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Our Adoption Diary

Hello,
Thanks for stopping by "Our Adoption diary." In this page we will chronicle our adoption experience. We do this to share updates with our friends and families. We also hope to help others interested in bringing children into their families through adoption by showing them how ours progressed.

We have moved our homestudy experience to its own page and you can reach it by using the drop menu or HERE. The latest entries are listed first and it is from July 17, 2000 (Finalization!!). Don't pass up our Our Adoption Links...specially those to adoptive breastfeeding/induced lactation!

E-mail any information which you think will help us.

Top Five Hot Buttons Not to Push!
Top Five Hot Buttons Not to Push!
(or, Open Mouth, Extract Foot)
If you see yourself reflected or reported here,
you may have some apologizing to do. If, on the other hand,
you feel confident that you were never so insensitive, good for you!
Read this little write up from an adoptive father describing his wife's efforts towards breastfeeding their son (scroll towards the bottom of the page) or about an interesting story about a policewoman breastfeeding an abandoned child!

July 17, 2000--Finalization!... Our court time was at 9:00 A.M. Aside from a little scare from rush hour traffic everything went very well. Many family members traveled to be with us this special day and they were also present at the court proceedings...all 15 minutes of it! Aunty video taped and many others took still photos of the events. At the end the judge announced us a legal family and everyone clapped...I cried as did a few of the spectators! The judge also gave our baby a very nice teddy bear!

We celebrated by treating everyone to lunch at a local restaurant. It is a strange feeling to have all the legalities finished, a good one! The strange thing is that this this is all happening a year and a day from the day we turned in our application to the agency...boy that brings back some memories!

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June 17, 2000--We have the finalization date!... We received a letter from the lawyer that will lead the finalization of the adoption and it states that the finalization date will be July 17, 2000!

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May 15, 2000--Things progressing well... We are now waiting to finalize the adoption. This is due to happen in August 2000. The agency (through lawyer) can't submit request to finalize adoption until Nicole has been with us for six months...that will be July 7, 2000. He will submit paper work after that date and then we should have the finalizaiton date a couple of weeks after that.

Post placement home visits have ended but telephone contact is to continue once a month until the finalization. We do have one last post-placement office visit which is due on the fifth month (June).

Happy Mother's Day mommy!
Nicole continues to thrive...she is a very happy baby and such a joy! There is no measure for our love towards her! Of course, we can never, and will never, forget about her bmom. She is always in our prayers and we continue to send monthly letters and pictures, as we agreed. We did send her a gift and card for bmom's day, which is celebrated the Saturday before Mom's day.

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March 10, 2000--Update It has been two wonderful joyous months since we brought our darling daughter home. What an awesome experience! For all those taking this wonderful rollercoaster ride, it is worth every little "up and down." Now I didn't say it was an easy one, just a well worth one!

The SW informed us that bfather's rights are due to be terminated on March 20, 2000 and decree signed by judge on March 23, 2000.

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January 10, 2000--Our daughter is home! I feel like I have deserted my cyber friends and for that I deeply apologize. I promise I will write an update to this wonderful day in the next week, but for right now here are some pictures...enjoy!

Follow our little glow worm to more pictures!

Update Our meeting with our daughter's bmother went very well. I am so glad that we had the chance to meet with her. We came back home hoping to receive the call announcing that we in deed had a daughter; couldn't really be sure until Nic's bmom signed required documents. The call came through before we got home! We actually called the agency from the cell phone before we arrived home and they informed us that they had already left a message on the machine!

Meeting Nicole Eliann for the first time was an ecstatic experience...now words to explain it! She was so tiny (6lbs 8oz)...the agency had told us her weight was 7 lbs ?oz, that the outfit we bough to bring her home in was way too big; luckily they had something that fit her. Oh I guess I should explain that the SW picked up Nicole at the hospital and we met her at the agency...from which we brought her home.

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January 9, 2000--Potentialbirthmother wants to meet with us! My Hi all, me again! The saga continues..."G": the baby's biological mother, has been discharged from hospital (baby remains )o:...just because of the pending placement situation...as the day has gone by I feel worse and worse that she is all alone now, I hate that!!!!) and now she is wishing to meet with us. We are meeting with her, possibly her mother, and the SW tomorrow AM; should be able to report back here at about 1:00 P.M. I am trying to find out if we can meet the baby today or at least call to find out how she is doing...well just spoke to SW and she does not think that we should call the nursery. This is probably a good thing just in case "G" changes her mind; which she has every right to. She did say that there is no indication that "G" is changing her mind...but then again this in itself is not very indicative. That certeinly doesn't boost our confidence but I understand and hope and pray, and pray, and pray! Although if she was going to change her mind she could certanly do it without meeting us first, so again, we remain cautiously optimistic.

I am nervous and *very* scared, but I would have expected her to want to meet us before the birth...just happened that she has decided to meet us after. I also understand that a lot of things change after the birth which can not be imagined before even when thoroughly explored via counseling. Sadly enough the fact that "G" didn't take baby home is a positive sign...gosh I feel so bad thinking that a lonely baby is a good sign :o( *YUK* Don't know if "G" will be visiting her anymore...I hope she does, I don't want baby to be alone!

We continue to be cautiously optimistic though :o) I have to admit I had grown accustomed to the idea of not meeting her, now I am very nervous about the meeting, but at the same time I am glad that we are meeting. If we are the right family, which we are :o), the meeting should only re-enforce this to her. It will also give us an opportunity to get to know her. This would be great because we could tell the baby about her!; notice how it is not "our daughter" anymore...protective mechanism LOL!!!

So officially, the placement is delayed because of the meeting. We won't know anything certain until after...she may sign the papers right after the meeting or may decide to take some more time, or even decide against the placement all together. Please pray for her, baby, and us.

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January 8, 2000 1:00 P.M.--Happy Birthday to our daughter! My DH woke me up...after having cried myself to sleep last night in his arms...true story :o( and asked me "Are you ready for our Daughter? Well first off I thought, "What is he talking about? Then I thought "Oh my God!!! You mean we are the family she chose!?" *mouth wide open and sitting in bed starring into space* He said, "Yep!" Then it dawned on me..."How does he know it's a girl, since the expected due date *is* 1/15!? So I asked him! LOL!!! To which he replied..."She was born last night!" *still w/mouth open and sitting in bed w/a deeper dazed look on my face* Then we hugged and kissed and started calling people...I started "telling" you guys when one of the people we called went "off topic" LOL!!! ...something about football!! *sigh*

She was born on January 7, 2000 at 9:30 P.M. Here is the rest of what we know...

  • Weight 8 lbs ? oz
  • Length ?
  • Both mom and baby are doing well and healthy!
  • Birthmother can't sign documents until after 48 hrs...I don't know if we can bring DD home before that; I doubt it, which means we won't be able to bring her home until Monday; unless bmom is willing to sign papers that late in the evening (don't even know that that is a true factor...really lots of unknowns about that part of things at this time.) I do know that bmom wanted the child to leave w/aparents from hospital. I hate to think of our DD all alone but I know that bmom is watching over her...
  • bmom doesn't want to meet, or at least didn't when last spoke to SW but does want pictures and letters; she's got them!...and more openness when she is ready! (although she is not asking for that at this time!
  • Oh yes, SW is going to find out if it's OK w/bmom for us to meet DD on Sunday!!!

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January 7, 2000 11:00 A.M.--Second Agency We have sent paperwork to start working with second agency. Don't know that we will actually sign up with them yet, but since they require a weekend long orientation that is offered sparadically we decided it would be a good idea to attend.

We have done this after DH spoke w/SW w/following results

  • Expectant mom took all resumes home w/her
  • One family was being seriously considered
  • Unfortunately it wasn't us

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January 7, 2000 4:30 A.M.--Sleepless! Surprise, surprise! I am going bonkers waiting for pbmom to decide but at the same time I am so afraid she will because it is very possible that she may not select us...I am stressing big time :o( can't eat (have been forcing myself because I need to eat w/Fenugreek), can't sleep, can't really be productive because I can't seem to concentrate. I am pumping but this stressing is not going to help things :o( I am starting to micro-analyze everything about our profile...should have included that picture, should have said this and not that, should have worded it like this not that...you get the idea! Of course I am constantly praying to be selected and for the strength for what is to follow if we are not :(

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January 6, 2000 and 9:30 A.M.--Update from SW! Spoke to SW, pbmom did come in yesterday to review profiles. No news yet though. Didn't feel a warm reception from the SW..."I will call you when I know something." Don't they know that I know that! Don't they understand that sometimes just *hearing* that there are no news helps? These people do not have a clue to how "the other" half lives!

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January 5, 2000--Up all night with family album! Well just got back from turning in our photo album. I was up all night working on it...didn't think it would actually be needed this quick! I mean I prayed but who would have thought my prayers would be answered! Expectant mom is due to view it along w/our profile later today!

Oh yes about those placements last quarter...one was from the "waiting child program" (the agency's version of foster care) and two or three were from international adoptions. Now why they include these I don't know. Families in these programs are not really waiting *sigh* Good night...or is it good morning!? *whatever*

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January 4, 2000--Profile being viewed by expectant mom!

Well here I sit trying not to get too excited *HUGE SMILE* ...not working *Big Grin*!!!! LOL!!!

We got a call from the agency. They want to present our profile to an expectant mom!!! Please pray that she sees that we are the best parents for her child!!!! The baby is full Hispanic; bfather is from, and in, Honduras and and we don't know exactly what he knows or doesn't about the pregnancy; have a call in for the SW to ask more questions (how much openess for one! DH mentioned that SW said that she may not want a lot of openness *sad*

Oh yeah, and did I mention the due date is January 15, 2000! If you ever needed a good example to prepare blindly and early for adoptive breastfeeding "just in case" here it *maybe* is!!*mmmmilk* They will present her with the profiles on Wednesday.

I have to finish our picture album and I will be starting to pump every two hours...just in case. I can always stop if we don't get selected; which I know will be devistating *tears* *blue* It is going to be hard (to put it mildly!) if we are not selected...and to tell you the truth I am already feeling some disappointment *blue* or maybe it's just that I don't want to get my hopes up, arrrghhh!!!! I don't know!!!! I guess what I am feeling is excitement, disappointment *blue*, anticipation, happiness *extreme joy* *all* at once!!!!

I was hesitant to even share these news so I won't be "publishing" this until we know more about the situation...whatever it turn out to be, but I want to be able to write about what did happen; either way. Hugs and *many* thanks in advance!

*\o/*\o/*\o/*\o/* *praying**praying*...praying and pumping!

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December 30, 1999--Five placements last quarter! That means that we are closer to being included in the top eight families that get presented to expectant mothers...will call agency tomorrow for update; OTOH they may be closed due to the holiday.

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December 8, 1999--First "Waiting Family" Meeting The meeting went well. There were eight couples/families present. One of them was not adopting through the agency but were just there for the counseling. They are adopting from San Antonio and their agency allowed them to do their counseling through an outside agency. They pay the agency providing the meetings/counseling for the individual meetings they attend. They are matched and will will meet with the expectant mother next week...how exciting it must feel!

Our meeting went fine...mostly common sense stuff and some new info...

  • 1. Don't overstress that the birthparents choose adoption out of overwheliming love. You are telling them that you love them and then they start wondering whether you will also plan an adoption.
  • 2. Calling bmom by her first name and identifying her as bmom...rather than as a "friend" or an "aunt", which may cause some confusion later on when they are more aware of what/who a bmom really is.
  • 3. If organizing lifebook (which they recommended and stressed as very important and I agree with that) make sure and account for their entire time i.e. include time spent in foster care.
  • 4. Keep it simple. Don't offer any more information than they ask for because they may not be ready or want any more than what they are asking for.
  • 5. As teen agers, when they may "threaten" to go live with their bparents, they *may* actually be acting out insecurities...can they come and take me away from you.

A great find was a source of life books. They warned us not to go out and buy it because that is the one they give as a gift at time of placement (part of the $XX,000.00!...sorry couldn't help the sarcasm) and I thought it was organized really well!!! Check it out!

Well we haven't signed with a second agency/facilitator *sigh*...what to do? what to do? For right now it is back to networking, networking, networking. I am currently working on a web site specifically for expectant mothers to visit and learn about us.

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December 1, 1999--Networking and Facilitator updates Yesterday we set up a "baby" line...a second telephone number to our line that has a feature of a different ring for the second number and to that number we set up an 800# number so that expectant mothers can reach us should they be interested in us becoming parents to their baby. The set up of services was easy and most importantly free! The second phone number is considered a feature so all we had to do was cancel on of the features we already had and replace it with the Smart Ring feature. Setting up the 800# was also free; charges will occur only if/when we get calls through it...$0.35 in state and $0.30 for interstate calls.

Since we now have telephone numbers where expectant mothers can make contact with us the networking is taking off. I have finished the networking "business sized" cards and the flyers should not be that much different. The only problem I am having is mass producing them. Our printer does a very good job but getting printed at Kinko's would be much more efficient...except that they require the info on a *.pdf file and I am having trouble with that issue. DH is supposed to get me the program that I need to be able to do the card in the file they require later this evening...we shall see how successful I am. If all goes well I could have them printed later this PM as well...Kinko's is open 24/7!

We are going to be mailing out our application w/required documents and fees ($200.00) to Adoption Visions; a facilitator out of California. An Internet friend found a match with them within 2 1/2 weeks...I don't expect that same timely success but the max waiting time for a match with them is six months. $2,000.00 are due at the time that both, the expectant mother and us, decide we want to go ahead with the adoption. After that there are no more dealings with them. The agency/lawyers would finalize the adoption.

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November 29, 1999--Our first "call" The adoption counselor called a little after 11:00 AM to tell us about a group of sisters that need a forever home. They are two and three years old and Hispanic. We have to think about things and let them know what we decide. Unfortunately we are going to have to say no... *tears* I pray to God that they find their family soon *blue*

The children's mother has decided to place them, although relinquishment documents have not been signed, they have different fathers, one is in MX; publishing an announcement of the adoption would be required (long waiting time). The other father is in the States and supportive of the adoption plan, although he hasn't signed relinquishment documents either. The girls are healthy, medical records need to be received and reviewed by the agency, but generally speaking they look healthy. Because of their ages there would be a transition period w/a alot of visitations from bfamily; understandable, and the bmom is also requesting a pretty open adoption plan. The visitations are no problem and neither is the open adoption plan...just not the right situation for us. I feel so bad for these babies hope they fine their home soon *please God, help them* I feel like we are letting them down...like we are turning our backs to them and their future, not a good feeling.

When DH came to tell me that the agency was on the phone, I first wondered why they would be calling (DUH!!!) and then as I slowly, very slowly, realized what the call *could be* about, then my heart started beating 1000 beats per minute, but DH very quickly intersected to inform me of the situation, older children. I still had hope, since we didn't know how old until we both got on the phone with the counselor. There you have it, our first "the call" situation. I stayed as calm as I could, which must have been pretty calm because I didn't say a word until the counselor was done explaining the situation, and if you know me you know I am a chatter box *chatter box* and the quietness would most definately have to be a sign of my nervousness.

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November 23, 1999--Waiting Update We've been waiting for almost two months now; some bad days *feeling blue* (waiting wise), but otherwise mostly good days *we can handle this* (all around)

Actually filled out the initial application required to begin the process with a second agency...now if I could just get myself to mailing it *LOL!!!* The networking front is also moving along slowly...have templates to letters, cards, and posters. I will be sending out for a mass mailing address list for TX. Otherwise, I am continuing with the induced lactation and things are moving along fine...for induced lactation standards *Mommie's Milk...Yummie!*

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November 12, 1999--Waiting Update Found out today that the last placement at our agency was in late September *sad*. Certainly not encouraging words but not unexpected. We will attend our first required waiting family meeting during the first week in December. The topic...

Talking with your child about Adoption
When and how? Many adoptive parents have concerns about how to appropriately share their child's adoption story with the child at different development stages. In this meeting, we will discuss different aspects of talking to your child about adoption. We will spend some time talking about the best ways to share difficult parts of their stories with them.

We are not pursuiting the "second agency" option as aggressively anymore...getting settled into the "waiting mode"? Could be. But the networking idea is very much alive *grin*

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November 1, 1999--Update Our first month of waiting wasn't that bad...really! *Grin* Our profile is up and running....YEAH!!! It took a few phones calls and about a month but that is not what is important...trying to keep positive here! Knowing that it is posted really helps, since we don't expect to be presented to families just yet; not being part of the top eight families. Who knows maybe someone out there will come upon our Internet profile... praying, praying, praying! However this does not mean that we, and not the other families that may have been waiting longer, may not be the best match for a prospective birthfamily that may come into their office tomorrow. Bottom lines is one never really knows!

Signing up with a second agency is also a possibility at this point. Our agency will forward our homestudy to any that we choose to. There is an agency in town that only requires payment of an application fee to be included in their waiting families. Any fees will be due in full when an adoption match is found. If the adoption should fall through one is not responsible for any of the fees. There are some questions we have about their process.

Networking is also something that we have been discussing. This primarily means to spread the word that you are ready to adopt. There are several ways of doing this...

  • rattle Flyers--they can be posted to churches, social service offices, apartment complexes and such places.
  • rattle Mass mailings--I was surprised to find out that anyone can buy mailing lists! You can then mail your "Dear Birthparents" letter w/picture to these addresses, and yes it has worked for some people!
  • rattle Internet--There are several sites on the Internet that will list your "Dear Birthparents" letter. Among these are dearbirthmother.com and adoption.com; both charge a fee for listing your letter.
  • rattle Cards--One can print out "business cards" w/basic info concerning your adoption and mail these cards out with all your mail. Books also suggest that you make several of these available for family and friends. They can then give these out to others and so on. I guess that's why it's called networking!

These methods may sounds a little too commercial but this is what agencies do when they advertise their pregnancy/adoption services. Their advertisement efforts are included in their description of how their funds are allocated. Ultimately networking is a way to play a more proactive part in one's adoption effort since you are specifically spreading the word that "you" are the ones that are ready to adopt.

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October 20, 1999--Meeting w/SW and Supervisor We decided to call this meeting to voice our frustration with our homestudy experience. Since we have been placed on the waiting list we have become aware that at least a couple of families that began the process after we did, or at the same time we did, were able to be placed on the waiting list two to three weeks before we were. We think this is due to our previous SW. We are thankful that we are finished with our homestudy Very Happy Smiley but just needed them to listen about our experience; the timelines we were told about that didn't happen and all the ambivilance from the SW throughout the whole thing Sad Smiley.

We started our meeting by being honest and letting them know that we were not sure what we expected to come from the meeting except to allow us to vent our frustrations and the reasons for them. It was a very honest and open meeting from both sides...I even let them know that my trust was shattered and they asked us how that could be regained or if we still wanted to continue with them. The meeting turned out to be a fresh beginning to a positive relationship. The fact is that our homestudy is approved and completed and we are on track. Time to get over it and get a grip on things and refocus...again Pfft Smiley

On that note...we then discussed the options to work with other agencies without jeopardizing our relationship with them. They are totally OK with this. If we should place (find a baby) with another agency before we place with them the fees we have already payed will be placed on hold for a second adoption; second adoptions can't start until after we have had first child for a year. There is no fee for them to transfer the homestudy to another agency. They were honest and said that they would not approve of an artificial twining situation; they hold conservative custody of the child for 60 days after placement hence the post placement homevisit, and would remove the child from this situation. (Artificial twining refers to two children of about the same age being adopted closely after the other). There is a lady on one of the boards that I visit that is expecting a baby (due within a couple of months) and has a baby that is a few months old through adoption. This is just one example of the situation.

The second agency we are considering is a local agency that works with Caucasian/Hispanic birthfamilies. They work a bit different than the current agency we are working with. They require a payment at time of application but will deduct some of the fee if you already have a homestudy, which we do, so the fee will be about $1,000.00. If you place through them the fees will be due at the time of the adoption; ie no other payment unless you place. If the adoption should fall through they absorb all the costs. The final fee includes legal and medical; these charges are extra (amounts to approx $2,500.00...I list amts to help others get an idea of the costs involved) with our first agency as is the practice with many other agencies. As I already stated before, if we should place with the second agency before the we place with the first then the monies that have been payed can be used for a second adoption. Sounds good on paper *Grin*!

All in all, we were very glad to have called this meeting...it sure felt good to voice TO THEM how we felt and why we felt that way Talk away...why don't ya!

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October 18, 1999--Update report Since our last update we have talked to the new SW assigned to our case. She seems very conscienceous and attentive and has kept us informed of all that is going on. She doesn't have the answer to all of our questions but she writes them down and searches for them in a timely manner.

Picture families considering us to parent their child will see along with our Dear Birthparents letter
This is the picture
plan to use with our
resume/"Dear Birthparents" letter.

Well we should be listed to their Internet site by the end of this week. We took some pictures last week to update the one the agency already has to use with our resume. This one is more relaxed and includes one of our doggies, Aggie. We have also turned in our Resume (Dear Birthparents) letter in decorative bordered paper. Our SW commented on how nice it was, although I have a feeling it was a question to make us feel good; this is not a bad thing! Not much else going on...just keeping sane by sharing our story with anybody that will listen Very Happy Smiley. Of course I continue to visit the many supportive adoption bb's and to prepare and learn about adoptive nursing. The search for the nursery's decoration also continues...has been narrowed down to an angel theme, appropriate don't you think? Angel smily

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October 8, 1999--Not such a happy day today! You know how there are good days and there are bad days within an adoption joourney? Well today (Friday) was a very bad one Sad SmileyAngry SmileyCrying Smiley..

It all goes back to the SW we were first assigned. This morning when I logged on to our agency's "waiting family page" I saw the listing for a family that started way after we did. Now don't get me wrong...I was happy that they were already listed Very Happy Smiley I share in their joy! ...but I also feel like our experience is turning out "not so good" and it is all due to the SW; am I finding a scapegoat???? (don't think so read on) We are not working with her anymore...thank God, but there are things that are still happening, or rather NOT HAPPENING.

Things like NOT being in their "waiting family" page on their web site (we are on the "waiting family" book though Very Happy Smiley ...but even this is due to us having to go to her supervisor because things that were supposed to be happening were not *sigh*), and NOT being included in the mailing list for their "waiting families" since the newsletter lists the schedule for monthly support/adoption education meetings that they mandate waiting families to attend. They mandate attendance to at least one every three mos, if you don't they will revoke the contract and keep the $$$$ of course! Not to mention that the latest class was being held the day I called to inquire about the schedule and it was on newborn/infant care...the same class that I have been running around all over this metroplex trying to find; having trouble finding one with only adoptive parents as participants. Now I would have attended evenn though it was on such a short notice but I was already scheduled to work!

Oh well, I can only hope that they place us on their site soon...though I have never seen more than six families listed and all six places are taken...they had not been and that is another reason why I called to inqurie about ours. The supervisor infomred us then (last week) that it would be no problem for us to be listed (after WE called to inquire about our posting our letter). We plan to request a meeting with them on Monday and we'll see what comes of it!

Thanks for listening about our very, very, difficult day Sad Smiley I can take the wait (at least I feel that way this early into our waiting) but it gets a bit difficult to deal with when there is obvious evidence that someone is not doing their job! Thank God for logical and caring DH's (dear husbands) Angel!

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October 4, 1999--From the waiting front! We received our "original" contract signed by the agency officials today. I also finished putting together an adoptive nursing tutorial. Hopefully it will help answer major questions from families who are considering breastfeeding their adopted children.

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