Friday, April 25, 2008

"How Many Children Do You Want to Adopt?"

This was a question that was posted on one of the forums that I sometimes (okay, OFTEN!=) read. I was surprised to see that the most common answer seemed to be FOUR!

Before seeing this question posed to other adoptive parents, I had never given it much thought. I haven't really let myself consider how many children I want because I assumed that the reality would be that we'll have one child (two at the absolute most!) because of the cost and other hurdles involved.

Seeing all those posts that said things like "Well, we already have three, and we're officially waiting to adopt a fourth...." or "We thought we'd have one, but here we are with three!" was sort of... empowering! =) I still have no idea how many kids we want, but just knowing that there are large adoptive families out there feels good.

So Jonathan, if you're reading this, what do you say? Six? Maybe seven?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Open Adoptions

As you can all probably imagine, I've been doing quite a bit of research about adoption. =) I'm reading adoption books, visiting adoption forums, following adoption blogs... adoption, adoption, adoption! It has all been very, very eye opening.

I've gotten a sense that Jonathan and I are entering into adoption at a time of change. In general, there's a movement to make adoptions more "open." Here's what I've learned about "closed" adoptions vs. "open" adoptions.

The relationship an adoptive family has with a birth family can fall anywhere on the spectrum between closed and very open. A closed adoption means that the birth parents and adoptive parents have no further contact after the birth of the child. None. An open adoption, however, can mean many different things. At the very least, it means that the adoptive parents send pictures and updates to the adoption agency once or twice a year. The adoption agency then forwards the info to the birth family. But an open adoption can also consist of the exchange of contact information, e-mails, phone calls, visits... whatever feels comfortable to everybody involved.

The two sets of parents come to an agreement about what kind of contact they want in the future, how much, etc. These agreements are not usually legally binding, so everyone just hopes that each side holds up their end of the agreement.

So, that's what we've learned about closed vs. open adoptions in a (very small) nut shell. (I don't think I've ever written " in a nut shell" before. It looks weird. Is it "nutshell"? or "nut shell"?) More later on what we think could work best for us.

PS- If you come across any weirdo posts in this blog (i.e. the "ultrasound"!!!), make sure to check the signature at the bottom. Hundred bucks says it's usually the crazy husband.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boy or girl?

Hey, got the ultra sound yesterday! Can you tell what it is?!

Better last name??? What, you mean like Rea?

How do we go about shutting down a blog?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wait time

A lot of people are under the impression that adopting a healthy infant takes several years. We thought this too! We even tossed around the idea of getting on some sort of "list" earlier on in our marriage, so that when we were ready, we'd be closer to the top of this list, and therefore closer to being parents.

But guess what? Because the birth parents choose the family they would like to adopt their child, there's no such thing as a list! AND (it gets better!) the wait time is NOT usually several years! In fact, it's very rare to wait multiple years once you have the correct paperwork filed and are officially "waiting." The number floating around in the general adoption community is that it usually takes less than a year to adopt. Less than a year!

And get this. We received paperwork from the agency that we are seriously considering working with (Adoption Minnesota) and these are their stats:

Average wait: 19 months
Shortest wait: 1 day

ONE DAY?!! What?! Now, I don't think we'll be parents in ONE DAY, but it does go to show that we better be ready when we officially start this process! Anyone have any cribs they are looking to get rid of...?! =)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, the pressure!

Well, this is the First Entry. Yikes! I feel like I should have something particularly clever or witty to say to introduce all of this. But I don't. =)

Basically, this blog will be a place for us to record anything and everything about our adoption experience. We will be able to share this time in our life with our family and friends AND it'll be fun for us to look back on. Especially once this is all in the past and we have half-naked little ones running around our house, tugging on Cody's ears and tail! I can see it now. (I think Cody might be starting to rethink this whole wanting-a-brother-or-sister thing...)

Here's a quick update to get everybody up to speed:

* We are interested in domestic infant adoption. This means that we will connect with a woman or couple who are pregnant and considering adoption. (We could meet a couple of different ways: the expectant couple could find us through the "Waiting Family Book" of an adoption agency we choose to work with, or a friend, family member, or acquaintance (that's you guys!=) could pass along our contact information to someone they know who is considering adoption). If this expectant mom or couple decides that they would like us to parent their child, then we have "a match"!

* There are several different ways to go about adopting a baby. We narrowed it down to either 1) working with an adoption agency who will basically hold our hand through the entire process or 2) working with an adoption attorney, who does only the legal side of things. In this scenario, we would be mostly on our own when it came to finding an expectant mom or couple, setting up counseling for them, and basically being an expert on everything adoption-related.

* We've decided to go with an agency. We foresee this being an emotional (and sometimes very stressful!) process, and don't want the added pressure of having to KNOW everything. In early March we went to visit a large adoption agency here in the Twin Cities called Children's Home Society and Family Services. They were extremely helpful. Oh, AND the building was just gorgeous (brick and wood exterior with sitting rooms, fireplaces, and comfy furniture inside). Jonathan had to keep reminding me that we can't choose an adoption agency based on their architecture. =) There is a smaller agency that we are planning to check into in the next few weeks. They do the most domestic infant adoptions in Minnesota.

So- that's pretty much it so far! There's a lot of other stuff swirling around in our heads, but these are the only concrete steps we've taken so far and even though we have a long way to go, it's exciting!