I found this today on another adoption blog. It made me laugh. It is quite funny…..especially for those of us still in the paper-heavy part of this process. But on that same note, we’re hoping to finish up our home study next week. I will be happy to have it behind us. We’re headed through VA this weekend and will pick up our last background check and then be ready to finish the document collection (for this stage).
Fundraising Idea August 26, 2007
We have been tossing around some fundraising ideas since starting our international adoption process this spring. One idea that has intrigued us most is the idea of a birth country cookbook. What does that mean? Well, one of the ways I (Becky) like to spend my time is making handmade books. I have been doing this for years and have made many blank books as well as the occasional cookbook, blessing book or day planner.
We have already begun to incorporate Vietnamese cooking into our kitchen, and we hope to learn more recipes after bringing our baby home. Assuming that other adoptive parents have similar plans, we thought they might also be interested in supporting a project in which they can submit recipes from their child’s birth country that they use and love. I have recently found a few bloggers that have mentioned cooking in their posts. So, we thought that maybe this is the time to put the idea out there and see what kind of feedback we receive.
Once the cookbook is assembled we will feature one on the blog and then take orders from people who’d like to have one. I think that if we had between 40-80 recipes that would be ideal size. Anyone is welcome to submit more than one recipe.
So, here are my questions: What do you think of the idea? Would you participate? Would you be willing to link to the post as a way to get the word out there?
Here’s a recap in case I buried the details in too much information:
Proposal: Birth Country Cookbook
Participate: Send one or more recipes with your name, child’s birth country and any other information that can/should be included about you or your experience with cooking from your child’s birth country. (Entries do not mean you need to purchase the book later.) AND–let other APs who might be interested in participating know about the opportunity.
Send Recipes To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising: Purchase a cookbook–there would be a bit of a discount for those who submit recipes.
Email Us! August 16, 2007
One thing I have noticed in the blogging world is that if you have a direct question for someone unrelated to a specific post, it is difficult to do…either because I’m either missing something or it generally does not exist.
So, for that reason, I have added an email address at the bottom of the page. It may never be used. But then again, it may.
The address is email@example.com. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to link this as an email address. So, if you know how to do that, please let me know!
Home Study Paperwork August 14, 2007
We will meet with our social worker one more time before our Home Study is completed. However, meeting with her is only one part of the process. We also have a lot of documentation to collect. So, between now and when we next meet, we are working on the following:
1) Criminal Background Checks in all of the counties we’ve lived in over the last seven years. For us, this equals four.
2) Guardianship letters.
3) Physical exams and the appropriate documentation filled out by the doctor. (One for the home study and one for Vietnam).
4) Getting our health insurance set up so that we can prove that a: we have it, b: new baby will too.
5) Life insurance policies. We’ve talked about this for years and finally got around to it just before we realized we had to in order to adopt. We had our physicals three months ago and Nick’s information has been back over a month…we’re still waiting on mine.
6)Update the passports. This year apparently marks year 10 since each of us first traveled outside of the country. So, we need to head to the DMV next week and get new pictures taken and mail the old passports out in order to get new ones. (We don’t need this for the home study really, but obviously will need it soon.)
So, that is what we’re working on. The paperwork of our lives continues. Each of these on their own doesn’t feel like much. The fact that each of them also requires us to wait on other systems in order to make them happen is what gets somewhat annoying. I have said from the start that I thought the paperwork portion of this process would be more difficult for me than the waiting. We’ll see how true that is when we are waiting on a referral, but at that point it really seems like we’ll be on the final leg and we can just finish up some house projects, take the time to do things that will be easier to do and enjoy without a child and find ways to patiently live in the present. Constantly having to think through what needs to be done next is more annoying than practicing patience. Patience is something with which we have had MUCH experience.
Great Adoption Blog Conversation August 13, 2007
I follow several different adoption blogs daily. Recently there has been some good conversation surrounding gender selection. We’re still learning a lot about all adoption related issues, however, we did feel that it was important for us to be open to either gender for our own process.
This post and the subsequent comments share arguments on both sides of this debate. (And, this happens to be one of the blogs I enjoy reading most.)
Home Study Meeting #2 August 9, 2007
Last night we met with our social worker for the second time. We actually met her somewhere in the middle instead of paying her for mileage. It worked well and the salad bar was great!
We focused on each of us as individuals as well as our marriage:
~relationship with parents
~relationship with siblings
~how much our child will see the extended family
~significant childhood memories
~career experience and ambition
~personal areas of growth
~how we met
~how long we dated
~what attracted us to each other
~the strengths of our relationship
~areas of growth in the relationship
~how we individually and collectively deal with stress and crises situations
And then we talked about adoption details. We followed up on some of the conversations from last saturday and talked about her adoption experiences. We also shared some of the things we’re most excited about, questions we have about things we can’t predict, etc.
For the last week I’ve been daydreaming a lot about waiting for the referral, getting a referral, the days between the referral and travel, meeting the child and ultimately bringing him or her home. I guess that just about covers every aspect of the process…and yes, I’ve been thinking through every bit of it!
Last night for the second (and very different) time, I dreamed about meeting our child. The first dream I had was about two or three months ago. In that dream I actually birthed our adopted child about 4 weeks early. He had huge jowls and a double chin, and not in the chubby baby way…it was a bit strange. It wasn’t how I had visualized our child…but figured I’d get over that. In last night’s dream, we were at the orphanage meeting our child for the first time. We were shocked to learn that the majority of the children in the Vietnamese orphanage were actually Caucasian. We received a very mature 7 year old who wanted to remain Vietnamese–in all his Anglo Saxon glory–and therefore requested that he keep his full Vietnamese name. Before having that conversation with him though, I hadn’t figured out how to refer to him b/c we had thought we were getting an infant and had chosen a name for that child…which didn’t make sense anymore. It was all very odd. He was a very diplomatic child who communicated his wishes clearly and respectfully. I kept looking at the other babies and thinking, I still want an infant, maybe we should just adopt two now. It was a bizarre dream that seems to prove that subconsciously I am not trying to pigeon hole our child into some ideal but instead trying to be open to whatever happens. (At least I hope that’s what it means!)
AdoptPrep Seminar August 5, 2007
Yesterday morning at 6am we got in the car and drove two hours to the CAS office for our adoptprep seminar. When I had talked with our program coordinator on the phone two days earlier she had said it was going to be a small group of only about eight families. Well, there were only two families in the end. So, it was small and intimate and Great! Instead of a formal presentation, we sat at a table and discussed the different parts of her presentation but were free to ask whatever questions we wanted. The other couple is also adopting from Vietnam so everything was specific to our process. We learned a ton about what we can expect and received a bit more clarity on some of our unknowns. So, here are few things we learned yesterday:
(1) We may still get a girl. We must be open to a child of either gender, but we can specify if we want–we want to be surprised so we chose not to. However, they do still get referrals for girls and so it is a possibility. Although deep down I still suspect a boy, we really don’t know if we’ll have a girl or boy…and that is really fun.
(2)Although there is a possibility that timeframes will continue to increase, there is a good possibility that we will go to Vietnam next spring or early summer.
(3)We need to find a pediatrician familiar with international adoption and Asian children, or willing to learn.
(4)Many of the orphanages CAS has worked with have one or two children per nanny. Which ideally creates a better opportunity for attachment between us and our child in the long run. Apparently a child who has had the opportunity to attach to a caregiver previously will have an easier time transferring that attachment to us than they would have if they had never experienced attachment.
(5)There will be between 3-6 other families that we will travel with to Vietnam. They could be from anywhere in the states.
(6)The referrals have a lot more information than I had originally thought. We were able to see one from a few years ago and there were about three pictures, a medical history, information about the child’s history (as much as they had) and a brief social history of the child’s personality, preferences, schedules, etc. while in the orphanage. I think this was the thing that fascinated me the most. I probably looked at that referral 10 times yesterday during the seminar.
(7)Once we give our dossier to CAS they will review it and send it to Vietnam either that day or the next and at that point we’ll start our wait for referral.
(8)We have so much more to learn…about the process, attaching to our child, raising an adopted child, etc. But also about the Vietnamese culture. We borrowed some materials from the CAS library to help us out a bit.
This is just a brief list that pertains more to the process than to the other aspects of adoption. I felt like we learned a lot of other things such as suggestions for adapting to our child and helping our child to adapt to us and our home, adoption-friendly language, and much more.
I think I mentioned this before, but our little hiatus from the adoption process during my surgery and our coming home and developing a rhythm again really made it all feel like a far off possibility. Yesterday made it much more really and exciting for both of us.
This morning we started our first house project which will eventually be our nursery. For the last months it has been our guest room, and we had decided that once we saw a lull in visitors, we redo the soon-to-be nursery before moving ourselves into it and redoing our own bedroom and bathroom. This morning as we were stripping the wallpaper I said to Nick, “This is the first step in creating our nursery!” While we most likely will not set it up as a nursery until we have our referral, it is exciting to be starting the process now…even if we just do little by little.