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Thursday, August 31, 2006
A funny thing happens when people hear you're adopting. So far, I've heard of 3 girls who are in need of homes. The first one would probably be my choice but her family still hasn't made the decision to put her up for adoption yet. Her mother is dead, the father doesn't want her and the family is unwilling to adopt her. The father still hasn't made a final decision. He knows that we would give her a good home but ultimately, he needs to decide if he's going to step up to the plate and be a parent or not. He made the decision before she was born that he didn't want to be a father and was never in her life until now. I hope it works out for them, I really do. But if not, I hope that he will be willing to consider us.

The second one is a five year old who's mother just died from a drug overdose. She has been through so much in her little life, I think she has way too many issues to bring into our family since we have a young son to consider. I still can't believe the horrible things that are done to children.

The third girl I just heard about today. She is 4 years old and was just put into foster care because her mother died recently. She has some issues but I think we could handle them with a loving, stable and secure home and counseling for her. My friend is going to get more information on her from her friend so I can get a better idea if we want to put in an inquiry on her or not.

I found another girl on a photolisting site today. She's adorable and doesn't seem to have many issues at all. She's 10, which is more the age I was thinking of. DH and I discussed both girls and he prefers the four year old because he thinks the younger they are the less issues they'll have. I so disagree with that.

Hopefully, I'll find out more about both girls tomorrow.
Social worker visit
The social worker came to our house to talk with the boys. She talked with the older one first then the younger. After she was done with them, we sat and talked. It should take about a week or two for her to type it up. She said to sit tight and wait for her to call. Once she finishes, she has to turn the homestudy over to her supervisor for approval, then DH and I have to go down to the office and read it. If we approve it, we sign it and then copies are distributed to all the caseworkers in the state. Once we're registered with all the neighboring states, she'll send copies to them as well.

I gave her the presentation book I made and she loved it. She said it will really help the caseworker to make a decision by being able to visualize what our family is like. She asked permission to show it at her next class.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Adoption prayers and poems

Presentation Book
I just finished up the presentation scrapbook for our daughter. Hope she likes it.

Curse of the senile mother-in-law
So, I have an appointment at 10:00 this morning with the social worker to interview the boys. It's now 10:40 and no social worker. My mother-in-law lives in an inlaw apartment in our house. She'll stay in our house with Jack sometimes if he wants to play video games.

The problem is that she is senile and answers our phone. This reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld, she can answer the phone, she can take the message, she just can't REMEMBER the message. So, apparantly the social worker called yesterday but she can't remember what she said. Lovely. So, I just left a message and I'm waiting to hear from her.

A couple of weeks ago my aunt died. Her son called from Florida to let us know and that they would be flying home for the funeral. My mother-in-law took the message but forgot to relay it to us. Thank God a friend saw it in the paper and called my mother, otherwise we wouldn't have even known she was dead!
Monday, August 28, 2006
No go...
I just talked to the girl's social worker. It's a no go. She described her as a very tough case - she was very severely sexually abused and is extremely traumatized as a result and is reactive on it to herself and others. They will not place her with us seeing as we have a 6 y.o. who would be in jeopardy.

I'm so sad for her. I just can't understand how a monster could do this to an innocent little angel. I thought she was the one.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I think I found our daughter
I think, I hope I found our daughter. I was checking the adoption photolisting sites and just fell in love with a little girl. She was totally not what I pictured what my daughter would look like but I just feel she is right. I searched and found her video from a "Wednesday's Child" report (from a few months ago in archives) and that just cemented it for me. I called her social worker but she has Fridays off so I've been on pins and needles all weekend waiting for tomorrow morning when I can call again.

The question that I have is that she has "a very traumatic past" and would
do well with a single mother or two parent household with no other children
or older children. I meet the qualification of being a 2 parent house but we
have 2 boys - 14 and 6. I hope it's not a dealbreaker if our son is 2 years younger than her.

Everything she listed for interests seems like she would get along great
with our younger son. She's gorgeous with a soft, little baby voice and she seems kind of shy. She's going really well in school and is in regular placement. She loves to read, play on the computer and do crafts (my three favorite things to do) I just sat and watched her video over and over - I wanted to jump through the screen and hug her and tell her everything would be alright, that I'll be her Mommy and give her a good life. The whole family has fallen in love with her.

She's from a neighboring state. I don't know how that would work. I hope my trainer isn't pissed off that she spent the last few months getting me licensed only to have me jump ship and adopt from another state. Has anyone adopted to a state other than where they live?

I want to make this work so bad, I just hope they give us a chance. I'm
willing to do whatever she needs - continuing therapy, taking classes or whatever else she needs. I hope they find it in her best interest to let us be her family.
Of course, I don't want to jeoparize my son's safety either so I need to find out more. Is she even still available? Tomorrow can't come soon enough.
Monday, August 21, 2006
With Child by Susan T. Viguers
I'm reading another book on adoption "With Child" by Susan T. Viguers. What this poor couple went though to become parents! It was written in the 1980s and I must say things have become much easier for us adoptive parents with the prevalence today of emails and the internet. We literally have everything at our fingertips where they had to search by word of mouth and do everything by mail. I can't even imagine!

I've been away from the infertility thing for 7 years so some of the devastation has gone away but I can still empathize her determination to succeed and the hopelessness of failure. I'm halfway through the book and they are STILL trying to conceive and still unsuccessful to adopt. (I know they do go on to adopt two children - one from Colombia and one from Korea because of the Prologue and the picture on the back cover).

Why can't I put these books down? This one is another great book even if it doesn't offer me any new insights on the adoption practice other than I'm glad I'm doing it in 2006 instead of 1980!
Homestudy interview done!
Our social worker came this morning for our second homestudy interview. She stayed for about 2½ hrs and she finished with DH and me - she has to come back next Tuesday for about 15 mins to talk to the boys. She had another appointment so she had to leave.

Good news - she said she told us at class that it could take a couple of months for our homestudies to be complete BUT we're the first she's typing up so ours should be done in a week or so. She said once it's complete, then we should register with every neighboring state we are willing to travel to.

She thinks we should stay as "pre-adopt" for six months before we think about switching to foster care if we still don't have a match. She mentioned in class that 80% of children are adopted out of foster care. My concern is that (and I hate to use the term) are the "best" kids adopted and we're left with the problem kids to be matched with? She said that is usually the case but right now she has a six month old boy that she needs to get placed asap because the foster parents are moving out of state and can't take him with them. We could've been matched right away with an infant but unfortunately, he's not the right sex for us. So, she said to keep an open mind and give it six monts because once we switch to foster, it may be hard on our boys to have maybe 10 girls come through before one is not reunified and is eligible to be adopted.

DH really needs to step it up on getting the basement bedroom finished. We have so much to be done yet - the room is framed and drywall is up - same for the walk-in closet, electrical is in but it still needs a floor and ceiling, paint, baseboards, doors. I can't start on her room until our son's bunkbeds and furniture are out. I need to paint the floor, ceiling, change baseboards, put up the border, etc. Oh, I still have to paint her furniture, too. This should all make the next few weeks go by quickly.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Presentation Book
Last night I started working on the presentation scrapbook. I couldn't really find anything online about this so I just kind of winged it. My thought is that the book will go like this:

book will have a page of each of these:

The **** Family with a pic of us and saying "we can't wait to meet you"

Family member pages - we'd each have our own page with our name and pic of us then I typed on the computer things that describe us or that we like such as "41 years old" "likes golf" "loves vide games" "nicknamed Buggabugga"

Dog pages - a page for each of the dogs in same format as above

2 family pages - one for mother-in-law who lives with us, one for my family, sister, nieces/nephews, etc.

House page - not sure if I'm just going to take a pic of the front of the house. I would do the rooms, too, but her bedroom isn't started yet

Backyard/pool - one pic for that

Then I made a page that I will add her photo to.

Then the rest of the pages will be left blank with a note like "to be continued" or something like that.

I'm very interested to hear from anyone who has already made one of these!

I'll post pics of the book as soon as it's finished.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Got a homestudy appointment!
Yay, social worker called me today to make our second (and hopefully last) homestudy interview for next Monday at 11:00 am. I had that day for vacation already so at least that gives me the weekend to clean. I was supposed to go to Hampton Beach on Saturday with my friends but forget it. We might just scrapbook on Sunday now instead so I can have my presentation book made.

I've been doing more shopping, I can't help myself and I guess it's better than eating chocolate. I got her a set of 3 red and white toile boxes, a large jute rug and a matching oriental throw rug to go on top of it, a red roman shade, a white shelf/curtain rod combo thing that will go over her window, a picture frame, another blank toile scrapbook, is that it? I think so. Oh, I got her another set of white sheets and I found a fitted sheet in red/white toile but no flat sheet but I still got it. No, I knew that wasn't it. I also got her a red/white toile memo board that has red ribbon held together with Gone With the Wind cameos. It's my favorite movie (notice Scarlett and Vivian in my post below).

I got an antique desk and I painted it black. I have to sand and antique it. It will look nice with an old chair in white with the memo board above it. Her room is going to be so cute!
Sooo.....because I'm bored I started to make a list of names I would like to name my daughter if she is young enough to rename or if she so chooses. Grace has always been my favorite girl's name but it's getting way too popular right now. Anyway, here's my list:

Joey (after my late father Joe)

I tend to like Irish names but my last name is very italian so I tried to come up with some like Guiliana and Gianna. Too bad my dog is named Katy because that's my favorite name and I wasted it on her. We never even call her Katy. When we first got her I started calling her Katybug then that warped into Katybuggabugga, then Buggy or Bug. Luckily, she'll respond to anything, even the other dogs' names, LOL.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Adoption Classes Done!
Adoption classes are done!!!! Woohooooo. :) We turned in almost all the paperwork, our financials, medicals, sibling form for Jack, home safety checklist. Billy still has to do his sibling form and DH has 3 self-assessments packets and his autobiography still left to do.

Last night was all about the nitty gritty of fostering/pre-adopt. We got checklists to help us ask the right questions, medical forms, transportation expense forms ($20 per trip to doctor, counselor etc.), contact numbers for various agencies and support groups, we filled out mentor forms, discussed subsidies, health coverage, school issues, clothing allowances, birthday allowances, Christmas presents, head lice, universal protection, we got a cheatsheet of what to do and say when the child first comes to our house to make the transition easier. There was alot to cover.

One thing I was a little upset about is that white kids are discriminated against for subsidies and the tax credit. In order to qualify for the subsidy the child must be minority, part of a sibling group, have developmental or mental problems or be over the age of 12. I think it costs just as much money to raise a white child as it does a minority but the trainer said that's because "white children" are considered easier to place.

Another thing I didn't know until last night is that daycare is covered even after adoption up til age 6. That was a nice surprise because it really relieves some of the worries we had if we were placed with a child younger than school age.

Our trainer should call today to set up the next homestudy meeting. She said one or two more meetings per couple before she has enough to start writing up the homestudies. I talked to her when we were on a break because I still have mixed feelings about the age of the child we want. I wish I could just see and meet all the available girls and I would know who she was because there would be a connection regardless of her age. Too bad things don't work like that in real life because I think it would make better matches. So, right now we're sticking with 0-10 but what if my daughter is 11? I wouldn't get the chance for her. In alot of ways, it's easier to just be pregnant - you get what you get and that's it, LOL. There's no overthinking it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Adoption Journeys: Parents Tell Their Stories
I just got done reading Adoption Journeys: Parents Tell Their Stories by Carol S. Turner. I think I read it in less than 24 hours. It chronicles eleven stories of adoptive parents from start to finish. There is a wide variety of parents from married with infertility, single women, a gay couple, foster parents who adopted. It shows the paths these parents took to get their child or children - U.S. open adoption, foster care, Peru, China, Lebanon, Romania, transracial. Another thing I noticed was the big range of time it took from start to finish - 2-3 months to 2 years. Just a great book and I highly recommend it - I hated for it to end.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Adoption Class Parent Panel
Last night at class we had Parent Panel - three moms came to class to discuss their experiences and to answer questions. The first lady adopted a girl 17 years ago and is in the process of adopting another girl. The second lady has been a foster parent since 1974 and has one adopted girl. The last lady has 3 bio children who are teenagers so she decided to become a foster mother. She took the two babies she is fostering in with her. I am in love with both of them. There was a little 5 month old boy and a one month old girl. We held them and they felt so good!

After they left, we went over our matching forms. We had already turned ours in but DH made us redo ours to change the age to 0-7 as most preferred and 0-9 as widest range of consideration. I loved the babies but I hope we get matched with a girl who is on our higher end of the age limit. I would go as high as 12. At least the line of bedding and accessories I already purchased has a matching crib set so if it's necessary, I'm covered!

At our last class next week, we'll be discussing "Nuts and Bolts" which covers what to expect as the process moves forward, WIC, subsidies, clothing allowances, tax stuff, etc. Our trainer has four couples from this class who are adopting so she will be meeting with us in our homes once or twice more to gather the rest of the information she needs to complete our homestudies. The bad thing is that she said expect it to take at least a couple of months for her to complete them. I had hoped that we would have a match by September so she could start school with us but realistically, it will probably be Christmas time at the earliest before we have a match.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Fire inspection done!
Fire inspector came yesterday. He was in and out in literally 5 minutes. He checked the bedrooms, measured them, tested all the smoke detectors, checked the boiler switch, checked the basement and kitchen and left. That's it!

We had another class last night. Two classes left. Our last class is next Tuesday. Wow, that flew! Last night's class was Child Developement, which having 2 kids already was boring. We breezed through that then watched "Second Best" starring William Hurt as a single adoptive father of a 10 y.o. boy. A single, adoptive father in our class brought it in. We had to leave to relieve the sitter before it ended and personally, I thought it was a waste of valuable class time. It might have been the catalyst that made this guy want to adopt but it had no relevence to adoption training classes. I would much rather have spent that time talking and getting some of my thousand questions answered.

We went school shopping yesterday afternoon. It killed me not to be able to get her clothes when I was at The Children's Place. They had such adorable clothes for little girls. I did pick her up the cutest little white lamb with movable limbs and a pink and white satin bow/rosette around her neck. :)

Ohhh, when we went to the mall, of course we had to go to the pet store to check out the puppies. There was this little Bichonpoo. We took him into the holding room and he was bouncing all over and tugging at Jack's shoelaces. Jack and I fell in love with him but DH did not want to hear about it. Jack and I named him Bo after much discussion. Other names he came up with were Nacho, Cheeto, Lou and Blooey. Bo worked for both of us because I love, love, love Bo Bice and he likes the show Bobobobo Bo on Cartoon Network. I'm still not giving up hope that we can get him. Poor Jack, he offered to call Santa and tell him not to bring any presents, sell XBox 360 (his brother's, LOL)and give up his favorite video game.
Monday, August 07, 2006
DCYF Fire Inspection tomorrow
Got a call last night from the DCYF fire inspector. He's coming over tomorrow between 9-11 am to do the home inspection. ARGH! Here I go again, running around like a nut cleaning. I hope we pass.

Time is flying by! We have 2 classes left then a pizza party for our last class where adoptive and foster parents come to mingle and answer questions. We had our fingerprints done, BCI check, medical forms have been sent...we just have to finish up our homestudy and classes then onto a match!