Our Adoption Journey!

A journal of our thoughts, feelings and steps in the process of adopting a child with significant special needs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

When life gives you lemons.....

We had a particularly tough week and yesterday was just topping it off. Terry's passport still had not turned up and he leaves for England next Wednesday and the automated system at the embassy kept disconnecting him.....seriously, it took HOURS before he actually got to speak to a REAL person. Then to be told that the passports were running 4 weeks behind.....and that we would need to travel to the embassy and the ONLY appointment would have to be on Tuesday because it is a Holiday weekend.... I was really not very happy about the whole situation, the stress of it and thinking Terry was going to miss Paul's wedding and that would be A LOT of money down the tube for nothing. Terry suggested we leave early and take the kids to the beach the day before so at least we could turn a difficult situation into a nice mini vacation for the kids. Then I remembered Ethan's bonus ticket package from his Make A Wish trip last year and wondered if we could get in to one of the near by theme parks. When I pulled out the Give Kids The World World Passport for Kids, I thought it was a long shot as it says you have to book at least two weeks in advance, but I called anyway. The lady at Magic Mountain was wonderful and said she would try to get it approved. A couple hours later the tickets arrived by email, so on Monday our family will enjoy a day at Magic Mountain before we have to go to the embassy to get Terry's travel documents so that he can go to Paul's wedding....so many times life presents us with less than ideal situations, it is up to us how we respond to these situations.....I am still waiting for a promised update on Theo at the moment and trying not to be too impatient, and make the most of the time we will have to wait, waiting for the home study to be certified, waiting for decisions to be made, and waiting for a new child to join our family.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

And waiting.....

I told you this was the hard part, at least before we were busy doing things. Right now I am waiting for an update on Theo as well and that makes waiting even harder. It is the kids last day of school today too and it is also less than a week before Terry leaves to go to England for Paul's wedding and his passport is not here yet, which is worrying. I did make another cute little outfit for the baby yesterday, and have picked out fabric to make a mei tai carrier from and am designing a back pack style diaper bag to make when I get some spare time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What to do while we wait....

The girls and I went shopping today....looking for the perfect coming home outfit, which we found, but I am not posting that just yet. I also found a REALLY cute gdiaper, so I had to design and make a really adorable shirt to match it. I think it turned out adorable.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

YEAH!!!!! Last home study visit DONE!

So excited we had our last home study visit and it all went really well. We were able to get most of our paper work in today too. Just waiting on the references to arrive the the agency and at least 4 of the 5 have been confirmed sent. Then Terry needs to finish his biography....I will be on his case all weekend ;0) Now the hard part.......waiting.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sorry that I have had no update!

But we have been busy finishing tons of paperwork, getting fingerprinted, having physicals and making sure everything is perfect here at home!!! Plus we had a wedding over the weekend and another in 10 days so I had to help my sister make her veil and finish the edges on the fabric for her table dressing, plus nagging, I mean keeping up with the people writing our references. It might seem like a lot in a short amount of time, but it is worth it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

First visit for home study!

I would have posted last night but blogger was down. We have had our first home study visit and it went very well, now we know what we have to get done and are busy with a ton of paperwork. AND the home study is paid for. I was able to raise the total amount we needed for it and paid for it all at once which is wonderful. Today we are getting the most vital thing done....the fingerprinting as it can take the longest to get back to the agency and has to be in before they can file the home study for approval. I have the application for the agency 90% complete and am about half way through my auto biography....good thing I love to write!!!!! They also gave us specific forms for our references so I need to get them to people ASAP and thankfully I have them to take to my sister Mandy's wedding this weekend for my mom and sister so I don't have to make an extra trip with the very high diesel prices. I have kind of lost the key to the pool gate lock so I will be frantically trying to find that or replacing it in the next week before our next visit. AND I am so grateful to our friends the Johnson's for bringing dinner for our kids last night that was a brilliant way to keep them quiet during our meeting. Thank you!!!!! Just got to get in for a physical as Terry already had one scheduled for next week as he wanted one before he goes to England for Paul's wedding. I can not even relay how happy and excited I am at this moment, just hoping it is fast enough for us to have a chance of getting Theo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sometimes what you think are set backs are actually blessings

I was a little frantic when our agency told us that they weren't able to do an interstate adoption home study, and even more nervous when I saw the cost of the home study on the agency's website that we were referred to. Terry reassured me that it would be ok and we called the new agency hoping that we would be able to get everything done at least faster than we would have been through the agency we did our training with. Well, what I was expecting to take another month is starting tomorrow!!!!!! I hope everything is ready I have been scrutinizing the house since I returned from vital records this morning to get a new certified birth certificate for one that was missing from the fire safe that holds all our important documents. So, now everything is happening whirlwind fast and I am frantically trying to keep up....but it is good!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

While you are small...

I was feeling a little down and discouraged today. To lift me up a bit while we wait I put together the baby crib, because while you are very small I want you to be close to us. We had to re-arrange a bit, and today I built your crib in our room and had a good clean out while I was at it to keep me busy while I wait for what I hope is a very good phone call.

It is going to be....

....an anxious day. Although our meeting went pretty well last night we did not get an answer to our big question: "can our home study be used for Theo's adoption?" Because our agency does not facilitate interstate adoptions our worker has to have a meeting with the director over adoptions to get the answers for us. If the answer comes back yes, we move forward ASAP, if the answer is no, we will have to go through another agency for the adoption home study, which at best means more cost to us (an extra $400.00, ouch!) and worse delays because we will either have to re-do our training or they will have to coordinate with our current agency to get all the information....twice as much work. Another obstacle to overcome, another very emotional trial. I do think our worker understands that it is urgent to get things done as quickly as possible, but unfortunately, I don't think he has much control over that part. We have already waited over a month just for this meeting. I am not giving up....just a little discouraged as I don't like making this baby wait any longer than he has to before being placed with our family if we are chosen!

Monday, May 9, 2011

This time, I am choosing this....

Re-posting from my friend Tina's blog, because it is so profoundly beautiful. And making it known that even though it was not my choice the first time that this is my choice this time. I could have chosen to adopt a healthy baby, who probably would not have needed life long care. But I CHOOSE this child because I KNOW what a marvel, what a blessing, and how inspiring these children are.....they are AMAZING and beautiful and wonderful in ways I could never have known before having a child with CP. I live to serve this child, because he is something greater than me.

Sunday, May 08, 2011
Happy Mother's Day!!
This was posted in my Cerebral Palsy mailing list today and it sums up beautifully what I wanted to say...
Happy Mother's day to all my friends...and especially to those with a special needs child... To Becky, to Tracy, to Ina, to Mary, to Liz and Patrice.... to all of you... to all of us...

by Lori Borgman

Monday, May 12, 2002

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said. Mothers lie.

Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.

Every mother wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57, column two).

Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.

Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want. Some mothers get babies with something more.

Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palette that didn't close.

Most of those mothers can remember the time, the place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the small, suffocating room where the doctor uttered the words that took their breath away. It felt like recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind clean out of you.

Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her for a well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the brunt of devastating news. It can't be possible! That doesn't run in our family. Can this really be happening in our lifetime? I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing. The athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with nary an ounce of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after a third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram, there's no such thing as a perfect body.

Everybody will bear something at some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, medication or surgery. The health problems our children have experienced have been minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great admiration the mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do it. Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that child in and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day.

How you monitor tests, track medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists hammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike.

I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this. You didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God! Choose me! I've got what it takes." You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me do it for you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.

You can be warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require intense and aggressive the next. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.

You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I pass at the mall. You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my sister-in-law.

You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes, and got something more. You're a wonder.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Busy little bees...

....that is what we have been over here behind the scenes getting everything prepared. I promised a few people I would post a couple pictures of the nursery we are getting ready. Actually this has been in process for a while as we were getting ready to do foster care when I read about Theo. Just recently I was working on the walk in closet, sorting boy clothes on one side and girls on the other, as with foster care we would be accepting placements of both. Also getting an organizer for blankets, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, etc. I had a chuckle when I saw that one of the google ads circulating on the page was for gdiapers....as you can see we have several of those stashed in their.

And then a picture of the bed.....I know, sheets with hearts and a pink car-seat underneath....my girls played a major role here and they were really hoping for a girl (I wanted a boy more), and I promise that if Theo is sleeping in this bed, he will get BOY sheets and will not have a pink car-seat ;0) I LOVE the HARD MFG pediatric bed, it is so easy to clean and sanitize and makes it very easy to mount an IV pole etc if overnight tube feeding is needed and it sits higher than a crib so it is easier on the back plus it is deeper and bigger than a crib. Ethan did not get a new bed until he was 8 years old and really it still had plenty of room, he just wanted a new bed to go with his new ice cream parlor room.
Other things we have been working on, looking and applying for grants. It is not a terribly expensive adoption, BUT we were not expecting this, so we had not been saving for it and so we need to come up with extra money fast. I have been spending hours sorting through adoption funding ideas an sources. Donations and ebay sales have helped us to meet our first financial goals, but we are still working on getting together agency fees, legal fees and travel costs!!!! Really tightening our belts here and cutting our expenses trying to save the money in a very short space of time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What the kids think....

I asked the kids this morning why they would like to adopt Theo....it is so cute to hear some of their thoughts!

Ethan (almost 10) says:
"I can go to therapy with him, and when he is nine, I can teach him to drive a power wheelchair"

Helen (age 8) says:
"We can play school and I can teach him how to read and write. I can't wait to get to feed him a bottle."

Mark (age 7) is so relieved:
"When he gets older and my sisters get in time out for fighting I won't have to play by myself anymore. I can play with him, but not legos, 'cause he is too small."

Chloe (age 6) says with her finger to the side of her mouth in deep thought:
"well...I want to show him how I ride a bike and help him find easter eggs on Easter. I want to feed him a bottle and change his diaper."

We know what Princess the dog thinks....I won't have to cry anymore when the kids leave for school because there will still be one at home! She peeks under the gate whimpering every morning while the kids wait for the school bus.