Building the Glider

Well we got the glider in the mail earlier this week and finally got to put it together today! Here are some pictures of how it turned out. It seems really comfortable from the short time I sat in it which will make sitting in there rocking a baby to sleep easier in the middle of the night.

All the pieces laid out and ready for assembly.

All the pieces laid out and ready for assembly.

The glider is finished and placed by the window.

The glider is finished and placed by the window.

Stephanie sitting in the chair with our dogs inspecting it with her.

Stephanie sitting in the chair with our dogs inspecting it with her.

 

Wider view of the whole room. It is coming along so great!

Wider view of the whole room. It is coming along so great!

Shopping at the Outlets

Andy and I had a fun Saturday today. We started out going to a wheel chair basketball practice so he could take some photos from last season to the coach and to take some more pictures at practice with the new team members. Afterwards, while we were heading home, I suggested we wander around the outlet mall by our house to just check out what there all was on sale.

We ended up going to several of the kids stores and browsed for cute gender neutral clothes. This is the selection we were able to come up with! Other than a couple in the 0-3 months size they are all bigger so it might be a while until they are used but we have them!

Our favorites were probably the Introducing me red onesie and the blue one with a camera on it! Can’t wait to have a cutie to try these on and take more photos of them in.

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Advice on Transracial adoption

When Andy and I started working with our agency one of the forms we had to complete was a list of criteria we had for an adoption we would consider. On this form were things such as race, drug/alcohol use, physical disability, mental disability, etc. The agency doesn’t want to send your profile to a perspective birth mother if your profile criteria doesn’t match the birth mother’s and risk one or both parties feeling a connection that might not work for a match.

The biggest part of this form is filling out all of the different races you are willing to adopt including going down to the different combinations of bi-racial children as well. After you fill out your profile if you are open to adopting a child that is of a different race you have to complete a trans-racial training course online and read some articles and books on trans-racial adoption. This information is to prepare you for how a trans-racial adoption is different than other adoptions and also to make sure that the adoptive couple is prepared to handle raising a trans-racial child.

One of the biggest things that they stress in everything we have read and gone through is that if you adopt a trans-racial child then you should have role models of the same race of the child in your life. This is so that they can see you interacting with an adult of their race and also to give them a positive reference of other people of the same race. Another thing that they want you to try and incorporate some of the child’s background and culture into your lives. If for instance your child is of Native American race then teach them about the history of their tribe (if you know which tribe they are from) and take them to Native American cultural events in your area.

We decided from the beginning that no matter what race or gender or anything else really we would love whatever child we adopt. Since we don’t know what race we will adopt at this point or even if it will be trans-racial for sure, I every once in a while do research online about what is offered around Atlanta for cultural events. Our community is not very culturally diverse where we live ourselves but with Atlanta being so close by there are chances to interact and learn about many different cultures. We hope that if we adopt trans-racially that we will have a birth mother and birth father that are willing to help us learn about their culture and teach our child about where they come from, but if not then we will do as much as we can to learn ourselves.

Adoption Poem

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears
One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.
Unknown Author

Cost of raising children

So this post is not really about adoption but I was reading an article today on the cost of raising children and when I think about the cost that it will take for us to cover the adoption in the long run it doesn’t seem like such a big expense compared to what we will be paying for the rest of their childhood years. The article I was reading is here.

Although the adoption is probably going to end up costing us somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000 when you take into account that we wont have any medical expenses for an actual pregnancy and that some of it is tax deductible and we are able to get a credit back for some of it we will really not be spending all that much more on our path to parenthood.

From the article it seems like such a large figure that can be daunting for anyone trying or wanting to start a family but you also have to keep in mind that those expenses are spread out over 18 years. I know that even when you spread it out over 18 years it still averages out to about $1100 a month in extra expenses but not all of those things are set in stone prices as you can try and provide the same things for your children in a different way.

Andy and I have decided that he will become a stay at home dad after we place and then do some freelance work when he has the time to help contribute to the budget. In doing that we will be losing his salary but we are also not going to need to pay day care expenses and some of the expenses he has by having a job he drives an hour to each way.

Healing after placement

Today I read a great article on the struggles a family had after placement (found here) and why placement is not always just a happy occasion for people trying to adopt. Although, people out there adopt for different reasons and not all experience infertility as a reason to look into the possibility of adoption as the article writer had. For most people no matter what the reason they are choosing adoption there are going to be lots of emotions going on at the placement.

For me, I know that even now I sometimes feel depressed over the fact that I will not be delivering our child and that our family will be created in a different manner than I had thought it was going to come. It is something that Andy and I talk about every once in a while and even though we feel prepared for the adoption and are excited for it there are sometimes triggers that make me sad and wish that things could have been different.

Talking about those feelings and connecting with our new child after placement will be important parts to us creating this new family and healing together. I know our family and friends will be understanding when we need time to bond with our child and not want to share that time with them so we can just be alone together.

Adoption Myths

From a birth mother’s perspective:

You are abandoning your child – When having a child the mother usually starts making a plan for her child so that the child can have the best life that she can give them. In the case of adoption that plan just doesn’t include the birth mother as the one caring for the child and watching them grow every day. They are doing what they can to ensure that the child’s needs are met first and worrying about their needs second. It is a very brave act to decide to place a child for adoption.

You don’t know where your child will end up – In open adoption the birth mother (and father) select the adoptive parents that will be receiving the child after placement. They can decide what type of family they want their child to be in and can select people that have similar interests/hobbies as they themselves have. This allows them to know exactly where their child will end up and know the people that are going to raise them.

You won’t know if your child is doing well – Luckily we are doing an open adoption and this myth should never come into play. There will be photos and updates of how the child and family are doing whenever the birth mother wants and depending on the match arrangement there could also be in person contact as well. They will get to see their child and get affirmation as to how well their child is doing as they grow up.

From an adoptive mother’s perspective:

The birth mother will try and take the child back – If you have an agency that will work to make sure that the birth mother and birth father are making the right decision for themselves and that they are truly making their decision for themselves then the chance of having them change their mind after placement is much smaller.

Adoption takes a long time – The process of adoption can take a long time depending on what your circumstances are for the adoption. However, if you go into the process without having a lot of restrictions on gender, race, disability (physical or mental), expenses, etc. then the adoption might not take as long as some people will think. Our agency has an average wait time for expecting families of 14 months only. That means it is just a few months longer than a pregnancy would take.

You might not love your adopted child – You might not pick the child up and immediately feel undying love for your child after placement but as you bond with the child you will have the same connection to them as any other child and parent has. I don’t think Andy or I  will have any issues with loving whatever child we adopt as we already feel so much and we don’t even have a match or placement yet.

From the child’s perspective:

My birth parents didn’t love me – They will actually have information directly from the birth parents in an open adoption usually of why they were placed for adopted and that the reason had nothing to do with how much or how little they loved them but with other parts of their lives not being ready for a child.