Family Time Around the Holiday

What a great weekend with family and friends. We spent most of the weekend with family just hanging out and catching up. Starting the weekend out Friday with dinner at my parent’s house just the four of us since it had been a few weeks since we saw them with mom out of town so much.

Saturday we went boating with my parents. The water was a little cold but not too bad considering how cold the spring has been this year. Andy and I started talking about how perhaps in another 5 or so years we will hopefully have a small boat of our own that we can take out as a family. We really don’t need a big boat and during the spring through fall seasons it would be great to be able to go out for a ride.

Finally on Sunday, we all went over to Aunt Pam’s house for a little cookout that she was hosting. Their pseudo daughter-in-law was in town with her daughter, Addy. There were a lot of people around to spend some quality time and catch up with. It seems odd how time kind of flies through the months since even though Pam and her family live only about 15 minutes away we only see them about 6 or so times throughout the year. We really should try and talk to them a little more often and invite them over sometime.

Today we didn’t really do anything special for the actual Memorial holiday other than lounging around the house. After such a busy weekend though could you blame us!

Addy 2

Us with the cute little Addy!

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Article on What to Know Before Adoption

Even though we are adopting a baby with this adoption, I read the following article on adopting an older child and some of the issues and things that they should have done differently. Mainly because we don’t know what will happen in the future and if we decide to adopt an older child it would be good information to know. The article also was talking about an international adoption as well which has a different subset of issues and things to think about with it. I know adoption is never easy but it seems like trying to adopt a domestic infant is easier for us at this point since we don’t have to worry about some of the things that come with other adoptions.

At the beginning of the article it talks about being able to choose the child they are adopting which is a stark contrast to what is happening in our adoption process now because we are the ones that need to be chosen. If we had a list of children to choose from how do you decide which one is the right one and how do you not sit there and wish that you could take them all?

Every once in a while I go online and look at the foster care children that are ready to adopt in our state and sometimes reading about them makes me wish that we could take them in and give them a home with us but then I worry about being prepared to take in an older child and not knowing what to do once they were in our home. Most parents get to build up to the issues children face as they grow up and to start from scratch with someone who is 8 for example would be stressful.

I hope that every child can find a home to grow up in and feel safe and secure in but I know that it just isn’t an option that is given to some children.

Gifts, gifts, and more gifts!

Jennifer has of course gone above and beyond like only she could do. She bought us so many cute things for the baby already and we are so excited to get all the gifts and put them in the baby room. It looks like before long we will have all the things we need to welcome a little baby into the house and just need to wait for a baby to arrive!

She got us all kinds of things from clothes to accessories. We are excited to add all of this to the things she already had sent to us earlier this year.

In addition to seeing her, I got to go to Jacob’s baseball game and hang out a little with the boys. I wish I could have stayed longer but glad I at least got up to see them for a short period. It looks like I  might spend a week out there in July though to stay at the house and commute down to the office each day.

Gifts from my sister

Trans-racial Adoption Reading

Oh my gosh! I just love the book I read on the plane this morning. It was an easy read compared to some of the other books we had to read for the adoption agency but I feel like I got so much out of this one now that I had read those books.

This book helped me to realize that everyone going through adoption has the same feelings that I am having and that it is normal to wish for more control of a situation that I have no control in. It is hard to imagine other people going through the same thoughts and situations as you when you don’t know people with the same problems.

I like that this book had good information but didn’t seem clinical since it was written by an adoptive mom on her views and what she went through in the process of finding a baby to love and raise. I can’t wait for us to be selected but now I at least know I am not alone in my fears and feelings.

secret thoughts of an adoptive mother

Choosing

Choosing to do an open adoption is not something that Andy and I have gone into lightly. Through all the research, meetings, and discussions we have had with people, we know that choosing open adoption isn’t just about expanding our family by one. We know that our family will also grow an extension of our child’s birth family.

Although, this idea can seem daunting at times and seem like it could lead for a crazier life going forward it is also something we should do for the child we are adopting. Their story doesn’t begin when they enter into our family and as they grow up they are going to want to know more information about where they come from if they don’t have access to it already.

Andy and I hope that we can have an open relationship with whoever our birth mom (and dad) ends up being and welcome her (and him) as part of the family as well. We won’t really know how much contact we will have after placement until we meet those specific birth parents and find out what contact they would like to have but we hope to have birth parents that want to be updated and included in the milestones and achievements the child will have.

 

Time to Travel

Well I am officially traveling again. I am fairly confident that now that I am billable and busy with work we are now going to see more activity with our profile. I am not sure if I am excited for a fast match or if I would prefer to have another 4 or 5 months before the match takes place. Things can’t be decided until they are put in front of us but my usual worrying mind never stops turning.

On the upside of being on the road is 1 being on the road and not having to do all that driving every day, 2 being in Houston and hopefully able to see my sister’s family more often, and 3 finally being billable full-time again!

I am really excited about this project and it is actually a little on the large side for project team scale which I love. There are several people that I have worked with before and then a few that I haven’t had the chance to work with outside of just working on the phone for proposals or demos. Putting faces to names is great.

The extra money from being billable could have come a little earlier to make the savings a little easier but now I am not sure we will know what to do with all of the extra money coming into the account. I found out last night that in addition to being billable we will have a per diem which means if I eat on the cheap side each week we can pad our savings with a little extra money or spend it on things for the nursery!

IAC Picnic

Well today was a very busy day because we were a little over booked but in the long run it ended up being a great day.

It started out where we were not only going to the picnic in the afternoon but also Andy had to help with some photos at the Dixie Games. We were kind of hoping that we would only have to do pictures in the morning at track since several of the swimmers were in Ohio for another competition. In the end though we ended up doing track in the morning, the picnic in the afternoon, and then swimming a little later in the afternoon, wow so exhausting!

At the picnic specifically though we had a great time. We got to see some of the people from the agency itself (Kristine our counselor, Ashley who did our home study and Michelle who runs the office there) and catch up with them a little bit. Also, there were some of the other couples we have met before at other events including some that had already matched! So cute seeing all the little babies at the picnic and meeting even more people from the area that are waiting to adopt.

One of the things at the picnic was a raffle of several prizes and Andy’s raffle ticket was a winner for us! We got some new Braves pacifiers to add to the collection of baby things we have accumulated. Love getting new baby items to store in the room until we have a need for them and the more items we can gather now the less we will end up needing to spend and go and find once we have our own placement.

iac picnic

Open Adoption Positives

Through the open adoption process that we are going through there are many pieces to the puzzle. One of those is the open adoption agreement that we will complete at the match meeting. There are only a handful of states currently that hold this agreement as legally binding though and Georgia is now one of them. The great thing about the agreement is that it talks about what kind of contact the birth parents and adoptive parents are going to have after placement of the child. It can be things such as how often visitation will occur, if there will be phone/skype calls with the child as they get older, or letters/emails to give updates and pictures of the child. Although it is legally binding, it is only binding from the adoptive parent’s side (i.e. what they agree to they have to at least offer that much contact to the birth parents) but the birth parents can decide to have less contact if they wish.

The importance of the open communication and contact between both parties is for the best of everyone involved in the adoption. There are so many positives that come out of open adoption that it makes me happy we have decided to do open adoption. Each situation is different and even if we start with an open adoption with contact at first it could end up being that the birth parents choose to not have contact and we will have to accept that but we will at least be able to get information at the beginning no matter how the relationship continues. Below are some of the positive things that come out of open adoption:

The child being adopted:

–          They have more self confidence in knowing who they are by knowing where they came from and the history of their birth family. Whether the child is a different race/culture from the adoptive parents or not they typically have this desire to know more about who their birth family is to see if they would have been a different person if they were not adopted.

–          There doesn’t have to be a struggle with how to tell their adoptive parents they want to find their birth parents since they already know them. In a closed adoption some adoptive children feel like they would hurt their parent’s feelings by telling them they want to search for their birth parents thinking they might believe they are not happy with them as parents.

–          The sense of abandonment is less because they can find out why they were given up for adoption directly from the birth parents and know that the  choice was so that they could have a different life than what the birth parents could provide at the time.

The adoptive family:

–          Access to medical history of the child they are adopting can be beneficial in case there are any health issues or even if there aren’t any when they are children it is good to know that history to have any preventative screening for genetic conditions they could potentially have.

–          Feeling more secure, knowing the birth parents directly allows them to feel more assured that they aren’t going to change their minds and try to reclaim the child they placed for adoption.

The birth family:

–          There can be updates and visits to see how the child is growing and that they are happy and healthy in their home. This can reduce the guilt they might have over giving up the child and not knowing what happened to them.

–          They get to select who the adoptive parents will be for their child and find someone that they can relate to or that they think will raise their child they way they would. They have found a lot of birth parents will look for adoptive parents who have similar interests or similar history to them so that they can be raised similar to how they would raise them if they could.

–          Guilt is lessened as well because they don’t think about the adoption as ‘abandoning’ their baby but making a choice for them to have a life that they can’t provide and taking an active role in choosing that life.

Andy and I hope that knowing all of the things that can be gained by an open adoption that we have a birth parent who is interested in staying in contact after the placement as not all birth mothers are. We know though that whatever type of communication we have with the birth parents we will make the most of it and make sure we can tell our child as much information as possible when they ask questions.

Adoptive Mothers

With Mother’s day just around the corner I stumbled across the following post by someone. It is truly amazing what she wrote about adoptive mothers and I hope you take the time to read it yourself.

Adoptive Mothers

I know in the end this journey will be well worth all of the time, energy, money, and tears that has been put into it because in the end we will have a child that will come to us when they have to tell us exciting news and hope we are as excited as they are about it, are sad in tears looking for us to make it better, or to counsel them when they don’t know what to do. I look forward to all the things that come from being a parent in the future and know that we just had to take a slight detour to get there and in the end our family will not just be growing by a baby but by our baby’s birth families as well.

Here is to all the current mothers out there and all the mothers that just haven’t gotten to bring a child home yet but are waiting for that day to happen! Happy Mother’s Day!

Project Cuddle

Today I came across this website of an organization in California that helps find matches for Birthmothers and Adoptive parents. The organization is called Project Cuddle and they are not a placement agency and so they don’t charge any fees to any of the people involved in the adoption. It is basically another way to get your Birthmother Letter out there in front of more women who are interested or thinking about placing their child for adoption.

We haven’t signed up with them but it looks like something we could look more into over the coming months and see if we want to have our profile with them as well. It looks like a great organization though and makes me wonder how long it would take for finding a placement if we were looking in two places (our agency IAC and Project Cuddle).