I hope everyone rings in the New Year in your own special way! - Jodi
I was with two of my nephews this past weekend at my grandpa's holiday party at the health care center ... anyway, Santa made a surprise visit and I saw their faces light up. Mason, 3, could hardly contain himself and when Santa made his rounds Mason promptly informed him he wanted drums for Christmas. Good luck there - I think Uncle Craig has that covered. We sang Christmas carols and nibbled on some snacks. It was a real treat to experience that with them. I don't get to see that level of Christmas excitement normally. At least not yet. But now I can't wait until we can experience it all for ourselves.
Enjoy the rest of your Christmas planning! And don't forget to enjoy the moments. They're all special. -Jodi
Thanks to everyone for still following our journey! -Jodi
We did make some updates to our profile that the law office in Florida will receive. We had more freedom there and used snapfish.com to create a photobook. I'm waiting for the first one to deliver but it seems to be backed up because of holiday orders. Other than that ... we're set.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
We are officially renewed for another year. We've received the updated foster care license. We're signed with Adoption Services, Inc. and The Law Office of Madonna Finney. The wait continues, but I really feel like it won't be long. Can't explain why, it's just a feeling.
Take care everyone and thanks for your continuing support. It helps during this long wait to have such great friends and family. -Jodi
The good news is that we feel we definitely made the right call by signing up with the law office. They obviously have movement and we really feel it's only a matter of time before we're parents. -Jodi
We have a homestudy meeting with the local agency this afternoon at our house. Then we'll be set for another year. We'll continue to be listed with Adoption Services, Inc. and we'll also use them for our post-placement visits.
There you have it. The most recent news in the adoption saga. -Jodi
So, that's that for now. Until later ... -Jodi
The latest update for Dan and I and our adoption journey includes expanding our search a bit. Based on a referral from a friend (of a friend), we are considering working with a law office out of Florida. We have sent in our initial application and are awaiting a phone consultation. That should happen some time in September and then we'll let you all know if we decide to sign with them. I've done lots of online research on the firm, been to chat rooms and message boards and have only seen good things about the firm. Wish us luck with our expanded search. We'll let you know how that progresses.
Thanks to everyone who is still checking in. Sorry there aren't more exciting updates, but this is a long process. Someday the payoff will be huge!
Enjoy your summer! -Jodi
When a woman finds out she is pregnant, she has nine months to read books, prepare physically and emotionally, bond with other mothers and get a nursery ready. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of unknowns and lots of surprises coming for all mothers. However, I often questioned when/if I should start reading books and preparing a nursery? We don't know when we'll become parents - tomorrow or six months or a year from now. But this article put me at ease. For one reason, I know that the emotional tugging and uncertainty I feel must be pretty common among prospective adoptive parents. And another ... it gave some good advice in dealing with these feelings and getting more comfortable with the adoption ahead of us.
If anyone knows anyone else currently going through the adoption process, I would suggest forwarding the article for a quick read and a little reassurance.
I've had a couple people recently ask me about a homestudy. What is it, what do you do? Well, a homestudy is a process you go through to ensure that you are ready, willing and able to become adoptive parents. It consists of three visits with a social worker.
First Meeting - We met, as a couple, with our social worker. This meeting is used to assess our relationship, our intention and simply to get to know us better as a couple.
Second Meeting - We met, as individuals, with our social worker. This meeting goes into more detail about our families, our childhood, and our thoughts and feelings about each other.
Third Meeting - We met, as a couple at our house with our social worker. This process includes a walkthrough of our home. We actually babyproofed the house and made sure it met foster home standards. We had a smoke alarm on each floor, but we had to add smoke alarms to each bedroom. We also put locks on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, inserted plastic covers over the outlets, added doorknob locks to the basement doors and developed and posted a family fire escape plan. Needless to say ... our home is ready today for a little one. After the walkthrough we met for a third time with our social worker. We talked about parenting goals and our life with a child (or two or three or four).
That entire process takes about 1 1/2 to 2 months to complete. Then you receive a document that summarizes EVERYTHING. That is a homestudy.
We are currently working with Adoption Services out of Mequon and we have an online profile that gives birthparents a chance to learn a little bit more about us. Part of the adoption process is to create a physical binder with more pictures and information about us than is available through the online profile. Adoption Services takes multiple copies of the binders and stores them at both their Appleton and Mequon locations. They can loan them out to birthparents so they can get to know the adoptive couples and make a better decision about who they would like to place their baby with. -Dan
Adoption Services Inc.
2314 N. Grandview Blvd.Suite 300
Waukesha, WI 53188(888) 686-0443
So far I've participated in a couple of phone conferences with agency consultants and we have another scheduled for tomorrow evening. This one is with Adoption Network Law Center. If anyone knows of anyone who has used this organization, I'd love to hear from you. Provided references are great (of course they would be), but personal references are even better.
Until later. -Jodi
In the meantime, Dan and I have been doing lots of research on additional domestic adoption opportunities and even checking out the Russian international adoption programs available. Lots to consider - AGAIN. The big question is are we making the right decisions or simply spinning our wheels? Check back often for the exciting conclusion ... or not. -Jodi
Thanks Team Paynter!
- 455 visitors to Adoptive Parents page
- 101 visitors to Pregnant page
- 72 visitors to our profile (which I'm sure includes a few of you.)
The hits to various profiles varied from 51 to 86, so it looks like we fell right in the middle. There are currently 12 couples listed as "Waiting" on the web site and there has been quite a bit of activity with four couples currently listed as "Matched and Waiting."
I did notice that there was a call from Adoption Services on our caller ID from Thursday. We were out of town, so I didn't see it until Saturday morning. No message though. Must not have been too important, but I will follow up when the offices reopen on Monday.
Until next time. -Jodi
After that there were several options. Before we did any research on those options, my mindframe was that we would pursue an international adoption route. So we started researching through the Internet to compare available programs and attended a tradeshow to gather information from various agencies. We walked away with information on international adoption only at that time. An overwhelming amount.
Through our research the words "domestic adoption" and "surrogacy" kept crossing our paths as additional options. We started learning a little more about both options and the facts and myths that surround both. We learned that many of the things that turned us off in the first place were myths.
A very long story short, we stopped comparing countries and started comparing surrogacy, domestic and international. There are lots of factors to compare: time, age of child, legal issues, cost, birthparent involvement, emotional impact and social impact. I listed some of those comparisons below.
- Domestic wait time is open ended. The birthmother has to choose us.
- International wait time varies by country, but a match is pretty much guaranteed after that certain amount of time. You also have to account for periods of time in the adoption country. Usually weeks at a time and one or two trips.
- Domestic can be any age, but it is also the only program that allows for newborn adoption.
- International is usually between 12 and 24 months. Some programs like Columbia allow for 3 to 6 months.
(I think it's important to note that "cost" means the fee for services and legal assistance associated with adoption.)
- Simply stated, domestic is less than international because of the lack of international travel and additional legal fees.
To be completely honest, it wasn't a slamdunk decision for us. There were pros and cons to all the programs. After the facts are on the table then you have to figure in your emotions, insurance, jobs, other people, etc. In the end we decided on a domestic adoption route. Is this the only decision for us ... no. But at our current place in life, it is the decision that fits us best.
Our homestudy will be up for renewal this summer and it seems like a natural time to evaluate the options again. -Jodi
I also want to extend the offer to comment on the blog or on the things I'm writing about. If anyone has any input or maybe some resources out there that could help Dan and I in our journey, we are completely open to your suggestions. Also, if there is information you wish I'd share here and haven't or have questions for us feel free to contact us at our regular email addresses or our adoption email account. (Believe me, I check it every night.)
The adoption agency told us we could attempt to find our own birthparents as well. So, I am getting close to completing a web site for Dan and I and hoping to use that to reach out to potentional birthparents. I'll link to it here once I have it completed. We've also notified our doctors, so should they encounter an unplanned pregancy considering an adoption plan, they will hopefully pass on our name. We've looked at message boards and adoption forums, but that is still a bit intimidating and unchartered territory for me.
That's the latest and greatest. Looking forward to feedback. -Jodi
I mentioned visiting my grandma earlier. She is 91 and wouldn't be very happy about me sharing that fact, but I believe she should wear her age proudly. During the visit, she mentioned that someone on my grandfather's side adopted a child. She didn't know many details, but oddly, I found it comforting. She gave me several pieces of family history which I still need to read through. I'm hoping there will be more information in there.
I also noticed all of the photos and the cards and the coloring book pages she has hanging up from my nephews. She asks about them and obviously having those three great-grandsons means so much to her. Although I don't think my child will ever truly know her, I do hope that my grandma gets to meet him or her.
Until next time.
We wanted to thank those people who emailed us with suggestions for our online profile and of course for the encouragement. We have incredible friends and family. We're compiling comments and will email changes to our adoption agency in the upcoming weeks. Dan and I are also discussing becoming a bit more aggressive in our own search for a birthmother. That's not an easy task and we're researching the best way to go about it so we protect all involved. In the end, it's about a child. It's not a race, it's a lifelong journey.
I hope everyone enjoys their extended weekends for Memorial Day - the unofficial start of summer. -Jodi
We've looked at our online profile so many times, I'm not sure what changes to make, if any. That said, I'd love for others to check out our online profile and post some comments or suggestions here. Any little thing may help. You know us and sometimes it is difficult to critique yourself. Thanks. -Jodi
Have a good weekend! - Jodi
After Dan and I were officially approved, we took on the big task of building our portfolio: a big binder describing our relationship, home, lifestyle, family, friends and our hopes and dreams of making parenthood a reality. This portfolio is filled with photos too, because we felt it meant more to see us then to just tell about us. Sounds like an easy task, but it is tougher than you think to talk about yourself. I agonzied over photos and words, but in the end, we realized that we just needed to be us and that the best situation will work out because of that.
The binder is housed at Adoption Services, Inc. and if we're a "match" to a potential birthmother and/or birthfather, they view our portfolio and any other "couple matches." From there they can choose a couple or maybe several to meet in person. We haven't made it to this step yet. We do know that our portfolio has been viewed by a handful of birthmothers, but no phone calls just yet. Now that we've been waiting for a few months, we recently made some adjustments to the portfolio and have the new and improved version on display.
While we wait, we think of baby names, look at baby clothes, buy baby toys, etc. I have some great friends who have reminded me that it's okay to do a little baby shopping, so we'll be visiting Babies R Us in the upcoming weeks and maybe picking up a few essentials so when we get that exciting call ... we'll be ready. Well, as ready as we can be.