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? :D 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! :) I am really excited!
I have got to get off the internet... I keep finding more things! :D Here is my latest find:
It's from dressygirls.com - too cute!! :D
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! :D 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! :D Always a good thing.
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!
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!
I'm back!! And I'm a MOMMY!!!! :D :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. :D 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. :D
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. :) 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. :D 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! :) 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. :D 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!
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). :D 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! :D 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. :) I think I'm going to be hitting some after-Christmas sales for some girly stuff to celebrate! ;)
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. :D He looks adorable in their stuff! I also found an online store that does matching brother/sister outfits. :D 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! ;)
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? :)
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. :D 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. :)
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! :D 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!
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!
:) 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! :D Life is so incredible.