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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!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


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!


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

wisdom with decisions
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.