Baby Bedding Purchase

After waiting for so long, Dan and I made the first official baby purchase. We bought a bedding set - gender neutral - and we love it. We used some of our Christmas money. We've had one room upstairs that has been in a holding pattern for years, so we decided to take our time and start getting it ready. I used to think that walking by an empty baby room would make me sad, but the more I thought about it ... it doesn't matter what is or isn't in that room ... I still think about it. So, why not get the room prepared. Besides, buying the bedding was fun, and gave us hope. We will be parents in 2009 - I can feel it.

I hope everyone rings in the New Year in your own special way! - Jodi


Holidays and Adoption

The additional profiles have made it to Madonna Finney's Law Office in Florida. At least that's what FedEx tells me. We're happy with our books now and hoping to get some good news soon. What an awesome Christmas present that would be?!? I try not to get my hopes up, but it's so hard, especially this time of year. Christmas is that much more fun with little ones around.

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


Movement (?)

Over the last couple of days we have heard from the Florida law office that things were in a bit of a lull, but have recently picked up. They have requested additional profile copies ASAP because there are potential matches they could send our profile out to. Encouraging news. I overnighted what I had last night and will order more online tonight. Unfortunately with the holidays, it is taking a while for delivery. I do know that they are working with around 20 couples at the moment. It's time to send positive thoughts, prayers and cross your fingers and toes for luck.
Thanks to everyone for still following our journey! -Jodi


November News

Just wanted to quickly update everyone that there was once again some movement. I inquired to our local agency - Adoption Services, Inc. - about any potential birthmothers and surprisingly, they were working with two. Our profile was shown, but not selected by either. One birthomother chose a couple where the woman was adopted and recently met her own birthmother. Can't compete against that. The other chose to meet three couples, but we were not one of them. I'm going to have to take a long, hard look at our profile.

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!


November update

It's been an entire month since the last post and things have been busy for Dan and I. My Busia had a terrible fall and was never able to recover. After several weeks, she passed away and I found myself thinking - a lot - that she was never going to meet my son or daughter. That makes me so sad, because she was such a supporter of our decision to adopt. She always had questions and wanted to know how it was going. But I know that if there is ANYTHING she can do from up above ... then it will only be a matter of time before Dan and I are parents.

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


Tough Call

Late last week, I received a call at work from our new adoption partner - Madonna H. Finney's office. They had a situation in Florida and since it wasn't a "normal situation," they wanted to check in and see if we'd be interested in pursuing. WHAT?!?!? Movement so quickly. This was so foreign to us, but so exciting. Without going into a ton of detail to respect everyone involved, Dan and I decided the situation wasn't the right fit for us. It wasn't an easy decision and I still think about it, but deep down I know it was the right decision.

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


Decisions, Decisions

It's been a whole month since an update, so I apologize and hope you all haven't fallen off the blog. Dan and I have decided to move forward with the Law Office of Madonna H. Finney in Tallahassee, FL. We had a conference call a couple of weeks ago and really liked what we heard. So, we're moving forward. Sometimes you just a gut and for the first time, I finally feel like things are going to happen for us. We will actually adopt in Florida and so we'll be following their adoption laws. Many are the same, but there are few differences. I'll post some of those later.

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


Florida Adoption Law Firm

We have our consultation meeting set for late September with the adoption law firm in Florida. We're both very excited about it. We did get clarification that we can be listed with both our current agency as well as the law firm. In the meantime, we need to get our homestudy renewed. Believe it or not, it's been a whole year of waiting. So, that's what we're doing now. We need to go back and get employment, health, background checks, etc. done again. Hopefully it won't take too long to pull together since we did it once before. I've also joined a couple of adoption groups on Yahoo. One is for domestic agencies and the other is adoption scams. You can never be too careful. Dan and I are also reworking our profile that gets shared with prospective birthparents. The law firm doesn't need a whole binder, so we can play with the format a bit.
So, that's that for now. Until later ... -Jodi


Still there?

Anyone, anyone ... Bueller? Just checking.

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.


Friend of a Friend of a Friend ...

A couple of weeks ago we heard about a little girl who may be placed for adoption. We haven't heard much recently, but hope that if the situation is still open, that we will be given the opportunity to meet and discuss the possibility of an adoption plan. If we meet, we may or may not feel comfortable with each other. You just never know. We struggle, because it takes someone's unfortunate circumstance for us to have this opportunity. All we can promise is that we'd love, support and nuture this little girl or any child that we can call our own.

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


Adoptive Families Magazine

Dan and I have been subscribing to Adoptive Families Magazine now for about a year. (In fact, that reminds me that it's time for renewal.) We've found each issue very informative. This past issue had an article, Planning for Parenthood, which I found particularly interesting.
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.


Adoption Services Profiles

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



National Adoption Options

We've been receiving additional information from other adoption options and filtering through everything. The difference this time, is that we're looking at national programs instead of just local ones. Still not convinced that we're switching, but when the time comes to renew our homestudy we want to be sure we have all the options available to move as quickly as possible.

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


Poll Down, New Poll Up

Well, 100% of you have visited our online profile. Only two voted, but who said this was scientific research. There is a new poll up, so take a look, get counted and we'll look at results mid July.

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


Slide Show Added

To give you a little more incentive to visit our blog, we've added a slide show of pictures which we'll update periodically. We hope it's incentive and not a deterrent. Enjoy and if you have any interesting shots of Dan and I that we may be able to use in our adoption profile, please send them our way via email.
Thanks. -Jodi


We Need Your Eyes and Ears

It's come to this. We need your help. When we hear about successful domestic adoptions, we find that most of the time it's because of someone, who knew someone, who knew someone with an unplanned pregnancy. So, PLEASE keep your eyes and ears open for us. Maybe you'll know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who is considering adoption. It's a tough thing to ask of someone, but every little bit helps. If you do hear of something please have them email us or visit our online profile.
Thanks Team Paynter!


Web stats

Our most recent web stats came in from Adoption Services, Inc.
  • 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


Domestic versus International

Dan and I weighed a lot of options before deciding to pursue a domestic adoption. After years of infertility treatments, we hit a point where we had some big decisions to make. The first decision was: do we want to be a 2-person family or do we want to be parents? That was answered pretty quickly for us. More than anything ... we want to be parents.

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


Comments, Contacts and More

Thanks to everyone who voted in the online poll. Looks like the majority of people know a couple who has adopted internationally (80% of respondents) and one person knew a couple who adopted domestically. New survey posted - check it out!

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


Visit to Grandma's House

I didn't look at the adoption agency site all weekend. I'm quite proud of that accomplishment. (Ok, I was up north visiting my grandma and couldn't get Internet access.) So, of course, I checked this morning and lo and behold another match was made - not Dan and I. It's good that there is action, but goodness gracious. Dan keeps the positive outlook for us. Our odds do increase as couples move to the 'matched and waiting' category. Eventually a birthmother will have to choose us, right?

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.


Moving Up

There are currently three couples considered "matched and waiting" at the agency we work with. We've now moved to the top row of the couples "waiting," which means ... we've been waiting a long time. Fourth longest to be exact. No real surprise there. We knew it wouldn't happen overnight. But we still dreamed it would happen that way. Feelings vary daily and it depends on if the head or heart is driving the thought process at that moment.

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


Mid-May Update

We received a small update from the adoption agency last week. No matches for us. I believe there was one potential match, but the birthmother chose another couple. There has been an increase in the number of waiting couples. Due to some of the recent holds and changes in the international adoption programs, they are seeing an increase in the domestic adoption programs.
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


April - no matching

Today we followed up with the adoption agency and unfortunately there weren't any new birthmothers that matched with us for the month of April, so our portfolio hasn't been shown. We haven't received the web stats update, but that will let us know how much activity is on the site and how many times our online profile was viewed. That's always a tricky stat because I know I check out the site to see if new couples have been added to the mix or what couples were moved to the "matched and waiting" section. If I do it, I can only imagine other couples do as well. (Or maybe people aren't as nosey as me. Nah, that couldn't be.)

Have a good weekend! - Jodi


The Selection Process

It's been a little more than a week, and guess what ... we're still waiting. (Gee, won't this be an exciting blog.) Since there hasn't been much movement this past week, I thought I'd update on how the actual selection process works.

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.


Adoption Process - Just the Beginning

We've started this blog so we can share our exciting journey toward parenthood through an adoption plan. We made the decision to adopt after 8 1/2 years of marriage and many years of trying to conceive a child. For a couple of years, we researched, discussed, researched some more and in January 2007, we started the paperwork for a domestic adoption and by August 2007 we were approved as foster parents and officially considered "waiting." And it really is just that, we wait, and wait, and wait, and hope too, that we'll get that exciting call everyday. Because there is a lot of waiting in the process, I thought this would be a convenient way for everyone to get updates on our journey. We're so excited about this life-changing decision, because we know it was what we were meant to do. Check back and we'll fill you in on the waiting and hopefully ... the exciting call when it happens. In the meantime, feel free to check out our online profile at Adoption Services, Inc. -Jodi