Friday, July 23, 2010

Interested in Adoption?

I had a few questions to respond to that were sparked by my last post. So, I thought I would address them in a new post. I'm just going to outline the adoption process for those of you who are not familiar with it.

STEP ONE(maybe the most difficult step of all)

Deciding on Adoption as the best way to build your family. This is a must...Adoption should not be viewed as a second best option or a "have to" situation. Although I understand the sadness and grief that goes along with the battle of infertility(been there, done that, refused the t-shirt), I am not in a "have to" situation. No one ever told us we couldn't have babies biologically. Our road would have probably been a difficult one, especially since we would have been going against God's call on our life. I'm not saying that if you are unable to conceive without medical intervention, you are being called to adopt. God may need you to go down that road of treatment so that you can be a light to someone else or so that He can teach you some valuable lessons of love and patience. I'm simply saying that, if you are considering adoption as a way to build your family, please be sure you don't have any feelings of it being the second best option. If you have those feelings, work through them before you begin the journey of adoption.

As part of the decision making process, I would recommend reading about it. I almost never recommend reading, but you need to educate yourself on the ins and outs of adoption. You need to be prepared for comments and questions that will come your way. You need to be educated on the types of adoption...the cost...the adoption versus closed adoption...the effects of adoption on your family (immediate and extended). When we were beginning our journey, we read the book Raising Adopted Children. We have recommended it to friends who recently adopted and we all believe it is worth the read. We also subscribe to a magazine called Adoptive Families. We find the articles to be worthwhile and insightful. When I say I almost never recommend reading, it is because I worry that too much reading can lead to unnecessary fear. I know people who read those "What to Expect" books and think that everything in there is probably going to happen to them and their babies. That is a totally incorrect assumption and leads to a lot of undue stress and fear. So, if you intend to read the book I have recommended or subscribe to the magazine, please use them as an educational tool instead of fear inducing documents!

I would also recommend that you and your spouse openly talk about this method of family building. It is important that you are both on the same page and your children (if you already have some) are with you on this, as well. You don't need to be sitting at an agency and realize that your husband is just along for the ride. This an expensive and emotional road that you don't want to be on alone or with an uncooperative sidekick! It will also be important to discuss adoption with your extended family. Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, and Uncles will have questions and fears just like you. Be prepared to field questions and calm concerns or even admit that you have some of the same concerns. Remember that they may be new to this adventure as well. They want to be excited for you and will need some direction from you as you travel the road.

Most importantly, PRAY! God will lead you to your child. He will direct your path if you will seek Him out above all else. He wants to give you the desires of your heart (a heart transformed by Him). As you pray, allow yourself to be open to His plan and direction. Pray for wisdom, direction, courage and peace. Pray for the birth family of your child(ren) and pray for clarity as you seek His path!

Oh...I only got through step one...

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Step Closer

Completed the home visit portion of our home study today...finally ready to wait! I find this preparation to be ridiculous this time around. I'm not discounting the need to check out potential families and is quite necessary to be sure that the agencies are dealing with couples/families that are of sound mind and "stable." I just think there should be some kind of clause that lets you opt out of portions of the process if you've already done this before (especially recently, Jenny & Dave). I realize there are cases (though few and far between yet, highly publicised) that warrant the repetitive nature of this process. Though I find it ridiculous, my house was still FAR cleaner today at 10:30 a.m. than it ever actually is, even when we're having company! I'm laughing because we even knew what to expect this time around and we still did the EXTREME cleaning. Poor Jason was so worried about making sure we had two smoke detectors...This was a comment made by the woman who did our first home study. Jason wanted to rectify the situation (three years later) so he went to get a second detector and battery for the one we already had. I say had because, when he went to replace the battery, he discovered that the original smoke detector did not work! Back to Menards he went! We now have two working smoke detectors and the social worker didn't even ask if we had one...poor buddy! So, note to all you have at least one smoke detector and does it work?

I think we passed the test...She asked a lot of questions about Jayce. That must be the biggest update of our home study. He truly has brought so much joy to our lives and we were thrilled to share with the social worker that Jayce has already named his baby sister (he insists it will be a girl) FooFoo. I tried to tell him last night about the names we have picked for a baby. I showed him how to spell the girl's name we have chosen (assuming our b-mom doesn't have something else in mind) and he told me that it was wrong and asked me how to spell FooFoo...of course, I showed him! Some things are just not worth fighting over. I guess she'll always be FooFoo to him. ...assuming it is a she.

The social worker told us that it shouldn't take long for her to complete our home study since she has most everything caught up. We still have to go have our physicals...yes we have to get a note from our doctor saying we are healthy enough to add another baby to our family...he couldn't see us until the 27th so we'll at least have to wait until then to become "active." The average placement with our agency is about 3 to 6 months. So, we wait...

Hopefully someone will choose us. This brings me to another topic I will have to blog about later...being chosen. For now, I will say this. It saddens me that any woman/family comes to a place where they feel unable to care for or provide what their child needs. I cannot understand the heartache they must feel or the pain/anguish/sadness this decision brings into their life. We can only offer a safe home full of love for their child. I imagine that is only partly comforting, but I pray that our b-parents can know that their child will be shown that is ok to love their first family. We hold a very high amount of respect for Jayce's tummy mommy and her decision for Jayce. We love her beyond what we could have imagined in the beginning and we know Jayce loves her. Jason asked him the other night about A. Jayce said, "Yeah...I know who A is. She loves me!"


Friday, July 9, 2010


It is late...I'm working on a post regarding today's adoption home study, but I want to be sure I say what needs to be said and I'm really tired. So, I'm sitting on it for now. We are excited about our next adoption and I look forward to sharing the journey with you...assuming anyone is reading. I will say this for now...the class was informative (even for someone who has already been through the process before) and interesting. We were able to share our first experience, meet up with some great friends, and make a couple of new ones. Exciting days ahead! I'll post more tomorrow...I gotta sleep!

Home Study Class

We attended our home study class on July 9. This is a step in the process that we did not experience when we adopted Jayce. I was assuming that it would be a rather boring day covering everything we've already been through and I really just wanted to get it over with. While we did hear a lot of things we already knew or had experienced, I found this class to be interesting and needed. We could have really used this last time. In this class, the agency tries to prepare you for every aspect of your looming adoption. They tell you what to expect...anyone who has ever parented (in any way) knows that you cannot depend on what you expect to be what actually happens...regarding almost every aspect of adoption.
Our class was made up of eight families (including us). Three of us had previously adopted, two families had biological children and the rest were/are preparing to be first time parents. What an incredible experience to actually be able to share our experience (in pieces) to people who were interested because it was applicable and offered hope...or assurance that what they were/are feeling is ok, real, valid, shared, and understood. I'm finding, as we share with those who are "in the process," I have a huge need to help adoptive families feel validated. Let me just say this and see how it pans out...
NOTE: I am speaking on behalf of myself here and assuming that what I'm about to say could be said by quite a few adoptive families, but certainly not ALL adoptive families...It is tiring, annoying, sometimes hurtful to hear people say things like: will have the baby you are meant to raise
...this will happen in God's time least you don't have to be pregnant and all that goes along with that know, when you complete this, you're gonna get pregnant, you can't have your own children?
In response to these things, I would say:
...You are 100% right, but you don't have to remind me
...You are 100% right, but every once in a while I wish He'd hurry up...and you don't have to remind me
...You are 100% right, but every once in a while I wonder what it would be like -- I wish that you would cherish every minute that you are...and you don't have to remind me
...So far, you are 100% wrong and I don't really care if I ever have a biological child
...My son is my own!
Please understand that the comments above are things I've thought and never really said aloud, except to my closest friends, but I think they are important for people to understand. While most people are trying to be helpful when they say things like this, the biggest help you can give is to listen and pray.
Sorry...I'm supposed to be writing about the class...sidetracked much? So, the class was informative. We discussed the rights of birthmoms, birthdads, and adoptive parents. We discussed what to expect at the hospital and making a hospital plan with our birthmoms. We talked a lot about legal risk. We also talked a lot about open adoption. My favorite thing to talk about when I talk about adoption is the way our view of open adoption changed over the course of our experience. Most couples are really scared to consider open adoption (fyi...there are many kinds of open adoption, but I'll talk about that some other day). We wanted no part of it when we started our journey, but we can't imagine it any other way now. We feel that it is a privilege to be able to put our son in contact with his birthmom any time he asks...assuming she's willing and able to get together. We are glad to know about her and her interests and abilities. We see her in him a lot and we feel great that we can recognize that and help Jayce identify with her in some way. We value her as a person...we love her as a part of our family...we respect her for her selfless decision...we are grateful to her for helping us create our family as it is today. The adoption process has taken us on a journey that we never expected and we have learned how to love far beyond what we ever thought possible. I hope we communicated that to the waiting first time families...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Potty Training Success

Last night my son finally pooed on the potty!!!!!! I feel like he's been potty training since he was two, but he finally did it!!!!!! We were beyond excited. He told me he had to go and I took him there and he actually went! Then, we had to show Daddy! We had promised Little Man that we would buy the Toy Story movies for him when he learned to poo on the potty. So, Jason asked him if he remembered what we had promised him and he said, "TOY STORY! Can we go get it now?" Of course, we hopped in the car and went to WalMart to buy the movies. When we got home we had to watch one and he took them both to Nanny's house today. I hope this wasn't a fluke thing and that this is actually progress, but I'm trying to figure out what the catalyst was in his final decision to use the potty for pooing... I'm sure it wasn't the promise of Toy Story because there would have been quicker results. I'm starting to think that it had something to do with the fact that we finally started punishing him when he went in his skivvies. I read somewhere once that littles ones have to learn that the behavior is wrong before they will change it. They find it very normal to potty in their diapers because they have known nothing other option. Therefore, they have to be taught that their prior behavior isn't right and then decide to do something about it. As I am typing this, I am being reminded that isn't much different than adult behavior. Do you think God allows consequences of our wrong behavior to be evident in our lives so that we will make a decision to change those behaviors? We love our children. Because of that love, we have to allow consequences and enforce discipline so that they will make right choices. We don't like it and it sometimes hurts us, but it is our responsibility to encourage change for the better in our children. God feels that way about us, too. We are His children and He longs for us to pay attention to the consequences of our decisions so that we will make right choices. He wants us to be aware that there are other options than what we have always known. Are there consequences you are currently facing that are causing you to consider a change for the better? I'm sure I have some behaviors that need changing...God, help me to pay attention...and take action...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


AND I'M GONNA TRY MY HAND AT THIS WRITING THING. I've got a lot going on in my head and heart these days and I'm wondering if writing will help take the edge off. Can't say that there will be any theme to my writing, but I'm sure it will have to do with life...God, my family, adoption, ministry...There are days that I am torn in so many different directions that I just have to throw up my hands and guess where to start. I'm sure a lot of you feel that way. This blogging may add to the directions in which I am pulled, but I think it could be theraputic. I've been considering, for quite a while, writing a book, but that task seems very daunting and, when I set deadlines and/or goals, I tend to procrastinate. Plus, I often wonder if I really have anything worth sharing in a book. So...I'm just gonna blog and see what happens. Maybe I'll eventually come up with some material worth publishing. Maybe someone will draw some insight from my ramblings. Maybe someone will become interested in adoption. Maybe people will read one post and never another. Or maybe...(this is my hope) someone will encounter a REAL person following after God, gracefully failing at times and allowing Him to pick me back up, dust me off and set my feet back in the right direction. ...Yep, this is definitely already theraputic.