Part Deux :)

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Part Deux :)

I debated starting another adoption journal up while I'm pregnant, but then I decided I would. Adoption is so close to my heart that I am once again finding myself wrapped up in it. This might sound weird to some of you - I'm pregnant, shouldn't I be only and totally wrapped up in that? Well, you're right, I am wrapped up in my pregnancy. I am thankful for my son everyday, and am so grateful that I got a chance to be pregnant and experience this wonderful gift. However, we were so close to our daughter and so close to the end of our adoption journey that I certainly do feel a loss from that, too. Addie's birthday is in exactly a month from today. She'll be a year old. I can't help but wonder how we'd be celebrating if she were home with us. Putting away all the clothes and toys we had for her was heartbreaking. And that's why I decided - I'm not going to stop planning for my daughter just because my son decided to make an unexpected appearance in our lives! Biggrin I have a pregnancy journal for him that you can find here.

Baby Boy (no name yet, although I am pushing for Ethan and DH is pushing for Levi!) is due in October, and we want to start the adoption process (well, the paperchase) when he's about 3-4 months old, if all goes well. DH will be switching jobs and we'll be moving, so it'll be an interesting time to say the least. With a new baby, and all those changes, we are expecting a few delays but for the most part I am letting myself get excited. Biggrin It's important to me to have a daughter because of my own childhood that was fraught with abuse and dysfunctional family members. I never had a good relationship with my mother or my sister, and I so want that closeness with a daughter of my own. We have told a few friends of our plans to adopt again (only because they all assumed we weren't going to anymore) but haven't yet told any family. Well, actually, make that DH's family. I've told my family in India because they are so eager to meet Baby Boy. I had to tell them that we're most likely going to be adopting from India and therefore making a trip there most likely in early 2009.

Since it's so late, I'm going to bed, but I'll be back to talk more about the different programs we're considering! :wavehello: It's exciting to be planning for another adoption again!

Joined: 03/16/15
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Okay, so between Baby Boy kicking and my cell phone ringing I woke up earlier than I had intended. :? I guess this is good practice for when he's a newborn!

So, where was I? Ah, yes. We'll be starting the process - if all goes well - in April 2008. That's about 9 months away, which gives me more than enough time to plan everything out. When it comes to adoption, I am obsessively planny (yes, that's a word! LOL ). I figure I should get all the initial logistics out of the way now, because I doubt I'll have the time or energy to do it once Baby Boy is here.

Right now there are three programs we're looking at - India, Colombia and Domestic. The domestic one would be the fastest, because we're looking at minority infant and unfortunately, there are not a lot of families waiting in line for a minority infant. :evil: Anyway, India looks appealing because we had already been through it, so we'd know what to expect. Plus, we wouldn't have to pay any fees (except for the HS update) until referral time, since we already paid program fees and they are not going to charge us again (yay!). In addition to this, I could go visit with my relatives and foster our daughter and they'd get to meet Baby Boy which otherwise they wouldn't get to for many many years.
Colombia looks good because the long wait time means we'd be able to save up the adoption fees in almost all cash. Also, the court system is more stable than in India and the time from referral to child release is much shorter than India.

So now you know why I might need all that time to decide. I am sure once we're in the moment we'll know for sure which one is going to fit us the best. I'll be keeping up with updates on all three of these adoption programs so that we can be well-informed when it comes time to make that decision.

We're really excited about having one of each. Biggrin When the docs told us this one was a boy, we looked at each other and beamed. It's so special that things worked out so we get a biological son and an adoptive daughter.

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I spoke with the husband about the Colombia program yesterday, and he seemed enthused about it. We really like the fact that the wait time is long. That means we can get started early, but it gives us time to get the money saved up and also spend time with Baby Boy and allow him to be the baby for a bit. Biggrin This is important to us - I find it difficult to digest that with a domestic program we have to be ready for a placement from the time we submit a homestudy. It seems like it would cause a bit of trauma for our son if he suddenly wasn't the only baby at home anymore.

Really, India and Colombia both sound great, but Colombia does have a much more stable court system which does merit consideration too. I would hate to go to India, foster Baby Girl and then realize that I have to stay over for 5-6 more months. That would be incredibly hard for DH and me emotionally, since we'd be separated. Not to mention that he'd be separated from his son!

On another note, we have decided that we're not going to name Baby Girl Adriana. We love that name with all our hearts, but to us, Addie will forever be that little girl who lit up our lives and our hearts with her beautiful face for so short a time.

Joined: 03/16/15
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Yesterday was Addie's first birthday. I did surprisingly well. I thought it would be incredibly painful, but instead, it brought me a lot of closure which I am so thankful for. I thought about her a lot during the day, and sent out a prayer for her and her adoptive family. It also felt peaceful to me, like she is past the baby phase and into the toddler phase, and I can begin to accept that she is not mine. It's strange to say it that way, because she was never mine in the true sense of the word. I know I'm not making much sense. Blum 3 I think I'll always remember this day and that little girl, but from now on it'll be in a happy way. I am so glad that she has found happiness with another family, and I am so glad that God has chosen to bless us with our son at this time.

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I've been researching our options some more, and both DH and I are feeling a pull towards domestic. We were really liking the idea of Colombia, but their program is going through some major changes and a lot of delays are expected. India still sounds good because of the short wait, but I don't know about getting our referral and then having to wait another 6-9 months to bring the baby home. I think that would drive me crazy! Plus, I was thinking about this, and that would mean that she would be about 12-15 months old when she came home. So our son would have to adjust to having a toddler sibling! I don't know how I feel about that, since he would barely be into the toddler stage himself. Domestic adoption appeals to me due to the fact that we wouldn't have to travel to another country with a toddler, and then come back with a toddler *and* a new baby. Also, we would get a newborn, which would be easier for us and our son to adjust to, I think. The only thing we need to talk about is the openness issue. DH does not want an open adoption at all, whereas I think it would be a really cool thing as long as there are some boundaries observed. I am planning on getting a book about open adoption when we are close to submitting our profile next year, so we can both read about it and make an informed decision. I've been poking around the internet and have found some good agencies to work with. It's just a matter of what we decide on when we're ready to move forward. I cannot believe April is only about 7-8 months away! Biggrin It seems like time is moving fast. Before we know it, we'll be parents to a beautiful baby boy! I just know he is going to grow up so fast, right before our eyes. I so want to give him a sibling to be close with and play with. I find myself noticing boy/girl siblings everywhere now. Smile

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Argh, the hungry growlings of a preggo tummy will wake you up faster than any alarm clock! Lol And what do I want at this early hour? French fries!! Not just any fries either, but seasoned curly fries. Healthy, eh? :roll:

While I'm up, I decided to talk about something here that I've been thinking about. Adoptive parents have been accused of being too flippant in their blog entries, only talking about the good part of adoption and never the doubts, fears or "real" concerns that go with it. I feel like perhaps I've been guilty of that too. When I talk about the different programs DH and I are considering, I don't mean it to sound like we think about it like we think about which cell phone to buy. We actually put a lot of careful thought and planning into it. I realize that I haven't talked about an important issue that usually comes with adoption - honoring a child's ethnic heritage. If we were to adopt from Colombia or even domestically, this issue would pose a hurdle to us. It is always a challenge for adoptive parents to find the right balance between honoring their own culture and honoring the child's culture as well. Teaching a child about their ethnic background is so important. In the past, people would adopt children and pretend that their child was the same as them. They wouldn't talk about the inherent differences between them as far as skin color, place of origin, or culture. This led to adoptive children feeling a sense of loss, not to mention the huge identity crisis they went through. I would never want our adoptive children to go through that. We have several books in our collection and articles saved on our computer about how to help our adoptive children with these issues. I know for me, as an East Indian, I dealt with these things when my family moved to America even though my parents were East Indian. Exposure to a large population where you are in the extreme minority can be so difficult for a child. And dealing with racial profiling or discrimination can be even harder. There were things I dealt with like teachers who couldn't tell me and another South East Asian girl apart even though we looked nothing alike (to me, anyway), a teacher who assumed I knew nothing about the English language because I was from India, people who would make no attempt to say my real name because it was too "hard", etc. etc. These are very real issues that I still deal with today, and I know that our child will deal with as well. I suppose that being in a family where at least one of the parents is a racial minority will give our child someone to talk to about these things, but it will still never be an easy pill for them to swallow. DH and I both realize this, and will try so hard to give our kids the tools with which to handle the racial challenges that come their way. Adopting a baby from India will make it easier for us to honor her heritage, since I'm from there as well, but by no means will it make it easier for us to teach her about racial discrimination. Our biological son might have to deal with this less, since he will be 1/2 Caucasian, but he will also have to be taught how to handle discrimination against his family or that part of him that is in the minority. And this is not to say that Caucasian people are not discriminated against! There is hate and ignorance in every culture and every race. It's sad that we have to teach our kids about this, and I cannot even imagine how painful it'll be for all of us anytime our kids come home and tell us how they were mistreated for something so beyond their control. But this is a sad fact of life, and a very real one at that. When you adopt from a different culture, you are told that you are essentially becoming a family of that culture. So while you are still American, you are also now an African American, or Indian, or Chinese family. That is a very good way to look at it.

Some food for thought. I know this is a very unpleasant topic that most of us never mention in our day-to-day conversations, but I thought it was important enough to mention here. Thanks for reading. Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Last night at a pregnant mom's group, I met a lady's little girl. She was sooooo sweet! She had gorgeous ringlets in her hair, and the sweetest disposition! She was about 14 months old, and I kept looking at her and thinking, "Wow, my daughter will be only a little younger than this when I get to bring her home!" It was really neat to see how small she was, where she was in her development etc.to get an idea of what I could expect from our little girl. Of course, ours will probably be behind in her growth and development, but you get the idea. I had called MAPS a little while ago to talk to them about us getting back on the list, and Jenny was very excited to hear from me (she even made me promise to send her pictures of the baby when he's born, LOL). She said that India likes to see about 6-9 months between kids, with the bio child being older, so we could get started in earnest anytime after Baby Boy's 6-month birthday. I told her he'll be 6 months in April, and that's when I planned to start gathering paperwork anyway. We want to submit when he's about a year old, so that would put about a year between the two of them. She said that we could just renew our I600A and not have to pay all the fees again, and that MAPS would not charge us their program fee again (thank goodness, because their fee is $2000!). The only thing we'd have to redo would be the homestudy, if we do end up moving out of state. If we stay in state, our homestudy agency said they'd be happy to only charge us for an update if we used them again. So this second go-around will be much cheaper for us! Oh, and Jenny said that she thinks we'd jump to #1 on the list again after dossier submission just like we did last time since I still hold my Indian passport. Of course, that could change if at the last minute a hundred Indian passport holders apply and get in there before us. But that's pretty unlikely. Wink I could see a family or two getting in there before us though, and that would make us #2 or #3 on the waiting list, which still isn't too bad. I was also happy to see that Jenny hired an assistant to help her with all the stuff she deals with. Hopefully that means faster replies to email and phone calls than last time!

So that's where we stand right now. Everything is set to move forward, we just need to get settled into our new place and adjust. The baby will be here soon, and I'm sure that will help time go by faster for me! Right now I feel like I'm doing a whole lot of waiting - waiting for the baby to come, waiting for DH to get out of the Air Force, waiting for him to find a job, waiting to sell the house, waiting to move, waiting to start the adoption process... you get the idea! The good thing is that I've gotten all the research that we need to get done, done. So when we're ready to go, I'll just have to dig out my folder and get my information out and I'll know exactly how to proceed. Smile

Oh, almost forgot to add - at my meeting last night, my doula who is also the La Leche League leader for my town told me that she had met an adoptive mom at one of the LLL meetings. The mom had purposely adopted a baby close in age to her first child so that she could breastfeed him. I was so excited to hear that, because we live in a small town and I swear most people here think adoption is something only celebrities and weird people do! LOL. I need to ask my doula if she has this lady's contact information.

Joined: 03/16/15
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I had an adoption dream last night! I haven't had one of those since we started the adoption process last year. Smile In my dream, there was a little girl in my Preschool class (I used to teach preschool before I got pregnant) who was placed for adoption. I decided to adopt her, and was putting lotion on her and doing some baby massage to get her ready for bed. Lol Weird, huh?

I got some bad news that might delay our adoption a little bit. According to the new university I am at, I have 16 classes till I can graduate, as opposed to only 8 by my old university. I really wanted to be done with my degree by the time we jumped into the adoption so that I could start working and we'd have two incomes to finance it all. So with this new development, I can still graduate by December 2008 like my original plan, or it might take a little bit longer if I decide to take a break or need to take a break (who knows how crazy life's going to be with a baby AND going to school?!). Anyway, we would like to get started in December if all goes according to plan and I graduate then or expect to graduate soon after. Then I plan on getting a job, and we'll work towards getting our dossier/homestudy/profile ready and really decide on a program. It makes me sad to have to postpone things, but unless DH's new job pays really, really well this is the plan we'll need to stick to. I find that I'm actually okay with it, and not utterly heartbroken, because I know in my heart that every step we take is weaving a path to our future daughter. Smile And I've even been thinking that maybe we should keep the name Adriana after all. There is so much love, hope and history behind that name.

Joined: 03/16/15
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I guess I spoke too soon! I talked with DH and it looks like we'll still be on track for submitting in October around Baby Boy's first birthday even if I graduate in December. Smile I forgot that we have a huge preparation stage before we can even get on the list, so that'll give me time to work on my degree while we go through that. DH is so cute and supportive, he basically just said whatever I feel ready for is what he wants to do. He would like to keep the kids close together and really wants us to adopt next, but as far as the exact timeline, he knows it'll take some sacrifices and hardwork on my part (since I'm going to be the student and stay at home mommy) so he's leaving it open to me. I think I'll find an agency in April, and then plan on getting submitted by October. That way if I think I can't graduate by December, we can simply take our time doing the classes and other last minute things they make you do. I know I'm rambling, but this journal is a great spot for me to think out loud. Biggrin The closer I get to holding my son in my arms, the closer I realize I am to starting back on the adoption train! It's so exciting to me, I cannot wait to see how everything pans out. I think DH and I were just meant to adopt. I remember when I was a little girl, I used to try and convince my parents to adopt a baby so I could be a big sister. Biggrin It's just been something that's always been so close to my heart. And once we got married, DH realized that he would love to adopt too. I guess I was lucky in that I never had to "convince" him that adoption was the right choice for us. He was always on track, right from the start. Smile Next year is going to be a busy time for us! New baby, new house, new job, new place of residence, school and starting the adoption process! Phew!

Joined: 03/16/15
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I am going to be a mommy soon, I am so excited!! :jumpingbeans: I can't believe my due date is 6 weeks from today!! Yahoo I cannot wait to hold my little miracle of a boy. Biggrin It took us two years to get to him, and I am sure he will be worth every single second and tear spent! Eeee! Biggrin

There's not much to report on the adoption front. Right now we're just in a sit-and-wait type position. DH and I have been talking a bit about adoption from time to time. I think if we do adopt from India, we'll foster the baby there for about a month. I have this thing where I really do not want her to spend her first birthday in the orphanage. So hopefully it'll work out so that that month mark is before her birthday. If not, I'll probably have to go live in India without DH for a couple of months. Sad The good thing is that I'll be with family and won't have to pay for lodging! So it'll be a very cheap trip - we'd only need to pay airfare.

DH was talking to my MIL recently, and he said something about how we went shopping for Baby Boy because we had too many pink onesies that we had to put away. And she asked us if we had saved our girl things for the future. I think that was her way of asking if we planned to adopt still. DH told her that we did, and we plan to adopt again soon. I think MIL is pretty desperate for a granddaughter. Biggrin She had two boys, and really wanted her second to be a girl (they even had an ultrasound that told them he was a she!), so I can see why. I think we're going to wait till we are actually doing the homestudy to tell them that we're doing another adoption. And for the rest of the family, we probably won't tell them till we get on the waiting list.

Joined: 03/16/15
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Okay, so I know I'm not supposed to buy anything till April when we restart the adoption process, but look at this!!

I am heartbroken over the fact that it's out of stock in the size that I want!! Isn't it the most precious swimsuit you've ever seen? Biggrin I found it here: www.labellaflorachildrensboutique.com Check it out if you have or want a baby girl, they have some really cute stuff! A bit pricey, though, since it's designer wear. I emailed them to ask them when they'd get either a 12 month or 18 month size in stock. I know, I know, I'm terrible! :oops: It's not like we don't have a ton of stuff already! Although, I want to buy more 12 month stuff since I probably won't be able to foster our daughter as long as I was going to when we didn't have any other kids. Right now the majority of our girl stuff is 6-9 months. I've heard that the kids from the orphanages in India are 1 or 2 clothes sizes behind US kids though, so it might still work out okay.

I've been researching adoptions from different countries, and while there are a few that look good to me, I just keep coming back to India. I think India makes the most sense for us because we'd be given preference, I could go foster her without spending a ton of money, my relatives would get to see Baby Boy, etc. etc. I can't believe we can start the process in just a little over 6 months! Smile I am really excited!

Joined: 03/16/15
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I have got to get off the internet... I keep finding more things! Biggrin Here is my latest find:

Front:

Back:

It's from dressygirls.com - too cute!! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
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Yesterday I got a packet from an adoption agency, Commonwealth Adoptions International. DH and I were looking at the pictures of the baby girls from India and cooing over them. :love1: It's so exciting! Biggrin We talked some more about how we plan to finance our adoption next year, and I don't think we'll have any major problems. We're most likely still going to go with MAPS, and they have a new program where you can pay the fee in installments. That's kind of nice, because as you go through each stage you can save up for the next one. We'll probably take out a small loan as well. Our credit is really good, so I don't think we'll have a problem. And we'll have money saved from the sale of our house and taxes! Biggrin Always a good thing.

Joined: 03/16/15
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I've been going back and forth in my head about India the last couple of days. I'm hearing more and more that the time from referral to guardianship is going up due to courts running really, really slow. Some agencies say it's upto 11-12 months! That means you'd get your baby's picture and information, and then have to wait another year to go pick her up. Ridiculous. I know I can go foster her, but there's no way I can leave my life here for a year. Especially with a baby and DH! So I'd have to stay here while my baby girl spent another year of her life in an orphanage. Also not such a great option. A year is really the longest I've heard so far, usually they say about 8 months. Some people are even saying 6 months. I'm not sure what to believe. I know we have a while before we need to really know the exact situation, and so much could change between now and then. But I really hope it's not going to be that long! My heart is really in India, but if things look really unstable, we'll be looking into different programs. Kazakhstan and Vietnam both look good to me, too. And then there's always domestic! The only problem with domestic is the unknown wait time... not sure how good I'd be with that! And of course, the possibility of the bmom changing her mind is always there too, so that you can never fully breathe until she signs away her rights. Recently I read on a domestic forum that a birthfather appeared from nowhere and this family has had their son home for 4.5 months! :shock: The dad did sign away his rights, but he has a week to revoke his signature, and so this poor family is just stuck waiting on pins and needles. I don't see how that's fair. For all intents and purposes, they are this child's family. They've taken care of him since the day he was born.

Anyway, sorry if my post seems to have a negative air. I am feeling really bummed out today, not sure why. I think it's because I feel like I am in major limbo - and not really able to do anything. I would love to work on little projects but I am so tired all the time. But I'm uncomfortable too, so I can't sleep. *sigh* In good news, I did find a forum where there are other pregnant women who are also waiting to adopt, so I feel like I have some company in that area! Lol Usually people think I'm a loon for wanting to adopt, especially since I can obviously have bio children of my own. This lady said, "But why don't you just try for a daughter? Wouldn't you like a newborn?" :roll: I tried to explain it's not about wanting a newborn, or wanting your own biological child. But I don't think she got it. Not very many people do. I honestly can say that I feel about adoption in a way that I don't about pregnancy. I just feel like adoption has a special place in my heart. Not that pregnancy isn't amazing and one of the most wonderful things I've ever experienced, but at the same time, I think adoption is magical in a wholly different way. It's hard to explain. There's something about knowing your child is out there, needing you as much as you need him/her. There's no biological or natural need to love this child, but we do because of the way we're (some of us, anyway) wired. It's beautiful.

I'm getting myself more used to adopting a toddler-aged child versus an infant. If the wait times are in fact 8 or 9 months, the baby will probably be a little over a year before I can go foster her. I would like to foster her for about 2 or 3 months. I think that would be a reasonable amount of time for me to be gone from life here, and to keep Baby Boy away from his Daddy! Thank goodness we have relatives we can live with over there, otherwise things would be really sticky!

Joined: 03/16/15
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DH and I were talking this weekend, and we realized that we both want to stay here in our current state. With him separating from the military, we weren't sure where we'd be headed - we wanted to be closer to his parents, who live on the East Coast, but were really dreading the whole drive there, getting used to a new state, etc. I hated not knowing where we were going to end up until the last minute. I also didn't want to leave here. We've lived here 5 years now, and it really feels like we've put down roots here. This is the place we first lived as a married couple, the place where we got pregnant, it'll be our son's birth place. We bought our first house here, and basically learned so much about ourselves and each other. And even though we're far away from family, it feels so good to have this sense of isolation sometimes - like we're the only two people in the world. We have our own privacy, and we do things our own way, and it's just been so great exploring and getting to know this place. It was making me sad that we'd just be leaving all that behind. When DH and I talked, we realized we both felt the same way. He wanted to stay here too, not only for those reasons, but also for more practical ones (of course, he's a guy! Lol ) like the fact that we wouldn't have to drive cross country with four pets and a baby! I must say, that part really appeals to me too. Plus, the real estate market here is one of the best in the country, and it's just the right size. So the official news is that DH is going to be applying for and accepting a job here! Yahoo I am so excited and relieved! And I was in contact with our homestudy agency whom we would be using if we decided to go with a domestic adoption, and their domestic program sounds really good. It would be within our budget, we can adjust it to our timeline, and they have a great record with legal risk placements. The lady there even said that our baby's age is not a problem and we could get started whenever we felt ready. Plus, our homestudy will only cost us $300 this go-around since we used them for our homestudy last time and didn't make it to placement! So it'll save us almost a $1000. I was starting to get discouraged about the whole adoption thing because all the international programs seem to be going downhill. India is introducing a new policy that will most likely make everything really slow starting late this year or early next year - it might even take away privileges for Indian citizens adopting from abroad. Kazakhstan has a TON of hidden fees that I didn't know about, and I really don't want to spend $35K on an adoption. And Vietnam is just looking really precarious with all the adoptive parents signing on to their program, especially to adopt a girl. So speaking with our local adoption agency came as a welcome surprise!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm back!! And I'm a MOMMY!!!! Biggrin :D My little man was born on October 17th, 2007 at 6:35 PM. He weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Biggrin His birth was easily THE most amazing experience I've ever had! I love him so much, and I just love seeing DH with his little guy. Biggrin

As far as adoption goes, we are still on track! With all the changes that have gone on, we've actually decided tentatively as of yesterday that we'd like to pursue an adoption from Colombia. Smile I've been in touch with an agency who says we can start whenever we want, since the wait for an infant/young toddler is about 2 1/2 years. We don't want to give Nick a sibling much past his third birthday, so we're planning on getting started with everything in March or April next year. Biggrin We'll probably need to get our homestudy updated sooner than that since it's expired now.

And now for the reasoning behind Colombia - we decided after Nick was born that we really didn't want to do the newborn thing again, so that ruled out domestic. Lol So our choices were either India or Colombia. I spoke with DH and he said he thought it would be so hard to wait the 10 months from referral to release with the India program. Basically we would get our referral, and then just have to wait knowing that our daughter was getting older in an orphanage and not getting the food/attention/love that we could give her. I would not be able to foster her for more than a month because of Nick. Also with Colombia, Nick would be around three when we brought the baby home, which I thought would be easier on all of us. He'd be old enough to verbalize his feelings by that point, and also more independent, which would make it easier for me to deal with an infant or one year old. Also, the referral to travel time for Colombia is only around one month, which would be so much easier to deal with. And finally, since the wait is 2 1/2 years long, the fees are much more spread out and easier on the checkbook! Smile I am really excited about our decision to do this! Barring any major financial problems, we should be getting ready to get on the waiting list by summer of next year. I think the long wait will not be as hard this time around because we'll have a baby in the house to keep us occupied. And of course, that just means I have more time to shop! Lol

MIL came to visit us about two weeks ago, and we were at BRU one day when we saw a whole bunch of little girls' Christmas dresses. We were ooh-ing and aah-ing over them when she told me that she had been shopping for Nick when she wandered over to the girl's section and started looking at baby girl's clothes for the future! Lol Apparently, my FIL had to drag her away. She also asked us one night if there was going to be a little girl in the family in the future, and we told her yes. Biggrin She's so excited about getting to dress up a granddaughter! It's just adorable. I know she's going to be over the moon when we do tell her about our adoption plans, although she does have a bit of a wait ahead of her!

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I think I may have spoken too soon! I contacted our local adoption agency (the same one we used for our homestudy last year), and asked them about their domestic adoption program. It turns out we can request an older infant! The director of the program said that she places about 2 older infants a year, so our wait would be longer than if we were open to newborns, but that actually might work out perfectly since we want a slightly longer wait anyway (due to Nick's age). Biggrin We can request gender, too, and since we're open to race she said that gender specification should not significantly impact our waiting time. We plan to ask to be matched with infants 2-10 months old. I'm hoping that we'll be matched within a year of getting on the list. And if we change our minds about the newborn thing, we can always change our criteria to reflect that. I'm really excited about this! Biggrin I still haven't ruled out Colombia completely, but both DH and I like the idea of domestic adoption more simply because we wouldn't have to travel to a foreign country with a young child, and not to mention it's a lot less expensive as well.

We're thinking that we'd like to get our homestudy updated sometime early next year, and then work on our profile and get on the waiting list by the end of the summer. Smile I think I'm going to be hitting some after-Christmas sales for some girly stuff to celebrate! Wink

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Yesterday I had DH get out our two bins of girlie stuff from the garage so I could take inventory (and also just to drool over some of the cute stuff!). Most of our stuff is 6-9 months, which I think is good. I also need to get some more 3-6 month stuff and 6-12 month stuff. DH looked at it with me, and then he said, "Looks like you need to buy quite a bit more stuff since we're going to adopt domestically!" Like I need any more encouragement! Lol I told him about my plan to buy things in the after-Christmas sales and he just said, "Okay". Could it be that he knows the futility of keeping his wife from her shopaholic ways?? ROFL I'm also psyched to buy Nick some new stuff! I love Old Navy and Baby Gap for little boys' clothes. Biggrin He looks adorable in their stuff! I also found an online store that does matching brother/sister outfits. Biggrin Can't wait to dress up my pigeon pair in some of those!

I know everybody says that going from 1 to 2 children is insanely difficult - the only thing more difficult is the adjustment from 0 to 1 child! :? That makes me a little nervous, especially since there is a possibility (albeit slim) that the kiddos could end up very close in age (only a few months apart). On the one hand I think it'll be easier that way - they'll be entertained by the same things and can keep each other company, etc. But on the other hand I worry about competitiveness, jealousy, etc. However, I have been told that that's much less among brother/sister siblings versus two of the same gender. If our girl is quite a bit younger than Nick, it might be difficult in that I'll have to tend to the needs of an infant and have a crazy toddler running around! Lol I think we'll probably enroll Nick in a preschool or some program that will get him out of the house for a couple of hours to give me a break. Either that or hire a nanny to come to the house for a couple of hours a day. The great thing is that I have a super-supportive husband. He's a very hands-on dad, and so when he's home I know I won't have to worry about a thing. And if he knows I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'm sure he'll be the first to say, "Let's get some help!" So I'm not too worried about things. Plus, by then I'll be an old hand at this mommy thing! Wink

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

We're still leaning towards a domestic adoption of an older infant. If for some reason that plan falls through, I think we'd go with Colombia or South Korea. I found out we qualify for S. Korea, and their program looks really good! It's nice to know that we have options. India is still open, but the courts are still running extremely slow. So we'll have to see how that goes. I asked my aunt and uncle who live in India to call the orphanage and ask about their projected wait times. Where better to hear it from than the horse's mouth? Smile

DH is so cute, he's TDY right now and we were talking the other night. He asked me if I had still been doing adoption research (I hadn't talked about it in a while) and I said yes. He asked me if there's anything new going on. Lol He's adorable. I love how involved he is in all of this even though I know he's not as eager as me to get started, nor is he really into researching things. Biggrin I just want to get our stuff submitted, I think I'll feel a lot better then. I feel like we left something big incomplete when we had to just stop our adoption so abruptly early this year. It's weird, I don't know how to explain it. It feels like a loss to me, I guess, and I am so eager to remedy that. I don't necessarily want a match right away, I just want to know that we are moving forward. Once we get submitted around Nick's first birthday, we would be open to being matched anywhere from 9 months - 2 years. If we're still not matched as we near that mark, we may update our preference to say that we would be open to newborns. I know they match people with newborns REALLY fast, so our wait would be very short from that point on. Smile

So right now this is what I'm thinking our timeline will be like:

April 2008: Contact agency to get homestudy paperwork, and samples of parent profiles.
April 2008-June 2008: Gather homestudy paperwork (insurance forms, statement of finances, references, proof of employment, tax paperwork, medicals, etc.). Start on homestudy "homework", i.e., classes that prepare you for adoption and transracial adoption.
June - July 2008: Schedule home visit.
July - August 2008: Work on profile and birth parent letter. Get updated pictures done.
August - September 2008: We should be ready to get on the waiting list!

We'll accept matches that come through after April 2009; most likely we will be waiting longer than that. I am expecting to be matched in the fall of 2009. I can't wait to sell this house and move into our next one - I want to decorate the kids' rooms! Biggrin I think I'll add one thing a month to the new baby's room, that will keep me feeling hopeful and on track. I think the wait in adoption has to be THE hardest thing! Pregnancy was a cake walk compared to the emotional anguish I felt when we were waiting for a referral the first time around. Phew!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Gah, I feel like a total insomniac right now! Isn't the rule "sleep when your baby sleeps"? I must be a glutton for punishment because I know I'm going to pay for this later! Lol Thankfully it's Saturday and DH can watch Nick while I sleep in.

Well, it seems like adoption is definitely a roller coaster. I sent out our Christmas card (digital) recently, and the next day, I had an email from Jenny at our old adoption agency. She told us how beautiful Nick is, told us how happy she was for us, and then said, "Let's plan to touch base after the holidays." She was talking about our adoption plans, and how we had wanted to get (re)started with an adoption from India. Up until then, I was so sure we would be going domestic this time. Well, when I read that, I realized how much my heart is still with India. The referral to travel time is the ONLY reason we had nixed India, and I still so want to adopt our daughter from there this time around! So I started thinking about it, and came up with a plan that sounds pretty good to me. They say that it takes 8-10 months after referral to bring your baby home. So, if I wait three months and then fly out to foster her, that would give me 6 months of foster care time with her. DH could fly out for a one or two week visit three months later, and then that would leave about 3 more months total. He could fly out one more time at the end and help me bring Nick and baby girl back home. I'm not sure if I would take Nick with me the whole time, or just the last three months. I'll have to wait and see how it'll work out with his immunizations and food/water issues and all of that. I really like this plan. Once I came up with it, I felt so much better. I don't want to NOT foster her because I would hate to have to tell her one day that Mommy *could* have gotten you out of the orphanage, but decided not to because we wanted to stay together as a family of three in the US. But I also don't want to just leave DH for 8-10 months. I think this is a decent compromise. I know I'll still miss him like heck, and if we decide that Nick should stay with DH for the first three months I'll be really sad but at that point I think we would also have to think about our daughter. She'd be the one who would need help the most, and would benefit the most from her Mama being there. I haven't run this by DH yet; I want to sit on it for a while and see how my heart feels. I know that India is where my heart is, but domestic is also a fantastic option for us. I think we'll do a domestic adoption in the future whether or not we go with India this time.

I was also thinking that if we DO go with India, our baby girl was probably conceived last month! I'm assuming Nick and she will be 10 months to a year apart based on the timeline from the adoption agency. That means she was conceived when he was 1 month old. Either that, or will be conceived by next month. It's so crazy to me when I think of it like that! She's out there right now, in her mommy's belly, growing into the beautiful little person she will be when I see her for the first time. I feel sad for her birthmother, who most likely knows at this point that she's pregnant and also knows that she will not be able to keep this child. She is probably fighting with her emotions and options right now, weighing it all and deciding what would be best for her child. I wish I could tell her that everything will be alright. That we'll love and cherish this baby as if she were born of our own flesh. That Nick will be a wonderful big brother and that she'll never want for anything. I just cannot imagine the anguish she must be feeling.

Here's a new timeline of what I think our Indian adoption (if we do one) will look like:

Mid-January 2008: Contact Jenny to confirm we'd like the hold on our file released so we can begin again.
April 2008: Contact HS agency to get their packet so I can get started on paperwork to update our homestudy.
April-June 2008: Work on homestudy paperwork, fingerprints, adoption homework.
June-July 2008: Schedule home visit.
July-August 2008: Start working on dossier paperwork.
October 2008: Submit dossier, get on waiting list.
February 2009: Referral
May 2009: Fly to India to foster
August 2009: DH comes to visit
November 2009: Fly back to the USA!

Smile That's what our projected adoption looks like. Of course, with international adoption there are so many hiccups, etc. that inevitably pop up along the way. We're just going to have to roll with the punches when those do come up. Our daughter's age at referral will most likely be 7 months or so. Gosh, I cannot believe April is so close! Our journey is about to begin all over again, and this time, we have a little passenger in tow as well! Biggrin Life is so incredible.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

This Christmas, as Tim, Nick and I spend time together as a family, we will be thinking of our baby girl and her birthparents who are out there, and not as fortunate as us. I can think of almost nothing worse than spending this holiday with a baby growing inside that she knows she cannot keep. I hope she comes to some kind of peace with her decision in the months to come. And I hope our baby girl is protected from any negative feelings or situations as she grows with every passing day. Soon we will be there to scoop her up in our arms and make sure every Christmas thereafter is filled with happiness and joy, love and laughter!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

A post I made on the adoption board:

In January, I'm supposed to call our old adoption agency and talk to them about getting our file taken off of the hold it's on so that we can proceed with an adoption. The lady there is expecting me to call (she emailed me recently to confirm this) so that we can get some basic questions taken care of regarding the homestudy, new developments with the Indian program, etc. She knows we want to officially get started in April. Anyway, I am still really torn about adopting from India vs adopting domestically. Both programs sound great to us, and I keep flip flopping back and forth. DH is open to either program. Here are the pros and cons of both. PLEASE help me come to a decision! If we don't want to go with India, I'm not going to call our old adoption agency. But I do need to make a decision soon (by Feb at the latest).

India program PROS:

- I'm from India, so we would have a short wait time for referral (about 4-6 months).
- We would get referred a young infant, around 6 months.
- I would have the option of fostering the baby, since the orphanage is near the city in which my family lives.
- My family would get to see Nick for the first time.
- I've always wanted to adopt from India.
- We would have reduced fees because of the money we already put into it the first time around.

India program CONS:

- The looong wait time from referral to travel - around 8-10 months.
- I'd have the option to foster her, BUT I'd take Nick with me. That would mean him getting used to new water (they have water filters there, so it's not unsafe, just not the same as he's used to), new food, having to get shots, etc.
- We'd be apart from DH for however long it took for the approval to come through.
- If I only fostered her for a month or two, I'd feel guilty about her getting older in an orphanage while we were here in the US.
- If I didn't foster her, I think it would be detrimental for her to know that we DID have the option and didn't want to, when she gets older.

Domestic program PROS:

- Wouldn't have to go anywhere outside the US with a young toddler.
- The baby would come home at a younger age than with India.
- The wait time from referral to placement is short.
- Marginally cheaper (about 2-5k).
- We could drop Nick off at his grandparents' to go pick the baby up if we needed to, since our stay in the baby's state would only be a week or so.
- The agency we'd be working with is local.
- If the wait got too long, we could change our preference to wait for a newborn which would mean a fast placement.

Domestic program CONS:

- Unpredictable wait times. Would need to "get up and go" really fast, which could be hard with a toddler in the house.
- The baby wouldn't share her ethnic background with either DH or I, which I'm afraid might be difficult for her since we have Nick who is our bio son. (Mamas who have one bio and one adopted, if you could weigh in on this, I would love to hear your input)
- DH is not very thrilled about the possibility of an open adoption (slim possibility, since our agency says that most minority placements are closed).
- Domestic adoption carries a disruption risk.

So that's what's been weighing on my mind lately. Don't know what we're going to do, although the time to make a decision is drawing near fast! Both programs sound great to me. I got some awesome advice, so I'll just have to keep stewing, since DH is open to either. I think maybe I'll be better equipped to make this decision once I've talked to Jenny and asked her a few of my questions. Here's what I have so far:

1. How do I renew our I600A approval, and how much will it cost?
2. Are our ages still okay? (They have a new 30-year age requirement up on their website, but she had told me a while ago that it didn't apply to us since I am an Indian citizen - I just want to double check)
3. How many bedrooms are we required to have for India? (We're thinking about moving to a 2 bedroom house next)
4. How slow are the courts running?
5. When does their agency license expire?

I think I'll call her in a week or two - give her a chance to get caught up with all the holiday backlog. I can't believe it's already 2008!! Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm going to call Jenny this week to talk to her. Possibly even today, if Nick feels better than he felt last night (gas). I am so excited! Biggrin I can't believe it's already January, and almost time to get the adoption show on the road! I talked with DH last night about India versus domestic, and he said either is fine with him. So we decided that I'd talk to Jenny, and if everything she tells me sounds good to us, we'll continue with an India adoption. If we feel like it might not be the best choice for us at this time, we'll go with domestic. So our decision depends on how this phone call goes! It was so cute, DH said last night, "You know, I'm really excited to adopt!" So I asked him why, to which he replied, "I'm not sure. Last time I didn't get excited until the very end, but this time I'm already excited to get started." Biggrin I think it's because he knows (and loves) what fatherhood entails this time around!

We've also been discussing names (as in, I'll throw out a name and he usually shoots it down! Lol ). This is what I like so far:

Maya (mainly because it's an Indian name as well)
Eva (the only one we agree on so far!)
Mia
Adriana (probably won't use again for sentimental reasons)
Natalie
Samantha
Samara
Serena
Erika
Macy
Allison (Allie)
Zoe (DH likes this one, but doesn't think it'll go well with our last name)
Anna
... I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now. Can I just say, girl's names are so much easier for me than boys' names! I read in my baby book when I was pregnant with Nick that most parents think that. They hypothesized that perhaps it was because parents want more traditional, strong sounding names for boys (Michael, David, James, etc.) whereas they are more willing to go with traditional OR trendy names for girls. They said this makes the boy name pool smaller and the girl name pool bigger. Interesting! Anyway, I keep thinking about how our baby girl has already most likely been conceived (if we go with India), and what I'd be doing now if I was the one pregnant with her. That makes it feel more real to me and like it's okay when I stop to browse in the girls' toy section or clothes section for a moment when I'm out. Lol I can't wait for DH and I to come up with a name so that I can refer to her by name. That made it so much more exciting last time! It was nice to call the baby by a name and imagine this little girl with a name, with curly black hair and chubby cheeks running around our yard. Biggrin

I wasn't going to go on hormonal birth control after Nick's birth because it took us so long to conceive Nick, and I think that was partly because of the birth control I took for years before we tried. Well, we started talking and decided that it just wasn't worth the risk of having to give up on another adoption like last time. In the end, it boiled down more to which was more important - getting pregnant but having to forego the adoption, or protecting the adoption and possibly having problems getting pregnant again in the future. We both chose the adoption. Biggrin So I have to go in next month and get some more birth control! I currently have some to tide me over till my next cycle, so that shouldn't be a problem. I must say, I am relieved to have made this decision! Now I won't be nervous all the way through until we bring her home. Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I just got off the phone with Jenny! Biggrin Here's all the stuff we talked about in question/answer format:

Realistically, when would be a good time for us to get started with the homestudy if we hope to get on the waiting list in October?
April-May timeframe. (We were spot on with our estimate of April!)

How do we go about renewing our I 171-H? (The document that allows us to bring an orphan into the US)
This expires 18 months from the time of issue, and the fingerprints expire 15 months, so look on the second page and follow instructions AFTER they expire.

What is the timeframe from referral to travel? What's with all the talk of the courts slowing way down?

There was an International Adoption Conference (IAC) that Jenny attended. She said the purpose of that meeting was to streamline things and speed up the process but so much time was spent on preparing for the IAC and so much time was spent "talking", that things actually slowed down for the families in process! She said things are looking back up, and expected to hold pretty true to the 6-7 months from referral to travel timeframe for future families.

When does your agency license expire? (If it expires when families are in-process, it can slow your process WAY down and the babies grow older in orphanages waiting for their parents)
Not until 2011!

What about the dossier? Will we have to do that all over again?
She is going to check with her Pune contact, but she is pretty sure that we will only have to redo a few of those documents!

Will the money from our first adoption (about $2K) roll over into our new one?
Yes, all of it! Biggrin

When we move, how many bedrooms should our new house have?
There is no hard and fast rule as long as there is enough room in the house for 2 children and 2 adults. India has never given her problems with this.

So there ya have it! Biggrin I am so excited! Jenny was really pleasant to talk to, and she now has an assistant, so I'm hoping she'll have a faster turn around time on emails/phone calls than last time. I like that she really cares about her families and is genuinely excited for us to get a move on! And she thinks Nick is oh-so-cute, but then again, who could blame her? Wink So it looks like we'll definitely be moving forward with India! Biggrin Things are actually better than I had thought - what with not having to redo the entire dossier and ALL of our money rolling over! Yahoo Can't wait to tell DH tonight!! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I gave DH the lowdown (do people still say that?? Lol ) on the adoption last night, and he was so cute! He immediately started asking me questions about me fostering her, how old she'll be, etc. etc. Here's a synopsis about our conversation:

Me: "I spoke with Jenny today about the India program, and this is what she said..." (tell him everything listed above)
DH: "So our process will go faster because we don't have to do all of the dossier paperwork?"
Me: "Probably not, because we still have other things to get done like the I-171H renewal, fingerprint renewal, etc."
DH: "So are you thinking you're going to go foster her for a month?"
Me: "I'm not sure yet, but I was thinking about 2 or 3 months."
DH: "And Nick and I'll have to come back here without you??" Sad
Me: "Well, I was going to keep Nick there with me."
DH: "And I'll be all alone here?" Sad
Me: (Hug him) "Maybe you can come visit us for a month or so!"
DH: "But I'll be so worried about you being so far away. There's nothing I can do from over here if you need me or something happens to you and you're in danger!" (Aww...)
Me: "It's totally safe. I've lived there, and I speak the language, and I have family there so it's not like it's a totally foreign place. And I promise I won't go anywhere without my family being with me anyway."
DH: "Okay... but how about you just go for a month?"
Me: "I think we have to weigh the risks and benefits of my going over there to foster her. I think it would be so beneficial for her to have her mom with her rather than just live in an orphanage."
DH: "But I thought you couldn't get her out of the orphanage - that you could only visit her everyday."
Me: "No, I can take temporary custody of her and she can come live at the house with me."
DH: "Oh, well then yeah, I agree. It would be best for her."
Me: "Yeah." Smile "Maybe you can come visit at the end for like three weeks and we can all fly back together."
DH: "I'd rather come at the beginning so that we can see her together for the first time."
Me: "Me too!" Smile
DH: "Are you excited?"
Me: "Yeah!" Biggrin
DH: (Hugs me) "Me too!" Biggrin

How cute is he?? Biggrin We discussed how feasible it would be for me to fly back ALONE from India with two toddlers, and although it can be done, I'd rather not do it. I think we'll just save up the extra $1400 so DH can fly back there at the end and help me handle the two hooligans. Lol As far as fostering, I think we'll leave about 3-4 months after we get our referral. DH'll probably be able to stay for about 2 weeks, and then he'll fly back home. I'll stay till the court date is announced, at which point DH will fly back and attend court with me. Then we'll fly back. I think I'll probably end up staying there about 3 months or so. It's a good thing I have family there, so all I'll be paying for will be plane tickets for the entire three months! Food is extremely cheap (and I don't think my family is going to let me pay for anything anyway) as is shopping, which I am sure to do a lot of! Lol It's going to be a fun, fulfilling experience. I am just not looking forward to not seeing DH for such a long time! Sad I wish he could just quit his job and come stay with me and Nick for the whole time. Wishful thinking, I know! Wink

We also discussed names some more, and it really looks like we might be going with Eva. Biggrin I love that it means "life". How very fitting. Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Warning: another fluff post! Biggrin

I LOVE this dress! I soooo want to get it! *Sigh*

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I've been thinking lately of when to tell people that we're adopting. Most of our friends know that we want to adopt next, but we haven't really specified the whens or wheres of the whole thing. Last time we told everyone straight away, because everyone knew we were TTC and were wondering what was going on with that. This time, I think I want to keep it hush-hush at least till we're working on the dossier. We'll still need to tell a few people because we'll need reference letters from them, though. The people I want to keep it a secret from most are DH's family. Last time they weren't very excited until we got on the waiting list because they kept saying that international adoption is shaky and it might "fall through" and they didn't want us to get our hopes up. :roll: I think we educated them about that, but who knows? Plus, I'll just get more irritated if they say things like that this time. I think I get more impatient the older I get! Lol And secondly, I know we'll get a lot of people saying, "Two toddlers so close in age - what are you guys thinking?!" And I'll soooo want to say, "We're thinking this is OUR family and you need to stuff it!" Lol See, told you I'm getting more impatient! I think adoption is stressful enough without people saying dumb things like that. Hence my wanting to keep it quiet until we're further along in the process. I might not even tell a lot of people until we've been on the waiting list for a month or two! Although, we only expect to wait about 4 months, so maybe we'll tell them as soon as we get on the list. I wonder if we can get by without telling DH's parents right away. We might not need them as references if our dossier paperwork is still good! Who knows? I guess only time will tell. Personally, I don't want them to be all "limp noodle" about it (an expression my high school history teacher used to use to imply a lack of enthusiasm Lol ) because it will annoy me. Especially because they were so excited when we told them we were pregnant. I want everyone to be just as excited about our adoption!

A lot of times I feel like I may be pushing DH into adopting so soon. I mean, I know he wants to (otherwise he would definitely tell me) but sometimes I feel like maybe he would be just as happy not adopting and just maintaining the status quo as we are now. So last night, I asked him about it.

Me: "If you could do it all your way, without any consideration for my feelings, would you add a child to our family? And if so, when and how (adoption, TTC, etc.)?"
DH: "I'd do it exactly the way we're doing it now. Start our paperwork in April and get on the waiting list in October."
Me: "Really?"
DH: "Really."
Me: "Why?"
DH: "Because it gives us the time to come up with the money, and also gives us time to work on the paperwork."
Me: "So why wouldn't you want to get pregnant next?"
DH: "Because I want to adopt. I don't want to do the pregnancy thing again for a while."
Me: "So you wouldn't change anything?"
DH: "No."

So he feels the same way! Men just don't talk, talk, talk about it like women do, I guess! Lol It was nice to know that he wouldn't change anything; it makes me feel better to know that I'm not pressuring him into anything! I feel bad because he's always so kind and thoughtful about my feelings and wants and I worry that his will just go on the back-burner if I'm not vigilant enough.

We've decided that we're going to wait to put our house on the market in March or April. I'm wondering how I should do the baby's room at our next house. I know I want to decorate a room for Nick, but I don't want to go all out because then I'll have a hard time converting half of it to a girl's room. I think we'll get a 2 BR next, because we never use our third BR right now. I might just hold off on decorating it till we get closer to a referral. But then I might feel bad for Nick. I guess I could always just go ahead and decorate it half and half. I have this idea that one wall will say, "Nick" and the other one will say, "Eva". Biggrin The walls will be a neutral color (maybe pale, pale yellow or cream) and each of their walls will be in a boys' and girls' theme, say Trains on one wall and Butterflies on the other. Biggrin It's going to be so much fun!

Oh, and DH and I also made the decision that I'm going to go on BCP next month so that what happened with our first adoption doesn't happen again! Lol This way we'll both be able to relax and know that the adoption is the ONLY way a child can be added to our family until we decide otherwise. Wink I'm excited! It feels like a step towards my daughter. Biggrin My appt is on Feb. 5th! Keep me in your thoughts that day - I hate annual exams!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I've been thinking more and more about getting a job (a "real" job I mean, one that would entail using my degree) to get my foot in the proverbial door. I love staying home with Nick, but sometimes through the day, I feel a little bored and like I'm not using my intellect enough. I feel like I need some time to just do something for me. Anyway, if I DO go ahead with this (I am in two minds, I soooo don't want to leave him but I SO want to get out of the house too!) it'll mean that I won't be able to go foster our daughter for as long as I was thinking. I might be able to get 3 months with FMLA depending on the employer, and if I do, that'll be a real blessing. Then I'd take 2 months to foster her and 1 month after we come home. Anyway, this also means that she'll be a little toddler when she comes to live with us! I am really excited about that, I love the toddler years. Biggrin It must be the preschool teacher in me talking because most people want babies when they adopt. I love the baby months too, but I think toddlers are so much fun! I'm thinking about picking up the book Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft. I've heard good things about it, and I think it will give us a better idea of what to expect. I was talking with Tim the other day about waiting to start the process till the fall rather than in April/May like we've been thinking. This would put Nick at 2.5 years when she comes home, and I think that might be better than 1.5-2. I just feel like at that point he'll be more verbal and maybe able to understand things more. We both feel like we don't want to wait till he's much older than that before we add another child to the family, though. Tim even thinks that 2 would be fine. There is just such a big developmental leap from 2 to 3 that I think it would be better to wait till he's 2.5. That way if he's feeling bad/sad about this new change, he can tell us about it more. That's just a theory, it might not pan out that way at all! Lol Kids are so unpredictable anyway. If we wait till the fall, we'll probably get a referral around June next year. Time is just hurtling by! I feel a little nervous as I think about all that we have coming our way. But it's a good kind of nervous. Biggrin I can't help but picture our beautiful little family as it grows and grows. I feel so incredibly blessed just with Nick and Tim. I can't even imagine the joy I'll feel when I have another little one to love and nurture! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I've been thinking lately about my motivation to adopt. Nick's now in that stage where he's more independent, sleeps longer and gives Mommy a break more. So I've been yearning to be pregnant again! But then I stop, think about it, and realize that I really want to do the adoption first. And today I figured out why. When I was little, I had a horrible childhood. I stopped talking to my family as soon as I was able, shortly after Tim and I were married. I always wished as a little girl that some family somewhere (in my head it was always a sweet woman) would come "rescue" me. I know now as an adult that my teachers had had to see the bruises, my wet clothes, my demeanor change. They had to know that something bad was going on, but they never did anything. No one asked me if I was okay. I am not bitter about it now, but I really don't want to be that adult that does nothing. I don't want to be the one who turns away when she sees a child who's in desperate need of love. That's why I want to adopt. Because I know Tim and I (and Nick!) can give a baby a nice, warm home to come to everyday. We can give her more than the essentials - we can give her love and acceptance and security. If I can keep even one child from feeling the way I did - totally and completely abandoned - then I'll feel like I really accomplished something. That all those years of abuse and neglect culminated in something truly great!

Today I saw a mother with two kids, one boy and one girl. They were soooo cute! They were really close in age like Nick and Eva(?) will be. Biggrin I loved seeing them together, and I saw them right when I was pondering the big question of "Why do I want to adopt so badly?" A sign, perhaps? Wink

I also realized that I really don't want to leave Nick! I love being a SAHM and I don't think I could go to work everyday knowing he was at home with a nanny. So I've decided to either find a job at night or just volunteer so I can get out of the house. I feel very at peace with this decision. Biggrin AND this means that I can go foster our daughter just like before! Biggrin Yayyy!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I went shopping at Old Navy and got Nick a cute outfit. So of course I had to wander over to the little girls section and check that out too. Lol I ended up getting a sweet little dress I'd had my eye on forever because it was reduced to $3.99! Woo hoo! I love good deals. Biggrin I can't believe our little girl is growing in her mommy's belly and will be born this year! Ack!! Biggrin Maybe we'll celebrate two October birthdays every year - Nick's and Eva's. Biggrin

There's really not much to say. We're just biding our time and waiting for things to settle down a bit before we hit the ground running. Can't believe it's February already! We put our house on the market in March or April, and then once it sells we'll be moving to a rental. We'll then contact our homestudy agency once we're settled and get things underway. Biggrin Exciting and scary!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I got a prescription for the mini-pill. I'm excited because it seems like a step in the right direction! Biggrin I wish we could do both - adopt and get pregnant - but alas, that is not going to happen. So adoption it is! Biggrin

DH and I were so convinced we were going to use the name Eva, but then I started thinking (I know, trouble!) and I realized I want an Indian name for the baby. And also, a name that starts with "S" because it's sort of an Indian tradition to name the daughter with the same initial as the mother. I found the name Saanvi (or Sanvi) and I really like it, but I am not sure if people would be able to pronounce it easily. DH likes it but we haven't really committed to it yet. It means "leader" or "creator of life" and I love that meaning! Biggrin

I hope my baby girl is doing well today! I wonder what she's up to in her cozy environment. Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

It's funny how parenthood changes you. I remember before Nick was born, I was so sure I wanted a GIRL next so that we could parent one of each. I wanted that mother-daughter bond, wanted to buy the pretty dresses, Daddy's little girl, all that jazz. Well, now that we have Nick, I could care less about all that stuff! I just want to adopt the baby that has the greatest need. I even told Jenny that, and she said the greatest need is for parents for Indian girls, so we're on track with that. Smile I think children are so amazing, and just getting to be a parent is this incredible, momentous thing. Getting to raise them, and hopefully make them kind, sweet, giving people who contribute a lot to society is enough for me. Gender doesn't matter any more. I was thinking about this today and just realized how cool it is that Nick has taught me such a big life lesson, and he's only 4 months old. Biggrin Ah, I love being a mom.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Wow, I haven't written in here in a while! I am such a slacker sometimes. Lol It seems like I had some things to figure out there for a little while. I kept talking to DH about Nick being an only child for us. He wasn't too keen on the idea (although he did admit he thought of it sometimes when Nick was being difficult! Lol ), and said he wanted one more, a girl, through adoption. Then I started to think about *why* I wanted Nick to be an only child. When I thought about it, I realized I feel like a child should have a sibling to have a well-rounded childhood (not intended to start a debate, this is only my opinion). Then why did I want Nick to be an only child? Turns out it's because I love the mom-son only relationship we have right now. All day long, we spend time with each other. He's my little buddy, and he likes me to entertain him. We hang out together all day. I just didn't want to share him with a sibling! I understand now that that's a selfish reason to not give him a sibling, especially since DH and I both feel like he'd (and we'd) be happiest and most complete as a family of four. So maybe what would be most ideal would be to just wait to start the process for a little longer (like I had discussed in here before). I would like to start when he's a year old. That will give him about 2.5 years as an only, and for all three of us to get used to the idea of another addition. Wink I think it's funny how all these feelings are popping up now, although I know adoption is in my heart and I would be so happy to have another little one in the house. Motherhood really does a number on you! Lol

I also started taking BCPs and that feels like such a step in the right direction. Biggrin I definitely do not want to get pregnant again at the end of the process like last time!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

So apparently, adoption is never easy for us. Lol I was on our agency's website, and the kids are now coming home much older than we had thought. It was that they were coming home at 15 months at the oldest, but now, the youngest was 17 months (and that was a fluke, I think, because after that it immediately leaps to 2 years). DH doesn't seem to have a problem with this, but I do... I think. I just can't imagine missing our daughter's entire infancy, and her first year. And with all the RAD issues I've been reading about, I am worried about how her behavior will affect Nick. I know we can take the time to work through all her issues, and we want to do that, but not at the expense of Nick's whole world getting turned upside down. Right now I think we'll wait and see how the timeline changes. According to Jenny, the wait should be getting shorter, so their newsletter should reflect children coming home at younger ages as the months go by. If not, we're going to have to really rethink everything! I wish there was just one clear-cut path to go down. *Sigh*

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Okay, I've been trying to finish my previous post and it won't let me! Here I go again... hopefully, it works this time. So I was saying that we're going to keep an eye on the kids' ages with the India program. If they keep going up, or stabilize at around 2, we might go back to our other top choice, which was a domestic adoption. I called and spoke with our domestic adoption agency, and they had very positive things to say. Their program has been very stable for years now, and they have a great reputation with my state. We just would need to get our homestudy redone, and make that decision closer to the time we would get started (somewhere in the fall). Since we want to adopt an older infant, we might even start out a little bit earlier with the domestic adoption since there's no set timeline and the wait for an older infant can be quite long. So, things are up in the air (again) for now as far as which program we should go with. However, the good news is that we do have options open to us. Smile In the meantime, I'm going to do a lot of reading on toddler adoption and attachment issues to try and see what the impact of an insecurely attached toddler would be on Nick. I also need to finish my transracial adoption book. Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Oh! So it appears I have solved the mystery behind the older ages of kids coming home from the orphanages. Our agency has started referring out babies 6-12 months of age to people of Indian heritage, whereas before it used to be 4-8 months. The increase in referral age added to the increased age at homecoming! It is a relief in a way, but also a disappointment. I'm relieved because it means that the actual court process from referral to travel is going as predicted by Jenny (India program coordinator). However, I am disappointed that the referral age has gone up so much. The good news in all this is that the younger the parents are, the younger the age of the child at referral. Which means we, being in our mid-20s, would get the youngest children. I hate that I sound so concerned about the child's age, but all in all, the younger the child the easier the adjustment for her. And also, the easier the adjustment period on Nick. We've been talking about getting an attachment psychologist to work with the baby when we bring her home, just so we can get a head start. I want her to be healthy and well-adjusted as a grown-up, or I would never be able to forgive myself. A child psychologist would also be a good resource for Nick as he deals with his sister's adjustment period. All this is assuming we still go with India! DH is definitely leaning more towards India, whereas I find I am still in two minds. I feel like my heart is in India and I have always wanted to adopt from there. But I also have to wonder when do we draw the line and say, the program is too long and the wait too arduous? DH doesn't care about the wait or the age of the baby. He wants her to be able to have a mom who shares a heritage, and a brother who shares half her heritage. Smile Those are both very good points. I think in the long-run that will make the adjustment so much easier. My toddler adoption book should be in the mail soon!