.  We haven't even completed the paperwork yet.  I'm sure we'll hear the remainder in time.

For what it's worth, I don't get offended easily and I've really only been offended by one comment that I've heard thus far in our journey.  I know it was made out of love by a loving family member, so I just responded the best I could in the moment.

Someone I love very dearly said, "Why don't you just hire a surrogate so the child can really be yours."
I responded with, "We feel that any child who enters our family will really be ours."
"Well, if you hire a surrogate, then the child will have your DNA."
"I understand how surrogacy works.  We don't believe DNA is what makes a family."
"But the child would have your genes! Your DNA!"
"OK, well that is all I have to say about that."

Friday, February 25, 2011


Irony is never lost on me. Today I decided to make a second copy of all of our homestudy paperwork just in case something were to happen to the originals.  So, I carried it all into the office this morning and as I'm in the middle of copying, I spilled my coffee all over the originals.  Oy.  Here's hoping our social worker doesn't hate the smell of coffee. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Remaining To-Do List

I feel like we've accomplished a lot in the last week, so it's time to update the to-do list:

  • clean (I have to say that if the homestudy social worker had walked in the door yesterday, I would have been completely comfortable presenting our home, but cleaning seems to be necessary everyday)
  • Post an evacuation plan on every level of the house
  • Clean out the garage (Is this really necessary for a baby?)
  • Get Physician's form back from my sister (I believe she is going to the doctor today) 
  • Get 4 reference letters (3 friends and 1 family) - I only have one back so far
Additional Stuff:
  • Keep working on our Adoptive Parent Profile, because I know I will want to edit it several times. 
    • Get some pictures taken of just Matt and I alone.  
      • Do you know that the last picture I have of just the two of us was taken in June 2009?  It was on our anniversary and I took it with the timer on my camera.  So, needless to say, it's not the best picture.  It's funny how priorities change when you have a child.  I have a multitude of pictures with the three of us and with Lexi with each of us.
    • We have our APQ review on Friday afternoon.  I'm excited about that.
    • Then we need to schedule our Homestudy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And it begins. . .

The baby shopping!

Of course it could still be quite a while before we have a baby in our arms, but I can't pass up a good deal.  I bought this on today.

I wanted an Ergo the first time around, but I never got it. Coincidentally, I just found my old Slinglings pouch sling in my daughter's closet this morning. I will admit that I actually put it on and imagined having a little baby to place inside. Ahhh. . . It's so fun to daydream in the midst of all of the paper-chasing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I know this is something that I researched a lot while we were in "research-mode."  It seems the numbers vary widely from family to family, but I'll keep track of our expenses here. These costs are all for the Agency-Assisted program.

  1. Preliminary Application - $195
  2. Birth Certificate - $15 
    1. I don't know if I should include this, but I really only ordered it for the purpose of adoption)
  3. Background Checks - $150
    1. $50/person
  4. Fingerprinting Fee - $60
    1. $20/person
  5. SRS Background checks - $30
    1. $10/person
  6. Copays for physical from doctor - $140
    1. $30 each for Matt and me.  
    2. $25 for Lexi.
    3. $55 for my sister (she is uninsured at the moment).
  7. Homestudy - $1000 (paid when we wanted the homestudy packet)
  8. Social Worker's travel expenses - $25 (paid to social worker at homestudy visit)
  9. Profile completion -$395 (paid when we sent in our pictures for the profile)
  10. Activation fee- $2000 (paid at time of activation)
  11. Maximum Match fee - $20,000 (will be paid within 48 hours of match) 
    1. This was a fee we chose within a range of $16,000-24,000 for the AA program
  12. Travel Expenses - ????
    1. We will not know this until we know where the birthmother who chooses us is from
  13. Post-Placement Report - $150-250
    1. This may or may not be necessary depending on the circumstances
    2. It is $150 for phone visits and $250 for home visits
    3. Our social worker told us that the max number of visits is 6 (3 home and 3 phone), but the number all depends on the laws in the state the baby is born in.
So, that puts us at a grand total of  $24,410+.  We'll see where the final numbers lands.

What's going on. . .

We have finally finished the Adoption Parent Questionnaire (APQ).  Since it is a Sunday, our Adoptive Parent Specialist will probably call us tomorrow to schedule a time to go over it with us.  We got stuck on the budget.  I really don't even like the word budget, let alone thinking about the budget for a child who is/will be priceless in our eyes.

We also received our homestudy paperwork in the mail last week.  We have filled out what we can fill out and now we need to complete some other things.  Our Homestudy Coordinator already called us on Saturday to answer some questions.  Then she asked if I was ready to schedule the homestudy.  Ummm. . . No.  There is still some paper-chasing to be done and some "home"-work.  I've got a running list in my head and on post-its.  I guess I'll make an official list here:

  • Get pets to the vet for check-ups
  • clean, clean and clean (I'm getting the urge to declutter more)
  • Move our cleaning supplies to above the fridge (or put a lock on the door)
  • Do we need a land-line telephone?
  • Post Emergency Numbers - Fire, Police, Rescue, Poison Control (That seems like a good idea for everyone. I wonder why we don't already have those?)
  • Buy 3 carbon monoxide detectors (Again, probably something we should have already done).
  • Post an evacuation plan on every level of the house (Anyone who knows me, probably knows that I have a strong aversion to putting things on the walls.  I'm trying to think outside the box on how to post these without putting holes in my walls)
  • Get new fire extenguishers on every level of the house (3)
  • Get at least one safety ladder for the upper level of the house (probably 3-4)
  • Clean out the garage (Is this really necessary for a baby?)
  • Get fingerprinted and send off to KBI
  • Figure out if my sister also needs to be fingerprinted and sent to KBI
  • Get physicals and physician's forms for everyone (my sister too?)
  • Get 5 reference letters (4 friends and 1 family)
  • Employment Verification Letters (I need to write my own and Matt needs one from his company)

We need to figure out if my sister should be included in all of this since she will be moving in with us sometime this Summer.  We are getting mixed answers from the agency right now.

I also have to have one family member and four friends fill out a reference form and get it back to us.  We haven't even chosen who we will ask.  I've asked my good friend Judi (I actually call her my best friend, but that sounds a little junior high ;) ).  I think we will ask my mom, my business partner, and a couple other good friends.  The questions on this form are serious though.  How do we handle anger?  Separation/loss? Crisis Situation? Stress?  They're not kidding around.  Our friends can't just say that they think we'll be good parents (because we already are) and leave it at that.

I also need to begin writing our Adoptive Parent Profile, because I know I will want to edit it several times. 

The paperwork is moving right along though.  While it's not my favorite thing ever, it's not so bad.  I heard horror stories about the amounts of paperwork, but I feel like it is all pretty reasonable.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paperwork & God's Amazing Timing

We are deep in the paperwork right now.  We're still figuring out a few things to finish our Adoptive Parent Questionnaire and we're working on getting everything together for the homestudy.   It's not an optimal good time, but it's a means to an end.

One of the things I have been praying about is finding more friends with African American children.  My best friend has four biological biracial children, but I really want to create more of a community for our future child.

A couple weeks ago I put a prayer request in at church.  We have only been attending this church for about six months.  I really love the church, but I still don't feel like we've found our niche within the church.  Back to the prayer request:  "As we enter the process of adoption, we ask for prayers for the expectant mother who may already be pregnant with the child who will be a part of our family."  We put that it could be a public prayer request.

Yesterday, Matt got a call from a woman who saw the prayer request and wanted to get to know us.  After a little bit of phone tag, I finally talked to her tonight.  She adopted a biracial child ten years ago after struggling with infertility.  She has gone on to have two biological children and a failed adoption.  I am generally not a phone chatter, but I fought myself pouring out our story to someone I've never actually met.  I've probably seen her in the halls of the church, and I think I've met her husband and daughter.  It was exciting to hear about how well her open adoption has worked out.  I look forward to getting to know them better.  She also told me about a local group for families who have done transracial adoption.  God sure knows how to answer prayers.