ABOUT US

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Kansas, United States
This started out as a blog about our domestic adoption. So all of the older posts are about that journey. It was an interesting one, and it led us to our son, Jacob. My dream since I was a little girl was typical of most little girls. I wanted to get married, and have children and be a stay at home Mom. Although, not a very popular choice for a profession now a day, I find it very rewarding. As a matter of fact, every day is an adventure! I've been told personally that the stay at home Mom profession isn't 'work', but spend a day with me and you'll see just how much 'work' it is!!! It's blessed work!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Official Match Expected Tomorrow!

Our Birth Mom's social worker had lunch with her today, and we are expecting to hear all the particulars about the remainder of the pregnancy tomorrow, including what she wants at the hospital, about the social medical stuff, the birth father...all of it! I can hardly wait!!!! Our birth mom is a real sweetie! She is very quiet and reserved though and so I have been wondering what she is thinking and what role we will play in the remainder of this pregnancy. She is feeling sick again tonight and so we wait again to see if it escalates...

Friday, August 20, 2010

It Could Happen Anytime Now!

We got a text message the other night that our birth Mom was in the hospital and really sick. She kept texting us what was going on and it seemed her gall bladder was giving her problems. She said that she might have toxcemia as well. The Doctor was trying to decide if he should just take the baby and do the gall bladder. They went back and forth on this for a couple of days. We got to go visit her after they gave her some pain meds and we had a great visit! She got to meet (or re-meet) John's side of the family and we got to meet her side of the family. It was a good time! The Dr. finally released her and said that if she has another gall bladder attack that they would go ahead and take the baby. If not, they would wait until the baby decide to come on his own and then do the gall bladder. She is at 37 weeks 5 days, right now and the Dr. wants her to be at 38-40 weeks before they take him. So now we play the waiting game. I gave my two weeks notice at work this afternoon because the baby's due date is September 6th. I'm so scared and nervous and excited and anxious. I've hardly been able to sleep at all, and every time I eat I get sick. Heartburn is constant. When we first got the text that they might take the baby, John asked me what I thought of maybe being a Mom within a few days. I replied, "I think I'm going to throw up!" :) We have a suitcase packed and ready to go. Just waiting for the little guy to make his appearance. We have no decide on any names yet. The Birth Mom has a name picked out, but we don't know if we want to use all of it, part of it or any of it. We are trying to decide. If I could just get John to be serious about a "real" name for 5 seconds, we might be able to come up with something!!! =) Keep praying for our birth mom and us. Thanks for everything, everyone!!! =)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Preparations in the Making!

We are working on getting the house ready for the baby. We have a cradle coming next week from a dear friend at work (Thanks, Diane) so we are trying to clean up and re-organizing the bedroom. We are just about done with that. We also moved my Mom into her new apartment today, so we will be able to start getting the baby room together a little more. I got some great deals on some baby clothes today at garage sales. Got them all washed up and ready to go. We are getting it all together! I want to thank my wonderful family for all their love and support and to apologize for not giving you second by second play. We don't enjoy the roller coaster of emotions that this all takes, and we are trying to save you from having the same. Praying for God's Will in it all....and we love you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Matched!

We are matched!!!! We had two people show interest and we went with the one we felt the LORD wanted us to go with. She has to turn in some papers to the agency and then they will let us know what is going on. Our wonderful birth mom is due around the first week of September as best we can tell and she is having a boy! Please continue to pray for her and the baby and for us.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope!

We are seeing some interest in our profile. Please continue to pray that we get the situation that God wants us to have! Thanks friends!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Almost 40 days!!!!

I've been watching the American Adoptions forum and following the "waiting..." thread. It's kind of confusing. There is NO way to gauge anything on that forum. Some people have been waiting for 16 months, some have been waiting a month. Each profile is different, the budget vs. the flexibility doesn't seem to matter. A few ladies started to talk about checking in monthly with their social worker. I emailed Kelli and she said that she keeps a close eye on her people and that if the exposure level falls below average that she gets in touch with you. So, in the meantime, we wait, and wait and wait. We wait for a phone call from some birth mother's social worker or from Kelli to say that we need to change something. Tomorrow will be day 40.
Having Mom here and working on getting her settled has been a good distraction! I can't believe 2 weeks have practically flown by. Also the bluegrass festival is right around the corner and I'm working on the PR work for that. It's been a good few weeks.
Still praying for a call!!!! =)

A Baby Shower







My Mom called in January and said that she wanted to move down to Kansas with us. So we decided July would be a good time to move. When we were making plans to make the move, my best friend from home said that my home church wanted to give us a baby shower. The agency said not to make plans for this sort of thing in the little manual that we read; however, we thought that this was a special circumstance. So Friday nite, July 2nd Twin Ports Baptist Church had a baby shower for us. It was SO much fun!!!! We played some awesome games, my friend, Kim did a fantastic job on the devotions, the food was great! It was so good to see everyone! We played the melted candy bars in the diaper game (OH MY GOODNESS! SO FUNNY!). We also played a multi-tasking game. We had to hold a baby, carry on a conversation on a cell phone and hang up 15 pieces of baby clothing on a clothesline. It was a HOOT!!!! I won the first round...by a sock, but lost the final round...also by a sock. I was SO sore the next few days. We got a bunch of clothes (mostly boys clothes, but some girls clothes too); a handprint, footprint frames and a bank frame; some stuffed animals; and a carseat/stroller combo. It was SO cute! Anyway...here are a few pictures of the shower! THANKS Rach and Twin Ports Baptist Church for a wonderful shower!!!!! =)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"A Successful Match" manual

"Do's & Don'ts"
HERE IS A GREAT ANALOGY TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIS PART OF THE PROCESS:
Imagine the following situation in a car: You're in the backseat, the birth mother is the driver and American Adoptions is the guide providing the directions. The birth mother has all the control. She can choose to follow the directions provided by AA or not follow them. You, the adoptive family, are along for the ride. You may have a different route in mind but you don't have control over where she takes you. It is best to sit back, relax, and go along for the ride. While every ride doesn't end up at the planned destination, one of these drives will take you to your final destination, a new baby."
DO: be patient, relinquish control, keep a normal routine, be flexible, trust your gut, enjoy your
experience, educate yourself, keep promises, and prepare for changes.
DON'T: Expect things set in stone, quit your job, tell everyone you know about the match, rely
on outside advice, focus on all the details, get ahead of yourself, be paranoid or jump to
conclusions, or sell your sports car for a minivan.

This is the opening page of our latest manual that we received in the mail. Haven't gotten to read past this page yet, but not really liking where this is going. Although we already understand all this part. Relinquishing control is a tough thing. Giving the birth mother all the control...it's tough, but necessary for a successful match. I'm so glad that we have God to rely on with all of this. I don't have a problem relinquish control to Him. I know He has our best interest at heart and that He loves us more than anyone can. We'll just trust Him.

A packet from our agency

Today we received another packet from our agency. It has a sheet that tells all about our social worker, Kelli, our printed out profile (we like the online one-MUCH better) and another little booklet entitled "Preparing for a Successful Match". We'll see what it has to say! Fun stuff! =)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ramblings

Target has some really neat baby stuff. I walked the aisles and checked some stuff out today. They had a snugride and stroller on clearance. I didn't bite...even though I wanted to. The item was exactly what I liked, but the colors were all wrong. I've been spending free afternoons running around Lawrence, checking out any store that has baby stuff. I stood in the baby bottle aisle for 45 minutes the other day...just looking...reading the back of each bottle box. Do you know how many different styles of bottles there are? A lot! =) The Target had a lot more stuff than Walmart had. Some things I find are completely unnecessary and I don't care about them at all but some things I want anyway. We'll see. I bought a few things online and so in a few days when the last of those items come, I will get to wash them and get them all ready to go...for whenever! I just really needed to do something! I'm having some real fun with it. I wasn't going to do any of this. I didn't even have the desire to do any of this before the paperwork was finished, but now, everything is different. I read the forums on our adoption agency website and realize that each case is different. A few families have been waiting for 16-20 monthes and haven't gotten even one call from someone interested. Then there are other families who haven't been waiting very long, but also, there is one family who went active and came home with their baby in exactly ONE MONTH. This just makes me realize even more that this is totally in God's hands. So right now in this moment, I can be patient and just try to enjoy this moment...that is subject to change at any time. You would think I have the hormones of a pregnant lady, I'm happy, I'm laughing, I'm crying...you never know what emotion I'm about to exhibit. For the most part, people are really understanding of this. Good thing, I'd hate to lose all my friends because I've aparently lost my mind.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New "waiting" counter ------->

I've added a new counter to my blog. It's a waiting counter...it may be encouraging or discouraging but I thought it would be fun. =)

Monday, June 7, 2010

online profile link

http://www.americanadoptions.com/family_profile/index/fp_id/9651

We're live on the internet!

Received the email today from our social worker that we are live on the internet. What this means is that anyone can view our profile from anywhere...especially birth mothers...but also you, if you want to!

Friday, June 4, 2010

We're ACTIVE!!!!!!!!!!

We got word from our agency this morning that we are active on the internet. Wade sent us the final paper work to sign (a 21 page contract that required initialing each section; signing and being notarized). So now our profile is out there for anyone and everyone to see. The contract said that it is also attached to a network of Adoption Attorney's list, pregnancy crisis center lists, other Adoption Agencies list, ect. So now the true waiting begins! We have done all we can, now we just wait for a birth Mom to choose us! We aren't supposed to pester the Adoption Agency but once a month to see if they have heard anything. The birth Mother's Social Worker will contact us when one has chosen us. My phone is charged up and the voicemail/answering machine has been checked! Please continue to pray for us and for the birth Mom God has for us!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oops!

We got an email from the graphic designer at our adoption agency today asking if we needed any additional help with our profile changes. Apparently, she didn't get the changes/updates that we sent THREE WEEKS AGO! We've been sitting here debating if we were going to email them asking about the status of our profile finalization. It's some my fault and some theirs. I sent the profile changes, NOT to the graphic designer, but to the adoption coordinator and to our social worker. I told them that the changes were attached to the email and that we were also sending the activation fee. The adoption coordinator told me as soon as the profile changes were approved and the profile was ready for publishing, he would send us a contract to sign and notarize. We've been waiting for the contract when the graphic designer hasn't even received the changes. I'm so thankful that she contacted us today. She emailed me back, apologized, and said if I resend her the changes that she could make the changes and send us the final copy. After we approved that, she can get it put up on the internet profile site by this weekend. So hopefully, our profile will be on the internet this weekend and maybe the other profile will be available by Monday. How discouraging to realize that miscommunication caused this! Several times over the last few weeks I've thought about email them and asking how it was going and if they needed anything else from us. We don't want to seem too anxious, or pushy, but now I wish I had been. They told us once we are active that we can check with them no more than once a month. If we have interest in our profile, a social worker will be in touch with us. We don't want to seem impatient and be a pain in the butt. We are going to need a little extra prayer, I think!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

waiting...waiting!!!!

Well, we returned the changes we wanted for our profile and send the activation money, so we thought that we would be active last Monday when we went on vacation. However, the agency called us and said that they needed to approve the final profile then they would send us a form to notarize and sign and then we would be active. We haven't heard back from them yet...7 days and counting!!!!!! They technically have 14 business days to complete it, so we wait. We'll let you know when we are officially active! Keep praying! =)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Profile Proof Received!!!

Got the email today with the proof for the profile! We glanced over it, but will spend more time looking at it this evening from the comfort of our home. We're SO excited!!!! They had the proof done in less than a week! yay!!!! Now we need to make changes/approve it/give them a chunk of money and we start getting exposure! One step closer! =)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Birth Mother's Day

I received an email from our agency this past week that said that the Saturday before Mother's Day is called "Birth Mother's Day". I wrote a little note to our future birth mother and will include it in the photo/scrap book that we plan on giving her at the hospital when our baby is born.

I didn't feel near as bad this year with Mother's Day as I have in the past. I know that we have done all we can this year and that this will probably be the last year that I won't be a Mom. We are praying that way anyway...thank you for praying with us for it! =)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An email from our media specialist!

This came in our email this afternoon! yay!!!!!!

"Dear Roxanne and John,

Your adoptive family profile information has been reviewed by a Media Specialist and approved. Your profile information is complete and a Media Specialist may now begin designing your profile.

Once a Media Specialist has completed your profile, an Adoption Specialist will proof it, make suggested changes, and it will then be e-mailed to you by the Media Specialist. Any changes that you would like to make upon reviewing the proof should be submitted to the Media Specialist.

The proof will be e-mailed to you within approximately 14 business days as an attached PDF file, which opens with Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download at www.adobe.com). This allows you to see the profile in color and you may e-mail back any changes, etc. "



So they don't need anything else from us to complete it!!!! Can't wait until they get back to us. I'll see if I can't post the pdf when we get it! Thanks everyone for your prayers!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's off......!

We mailed it off today! The last of the paperwork is out of our hands! We emailed the profile stuff (questions, birth parent letter, & favorites), and we sent the cd with the pictures, the form and the profile check thru the mail! The ball is in the media specialists court. They are supposed to review the information, and let us know within a week if they need us to change anything. Then we will be active!!!! Can't wait! =)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Input

We polished up our birth parent letter and sent it off to Kelli to give us some input. She said she would be happy to give us some, so off it went along with the other profile questions. We have decided to just send the pictures we have and if they need more, we'll just take some more. We'll keep you posted!!!!! =)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adoption Appointment 4/13

We made an appointment to go to American Adoptions in Overland Park to talk with our Adoption Specialist, Kelli, about our APQ (Adoptive Parent Questionaire). Usually they do this over the phone by conference call, but I emailed her and asked if we could come in and talk to her face to face instead. They always seem delighted to get to actually meet with you. So we showed up and got to meet Kelli face to face. She was very nice, easy to talk to and enthusiastic. She didn't talk she bubbled, and she smiled the whole time. One thing I really like about these people is that they seem to really be enjoying what they are doing! They instantly put you at ease, and you feel, within seconds, that you have known them your whole life! I was a little nervous that the APQ would need to be changed a lot. Kelli kept saying how wonderful it was that we were so open and broad in our APQ! She said that because we are so broad with it, that we will be exposed to a lot of birth mothers and have a great chance of getting several people interested. The only thing that she mentioned was our budget was a little low..but not too bad. She said any match that comes in between 1,000-5,000 over our budget will still be brought to our attention, so that we can make the decision if we can do it or not. But we are not required to do so. She told us a little what to expect in regard to the birth mother. She went over that the birth mothers only have our profile as far as information about us. When a birth mother selects us, and her social worker calls us to tell us, that we will receive everything the agency has on the birth mother, medical records, questionaires, financial records, ect. We have 48 hours from then to decide if we want to be matched with her. The birth mother's social worker has access to our APQ and is the one who will determine if it will be a good match before she calls us. We only have wiggle room if something is outside of our APQ or if we are not strict about something on our APQ. the birth mother is asked to choose up to three selections of adoptive families in case an APQ of one of the families doesn't fit her situation.
Since Kelli worked with birth mothers for quite a few years, before starting to work with the adoptive families, she gave us some ideas and encouragement in regards to the birth mother letter and what most birth mothers were looking for. When we get matched with someone we will have her cell phone number and will be able to reach her 24 hours a day. When a birth mother selects us, we will be dealing mainly with the birth mother's social worker thru our same agency. But Kelli said she will be kept up to date on everything and if we ever need to talk or have a question that we can call her. She is just there to make sure that we have everything we need, counselling for what to expect next, keep our rights protected, ect. Lastly, she said she thought it was awesome that we seem to both be on the same page with the whole thing and that that isn't always the case.
All in all, we had a fantastic visit with Kelli and are really looking forward to working with her.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kelli Cox


Well, it's official! We've been assigned an Adoption Specialist! Her name is Kelli Cox. This is what the American Adoptions website has on her:




Kelli Cox - Adoption Specialist, LBSW
Hi my name is Kelli Cox and I am an Adoption Specialist here at the agency. My primary role is to work with birth parents on developing their adoption plan. I have my degree in Social Work and have been in the field for about three and a half years. I truly enjoy being able to guide birth parents and adoptive families through their adoption and provide support and education to them. It is an amazing experience to see the wonderful families that are created through adoption!"
We are getting SO close we can almost taste it. The realization is coming. My boss came up to me the other day and said, "You're planning on working full time in August right, during rush?" I started to answer then realized that I might not be working here in August. I might be at home with my new baby....I had to let it set in a little. I will feel really bad to leave my co-workers at such a busy time in our Department, but on the other hand....14 years is a long time to wait on a dream! My priorities will shift. I will no longer be Roxanne the Admin Assistant; I'll be Roxanne the Mommy...Roxanne the Mommy...wow! that's good stuff!!!! Anyhoo, we got an email from Kelli and we are to supply her with a few different dates/times when we can do a conference call to talk over our APQ. We are anxious to get this done, because it's basically our guidelines for our adoption. It will be interesting to see how we fare in relation to others. Were we broad enough in our preferences? Are we too restrictive? It will be interesting to know. We read a little manual that they provided before we filled out the APQ. It talked a little about the myths of adoption and such. It was eye-opening. So putting all our preconceived ideas in check, we prayfully filled out the APQ....and now we will see where we stand!
I sat down to write some more on the profile essays. I'm just at a writers block right now. SO I declared this Saturday, March 27th, Profile Writing day in our house. John and I will sit down and hopefully knock it out!!!! We are really wanting to turn it in by Wednesday, March 31st. So, the Agency got the APQ, we've been assigned an Adoption Specialist, and we are going to knock out our Profile Essays this weekend. Pray for us. =)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adoption Tax Credit news!!!!!

We just received some exciting news about our adoption tax credit. This is what it says:

According to the Joint Council on International Children's Services:

"Joint Council is pleased to confirm that the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC), which was scheduled to expire in 2010, was extended for one-year (through December 31, 2011). The highlights of the ATC are:

1) The maximum credit was increased from $ 12,150 to $ 13,170
2) The ATC is now retroactive to January 1, 2009. This represents a potential increase of $ 1,000 for adoptive families.
3) The ATC was made refundable. If a family has no tax liability, the IRS will refund the amount due."

So, summarizing what this means to us, is that we will get an extra $ 1,000 back that we weren't counting on before! yahoo!!!! AND we won't have to complete it this year to get all of it back, although we hope to.

God is good! He is continuing to provide the necessary monies to complete this. =)

Monday, March 22, 2010

APQ

The APQ is finished! John has read it, approved it, and signed it. I got a few pictures printed and paperclipped them onto the APQ...it's going out tomorrow. They usually get it the next day! We also put the rest of the activation fee in the savings account. Next paycheck we will have more than enough to go active! We are trying to finish up the Profile essays now and we have started a file on the desktop for the 50+ pictures we are supposed to enclose with the profile essays. We are on our way...I see the light at the end of the tunnel! =)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Continuing Paperwork

Well, I finished the APQ (Adoptive Parents Questionaire) last night. John just needs to read over it and I need to print off a few pictures of us to include. Then that is finished. I'm hoping to mail it tomorrow. After they receive it, they assign us an Adoptive Parent Specialist. He or she will contact us and set up a meeting to go over our questionaire and to they will be our contact from then on. They will be the one looking out for our best interests. The birth Mom has her own specialist and we have our own.

We also went to the bank today and signed the closing papers on the rest of our financing. So that will be available whenever we need it.

We are starting to get excited and a little nervous at how far we have come and at the prospect of what is ahead. I'm more than ready to quit my job and stay home with a baby. My heart isn't even there anymore! I will continue working until we get the little one though.

We are continuing to work on our profile. There is a list of subjects in which we have to write short essay style answers. Some of the subjects include:
*What does it mean to be parents and what do you like most or expect to like most about being parents.
*How did you meet?
*What is your most memorable moment?
*What is your cultural heritage?
*How will you address cultural diversity?
*What makes you unique?
....and on and on. We also had to fill out short explanations of 70 of our favorite things, write short essay style (anywhere between 50-500 words, depending on the subject) descriptions of our job descriptions, profile introduction, education, extended family, house and neighborhood, and write a letter to the birth parents. I think I have about six of these done so far. I want John to write some of it, because he's the writer in the family! So, we can send in the APQ, and then finish the profile stuff and our stuff is finished!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Financing is well on track

We got word on Friday that our home equity increase was going thru. They are going to contact us next week for the closing info. We will close in Lawrence at our bank. Yay! We also heard from Alli's supervisor and the homestudy is complete as well. We got our application in to AA and so we are officially signed up with them. We are furiously working on our APQ and our profile essay questions. We are hoping to have at least the APQ done by the end of next week. We'll see! The profile essays are taking some time. I think my writer friend, Kristi is going to help me with that some this week when I get off work. SO we are still making progress. I'm STILL thankful that I have something to do and that we're not in the waiting phase yet. I went thru a bunch of pictures last night and picked out some of the 50 some we have to come up with. We will get it done. I'd like to have the profile stuff to our Media Specialist no later than the end of this month. That would make us active in April. Keep praying for us. =)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More steps...

We got all of our papers in the homestudy in and Alli is going to get them to her supervisor and once they are approved by her, we get a hard copy and it is finished!
SO we were thinking that the next part was signing the contract and giving them a chunk of money; however, that is NOT what is next. They recommend you read their little handbook before filling out your preferences/wishes concerning the child and the birth mother. So I read the manual (100 pages worth), then scanned the blank pages. So according to the manual there are a few more steps to take before the contract and money, which I'm actually really happy about. If I have something to do, that means I have more to do than just sitting and waiting. SO I'm really pysched! So the next steps are:
1. Turning in the application for the Agency with the application fee (waived)
2. Filling out the APQ (Adoption Planning Questionaire) attaching a couple pictures and
turning it in.
3. Meeting with our newly appointed Adoptive Family Specialist for a question & answer time.
4. Writing our profile and finding 50+ pictures to send to the the Media Specialist
5. The Media Specialist has no more than 2 weeks to get the proof back to us for our approval,
then we are ready for contract and activation.
We become active 24 hours after they receive our contract and fee. We are then shown to the birth mothers and we could be matched at any time after that.
I am mailing the application tomorow. Our adoption coordinator, Wade, waived the application fee because he said that we got to come in and visit in person, opposed to most people who hire them who just do things by email or phone. So we saved $ 200. SO, we will mail that tomorrow, we filled out the 'favorite' part of the profile (70 things that were our favorites), we filled out most of the APQ, the rest we have to talk about and decide (e.g. illnesses or medical conditions of the birth mother and immediate family), we also have to write a bunch of mini-essays for the profile. It should be interesting. Anyway, I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I went to the bank and got the rest of the documents faxed over for our financing and they said that would come back in 3-5 business days and then we would close. Yay!!! In the meantime, we heard from Alli again and she said as soon as we sent her the tax form, our homestudy would be completed. SO, John did the 2009 taxes this morning and we sent off the form to Alli. It's DONE!! She said we should get our copies in the mail within a few days!!! Yay! So glad that part is finished! Now on to working on our profile questions! =)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

John spoke to the bank and they put in our application for some additional funding. A few days later they called for some additonal paperwork and we are waiting for their answer. In the meantime, Alli emailed us a few more questions to answer as well. We got them back to her in a timely fashion, and TODAY WE RECEIVED THE DRAFT! There are a few facts on there that are not correct, so we will make the corrections and send it back to her. Then we get the final report and our homestudy is FINISHED!!!!! I'm SO excited!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting.....

It's only been 2 days since the home study and I'm already going crazy with the waiting. I'm even supposed to have a short waiting period then a typical Mother...she has 9 months, I'm only supposed to average five months. I sent a little thank you email to Alli today to tell her that we appreciate her time and that it was really nice to finally get to meet her after all the emails that we exchanged. She emailed us back that she received our background checks back and they were all fine, so she is going to finish writing up the draft and get it to us as soon as she can. She also wanted to know if we had decided on American Adoptions as our agency or if we wanted her to just leave that part blank on the report. We need to look into a few more financial options before we completely decide. So we will get on to that. If we decide to go with American adoptions then we have some more paperwork to fill out, and they will make our profile off of that paperwork. So, once we decide, more paperwork....but fun paperwork!

The Home Study

Monday came way earlier than I wanted it to, but it came. I puttered around working off my list I had made the day before and during the night when I couldnt sleep. I kept thinking that minutes before Alli came I'd be standing back and looking over everything..and I'd see something that was a glaringly wrong and obvious but didn't have time to do anything about it. Well, it didn't happen minutes before she came, and it wasn't the end of the world, but while looking over things, I noticed that one of the electrical outlets didn't have a faceplate and behind the phonograph there was a hole in the wall where we were going to put an outlet...but hadn't. Lucky for me, John hadn't left Home Depot yet so he grabbed the faceplaces and it was fine. But John was still working on some other stuff, when I saw her pull up to the house.
First, I have to say, Alli didn't look or act like what people say social workers look or act. I have a friend who is a social worker and she isn't your typical social worker either. I've talked to people online who were adopting that told horror stories of their social workers. Some even used names of ones to avoid! I was instantly put at ease when she walked thru the door. She was so nice and friendly. We sat on the couch and got to know each other a bit. Then she interviewed us separately. The questions were mainly about my family and childhood. Then she interviewed us together. Those were really fun! We got to talk about how we met, how he asked me out, how we got engaged, what are wedding was like. What goals we have for our future. Then she said she needed to look at a couple specific things about the house. She walked around and looked at that. We stood around and talked about the house renovations we've done and hope to do. That was it! I barely could tell that she had been there for three hours and fifteen minutes. It was such a relief to have it done, but I was almost sad to see her go. Crazy! After she left, I told John that we had some family that we needed to call. I talked to them and crashed!!! We both went to bed early that night and had some of the best sleep we ever had!!! The house looks so good that I almost don't want to go home and mess it up. I took some pics and put it on the facebook album. Check it out! Home studies are not as bad as everyone says!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tomorrows the Day!


Well, tomorrow is the day for the home study....actually later today (it's 2am). We got the floor in the kitchen finished and the appliances back in. That was quite the chore! But it looks SO nice! I have a short list of "must do's" to do in the morning and a little shopping to do before she arrives. We got some snow and ice this weekend, so I'm really hoping she can still come. I don't think I can stand the torture of waiting any longer. The house looks really good! I'm pleased. I think I may of over-compensated a bit on it. John and I were talking tonight and he kept saying that the home study isn't as much about the house as it is about us. I can control the way the house looks, but one thing I know about myself is that I don't do well with first impressions. I, also, don't do well with interviews. John does great with both, so we'll be relying on him. Our agency prides itself on having nice and friendly social workers who will put you at ease immediately. I'm always a bundle of nerves with this kind of thing, so we will see. I guess I'm going to have to trust that I have done the best I can and just leave the rest to God. Good night and pray for us! =)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Added a link of pictures

I added a link of pictures to the Welcome message. These will be various pictures of the progress either with the house or the process. You'll have to have a facebook account to view these. I'll try to update them often! Thanks my friends! =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting ready!




I've become psycho woman! I am furiously cleaning like a mad woman! I'm dusting where there is no dust...just to be sure there's no dust. John's having to rescue me as I teeter precariously on a ladder hefting a heavy full size vacuum in one arm and standing on my tippy toes trying to dust the top of doors with the the extending vacuum hose in the other. "Honey, she's not even going to check up there!" he says. The house has never been so clean. I have the back part of the house all done which includes both bedrooms, the bathroom and the hallway. I have the kitchen (which I hope to tackle tomorrow) the dinningroom and livingroom to go. OH! and the yucky back hall since that will probably be the way she comes in. =) I got to buy some curtains for our bedroom today. Nothing too fancy, but curtains give a nice soft, polish look to a room, I think. I also bought a sheer for the baby room-just plain white, since we don't know any gender details on the B-A-B-Y. I'm getting excited to get the homestudy finished. I'm making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the visit and have the beverage choices of iced or hot tea, coffee, Diet Pepsi, milk or water! Perhaps I'll return to my happy-go-lucky self next Tuesday assuming all goes well. If she requires us to get some more things done, then we will just do them and that'll be great too, because we have a lot of little projects that just need to be done! I'm upbeat and excited! We'll see if I'm still that way around 5pm on Monday. It helps a little that I'm off of work now until Tuesday. John is off tomorrow with me. I'm sure he and the rest of my friends are ready for pyscho woman to be gone!!!! =)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 22nd Homestudy Day

So Alli, our SW, emailed me today and set us up for February 22nd around 5:30/6:00. Please pray for us!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Birth Mothers-a new perspective

So, all you hear about in regards to Birth Mothers is usually horror stories, how they changed their minds in the 11th hour. But reading over the Adoption guide from American Adoptions really changed my perspective. Did you know sometimes the only support system the Birth Mother has IS YOU?!?! Can you imagine? The only support you have is someone who is waiting for you to give birth so that they can have your child. I don't mean that in an evil way, either, I just saying...most people are distrusting of people anyway. How horrible to think that is the only support system they have! How sad and lonely some of them must feel! My hubby wrote a song about adoption and it makes me cry every time I hear it. When he talks about the Mother leaving her baby at an orphanage and wanting so badly to stay, but can't. So she kisses her baby one last time and says goodbye, because she knows she can't take proper care of her. UGH! It's a heart wrencher, trust me! After reading the guide, my heart has changed toward birth Mothers. It said 99% of them just want to know that they did the right thing and that their baby is going to have/having the best life possible....who doesn't seek validation like that. Most of them just don't want their child to hate them for the decision that was made. UGH! This is good stuff! When I find the guide again, I'll quote a few things out of there, so you, too, can experience it. John and I talked before, when we got our hopes up time and time again about a birth mother, only to have it 'disrupted', "I feel like a monster expecting some poor girl to give up part of her own self to me!" This whole process from infertility to adoption is so grueling! At times I hate myself...sometimes I hate others. People, who only have good intentions, hurt you so deeply and yet you know they wouldn't do it purposely...they just don't realize. Then when you allow yourself to get your hopes up only to have that hope dashed. It's emotional roller coaster. You start to wonder if you are 'normal' at all. Then you read the stories of these birth mom's. The sacrifice they have to make...it rips your heart out! AA requires you to have a semi-open adoption...which defined by them is a letter/picture twice a year. Usually once on the child's birthday and then 6 monthes later. Also, I know with the Chinese adoptions you usually give gifts to the caregivers and I've heard that you also do that with domestic adoptions. Those of you, who know me at all, know how I love to papercraft things. I'm thinking of neat little gifts to give the birth mother at the hospital. I mean, what could you possibly give to someone who has given you the world?

Wade, the adoption coordinator said that sometimes, after the conference call and the initial meeting of the birth mother, that the adoptive parents and birth mothers become pretty close and stay in touch more than required of them. All the birth mother is allowed to know is your first names and the state you live in. All correspondence is done thru the agency, unless you and the birth mother decide otherwise. As I said above, most of them just need the validation that they did the right thing by their baby and that the baby will be taught that the mother was making the best decision by the child.

Fun Stuff to think about!

Since this isn't a Chinese adoption, we could have a boy! Haven't really thought of a lot of boys names. Any suggestions? John's suggestions usually involve names like, Hunter, Fischer and Gunnar and such as that....we don't know if he will have any say in all of that.

I found an adoptive baby book at Borders and stole a few ideas. I would probably make my own, using my cricut and my scrapbook tools, but this is what the baby book had in it. Any more suggestions would be appreciated. I'm sure I'll find more things as we go on in the process...

OK the iPod is dead which is where I copied down all the ideas...so I'll have to do that later!

Timeline

Dec 27 Julie contacted me about our adoption plans
Jan 3 Mrs. Sexton asked about our adoptions plans
Emailed American Adoptions for more info
Emailed 1 800 homestudy for application
Jan 26 Mailed homestudy application
Jan 27 Received email that application was received
Alli Garlich made our Social Worker
Jan 28 Received Homestudy Info packet II in mail
Contacted by Alli by email
Feb 3 Initial Meeting with American Adoptions
Feb 4 Roxanne's Physical
Feb 8 Fingerprinting at KBI
Feb 9 John's Physical
Mailed Waivers to AA for fingerprinting/background checks
Feb 19-22 Took vacation time to clean, clean, clean!
Feb 19 John bought & installed linoleum in the kitchen
Feb 22 Homestudy with Alli
Feb 24 Background clearance came thru clear & Alli working on draft of home study
Feb 26 John called bank
Mar 3 Bank called for additonal information/found paperwork for them
Mar 4 Received Homestudy draft from Alli

Prayer requests

First and most important....God's Will

finances
wisdom with decisions
patience
we want the baby God has for us

Miscellaneous Ramblings

So we have our social worker, Alli who is supposed to be coming to do our homestudy on February 22nd. That is a little over a week away! We are working on the house like crazy!
We finally got all the health assessments completed and the fingerprinting done. I think all we have left is to get the cat vaccinated and then fill out a few forms in front of and with Alli. A big suprise to us is that the homestudy involves ONE visit to your home. I was really doing a happy dance over that. I'm already nervous about the whole 'coming to the house' thing. We live in a home improvement project. I worry that a wall not finished or base boards not installed is going to fail us. I know that we will need something to work on during the time we are waiting to be matched and the rest of the time during the pregnancy, but I still worry. This agency prides themselves in being really friendly, and easy going. What we have seen so far, this is true. So we will just do the best we can with the house and if she has to come back after we fix something on the house...it's fine. At least the homestudy will be completed and not need to updated for a year.
I am trying to remember that they are not trying to eliminate us, that they are working with us and can teach us about the environment that is best for a child. We are at the point that we will do just about anything a social worker tells us in order to get a child. We got the cleaning supplies on top shelves, along with medicine and child safety locks for all the lower cabinets. We are close to being ready!

The agency said that most of their birth mothers make their adoption plans the last trimester of their pregnancy. So usually the wait times are pretty short. Once your homestudy is complete, and you sign with the agency. They publish a profile for you and you could get matched in days. Sometimes it will take a full 7-8 monthes, but right now it's averaging around 5 monthes. We will be getting a newborn, right from the hospital. That's just what I always wanted! =) The agency is nationwide, so we are not tied to a state or a few states. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that your profile is shown to a lot of people all over the country giving you a better chance of a quick match. A disadvantage is that wherever that birth mother is...you have to go. You are required to do a conference call with your birth mother once, and go visit her once while she is pregnant. Then when she goes in labor you are supposed to go to the hospital where she is at. If this is a far away state, then you fly out. When the baby is born, you meet with the birth mother again. Then when the papers are signed, and the baby is able to be released from the hospital, if you are out of state, you have to stay in that state until that's state government and your state government approves the transfer. If you are out of state, this process could take 2 days to 2 weeks, which means added motel and food bills. This could definitely be a disadvantage in the financial dept. We are hoping that we get a Kansas adoption or at least in a state where we have family or good friends who won't mind us crashing at their house! =) We will see!

Of course, there are variables in the adoption game that can increase or decrease the cost of the adoption. One being what I was talking about above. Others are living expenses for the birth mom, lawyer fees and medical fees. So in a perfect situation, you may get a lady who is already in the hospital having a baby and wants to give the baby up for adoption. In that case, you don't have living expenses. If the birth mother is in your state, you don't have traveling expenses. But you also don't have any records of any of her Dr. visits or any of the other things that the agency gathers. OR you can get a birth mom in her six month who needs living expenses, medical expenses, and you get a complete record of everything the agency requires of the birth moms. You never know what you are going to get, until the match is made. Once again, advantages and disadvantages.

The thing we LOVE the most about this agency, though, and the thing that separates them from doing a private adoption or going with another agency is this: if at any time the birth Mother decides to keep the baby, the agency will put what money you have already put into the adoption and apply it to another attempt or refund your money. It's called an adoption "disruption". I saw on several different reputable adoption agencies websites (usually in very small print at the end of the expenses statement) that "any adoption that is disrupted by a birth mother at any time, the money spent on that adoption is perceived to be a gift and cannot be legal sought after". SO you can spend a crazy amount of money on an adoption and when the birth Mother decides to parent the child instead of giving them up for adoption you are just out that money. This has caused a lot of people a LOT of grief. The thought of it just makes me sick. It would be devastating not only emotionally but to financially.

American Adoptions packet 2

We filled out the initial application to have our homestudy done by 1 800 Homestudy and then we mailed it and another check. We had officially started! again...but what happened in the past was the past and we just weren't going to re-visit it. We need to keep moving forward. So we received a phone call the next day, and American Adoptions aka 1 800 homestudy had received our application and they would be mailing out packet 2 us and they would match us with a social worker who would be getting in touch with us. We were so excited. When we received the second packet it was kind of thick, but most of it was information. We were delighted to find that we had most of the paperwork already finished and in hand. I located marriage certificates, birth certificates, Guardianship documents, and the references. The only thing that needed to be updated on these were the references. So we pestered our friends once again for an updated reference. They were all very responsive and returned them quickly to us. We got looking at the rest of the documents needed, and there was really very few left. We needed to go to the KBI office in Topeka to get fingerprinted for the background check, Child Abuse and Neglect registry clearance, and some other document. We made plans to do that (actually had to make plans three times to do that, because Kansas is having a snowy, cold winter and we keep getting blizzards!). We both needed physicals. We had to get a vaccine for the kitty. We had to get employment and insurance verification noterized by our employers. The paperwork really wasn't going to be so bad this time. Who would of known that domestic adoption would be this easy. I knew things seemed to be going a little too easy. I knew we were getting ready to be 'zinged' as I like to call it. So we made an appointment to talk to American Adoptions about using them as our agency. 1 800 homestudy is out of them, but you don't HAVE to use them as your agency. They will just do your homestudy if you want. So we went into the agency office and talked to a wonderful adoption coordinator named, Wade. He was wonderful! He was very easy to talk to. He showed us all kind of info. Then we got talking about how much it was going to cost. Double! Double-what we had been expecting! Yes, there was a federal tax credit of around $ 12,000 that would be available if we complete it in a year. Yes, we had been saving for awhile (using the money in that bank only for necessary stuff). We came out feeling numb. We really want to do this, but HOW??? If this is really meant to be, God will provide. I know He will. He has in the past, He will again. I started to cry, John got mad. I didn't want to be discouraged about this. I had been working my tail-end off on paperwork, scanning all pertinent documents back into the computer after we were finished so we would have a permanent copy, cleaning, decluttering and re-organizing the WHOLE house. Why does it seem like this always happens? Once again...'why us? this isn't supposed to be so hard' John hugs me and says, "Honey, I'm not saying we're NOT going to do this....I just have to look at all the finances and figure something out. It'll be ok. I promise. We just need to keep moving ahead...getting the homestudy done. We'll figure something out!" It took a couple of days for the sting to wear off. Friends, who are SO excited for us, kept asking and I didn't know what to say. I just knew I don't want to be old and childless and wonder what may have been. I don't want to be alone. I don't want John to be alone. So we decided it was time to figure things out. Up until this point, we had kept everything a secret from our family. John's Mom and Dad have been saving up money to help with the adoption, but we didn't want to involve them. We didn't want to borrow anymore money from anyone. We wanted to do it on our own. Maybe it seems prideful for one to think that way. These kinds of situations play with your mind sometimes. It just seems like it should be a personal thing and you shouldn't involve others. I mean, having a baby isn't something EVERYONE else usually gets to be such a huge part of. Not that I would begrudge anyone for wanting to be on this journey with us. It's just difficult. So we just let things die down a little for a few days and kept working on the rest of the homestudy paperwork and the house. Then one day I was talking to my Sister-in-Law and after I explained the whole deal to her, she said, "I know you don't want to hear this, but Mom and Dad have been saving up for this for a long time and if you don't at least give them a chance to help, you're going to really hurt their feelings". OUCH! Another thing I wasn't anticipating. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, least of all family members who have been on this roller coaster of emotions with us. I talked to John and we finally agreed that we wouldn't ask for money, but we would let them in on what was going on. So that night, John called his Dad and gave him the news that we were working on the adoption stuff again and that we were farther along then we have ever been. We were excited to finally get to share it. I think they had their suspicions because we were working like dogs on the house again, and being kind of cryptic about things. They offered to help out and we said that we wanted to repay them for whatever they put into it. It seems like a good compromise. So now that they whole family is involved again, it's a team effort. We are going to get this thing done this time if it kills us!

Using my own words against me

So Hubby and I had basically stalled out in our adoption journey. We had decided in October of 2006 that we were going to look into adoption from China. It was Hubby, John's idea. He brought it up one late night on the way back from his parents after his birthday party. We were driving and he just came right out and said, "I think I want to adopt." It was a bit of a surprise to me to be sure, I had never really entertained the idea much. He said he had heard a story of one of his boyhood heroes, George Brett, and how he and his wife adopted. He said the story just kept playing in his head and he just had to look into it a little more. I didn't really know what to think of it all. People had asked us what we thought about it when we had been married quite a few years and have never had a child of our own. I never really knew what to say. My pat answer was, "Well, I just don't think we could deal with it if the birth Mother backed out on us." It was just easier to say some kind of pat answer like that then to deal with it. But on this night, I was faced with it. Sitting alone in the car, just the two of us in the dark with an occasional street light illuminating his face I was faced with it. I didn't know what to say at first. He said he had been looking into it a little. He didn't like the thought of someone getting a ton of money from us, like lawyers or facilitators. He had found a "not for profit" agency that dealt in Chinese adoptions. They had a pay as you go program that interested him. He said he wanted to look into it a little more. I agreed it would be fine to look into it. I was a little hesitant at first, just because I wasn't necessarily ready to admit failure in our own attempts to have a child. See, the Doctors have never really stated that we would be unable to have a child of our own. I have some medical problems that might cause it to be a little "trickier", as my Dr. said. But at that time we had been married for 11 years and had been trying for 10 of those 11 years. I guess, not trying, per se, just letting God's Will prevail in our lives. Well, it apparently wasn't His Will for us to have a baby of our own in those 10 years. So here we were, discussing adoptions. Later that week, John showed me the website of the agency that he had found, Americans Adopting Orphans. It looked like a good agency. We sent off for some information and it came quickly in the mail. We looked it over and decided that we would go ahead and apply. We filled out the paperwork, filled out our first check and sent it off in the mail. The second packet was the homestudy guide. I was instantly overwhelmed! There was A LOT of documents that we needed. I started sending off for the ones that would take awhile. I got intimidated by the official documents that needed to be sent off to our government agencies for approval. All this paperwork had to be in at a certain time, and everything had to fall into place. The process had obviously worked for millions of family. It couldn't be THAT difficult. But it was intimidating...this paper had to be at this time, and this one had to be done before the homestudy, another one had to be completed before the homestudy could be completed....some nights I went to bed crying. 'It just shouldn't be this hard'..I kept telling myself. Being overwhelmed was an under-statement! We soon got discouraged with the process and just let it slide. Time slipped thru very quickly. Then about a year later, we decided to pick it up again. We looked through all the paperwork. Most of what we had already collected wasn't time sensitive and wouldn't need to be updated. We started again. Then the wait time for China went from a little under 2 years to 4! By this time, I was 35 and I kept saying, "I do NOT want to be 40 years old starting to raise a child!" The wait times got longer and longer. We got the name of a good Social worker for our homestudy, talked to her one time and didn't call again.

Skip ahead to January 2010. I was playing on Facebook one day when John's cousin, Julie sent me a message. She was asking about how the adoption stuff was going. I gave her a pretty lame answer. I told her that we had stalled out and we just weren't doing anything about it right now. She asked what she could do to help. I gave her a few more lame excuses and she said, "Well, you'll never regret doing it. No excuses, just do it!" Later that month, I was in the Toddler room at Church (I'm the Nursery Director at our Church, but also do the scheduling and due to some unforseen circumstances I became the Toddler Sunday School teacher) and the lady that came in to take over for AM Churchtime said, "So how is the adoption stuff going?" I just looked at her. I kept getting these questions and I didn't know how to tell people that we had stalled out again. That we really wanted a child, but were easily discouraged. I mean, if you want something bad enough it should take a lot more to discourage us, right? I just simply said, "We're kind of stalled out on it now. I just worry about the money. It costs a lot and although we both have pretty good jobs, I just worry about it." She looked at me and said, "Well, it's a shame because you and John would be wonderful parents. If you wait to have enough money, you'll probably never do it...that will just be a shame!" I sat there for a minute.....How many times have I heard and said the very same thing. I can't even count how many times! It was true...when I really thought about it....it was true. Obviously, we are not getting any younger. Other families have kids whether they meant to, or not, and they get by. Things are tight for awhile, but they always are when you have young kids at home. I've heard countless people say that they wouldn't give up those times and memories for anything. I emailed that lady later that afternoon and told her thank you for the little nudge. I talked to John on the way home that day. "No matter what we choose to do, either private, agency, whatever...we still need to have our homestudy done." China is so far out, maybe we should just look into the agency that AAO joined up with here in Overland Park. What do you think? We can get our homestudy done and then look into our options?" John was all for it. "It's our 'Number 1 priority' we just need to get this thing done!" He said that this thing really bothers him about not getting to be a parent and wanting it so bad. So I spent the rest of the afternoon at the computer researching for homestudys and agencies. The agency that AAO had joined up with was called American Adoptions. They also run 1 800 Homestudy. I sent a few emails looking for some information. We received the info in the mail the following Tuesday. Looking over it, this seemed 'do-able'. We both sighed. It would be a little work, but there was a lot less paperwork then the International adoption plan.
Continued......