Paperwork, Complete!

In a previous post, I mentioned how much paperwork was involved in the home study.  And, I’ll tell you…it’s a lot!  In fact, apparently it’s enough to crash the agency’s email if you try to send it all in one email, as I did yesterday.  Whoops!

So, as I’m sure you can guess, we finally finished it all.  We’re waiting on two pieces still: our fingerprints to come back and our Dutch background checks to arrive.  Otherwise, we’ve turned everything in and it’s off our plate!  It was such a sense of relief to be able to hit the “send” button yesterday on that email (we’ll still mail in a paper copy of everything as well), knowing that the ball was no longer in our court.  I’ve been paranoid over the past few weeks, worried that we’d forget something, much something up, or just outright lost a key piece of info, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

So now…we wait.  The agency needs to receive those other two pieces before we can schedule the in-home visit, but we’re hoping those come in before we leave on vacation.  It’s a few weeks away, so we have time, but I get concerned when things involve overseas governments.  Oh well, this is just another lesson in patience, one I’m sure God has planned for me to take to heart.  I’ve found, as we’ve been through the past three years of trying to conceive, my patience has grown in leaps and bounds.  I know this is all part of God’s plan, so I am holding to that.

In the meantime, I am now just gearing up for vacation!  I am so excited, can’t wait!

Much love,
K.

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The stash begins

cloth diapersCloth Diapers.  Yep, I said it…we’re going to cloth diaper the little one (or at least, that’s the plan).  And holy crap…the world of cloth diapers is extensive!  There are a blue million different brands, a bunch of different types, and the acronyms are seemingly endless.

But…we want to try.  I’ve started getting a few things here and there, just so we’re not hit with the expensive of everything all at once, and one of the things I’ve allowed myself to buy is cloth diapers.  Not many…I’ve bought two so far.  But…it’s a start!

Honestly, I have no idea what I’ll like…so I’m just getting 1-2 of a few different kind to see what we’ll like when the baby gets here.  Plus, the patterns…omg, the patterns!  SO FREAKING CUTE!!!  It’s hard to resist getting more, because they are really stinking cute, but I’m trying to reign it in.

What about you other ladies out there…any cloth diapering moms?  What diapers do you recommend?  Any favorites, or better yet, ones I should stay away from?

Much love,
K.

Oh the paperwork…

J and I are in the middle of our home study paperwork, and oh boy is it a lot!  We have state background checks, DCS background checks, county background checks, and even a background check from the Netherlands (where we lived from 2010-2013).  There are going to be files on us all over the place!

On top of all that, we also had to be fingerprinted (again), as well as physicals and bloodwork to confirm our health, and financial records showing our ability to afford a child.  Then, we needed references (4), and confirmation of employment.  Finally, we had a questionnaire and an autobiography to write about ourselves.  Basically, a LOT of paperwork.

But…it’s nearly finished now.  We have everything put together except J’s physical (scheduled for Friday) and our Dutch background checks.  The Dutch background check is the one I’m worried most about; not because we’re secretly international crime lords, but just due to the time it could take to have it completed and sent back.  Most things don’t exactly move quickly in Europe, so I’m hoping this doesn’t take forever.

We leave on our cruise in T-20 days!!  I’m super excited, but I’d really like to have all the home study paperwork completed an turned in prior to leaving.  That way, all that will be left is the physical home study, where the agency coordinators come out and talk to us, and look at our house to make sure everything is how it should be.  It’s all happening so fast, and yet, not fast enough.  I’m sure this will be pretty standard…a game of “hurry up and wait,” but we can handle it.  I mean…we’ve waited this long, what’s a little while longer!

Wish us luck on a speedy Dutch background check!

 

Much love,
K.

 

Orientation Session

Yesterday afternoon J and I headed back to the adoption agency for an orientation session.  This gave us a chance to meet with the coordinators and ask questions in a one-on-one setting, aside from what we’ve been sending emails about back and forth.

We arrived and headed straight in, then had a chance to sit around the table and just chat.  Because we’re heading on our cruise during the time when the full day class is taking place, we discussed the timing for how the home study would work.  Ideally, we’ll have everything turned in to the agency before we leave on our cruise (less than a month now!), and then schedule the home study for right after!  We’ll also create our book to have ready to hand over to the agency for when after the home study is approved.

I can’t believe that it’s moving along…almost seamlessly!  There’s a lot of paperwork we have to fill out, but it’s manageable.  It also gives me a big sense of accomplishment, to be able to finally feel like I’m checking off boxes and moving towards a goal.  The excitement is still mounting, and I feel like we’re just one step closer!

So far, we’ve filled out a few forms for CPS background checks.  I’m hoping that our electronic fingerprints can be sent to the agency from a background check we had completed late last year for a community group, so that will keep us from having to wait on new ones.  Our physicals are booked with our doctors, and next are some questionnaires we need to fill out about ourselves.  It should take a few weeks (or less, hopefully) to pull together…which really isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things.

I know that once all this is completed, the hardest part will be in front of us…the waiting.  Waiting to be matched, waiting for the child to be born, waiting to bring the child home.  It’ll be hard, but I’m trying to keep my eyes on the end goal.  Either way, even if it is hard, we’re ready for it!

Much love,
K.

My Adoption

I remember when I started talking to friends about our infertility struggles, and worrying whether we’d ever have a child.  After talking for a while, my friends would eventually touch on the subject of adoption.  I know many of my internet compadres on infertility boards hate (and would often be offended by) the usual question of, “well, are you open to adoption?” as a solution to infertility.  And, in some ways, I completely understand that.

But, the truth of the matter is, in many ways I didn’t always understand the annoyance with asking about whether adoption was a viable option for growing a family.  When I was five, my mother told me that I was special from other kids.  She shared that I was adopted as a baby, and that I had two mothers and two fathers.  And my adoption, like any other life experience, that has skewed my perceptions on a great many things throughout my life.

Now, my adoption was a bit different than the road we are going down.  I was adopted through a kinship adoption, or inter-family adoption.  My birth mother was a teenager who got pregnant during high school, and who had no desire to raise a child or be a mother.  I can definitely understand that sentiment…looking back at myself at 17, I was nowhere near the age of wanting to (or knowing how to) parent a child.  Her parents (my maternal grandparents), told my birth mother that they would adopt the child from birth, and raise the child as their own.  So, as a young kid, I believed that my birth mother and her two siblings were my siblings as well.  It wasn’t until I was a little older, around five or six, that I was told I was adopted and that “T” was the woman who gave birth to me.  Granted, there’s a lot a five year old understands, but the inter-family politics and nuances of small-town life aren’t one of them.  It was explained in simple terms…I had two moms and two dads.  And with that, I skipped off to go play in dirt or something equally childlike, and didn’t really worry about it.

And honestly, as I got older, I understood better what all that meant, but it was never anything that I viewed negatively.  I had a relationship with my birth mom, but it was more of a much older sibling/aunt than anything.  It was never motherly, and that was completely ok, because I had my own mom for that.  I never met my birth father, and while it was probably something that would have been possible (after all, not much is hidden in a small midwestern town), it wasn’t anything that ever really seemed worth it, and so I never bothered pursuing that path.

So…people ask me occasionally (now that we’ve decided on adoption) how we made the decision to adopt.  I honestly tell them that, for me, adoption has always seemed second nature.   I have always wanted to grow my family through adoption, because it is at the base of my roots as well…I just never thought that would be the ONLY way we’d grow our family.  Nonetheless, I don’t have any sort of negative feelings on not being able to carry our own biological child.  You would think that, after years of infertility treatments and the like, I would still grieve the loss of being able to carry a child in my body.  There were moments where I was worried that I would feel that way, and I can completely understand how women would grieve that loss.  It’s heartbreaking to want something so badly and feel like it’s just slightly outside your grasp.  For me (personally), I’ve always been more interested in being a mother, not so much in being pregnant…so that is something that I can accomplish through adoption, and therefore I am perfectly ok with it.  It’s exciting and full of hope, and I feel like it’s my path in life!

I’m happy to answer any questions from an adopted child’s perspective, if anyone wants to ask.  If you want to send me questions, or comment on the post, I can do a Q&A for my next post.  I’ve always been open about my adoption and talking about it, and love to share my experiences with others, so please don’t be shy!

Much love,
K.

Orientation session, and a hiccup…

Yesterday, I received an email from our agency giving us options to schedule our orientation session to kick off the home study.  There were plenty of options, and luckily we were available next week to go in (since it’s during the work day, it requires a little bit of shuffling with our schedules).  After I confirmed the date we were available, the agency sent back an email also letting us know when the full day training session would take place (which is part of the requirements the agency has to adopt through them).

Well, at first, I was excited…the date was in April, but we knew the home study would take a couple months, so this seemed right on track.  Then, I looked at the date again, and realized it was SMACK DAB in the middle of our cruise!  Not only would we not be in town during that session, we wouldn’t even be in the country!

I called the agency right away, frantic.  Would they be able to reschedule, or do another session for us?  What did this mean for our timeline?  One of the coordinators answered and I explained the situation.  Since we’re going with a smaller agency, they only work with 10 adoptive couples at a time during the home study process…and the usually only run a new home study group once a quarter.  She spoke with the head coordinator, who confirmed that they wouldn’t be able to accommodate a date change, or an extra session just for us, and that we would need to wait until the next session, at the end of the summer.  I thanked them and hung up, and nearly burst into tears.  I felt like this was just one more thing that would delay us…no matter where we turn, it’s one delay and disappointment after another.

I spoke with J to see if we could move the cruise up or back by a week, but that would require cancelling the cruise with only a 25% reimbursement of the costs, and then rebooking it from scratch…so basically paying for the cruise and flights twice.  That wasn’t really an option, as we don’t have extra money just lying around, and it seems wasteful.  So…we decided to keep the cruise where it was, go and enjoy ourselves, and then just come back at the end of summer and do the session then.  It wasn’t ideal in the least, and I definitely wasn’t happy with it, but…sometimes that’s just how things go.

I got home and decided to relax a bit.  I was glancing through my email and realized that the agency had emailed me back with further information.  After more discussion, the coordinators decided that we could still go ahead with the orientation session next week, start our home study and make our profile book, and still be shown to expectant mothers to be matched!  Basically, we could still move forward, full steam ahead, but we just had to come in at the next all-day training session to fulfill that requirement!  I was so pleased that nothing had to be delayed…I felt like God was really reaffirming that this was EXACTLY where he wanted us to be, and that our decision to adopt was absolutely the right thing for us.  Plus…what a relief to not have another delay!

So now…we’re back on track!  We have our orientation session next week, and our cruise in a little over a month!  I’m very excited for both…I can’t wait to get a start on the home study process and start ticking off boxes.  Plus, the cruise should be absolutely amazing!!  Sun, warmth, and new places to visit…what more could I ask for!

Much love,
K.