Friday, July 31, 2009

Seminar Day Two

My husband is exhausted, but I'm feeling excited! That is a good way to summarize our day. We began by getting better acquainted with the additional couples who were back for their second (or 3rd!) adoption. Jordan and I have already decided that we are going to make good friends during this process with the other couples walking the same road. It is so encouraging to know that we're not alone. After brief introductions, we got down to the nitty gritty. The first half of our day was spent going over legal issues.

Here are a few of the basics...

-Each state regulates adoption laws
-Texas requires 48 hours after birth before a mother can relinquish her rights
-After placement, there is a 6 month Agency supervision before the adoption is finalized in court (at this point the agency has parental rights)

After lunch, we were joined by an adoptive parent who told her story and answered questions we had about open adoption, her child's birthfamily, transracial adoption, etc. It was nice to see someone who was living what we had been talking and reading about. The latter part of the day was spent talking about creating our profile (the sheet that goes in the infamous "book" the birthmother's will look at to select a couple), the match meeting, what to do after the match, and working through an open adoption plan with the birthfamily.

We do feel a little like our brains are overflowing with information, but it is also exciting to see a glimpse of what's to come. We were sent home with more paperwork, and a few more reading assignments. After these are completed, we will once again meet up with our case worker, but this time at our home. Hoping Duke will be on his best behavior!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Notes from the seminar

Day one of our 2 day adoption seminar is complete. We arrived at Buckner around 9am and wrapped up at 5pm. As expected, we were joined by three other prospective adoptive couples and will have three more (who have adopted previously and are back for #2) tomorrow. Overall, our day was very informative and left us with some information we already knew and more to think on.

We began by talking about the losses involved in adoption. I think most people have a very joyous idea of adoption. While the idea of adoption is a happy one, the reality is that it involves a great deal of loss. Loss of the birthmother's right to parent, loss of the adoptive parents' hope for a biological child, and loss of a child's genetic identity...just for starters. Open adoption definitely helps to ease some of the losses, but pain is still a real part of this type of family union. As prospective adoptive couples who have experienced infertility, all of us shared many common losses, and we talked more about how we had learned to face and cope with these hurdles in our relationships. We had a fun exercise similar to the Newlywed game, where they separated the husbands and wives and had us answer some questions about each other. Some serious (What did you feel like was your biggest loss?) and some that we were able to laugh at (What is the most outrageous thing someone has told you during your infertility/adoption process?). Somehow, the two teams of boys and girls tied...pretty sure the wives should have taken it though!

Next we talked about the baby's perspective, and how it is important to have a smooth transition from pregnancy to adoption, the research and facts around bonding as a newborn, and what the adoptive child needs from us from infancy. We watched a really good film on this called Gentle Transitions: A Newborn Baby's Point of View about Adoption. Very eye opening.

The last part of the day was centered on helping us understand what Buckner does for the birthparents. One of the reasons we chose our agency, was because of the resources available to all parties involved in the adoption process. They provide in-depth counseling and education for birthparents so that they can make an informed and confident decision about the future of their child; whether that is to raise them or place them for adoption. It was a lot of information to take in, and a long time to sit in one place, but we enjoyed getting to hear more about process and are looking forward to tomorrows discussion.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We Survived

Today was a our first interview with our case worker, and all went well. We met at the agency office around 9:30 a.m., and didn't leave until 1:30 p.m. Obviously, there was a lot to talk about! The interview was actually very laid back, and started with both of us answering questions together about how we met, what attracted us to one another, what our personalities were like, and what our relationship looks like now that we are married. It was especially fun talking about how we resolve conflict, deal with anger, and handle stress...I am definitely being sarcastic here! We went over our financial stats and how we planned on affording adoption and why we chose Domestic adoption vs. further infertility treatment or International Adoption. All in all, it was a lot of what we had already answered on our application. Then, she split us up and talked one-on-one about our families. We had to explain what our parents and siblings were like (especially fun to "describe" my brothers!) and what our family dynamics looked like growing up. While we were waiting for the other to complete the individual interview, she had us complete a workbook/survey on transracial adoption. As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit concerned with what Jordan might happen to say during our interviews. He has a way with miscommunication. So when he told me in the car on the way back home that he mentioned how he got "whippin's" as a child (which seemed to alarm the case worker), I had to roll my eyes. I tried to explain that "spanking" might have been a better term, as "whippin" tends to put an image of being lashed with a leather strap. He disagreed. Men. Whatever. "Whippin's" and all, we are now clear to go to the seminar next Thursday and Friday, and then will meet back up with our case worker to complete the home study.

Speaking of home, we did manage to get the furniture put back into the bedrooms after the carpet was installed. Duke's chair however, is being put out to the curb, and it might just be the first of many sacrifices the poor little guy is going to have to make. When we first got Duke, he decided that our red IKEA chair was his dog bed. We moved it everywhere around our apartment to accommodate him. When we were gone and he was fenced in the kitchen, the chair went in the kitchen. When we slept at night, the chair went in the bedroom. It was his security blanket. When we moved to our house, we put the chair (which by now looked like a sad salvaged dumpster find) into our office. It became where Duke spent most of his day when he wasn't out sunning on the patio. However, it was obvious that we no longer had room for the chair (and it looked and smelled worse than my brothers undies) with the guest bed being moved to the office. I decided to buy Duke a new, actual dog bed. So today, I brought it home for him to try out. He did sit a while, but not sure if he's as impressed with it as I am. As I'm typing, he's sleeping in my spot in bed...forget his designer dog bed! So here are a few before and after pics.

The initial take over (the cutest puppy ever!)

Snoozing in the kitchen (yes, that is the oven door)

Really comfortable...and giving the scary eye

appearance on Everhart Christmas Card 2007

...and his new Fatboy!

not so sure about this...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our first Interview

After patiently waiting what has seemed like a life time, we finally got the name of our assigned social worker. We are meeting on Thursday for our first official interview at the agency office. We are both looking forward to it, and not too nervous. Although, maybe I should be as my husband has a tendency to say some pretty bazaaro things! I'll be sure to update on how everything goes...and any interesting things he's sure to say.

On another note, we got our new carpet today! Both the guest bedrooms were in need of a serious change, and I can't believe the difference. Now baby has a soft place to crawl around on and I don't have to worry about what kind of gross stuff is in it! I hooked my niece into helping paint a shelf for the room while she was visiting last week, and I managed to rearrange the office to accommodate the bed from the former guest room. My best friend and her husband are coming to visit this weekend, so they'll be the first to try it out. I'll post pics when the furniture makes it's way out of my living room and into it's place!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So we still have not received the email with our assigned social worker, but we did get an invitation in the mail today for the 2 day seminar that we have to attend as part of our requirement for acceptance. We had thought that we would not get this invitation until after our home study, but apparently, completion of our interviews prior to is not imperative. The seminar will be July 30th and 31st. It is during this time that we will participate in discussions with the Agency Director and a social worker, and group exercises with other prospective adoptive couples, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children who are all connected through Buckner. We are really excited about having a tangible date to look forward to, as it has been driving us nearly mad waiting for a response from the agency on our application!