Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Update 12/7/2010

The boys are now 3 weeks old! Since the last update, we did make it home. Kansas required some additional information from IAC, us and our attorney and we scrambled around last Tuesday afternoon getting it all together and off to Kansas. By the close of business on 12/1, we had verbal permission to travel with the boys! Since it was cold and rainy that afternoon, we chose to stay 1 more night in the hotel, get packed up and leave Wednesday morning. The drive down took 12 hours. The trip back took 15 hours. The boys slept most of the way. They'd wake up about every 3 hours and remind us they needed food. We'd find a place to stop, feed them, burp, them and change them. Then it was back on the road home.

We arrived home to find it decorated for our arrival! Our friends Sam, David, Scott, Tracy, Scott, Gary, Dee, Mason, and Katelin were responsible. The 3 signs in the house read: "Welcome home Ari & Evan" "Congratulations Mike & Chris and babies make 4!" and "You left as a couple. You enter as a family". The boys have been busy meeting their fan club, including going to church on Sunday.

We have to work with an attorney in Georgia to terminate birth father's parental rights. That process takes about 60 days. Then the adoption process can start in Kansas. We don't know how long that takes, but we think it's at least 60 days and a post-placement visit/report from the social worker who did our home study. Hopefully we can have the adoption finalized by summertime!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two weeks old!

Can you believe it? Evan and Ari are two weeks old already. We are still in Georgia, awaiting permission to take the boys home. The paperwork took one business day to clear Georgia and get sent off to Kansas. It got to Kansas on the 23rd. Of course the Thanksgiving weekend slowed things down so the packet hadn't made it from the mail room to the correct person's desk by the 29th (three business days and counting). Our adoption counselor scanned and emailed the documents today in hopes they would start reviewing them before the papers found their way to her desk. We have extended our reservation here at the hotel for another 4 nights. Hopefully that's the last time we have to extend it!

The boys had check-ups last week and today. Last week their weights were down to 5 pounds even and the NP started them on a higher calorie premie formula. Today their weights were back up, only 2 ounces shy of their birth weights. They will be on this higher calorie formula for awhile to make sure they stay on track.

We have been trying to stay busy during our time here. Thanksgiving saw us sharing dinner with BM and her family at Golden Corral. The line was out the door and across the parking lot at 3 p.m. It took us 30-45 min to get to the food. it was good, but there was no pumpkin pie or Chinese food. Mike was sad! Yesterday we traveled into Atlanta for a day trip. We went to church at First MCC, then had lunch at Fat Matt's Rib Shack (really good), and went to the World of Coke. it was a little chilly walking around, but a good adventure.

Mike's older sister and his niece and nephew came down for a quick visit last week. They arrived on Thanksgiving, joined us for dinner, and went shopping with Mike on Black Friday. it was awesome to have them visit!

Thanks for all your positive thoughts! Please pray that Kansas doesn't drag the process out and we get permission to journey home tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Papa and his pair of sleeping commas. Ari is on the left and Evan on the right. A afternoon of shopping makes a baby tired!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4 days old

So we've taken up residence at the Hilton Garden Inn here in Cartersville. It's our 3rd hotel here, after 1 night in a dumpy motel and 2 at a Microtel, which was nice, but too small. We were going to get a suite here with 2 separate rooms, but it is booked until next week. They offered a regular room, which has 2 beds, fridge, microwave, etc for tonight, then a junior suite for the rest of our stay. But that has 1 bed and a sleeper sofa with only minimal benefits, so we're staying put. The boys have been out of the hospital for 24 hours now and are doing great! Trip to Wal-mart this afternoon gave Mike and BM a chance to try out their quippy comebacks when someone asked if they were twins. "No, triplets, but we left one in the car" was the most popular.

We don't have a good idea of when we're going home yet. The paperwork was supposed to go from IAC to Georgia state today, then hopefully be sent to Kansas Monday. Hopefully they get something back by Wednesday. if not, we'll be here until at least the Monday after Thanksgiving, thanks to the holiday shopping weekend. Ah well. The hotel has a pool and fitness center, as well as a restaurant for breakfast. And they offered free breakfasts since they weren't able to get us in the original suite. Sweet! :)

Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and love. They are greatly appreciated!!

Monday, November 15, 2010


A brief recap of the last 10 hours or so....

11:52 p.m. BM calls and reports she is having contractions. Can't decide if she should wake up her mom to go to the hospital. We encourage her to go in and get checked. Contractions are about 15 minutes apart and regular. Chris can't fall asleep so he gets up to sort through some papers that were shuffled around over the weekend, some of which we need to take with us.
12:50 a.m. BM calls back and they are just on the way to the hospital.
1:55 a.m. BM has been admitted for observation. Baby B was playing hide and seek with the nurse trying to place the monitor. Everything looks OK and they are going to monitor her for awhile.
2:02 a.m. BM calls back and reports she is dilated to 3. She wants us to start our trip.
2:40 a.m. We are packed and out of the house, on the way to pick up Mike's mom, who will be making the trip with us. We are also swapping our Escape for their larger TrailBlazer.
3:30 a.m. or so We are on the road from Independence, MO to Cartersville, GA. Only 12 hours to go!
6:30 a.m. BM is scheduled for a c-section. We are somewhere around St. Louis
A little after 6 a.m. BM gives birth to two healthy baby boys. We are crossing from MO to IL.

It's now 10 a.m. and we still have 6 hours of driving to do! Oh my!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Update 11/11/10

A quick update for our family and friends:

BM had a doctor's appointment yesterday. She is officially 34 weeks and everything looks good. She starts going to the doctor weekly now. In addition she goes to the hospital twice a week for a non-stress test. She has monitors placed, then has to sit still for 30 minutes while they monitor the babies. The sitting still is the worst part, she says! All of this is normal for twins.

She is officially due 12/18 and is scheduled for a c-section on 12/14.

She told her mom that they need to start saving their pennies because they will be coming to Kansas in a year for the boys' first birthday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update 10/20/10

Our family and friends hosted a GREAT baby shower last Saturday. We think we had 50 people there who were VERY generous with their gifts for the boys. A double stroller, car seats, bouncy seat and swing, bottles, clothes, diapers, toys, and an awesome hand-knitted blanket (with 1 more on the way) were some of the gifts for the boys. Mike's sister did all the decorations and games. She made two great diaper cakes and a flock of diaper monkies! Our neighbor Dee took care of all the food and it was very good!

We made a quick trip to Georgia yesterday (which also happened to be Chris' birthday). Fortunately there are direct flights from KC to Atlanta early in the morning and late in the evening! And our friend Noli was gracious enough to provide the tickets (Thanks, Noli)! Chris rented a convertible for the day, figuring it would be the last time we could rent one of those for awhile. It was a great day to drive around with the top down!

We met with the adoption counselor and birth mom at the IAC office to complete and sign the match paperwork. Most of the items we had already discussed with birth mom, so it was a formality to get it all on paper. After that meeting, we headed to another sonogram. The last sonogram we saw was on 9/7/10 and the boys were about 2 pounds each. Now they are estimated to be 4 pounds 6 ounces for one and 4 pounds 12 ounces for the other. The technician estimated they should be close to 6 pounds at birth if they are full term. We also had a 4-D sonogram done, which shows movement. Not quite what we were expecting, but still really cool to watch. Baby A was being shy and wouldn't turn his face so we could see it. Baby B was much more of a ham and kept moving around and posing. We left there with new pictures and a DVD with an hour and a half of movement captures on it.

We went out to eat at Olive Garden with birth mom and her family (our new extended family) and had a great time! We made sure everyone had our phone numbers so when labor starts, someone will call us! We are guessing it'll take a couple hours to drop whatever we are doing, pack up, and get on the road, then it's about 12 hours of drive time to Georgia. Hopefully we'll have 14 hours of notice to get their for the birth!

We are less than 8 weeks to the estimated delivery date! Our next trip to Georgia should be for the birth! Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Phone calls

Everyone knows (I think) that we have a special phone for birth mothers to call. We nicknamed it the Baby Bat Phone. One of us carries it during the day so that we're able to answer it when it rings.

Yesterday Mike received two calls. Evan called. His message was "Love you, Daddy!". Then Ari called. His message was "Come "see" us next week, Daddy!"

Guess what phone they used? The Baby Robin Phone! :)

Gotta have a little fun while we're waiting, right? :) Have a great day and thanks for all your love and support! Baby shower this Saturday should be a great time with a house full of people!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update 9/20/10

The boys' rooms are done! We decided that our spare room was bigger than the room we had been using as a baby room with our foster children. So the spare room got a fresh coat of paint (light green and light blue), some cute pictures, and the cribs/dresser/changing table have been moved in there. The former baby room is set up as a guest room/feeding room right now with the idea that it will become a play room once the boys are mobile. We set up the spare bed in there in case anyone offers to spend the night and feed the little ones while we sleep! :) Eventually they'll have their own rooms.

We talked to a very nice attorney in Georgia about the process of termination of rights. Basically it will take 60-80 days to terminate birth father's rights if he is not identified. Fortunately, we don't have to stay in Georgia that long! As soon as we get permission from Georgia and Kansas, we can legally bring the boys back to Kansas. That should take 10 days to 2 weeks. The attorney will handle the termination process and we shouldn't have to return to Georgia for any hearings, etc. related to the termination.

We also talked to our attorney here about adoption. The initial adoption can be handled here or in Georgia and the boys' birth certificates will be updated with the adopting parent's name when that is done. The boys will always have Georgia birth certificates, since that is where they are born. We can't tell from an Internet search if Georgia will allow us to adopt as a couple or if one of us has to be the initial adopting parent. We'll have to follow-up with the attorney about that when the time comes. Kansas won't let us adopt as a couple, so we then have to file for a second parent adoption so that both of us will be officially their parents. That process takes about 30 days. We will then have adoption decrees that will show we are both their parents. The attorney here didn't know if Georgia would amend their birth certificates to show both of us. Kansas would if they had been born in Kansas.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The open adoption counselor talked with PBM yesterday. We are officially matched! We still have paperwork to complete and a meeting with the counselor and BM to talk over the preferences/logistics of everything, but there is no rush to get that done. One more step down in the process! Yeah! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby pictures!

Today we went with BM to have a sonogram done. We got to "see" both babies and hear their heartbeats. The midwife said they haven't identified any problems with the pregnancy or the boys. Everyone is super-nice and we are looking forward to our return trip. Might try to come down in October for a doctor's visit. Thanks for all your support, help, and prayers!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meeting PBM

So we flew to Atlanta today to meet our potential birth mom and her family. What a great day!! Everyone was super nice and very welcoming. It sounds like they've told everyone in town that we are the ones adopting the boys! And apparently we have the show Modern Family to thank for presenting the idea of a gay couple adopting. Here for another day and flying home tomorrow night. Hoping to get to see a sonogram of the boys tomorrow before we leave.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prayers, please

Ok, so the baby bat phone rang this afternoon while I (Chris) was carrying it. A birth mother ("C") was calling to see if we were interested in adopting her 2 month old ("R"). Oh my! I talked to her for awhile and got some basic information. Mike and I then talked things over. We decided that since we have a verbal commitment already that we can't back out on her now and there is no way we could do 3 kids, with one being 5 months older than the other two. So I had to call C back and let her know. Please pray for C and R. She's tried 10 families and all have turned her down for one reason or another. Her husband is serving overseas so she's having to do this all by herself. We know there is a family out there for her. She just needs the strength to keep looking for them. Thanks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekly Update 8/28/10

Monday: with the information that was received from the adoption counselor, we were a little nervous. We had decided to call the birth mom (Meghann) on Tuesday night to talk to her. Well, she beat us to the punch Tuesday morning, calling and talking to Mike for about 90 minutes. The conversation was easy and seemed very natural. That evening when Chris called her to talk again about another 90 minutes went by with them on the phone.

We have had almost daily contact since Tuesday with Meghann and in fact she even sent pictures of her daughter and of herself this week. They are both cute from what you can see in the pictures. Meghann looks like she is all baby, and needless to say looks big with the twins.

The fun of worrying about insurance, time off work, etc begins as well. It is so interesting how employers seem like they never face people asking to have time off for adoption. Mike works at a large University hospital and it seems like it was asking something completely off the wall when he talked to the human resource department. Would it be easier if they offered domestic partner benefits?

The fun also begins with checking out area hotels where we will have to stay for a couple weeks after the birth of the boys. How will we be able to afford the stay? Will the hotels give us any type of discounts? Can we get some friends and family members to donate points, resources they have, etc to help cover the expense?

The fun of also picking out potential names for the boys, we want the names to have good meanings, and then what first name and middle name combination do we use? Whose last name will we use? Both of us will be the last generation to pass on our family name. Does that really matter? We both have people we would like to honor with our family name. Do we do hyphenated names for their last name? That would make a long last name. Do we combine both of our last names and make a new last name?

These are just some of things we are now facing. Oh, I forgot to mention the fact of planning out the nursery for the boys. We want both boys in the same room, so that means repainting the spare room and making that into the nursery since it is a bigger room. It means picking out the colors and getting time to get the painting done. We need to also do some touch up paint to other areas of the house as well as a few other little projects and get them done before the boys come.

We thank you for reading and following our journey to complete our family. We also thank you for all your support and prayers as we take this journey.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Update 8/27/10

Several conversations with PBM (potential birth mom) in GA this week. She seems to be in good spirits and good health. She sent pictures of herself and her daughter yesterday via PictureMail. Both are very cute! Hoping to make a journey to GA next month to meet her and meet with the adoption social worker. And, if we get lucky, go to a doctor's appointment with her and see a sonogram. No firm travel plans yet though.

Chris & Mike

Monday, August 23, 2010

Information from IAC

We were able to follow up with the folks at IAC today concerning the call from a birth mother this weekend. it sounds like she is legitimate, which is very important! The counselor at IAC says she is still considering all options, including raising the boys herself. There is a ways to go before she'll make a decision to put the boys up for adoption, they think. And then, of course, she has to decide to match with someone. So we won't be flying off to Atlanta to meet her any time soon. But we are hoping to stay in touch with her via phone calls for now.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. Since we aren't matched with her, we continue to be listed on IAC's website and they will continue to mail out our letters.

Chris and Mike

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Potential contact!

We received a phone call this morning from a potential birth mother. She's 20 and lives in Georgia. She's 5 months pregnant with twin boys. and also has a little girl who is almost 2. She told us that raising 3 as a single mother would be very difficult, which is why she is considering adoption. She has already talked to the local IAC office in Atlanta and is excited about an open adoption. IAC mailed her a bunch of birthparent letters, including ours. She noticed us because of our experience with raising babies and thinks we can handle twins. We are definitely up for the challenge!

We still have a long road. She's due Dec 15th, but the doctor told her she might go early. She can still change her mind, obviously, until sometime after the birth. But the first phone call sounded very positive for both her and us. The next step is to see what information IAC has on her and on adoption laws in GA. If she's still interested, we'll have an official match meeting with a counselor where we'll talk about all the things associated with the pregnancy and adoption. After that we'll be considered officially matched, they will hide our profile on the IAC website, and they won't mail out more of our letters.

Thank you for all your prayers! Please continue to pray as we work our way through the process! Thanks!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

July was a very quiet month for visits to our website. Something like 50-some visits. Most have been US visitors, although we picked up visitors from Brazil and Morocco this month. None of the visits have generated phone calls or emails yet.

We received our stats from IAC for July the other day. We had 14 letters (up from 7 in June) sent out to potential birth mothers as part of packets of letters that were sent out. Mike figured out that there were 20 packets sent out in July where we met the requirements of the birth mother (out of 35 total packets). So 14 out of 20 times, she saw our letter, which is almost 3/4 of the packets (up from 1/3 in June). We didn't have any online requests for our letter in July.

Please please please keep sharing the link to our website with friends and relatives! You never know who might have a friend or co-worker interested in adoption. The website is www.iheartadoption.org/users/chrisandmike

Oh....we also had 1 call on our baby bat phone, the cell phone that is specifically designated for birth mother phone calls. But the caller didn't leave a message. Oh well!

Thanks for all your support, thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July Update

Things have been pretty quiet on the adoption front. We have had a couple hundred visitors to our website and some have returned at least once. Most have been US visitors, although we had 1 visitor from Canada and one from Italy. None of the visits have generated phone calls or emails yet.

We received our stats from IAC for June the other day. We had 7 letters sent out to potential birth mothers as part of packets of letters that were sent out. Mike figured out that there were 24 packets sent out in June where we met the requirements of the birth mother (out of 34 total packets). So 7 out of 24 times, she saw our letter, which is just over 1/3 of the packets. We also had 2 online requests for our letter in June.

Please keep sharing the link to our website with friends and relatives. You never know who might have a friend or co-worker interested in adoption. The website is www.iheartadoption.org/users/chrisandmike

Oh....we also had 2 calls on our baby bat phone, the cell phone that is specifically designated for birth mother phone calls. Both were telemarketers! Oh well!

Thanks for all your support, thoughts and prayers! They are greatly appreciated! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We are "in the book"!!!

Our adoption agency has approved everything and our website with them went live today. Please share the link with all your contacts! You never know who might have a friend, coworker, or customer who knows someone looking to have a baby adopted! Thanks!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Everything is submitted!

We sent off a packet with our completed homestudy today! The proof of our birthparent letter is done and awaiting final approval. The next step is for IAC to review our complete packet of information and decide if we are approved or not. Once we address any concerns they raise, we'll print our birthparent letter. As soon as they have copies of our letter on file, we'll be listed as an adoptive resource! Getting closer! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

April update

Just wanted to give everyone an update on where we are in the process. We had our second meeting with the social worker writing our home study last week. She had to visit the house and clarify some of the information we had given her. By the end of last week she had sent us a draft home study, we made some adjustments and returned it to her. The only thing she's waiting on is an FBI report to be able to finish the home study. Then it can be sent off to IAC for our file.

Dee is working on our birthparent letter. We finally got a picture approved for the front cover!! It's the one heading this blog. She has to finish some of the layout and that will be ready to be sent to IAC for approval. Then we can get the whole thing printed (250 copies, please), and mail 100 of them off to IAC. Once that's done and the home study is in, we can be officially "listed" in their books and our website will be active.

We have had a couple folks ask for our letter already. They know people who know women who might be pregnant. Make sense? Once our website is up, we'll be reaching out to as many people as we can in our network, looking for referrals. That's how many of the matches are made. The mother knows someone who knows the couple trying to adopt. She connects with us, then we refer her to IAC to work with a social worker that works specifically with birth mothers. We are definitely excited about the fact that friends want copies of our letter already! We just have a few more hoops to get through before we can hand them out and start down that path.

Thank you everyone for your help, support and prayers! We really appreciate them!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why Open Adoption?

Here is our reading list from IAC:

1. Children of Open Adoption by Kathleen Silber and Patricia Martinez Dorner. This is required reading and talks about open adoption through the adoptee's lifetime.
2. The Kid by Dan Savage. We actually already had this book and re-read it when we got home. It's a great account of their journey through adoption.
3. Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff. This book was required if we were open to adopting a child of a different race/culture. We are.
4. Because I Loved You by Patricia Dischler. A birth mother's account of adoption and later meeting her birth son. Really good book!
5. Dear Birthmother by Kathleen Silber and Phylis Speedlin. This book looks at the myths surrounding adoption and refutes traditional thoughts about it.

A few folks have asked about open adoption. Probably the best way we know how to explain the advantages of an adoption being "open" are to look at the myths from book #5.
1. "The birthmother obviously doesn't care about her child or she wouldn't have given him away." This was supposed to make it so much easier for the adoptive family to think that the birth parents were somehow losers. In reality it takes great courage to evaluate the circumstances and make a choice in the baby's best interests. She's putting the baby's future ahead of her own desire to raise a child. Know that the birth family will always be a part of our family and will be included in as much as possible, given their desires and geographic closeness to us.
2. "Secrecy in every phase of the adoption process is necessary to protect all parties." This was supposed to protect the birth family by allowing them to move on, the adoptive family to somehow assure them that the birth family would never show up to take the child back, and the adoptee to somehow think they were the "real" child of the adoptive family. In reality, secrets in adoption are as destructive as any other secrets. Instead, the open adoption gives everyone full contact information. Birth families are able to follow the adoptive family's life, the adoptive family can give honest and open answers when the child begins to ask questions about the adoption, and the child is able to know their family and history.
3. "Both the birthmother and birthfather will forget about their unwanted child." This made it easier for the adoption facilitator and the family and friends of the birth mother, but no one else. In reality, the birth family needs to acknowledge their loss and grieve. Adoption facilitators need to provide counseling and support after the adoption for the birth family. And knowing the child's "happy ending" is therapeutic for everyone!
4. "If the adoptee really loved his adoptive family, he would not have to search for his birthparents." The desire of the adoptee to know where they came from (and even the circumstances behind the adoption) doesn't mean that they love their adoptive parents any less. Like anyone else, they want to know their history, their place in the world. Their family tree didn't suddenly start with the adoption. And they aren't looking to replace their adoptive family. They just want to know. Our child will have our total love and support in anything they do, including connecting with their "roots".

As adoptive parents in an open adoption, we will always make sure the adoption is celebrated and help our child realize how treasured they are. We will know answers to the questions that adoptees ask about where they came from. And our family will grow to include the baby, but the birth family as well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Post-workshop Update 3/2/10

The weekend intensive workshop was great! There were 5 couples there, including us, and one single. Two were from Ohio, one from Maryland, one from Connecticut, one from New York and us. We were the only ones with foster experience and were the only ones who had tried to adopt before. We were given several books to read as well as a ton of information in our notebook. We had a few forms to fill out that we took care of while we were there, as well as handing over our first payment. And they sent us home with a "to-do" list, including:

1. Read 2 of the books we were given.
2. Complete a cultural assessment questionaire.
3. Work on the text for our Dear Birthmother letter. We emailed them a draft of 80% of the content before we left. We're waiting to hear their feedback. They say most letters go through 6 re-writes before they are accepted.
4. Gather pictures for our Dear Birthmother letter. We had gathered several that we could potentialy use in our letter. We have to have one taken for the cover that has some specific requirements. It should be taken outdoors with no shadows or squinting, we should look like we like each other (be close), it should look like we are within arms reach of the camera (mostly a head/shoulders shot), we should coordinate the color of our clothes (and tie that to the colors we use in the letter when it is designed), and there shouldn't be anything distracting in the background.
5. By the time we get those things done, they should have a template out for the letter and for our adoption website at www.iheartadoption.org. Previously prospective adoptive parents had to use professional designers to put together their letter, which is really more of a 4 page pamphlet or brochure.
6. When we are done and the leter is approved, we have to have 250 printed and send about 100 to IAC. They give them to birth mothers that have requested information. She can request all of the letters (about 250 prospective adoptive families), but they try to get her to narrow the field by specifying letters a specific geographical area, religious preference, straight/gay/lesbian preference, etc. She can also do her own searching on the website and request information on only a few that way.
7. We have to have our home study updated, since it is 2 years old now. That means new employment verifications, fingerprints for background checks, child abuse registery checks, physicals, financial information, and a multi-page demographic/background questionaire. And 6 reference letters, 2 from relatives and 4 from friends. Oh joy! When all of that is done, our local adoption agency will write up the home study and submit it to IAC.
8. Once the homestudy, the Dear Birthmother letter, and the website are done, we will be officially "listed" with IAC and birthmothers can find us. Then the waiting begins. They say it takes 6-18 months to be selected by a birth mother. She can be anywhere from 5 months along to ready to hatch. She can be anywhere in the US. If she is in a state with an IAC office (Indiana, California, Texas, Georgia, or North Carolina), they will handle all the local adoption stuff. If she's anywhere else, we'll have a third (local) adoption agency that we'll have to work through to handle the birth state paperwork. Oh...and we can't adopt from Flordia, Mississippi, Arkansas, or Utah. It's against the law for gays to adopt there. And IAC doesn't work with Kentucky birth mothers because Kentucky has some really strange, time-consuming rules about adoption that make it too difficult.

Even with all these things that need to happen, we are hopeful that we can be "listed" with IAC within a month or so. Looking at the whole process, from signing up to finalization of the adoption, it is very clear that many things need to happen that are totally out of our control! So we put the whole process in God's hands and trust that we will be successful.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Weekend Intensive

After 8 hours on the road, we made it to Indianapolis, IN for our Weekend Intensive class. Good thing we decided not to fly. The east coast is getting some big snow today and the radio said many flights were cancelled/delayed. No problems on our drive, fortunately.

The details on the workshop:
Friday will cover: overview of the adoption process from your home study to post-placement; review of the adoptive parent binder and all necessary forms; professional guidance to create your "Dear Birthmother" letter and adoption website; resolving any questions or concerns about the adoption program; a private session with your adoption coordinator; preparation for your first "match meeting" with a potential birthmother; and beginning the home study process.

Saturday is a class called Successful Adoptive Parenting:A class that explores unique parenting issues involved in open adoption. That afternoon there is a transracial support group that we were invited to attend.

We looked at 2 options for getting our home study done. One was to buy the home study that KVC did for Caleb's process. They want $1,000 to update that and sell it to us. A social worker we know through MAFA has her own adoption agency and is willing to do a home study for us. She'll be somewhere under $1,000. She's hopeful she can have it done in 3-4 weeks. We have to talk to IAC tomorrow about the options to see if either one is workable for them.

Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers! We really appreciate all your support!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The application process...

In case you were wondering, here is what goes into the initial application for IAC...

1. The registration form for the weekend intensive workshop.
2. The confidential questionnaire for adopting parents.
3. Verification of employment.
4. Health information.

In addition we have to get 3 references.

Submitting that stuff along with a check for the initial fee gets us into the weekend intensive class. The next class is the 26th and 27th of February. At the class we'll go over the adoption process, all the forms we need, writing the Dear Birthmother letter, get our questions answered, and begin our homestudy process. We also attend a class on Successful Adoptive Parenting.

The packet goes in the mail tomorrow!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Adoption vs. Foster to Adopt

As most of you know, we have been foster parents for almost 3 years now. We started the foster program hoping to be able to adopt one of our placements. Unfortunately, after having 5 infants placed with us over the years, we have not had that opportunity. The system now seems totally focused on returning babies to parents, regardless of their circumstances. Failing that, they will look to relatives, regardless of their previous contact and bonding with the infant. Which leaves foster parents as the back-up plan. Very frustrating since we are the ones bonding with the baby and putting in the time to get them started right! We're told these things are cyclical and that in the past bonding has been considered over blood. We've basically reached the point that we can't wait for the cycle to come back around again!

We both believe that God has a baby for us. As is the case with most foster cases, we're adopting a dual-track plan in hopes of realizing our dreams. We'll continue to foster, specifically infants. And hopefully one of those will be available for adoption. We are also starting this process to work with an adoption agency that does open adoptions. The cost is significantly higher and there is no guarantee of a baby this way either. We hope and pray that one way or another, we'll find ourselves adopting!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The 1st call

We have decided that we will move forward with the adoption and to keep a log on what we are doing so we can keep all of our friends and family informed.

Yesterday January 27, 2010 at 13:00 CST we had the first phone call with Independent Adoption Center. This is an independent adoption agency that has been doing open adoptions for 25 years. The phone call was an informational phone call and after thinking about what they have to offer, we have decided to move to the next step.

Next we will be going to Indianapolis for a weekend class that the agency offers. This class will give us all the information about the agency and the format to write our letters to prospective birth mothers.

At the same time we will be getting our home study updated.

Average wait time after the birth letters start to go out is 6-18 months.

One of the items that came in our information packet was a sheet on how to afford the adoption. Needless to say it will be a costly adventure. With this said we are putting this out for our friends and family that want to help out. This is not something that we would normally do, however, if you would like to make a donation to the cause we will make sure that the money that is donated will be used for this cause and only for this cause.

If you would like to checkout the adoption agency you can visit them at www.adoptionhelp.org