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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Social workers
I couldn't take it anymore. I've been waiting and waiting with no call so finally this afternoon I gave in and called the social worker. She didn't even remember who I was, then when I reminded her she said, "oh yes, I heard from the caseworker and she wants to stick to "Kallie's" list so I just deleted the email". Ugh, no courtesy phone call, nothing. She said that Kallie mentioned no younger siblings and just a mother. We talked a bit and she told me I could call the caseworker myself to see if that would help.

So, I called the caseworker who was such a peach. She said that Kallie is in a foster home right now and they have decided not to adopt her but she doesn't know it yet. They have two children and she doesn't get along with them and is jealous of the attention that the parents show to the other kids.

I told her I didn't want to be rejected based on my husband and son. What didn't work for that family, might work fine with us. I explained our family, house, etc. to her and emailed her a copy of our presentation book and I'll fax the copy of our homestudy to her tomorrow. At least now if we don't get her, I can't say I didn't try.
Cabbage Patch dolls
I ran to Target last night so I checked out the girls toy department. I saw the Cabbage Patch dolls so I thought if they had the names Kara and "Kallie's" real name it would be a sign. Don't you know out of probably 20ish dolls, they had two Kara's - one with a K and one with a C and "Kallie's" real name, spelled differently with just one letter off. I was so tempted to buy them but I couldn't.

Still nothing, maybe today?
Monday, October 30, 2006
nothing yet
I called at 9:15. It's 3:30 now and still haven't heard from the social worker yet. I hope she calls today or tomorrow.

Last night I painted and decoupaged a bench and shelf for her room. They came so cute! I have to antique and stain them then I'll take pics to share.

At least the excitement of Kallie has helped me not to think of Kara so much. The birthfather still hasn't gotten another court date. It's such bullshit that the system has to move so slowly. He has been identified as the father, just let her go home. My dream is to have the two girls with us forever. Two boys, two girls. I can only hope and pray that the invisible thread is connected to both girls. It's soooo hard not being able to see what will happen.
Called the caseworker
I called the main office because I left the social worker's direct line @ work. So when I got the main office, I asked them about interstate adoption. She said that it's not a big deal, it's just more paperwork for social worker and they are looking for the best family for the child even the family happens to live in another state. She asked if I knew about the adoption party that's coming up, it's right near "Kallie's" end of the state. That's exciting that I might get to meet her in person! I'll see what this week brings before I make my husband take a sick day.

So, I called the social worker for Kallie. She said that she would email the caseworker about the 2 things that Kallie had mentioned - only wanting older siblings (we have one younger than her) and only wanting a mom (we have a dad, too). On the website, it says "one or two parent household, with or without other children" so I don't think it would be a big problem. The social worker said she would call me when she hears from the caseworker.

Off to wait some more............
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The neverending weekend
This has been the longest weekend ever. Of course, the one weekend that I'm wishing to be over, is the only weekend of the year where we actually gain an hour. I'm sure it's just another lesson in teaching me patience.

I am the world's most non-confrontational person. It's killing me that I know I have to call my state social worker for the first time and tell her about Kallie. If I wasn't planning to call first thing at 9:00 am, I might just be tempted to have a drink to loosen me up - (I only need a half a beer and I'm buzzed). I found it very endearing that Kallie was described as a people pleaser, too. We should get along fine. :)

My house needs cleaning but I spent the entire day online researching interstate adoption. I couldn't find too much written by either state about if it's really discouraged or it happens all the time, is it simple or messy as far as paperwork and how do the state laws come into it. I wish I could find a blog or a message board where someone has actually done this to get their experience.

So, if you take all the adoption/legal crap out of it and just concentrate on the people involved, we're really comfortable with the idea of "Kallie" joining our family. The whole family is excited about the possibility. She seems like such a doll from what we've seen/heard/read about her so far. Of course, I only had a ten minute call with her social worker and we didn't get into any real detail. I know that she had 2 disrupted pre-adoptive placements - the first was the single mother that died but I didn't think at the time to ask her why the second one disrupted. I need to sit down and think of what to ask the social worker tomorrow.

Ok, do these seem like reasonable questions to ask? What questions should I raise to find out hidden red flags? Will they volunteer the bad stuff without me having to ask? Are these questions too nosy at this stage or do I have a right to ask?

Date of birth
middle name (just curiosity on my part)
Reason for coming into foster care system
how long has she been in the system?
dates of pre-adoptive placements and reasons for 2nd disruption
how many foster homes and how long in each? reason for moves
health history, medications, hospitalizations, glasses, allergies, dental?
any behavioral problems? any known behaviors that we should know about?
any history of sexual abuse?
school history (IEP - why does she have it), has she ever been held back?
how many siblings and how old were they when adopted and how long ago?
what does the bio grandmother want in terms of visits/phone calls etc.
Clothing size? (yay!)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
We made a decision
We made our decision - we're going to try for "Kallie". The more I think about it, she's the perfect fit for our family. Birth order won't be disrupted. She's still close enough in age to Jack that they'll be able to have things in common. She loves animals, playing outside, she's Catholic like us.

I mentally made a list in my head of the pros and cons of adopting her and the only con I can think of is that she's from another state. I hope that won't be a problem. I'm going to call both state agencies first thing Monday morning. I wonder how fast the process will go? Now that we've decided to move forward, I really need to talk in length with the social worker. Her first pre-adoptive placement was with a single woman and she died. The second home was a disruption. I have to find out what was the cause. Also, she has asthma. I really don't know anything about it. I need her history, too. Why she was placed, how many siblings does she have (all have been adopted). I can't think of what else to ask other than that.

I hope it works out Monday and that we're picked to be her family. I will be so blessed to be her mother!

Jack, my mother-in-law, my sister, my mother - they're all just excited as me. My husband and my older son will go along with whatever.

I can't wait to see what happens. I'm so excited to show her her room. I'm going to have her name in red letters above her bed. I like her name. It's not one that I would have chosen but it's cute and it's growing on me. There are so many girl names that I really dislike so I'm glad that's her name. I'll have gum and stuffed animals like she wished for waiting for her. We have to get the cable guy in to install cable in the room we're building in the basement so we'll have it put in her room, too. I'll get her a small tv. Everything I've bought so far is absolutely perfect for a nine year old. If or when we get Kara, I can easily add a crib to the room and they can share. My little Kara, I haven't given up on her yet. Maybe she'll just become part of our family later rather than sooner. Hopefully, by the time we get her she'll have two older brothers and an older sister to dote on her.

I've been thinking all day - why was I in such a funk yesterday? I've never been like that since we began the process and there wasn't any reason for me to feel like that? Is it because yesterday might be one of the most significant days of my life? We'll see. I'm so excited. It wasn't anything that jumped out at me yesterday about her, she kind of gradually snuck up on me. Her cute face, the list she made, her age. I think she'll be happy with us.
Kallie's List
Here is the list that "Kallie" made up to put in her file of what she wants in a family. I think it's so great that she is standing up for herself and trying to take a little control of her life in a situation that must be so scary and uncertain at her age. Some of the things she requested make me so sad for her, things my kids just take for granted. Anyway, here it is:

1) I want to be able to go to church on Sundays
2) I want to be able to stay in the same school if I can
3) I love animals. If the family doesn't have one, I would like them to get one.
4) I have a pet fish, I would like to take him with me to my new home
5) I would like my room kept cool because of my asthma
6) I want to be able to say prayers before bed
7) I want to be able to chew gum
8) I would like to have cable or a tv in my room
9) I would like my family to take me to the movies or a restaurant sometimes
10) I want to be able to visit my grandma
11) I would like to have Nintendo
12) I only want a white family
13) I don't want any other kids the same age as me
14) I love stuffed animals, I would like to be able to have some in my room
15) I would like to be able to stay up later on Friday nights
16) I don't want any smokers in my new home
17) I would like to have some cousins
18) I would like to have an older brother or sister

Doesn't that just melt your heart? I would like to move forward on her but we'll sit on it for a few days before we make our decision.

I think the situation with Kara is that the birthfather is going to end up taking custody of her and then he won't be able to keep her financially and because he is always working or at college. It might be 6 months from now but he has to do what he feels is right because once he makes the decision, he needs to be 100% certain so he doesn't regret it for the rest of his life. It's so hard, I wished we lived in the same state so he could visit anytime he wanted. It would make it easier for him. It's hard when we're on opposite ends of the country.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Adoption Rollercoaster
Things with Kara don't look good. Now the birthfather is leaning toward keeping her. He said he wants her and his mother cries all the time because she doesn't want to give her up either. That's the little I just got from my sister. She'll know more when BIL gets home tonight.

What do I do about "Kallie"? I think she's so cute but how can I call my state office and say "hi, you just got my homestudy this week for matching but I want a girl from another state so can you fax it over to them?". I haven't even given them a chance to make a match. I wish I knew the right answer. Who is meant to be our daughter? Is it Kallie or Kara or someone else? It took a big adjustment in my head to go from a 7 month old to a 9 year old but her age is so appealing to me. I have some thinking to do this weekend. It would be soooo much easier to have a school age child. No diapers, no day care, no cribs. Kallie would be an easy fit sandwiched between my 2 boys. She would be able to play with my 6 year old and go to the same school.

My sister said everything is working as it should and whoever is meant to be my daughter will be. Ugh, I'm driving myself nuts. I need to pick a new hobby or read a huge novel, something to take my mind off anything related to adoption. I'm sure I'm driving everyone around me crazy, too.

How do I do an interstate adoption? Is that really difficult? Can it be handled through DCF?
9 year old girl
I talked to the social worker in a neighboring state about a little nine year old girl. She's adorable, funny and I think she'd be perfect in our family. She had a list of her criteria of what she wanted in her new family in the file which completely showed me her personality. Some of her requests: she wants to stay up late on Friday nights, be able to take her pet fish with her, chew gum, have stuffed animals, be able to go to church, not have a sibling the same age, video games, for her family to take her to the movies and restaurants...on and on.

My dilemma, do I move forward on her or do I wait for Kara? I knew this would happen. I want them both but if we take "Kallie" and then Kara becomes available, I might not be able to take Kara because of the rules that you can't adopt 2 non-related children at the same time. Could I switch to foster to get around that? I have to find out more about this.
Hardest Day Yet So Far
I don't know what it is today, I'm going crazy. I just can't concentrate at work, I'm all antsy. Today is is the hardest day yet since our adoption journey began. There's no special reason for me to be like this but I can't get her off my mind. I just want an answer, I want it done. I want her home in her room, I want the adoption done, I just want my daughter.

What is she doing now? Is her foster mother taking good care of her or is she being neglected or worse? Is she happy, sleeping or crying right now? What is she wearing? What foods has she tried? Is she talking yet, sitting up? What does her laugh sound like? I'm so tired of the constant unknown, the unanswered questions, the uncertainty of it, the WAITING.

I have a four day weekend thanks to my unused "baby vacation days" that I've been saving. I think I'll use them to decoupage a shelf for her room and do the little things that need to be done around the house just to keep my mind busy. I can't keep shopping. Between the dolls and the scrapbooking stuff I bought this week, I can't spend another dime for a while.

Now that our homestudy is out, I'm terrified that we'll get a call. I can't believe I don't want a call now. What do we do if that happens? I don't want to be put in that situation until the birthfather has made a decision. See, all these stupid questions spinning in my head, no wonder I can't get any work done.
Vacation time
I've been saving as much vacation time as I can in case I have to fly out to meet the birthfather or to go to court or if I get matched with a child from foster care. We had to pick the rest of our days by today. I have 6 days left so I just picked some Mondays in November and December. I really want to use them to spend time with my new daughter, not just to take them because I have to. I wish I could carry them over to next year but I can't.

I warned them that if I get the word, I'm off on the next plane to see Kara. Damn father, I wish he would make up his mind.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Dolls


I started a doll collection for Kara. I have 7 porcelain Ashton-Drakes for her so far. This one started it because it's exactly what I think she looks like in my head. I have three other girls and three boy dolls. I think I'll make a shelf and put them on there for her.

Nothing else to do right now but shop and wait. WHY CAN'T I BUY CLOTHES??????? That's what I really want to shop for!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Homestudy has been mailed out!
We went this afternoon to read, approve and sign the homestudy. Our social worker said that we are her favorite family ever (how nice!). She had the envelope all made out and was going to mail our homestudy out today to the adoption facility to start matching. YAY!

I gave her the angel figurine holding the child with a little card thanking her for all her hard work and dedication to kids and getting them families. She liked it.

I talked to my brother-in-law and the birthfather is going to send us a picture of Kara. He still hasn't made up his mind but his mother and even the birthmother don't think he should try to take on parenting her and that she would be better off with us. I'm hopeful but I'm keeping my distance from the situation. I have to. I did let my brother-in-law know to tell the birthfather that the homestudy is officially out for matching. I respect that it's his difficult decision to make, but he doesn't have forever to make up his mind either. If we're presented with a child in the meantime, we're going for it. We can't wait forever.

It would be better if he lets us adopt her through foster care, too. Waiting until he has custody and we have to do a private adoption is only going to take longer and be costly. All I can do is pray for him. It's hard for us but it's infinitely harder for him.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
HOMESTUDY DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YAY!!!!!!! My homestudy is DONE! We go tomorrow afternoon to read it and sign the papers and then it goes out! I have been waiting for this phone call for months. I can't believe we're here! The social worker said she's had it done for weeks but had to wait for the supervisor to get back from vacation to approve it.

I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now. I was getting so discouraged and this has given me the boost I needed to stay optimistic.
More on baby in shelter
Waaahhhh! My co-worker called. Her aunt and Dad took the baby in to my work to see me but Tuesday is my day off so I missed her. She said it was a good thing because she's gorgeous and she has a huge smile and it would've been too hard to hold her and let her go.

I found out that she and Kara were born the same month! They're both March babies, born blonde and blue eyed and both just out of my reach.

I still haven't heard back from my social worker. She never called back from yesterday, in fact the last time I talked to her was when she needed my mother-in-law's fingerprints, I think. Everything I found out was through the aunt, who runs the shelter. She said that she sees cases like this all the time. The baby will be in and out of the system until she's 10 when she'll finally become available for adoption and then no one will want her.

My arms and my heart are so ready to welcome a baby.
Monday, October 23, 2006
No go on shelter baby
It's a no go on the baby in the emergency shelter. Her parents are heroin addicts and they have agreed to rehab offered by the state. If/when they complete it, she will be returned to them. Until the next time...when she will be returned again or worse. The parents are in their 40s and it's not the first child they've had. Not for nothing, but what about the rights of the kids? How many chances to the parents get to screw up their lives and the lives of the kids?

This sucks. I was mentally making lists of emergency baby things to buy thinking I could possibly get her in the next day or two. When will it end?? If I wait for the system to find me kids, it will never happen. If I find them on my own, it never works out. I'm so discouraged, I could cry.
More on baby in shelter
Ok, I'm officially freaking out now. My co-worker's dad just called to tell her that the baby was given up by her parents because they can’t take care of her.

I just called my social worker and left a message to look into her and let me know. I gave her the name and address of the shelter and the the girl’s name and circumstance of her being there. Hopefully, that’s enough to look into her.

Can you imagine if I got her and Kara, too? It would be like artificial twins! Both blonde and blue eyed and only 3 months apart! It's too much to hope for. Calm down, one step at a time.....OH MY GOD! How am I going to be able to concentrate at work today?!!!!!!!!!
Baby in shelter
My co-worker's father works in a shelter for children who are either there temporarily for foster care or those who are awaiting adoption. There is a little 10 month old girl there. He said she is the most beautiful baby he's ever seen with chubby cheeks and blonde hair and blue eyes. She's going to find out more from him tonight so if it looks like she's there for adoption, I'll call my social worker about her tomorrow. I wonder what day her birthday is, she and I are born in the same month. Oh, and I love her name! It's so cute. Even though I have my heart set on the name Kara, I don't know if I would change this one.

I'm getting very discouraged about the father of the other baby. He told my brother-in-law that he goes back and forth everyday about what to do. I think if he's that torn about it, then he shouldn't give her up. My brother-in-law is going to talk to him to see if he wants me fly out so we can meet face to face. Then maybe that will alleviate the fears he has. I don't want him to do something he'll regret for the rest of his life. He should feel 100% sure in his decision, even if means I won't have her.

Still no word from my social worker. She was supposed to have our homestudy done the first or second week of September. It's now almost November. grrrr. I haven't called to follow up because I don't want to bug her but this is discouraging. Hopefully, I'll have good news tomorrow about the little 10 month old so I can call her.

Baby, whoever you are and wherever you are, we're impatiently waiting and praying for you. Your brothers ask all the time when their sister is coming....I wish I had an answer for them. I hope you'll be with us for Christmas. It's too much to hope for Thanksgiving.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Birthfather went to court!
The birthfather went to court this week! The baby is now recognized officially as his and she has his last name. She's still in state custody and he is waiting on the next court date. The good news is that the foster mother is now out of the picture. I was worried the judge might grant her custody. That's one huge relief and burden off my chest. Now it's a 50-50 chance of getting her.

Now we just have to wait and hope that he decides not to keep her. It's so hard to be silent and just wait. I want to reassure him that we will love and cherish her and would be great parents but it's not our right to decide. I hope that he makes the right decision for her.

I'm being really good this time. I think because I haven't seen her picture she's still an abstract in my mind. I was physically sick waiting on news for the Guatemalan baby but it's better this time. I know it's out of my hands and I just have to be patient.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Baby shopping
I had a continuing ed class today so I was done by early afternoon. I had to scoot over to Toys R Us to get a birthday present so I checked out all the baby stuff. Then, because that just didn't cut my baby craving, I went to Babies R Us. Heaven! It was so much fun seeing all the bedding sets and cribs, high chairs and car seats, baby stuff and the CLOTHES! Oh my gosh. The little outfits and sweaters and dresses and coats and sleepers and you get the idea, LOL.

I was very good and didn't buy anything but I was soooo tempted to. I couldn't bear to have the stuff in my house if anything happens and we don't end up getting her.

At another store, I did pick up two teeny angel ornaments with the name Kara on them. I got one for myself and then I had to get one for her family, too. Maybe I'll give it to the baby's grandmother. Maybe I'll give the father and grandmother each one...but I don't know how they would feel having it. I have them tucked away in her armoire for now.

I did pick up a red toile picture frame for her room. That's a general thing and not age specific so I was justifed!
Baby Name
We decided on a name for the baby last night. I wrote down four pages of girls names and then gave them to DH. He narrowed it down to about 10ish. Then I let Jack pick which he liked out of those. His only pick was Kara. DH said that was his pick, too. I didn't want to influence them so I hadn't told them that was the name I was secretly wishing they'd like! Jack likes the name Kara and is going to call her "Baby Kar-REEE" for a nickname. We just needed to wait for Billy to come home to cast his vote. When he came home, I showed him the narrowed down list of names and he liked Marina. Voted down though 3 to 1. So, her official name will be Kara Grace.

I hope she looks like a Kara Grace now! Wish I could see what she looks like.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Four months down
I just happened to glance at my adoption ticker and we are now four months into the journey! Wow, that went by fast and really slow at the same time. Each day is one day closer to our baby girl!

I can't wait to see her. I haven't even seen a picture yet. I hope soon. I just want to study her features, the shape of her face and her ears, the color of her skin, the blueness of her eyes, how much or little hair she has, if it's light blonde or dark blonde. How much does she weigh, is she outgoing or shy, is she a happy baby or not, how would she feel perched on my hip or snuggled against my chest? Will we fall in love with each other right away or will it be awkward for awhile? I have a vague image in my head of what I think she looks like. I wonder how close I am and how much longer before I have all my questions answered about her. What will her name be? Will she like it? Will she like living with us and having two brothers?
Pregnancy dream
Tuesday I had my annual physical so that must've planted the seed for the dream I had last night. I went to the doctors and they told me I was 5 months pregnant. I yelled "hurry up and get the ultrasound machine". His package was in full view, LOL.

So, I go home and tell DH. I was afraid that he's say no go on the adoption for our girl but he didn't. We just talked about what we would name him. We came up with Jake at the same time. So then I'm in a panic. Two babies! I don't even have baby equipment for one baby, never mind 2 babies! I was so excited and happy though.

Ugh, still nothing on a new court date for the baby. This is what frustrates me. We keep hearing about all these kids who need to be adopted and the system works at a snail's pace. They cancelled the court weeks ago, why can't they at least give us a new date? We finished classes in August and my social worker STILL hasn't finished our homestudy. Her new class started a month ago and if she hasn't completed OURS yet, when the hell does she expect to get theirs done? I might just keep the frigging angel I bought her! No, that's not her fault. I know she's overworked. The whole system needs to be overhauled. They should worry about filtering more money and taking care of our kids than spending billions of dollars on useless crap. Take care of our own first before we start giving all our taxpayer money to other countries. I'm just in a mood today. My baby is getting older every day in foster care when she could be home with us. Now she's 7 months. When will we have her - when she's two?
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Apple Picking
Today we went apple picking - it's a yearly tradition with our friends. They have three kids and we have two. Every year it seems like we add another kid to the mix (usually theirs!). We're up a party of nine now with the addition of their new son, who's just a few months old.

Next year at this time, hopefully, we'll have our last addition to our group. We talked about her today and wished she was with us. After the apple picking, we went out to eat and they seated us at a table for 10. The extra seat was sort of a reminder to my daughter who is out there somewhere waiting for us to find her and bring her home.

My goddaughter, M, is very excited to get "a new sister" as she is the only girl of our combined five boys. I can't to read back on this next year and see how far we've come in the adoption process.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
still no court date
The birth father still hasn't gotten another court date. It's been 8 days since it was supposed to be. Ridiculous! The system works at a snail's pace and this poor girl sits in a foster home.

I saved up as much vacation as I could for adoption and I can't carry it over to next year. I hope this gets resolved before the end of the year because I'll have to travel to her state to pick her up.

I heard on the news that Madonna adopted a little boy from Africa. Good for him. They picked out 12 boys for her and she went there and chose one of them. I hope the other 11 get good homes, too.