Thursday, January 14, 2016

Welcome to Our Adoption Story!!

We hope that those of you who are in the process of adopting will learn something from our adoption experiences and failures. We have shared what happened with our domestic infant adoption process as well as the important lessons we learned along the way. I can't believe how challenging the whole process was.  It was an emotional roller coaster ride.
Worse than dating!!
 

So, if you have any questions or would like to post comments, please don't hesitate to ask or post.  Our blog is automatically set up to show most recent dates first, so if you would prefer to read the story as it happened just start with the "We've Been Chosen" post from the list on your right.   As you can see the blog is archived first by title (starting from the beginning of our story), and then by date (most recent first) in order to make finding what you need easier.

Take care and have a great day!!!!

Domestic vs International Adoption

Holy Cow!!

It has been really interesting (and very frustrating at times) to see the differences between the domestic and international adoption processes.

The home study process is pretty much the same, but oh boy did we find out recently how different things are when it comes to paperwork and the order in which things happen.  Surprise!!It appears there are some significant differences.

With domestic adoption first came approval and then came the dossier/profile process.  We had to create a book which included long heartfelt letters to potential birth moms with lots of pictures about our family and lifestyle, etc.

With international adoption, all the paperwork and profile stuff comes before the official approval.  OOPs!  So here we are thinking we are all caught up on paperwork and whammo, we find out last weekend that we haven't really begun!  Ugh!

And then there is the notarization process.  EVERY document needs to be notarized for international adoption.  If they are not notarized correctly, then you have to fill them out all over again.  It can be amazingly frustrating at times.  After finally catching up with the paperwork we found out we have to redo some of it because there were some small errors made by the notary.  Such a bummer.

On the other hand, the letter/profile process is much easier with international adoption.  We don't have to make ourselves sound like wealthy world traveler types in order to compete with other, younger families.  We just have to state our reasons for adoption.  That's all.  It's honest and open and so much simpler. 

When we tried to adopt domestically, we never felt comfortable with exaggerating who we were in order to win over a possible birth mom.  It just felt dishonest and deceptive, so we chose to be honest and open even if other families were not.  I know for a fact that the families who were willing to exaggerate things were placed much sooner and more successfully than we were.  The International way is definitely more simple, honest and AWESOME!!  It just fits our style better.  We still need to send pictures, but it is more about showing the proper authorities what our home looks like and what kinds of activities we like to do in our free time and not so much about bragging or showiness.

Anyway, hopefully we will have all our paperwork sorted out in the next couple weeks.  Then we wait...... and wait..... and probably wait some more.....

Fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Home Study Begins...

As anyone who has adopted knows, the home study process is usually pretty stressful.  You put your entire life, family history, and everything else out there for someone else to judge.  It can be tough, but this time around it seems to be a little bit easier.  Even though there are subtle differences between the domestic and international processes, I think our past experience is making things a bit easier this time.

We've filled out most of the paperwork and our Federal and state background checks are already back.  YAY!!  Our passports arrived last week and we had our first home study visit a couple of days ago.  Our crazy/autistic dog behaved well (for her) and our other friendly dog was as sweet as always.  Surprisingly though, with our first home study visit came a few new things to think about.

The topic of an older (3-5) year old child vs a 2-3 year old child came up.  This caused a little bit of confusion because of a discrepancy in our belief of what ages are considered "older".  We realized that we each thought different ages applied to the same "group".  It was actually kind of funny because when she asked if we were open to "older children", one of us said no and the other said yes.  LOL.  You should have seen her face and our faces!! We laughed it off, but it actually gave us something to think about.

On the serious side, issues like culture shock and our family size make me a little bit leery of bringing an older child home.  A younger child probably won't remember the adjustment phase of their adoption, but I worry that an older child could be traumatized.  I mean, can you imagine what it would be like ending up in a foreign country away from your small, quiet Chinese village to the hustle, bustle, and noise of American culture?  Add to that the size of our family (if both sides ever got together it would be over 70 people) and it would be a bit overwhelming for anyone.

After discussing it further, we decided to look at each child based on a case by case basis.  I think limiting ourselves based on age, could prevent us from getting a healthier child who might be a little bit older.  For now we are leaning toward 3 years old at placement when we bring him home.  That would be a great age since we have some nephews that are around the same age.

So we now have 3 more home study visits to get through along with some financial stuff and then we should know soon after if we've been approved by the Chinese government.  Hopefully we will hear back or at least have some idea of how things might go in January.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Buckle Your Seat Belt! Here we go again!!

Well, it's been several years since our failed attempt at domestic adoption.  In that time we've watched our friends and family members have babies of their own.  Each time it was like a stab in the heart.... a painful reminder of what was missing in our lives.  I can't put into words how difficult the last few years have been.

Recently one of our nieces happily announced her pregnancy (twins!!).    YAY!!  Even though we are so very, very happy for her....it was yet another devastating reminder of what we've been missing.   After shedding a few tears (again), we decided that maybe we should give it one more shot.  Since we aren't getting any younger and have already "aged-out" of many adoption programs, we figured this could be our last chance.

This time we decided to see if there were any opportunities internationally.  The reason being that international adoption generally doesn't include the highly competitive aspect found in domestic adoption.  Before, we felt like we had to sell ourselves as being wealthy world travelers who would raise our child with a silver spoon in his/her mouth.  Although many adoptive parents are fine with embellishing in order to make their book stand out from the rest, we just don't feel comfortable exaggerating or lying about who we really are to prospective birth-moms.  We live modestly and even though our child will be loved by many, many people, it unfortunately just isn't enough to win the hearts of teen moms who are looking for a Daddy Warbucks type of family to raise their children.

So where are we now??  Well, we did our research, met with a couple of adoption counselors and have narrowed it down to 2 countries:  China and Ethiopia (we couldn't decide).  The Ethiopian program takes 2 1/2 years to complete.  The China program can take about a year if we agree to take a child with special needs (i.e. cleft lip/palate, missing limbs, down syndrome, club foot, etc).  We decided to start with the China adoption because of the shorter time frame.  We spoke with a doctor regarding different issues and have narrowed down the list of "special needs" we feel comfortable with.

Originally we wanted to have both home studies going at the same time, but as it turns out the Ethiopian agency won't allow it.  So our Ethiopian adoption is currently about 4 1/2 years away (that is if the time frames don't change).  But at least that will give us plenty of time to get into a groove with our new little guy from China!!  We now have our initial paper work sent in, all background checks in progress and passports in the works.  Next comes the home study process!! 

Oh boy!!!  Here we go again!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The End of an Era

After years of trying, sadly it turned out that domestic infant adoption just wasn't in the cards for us....

That being said, here is where we now stand. At the beginning of 2010, after years of waiting and 2 change of hearts we "pulled our book" only to end up putting it back in again due to possibilities in Florida (which didn't pan out).  But since the annual home study was already paid for we decided to go ahead and give it one more year (just to see what might happen).  The original plan was to pull our book in December 2010 (the 5 year anniversary of our approval), but the last few months of 2010 were so tortuous (including a 3rd change of heart), that we decided to finally call it quits in August. 

We are the first couple in Catholic Charities history to ever experience 3 change of hearts.  We now hold the record for the state of Colorado.
Stick a fork in us we are done!! 

The reality is after some major grieving (and a lot of chocolate cake), I pray that we will be just fine.  If God wanted us be parents, we would be, but instead I guess he has other plans for us. I wonder what those might be???