Friday, February 22, 2013

The Baby That Almost Was (in My House)

So, on Tuesday I found out about a newborn in my county needing placement. My name was "out there" as interested in the newborn (who was in the hospital, dealing with issues related to his "birth history".) It was by no means a sure thing, but the opportunity for an infant needing a placement was there. And that is something. So, of course, I got my hopes up. I let myself dream. I researched what I expected his special needs to be. I prayed...oh, did I pray. I even saved on Amazon a special swing I though would be good for what I thought his particular needs would be. I considered the time I might take off from work, and how I would afford this (my tax rebate supplementing the loss in my salary, etc.).  My Moo is already primed for taking in a foster baby or little one, because its a line of dialogue I keep open with him, and he knows we are working on a possible adoption (although he knows an adoption will not happen until he starts kindergarten, at least) . He even asked me today, when I was taking him to daycare, if his baby would come to school with him (this was completely on his own accord, because I did not mention this possible opportunity to him). I love my Moo's heart. He wants a little one too! Actually, he has told me he would like a "brown" baby boy and a "red" (he calls my skin complexion red) little girl. That will be a tall order to fill!!!

But, I found out today the baby was placed with another family. And, again, I am disappointed. I was pretty bummed for several hours after I found out. Then, I found a place for my disappointment. This baby wasn't meant for us. There is another child out there that is meant for us.

And, I did not actually get a call for this baby. So, the "3rd call is a charm for 2013" is still open. Who knows what will happen next week, or the week after that, or the month after that! We don't even have our home study completed yet, and our search for an adoptive placement through this avenue hasn't even begun.

A newborn would have been very nice, though. Sigh.

Monday, February 18, 2013

1st Home Study Visit

I had my first home study visit today! It went okay. Actually, it was a bit anti-climatic and I feel let down now that it is over. I found out their network program isn't exactly what I am looking for, but there is still another person I need to talk to that will give me more information, so its not time to be disappointed yet.

The route I am going, there are a lot of unknowns. I will need to do a lot of networking and a lot of the leg work. I WILL eventually end up with a child, but its not like a typical agency adoption. When you go through an agency, you can request a specific age and even gender, and pretty much know that this is what you will get. My route, though, is MUCH less certain. My dream has always been to adopt internationally, but this is so far out of my reach financially. I feel strongly about adopting domestically, though. I know there are children in the US, especially special needs children, who need loving homes just as much as kids abroad do. And, I know God has our child picked out for us and His timing is perfect. I keep reminding myself that if I had stuck with international adoption I would not have my precious Moo!

 I just wish there weren't so many unknowns with my adoption route! It is what I feel God is leading me to pursue, though, and I have to place my trust in Him. I feel so strongly that am I meant to adopt a child with some special needs from the US.

And so begin the roller coaster ride that is adoption. There are so many highs and lows!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Another Call!

I got another call yesterday...but I feel like the hands of fate just do not want me to get a placement right now. Last time they called I was out of town. Yesterday when they called I missed the call because I was resting with my sick child. Oh, well. Moo is pretty sick and this made it not such a good day to take a new placement. Maybe the third call of 2013 will work out.

People in the fostering world say when a placement doesn't work out that there is a reason for it. Maybe there is a special child out there just for us and these no-go placements just weren't for us. Maybe we are meant to go the adoption route and not foster. Who knows. I keep reminding myself that God's timing is perfect.

A sick Moo being cuddled by our dog Cooper.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Home Study Scheduled!

I got a call yesterday from my home study agency. The social worker assigned to me will come out next Saturday for the first of 3 visits! Let the house cleaning commence. She called to schedule the visit on Moo's Gotcha Day, which is a good omen in my book.

Here is a cute picture of Moo. He fell asleep while looking out the window, waiting for the UPS truck to come with his Gotcha Day gift. So cute!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 Years Ago Today...

5 years ago today I got the most amazing phone call of my life. A 10 day old baby was unable to leave the hospital with his first parents...they asked if I was able to take him into my home to love and care for him.  Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness "Oh! Yes!". 7 hours later I met my little man for the first time. In the adoption world, this is know as a "Gotcha Day". This day is usually joyful...but I am always mindful that one of the the happiest days of my life was a very sad day for my son's first parents.

This is a picture of the evening sky the day that my Moo came to me. I love this picture. Silly me did not have a camera the day he came, so this is the only picture I have of this incredibly special day. A good friend took it for me and framed it as a very special gift (thanks L!).

One of my earliest pictures of Moo...just look at that beautiful little face!!! He is 13 days old here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh....The Adoption Fees

I know that there are more children out there for our family. Some may be temporary (as in foster) and some will be permanent (as in adoptive). I know for sure that Moo is not my only child. There is another child out there for us, for my little family. That is why I am not willing to stay with foster-adopt as the primary way of building my family. It just isn't happening this way. So, I will move on. But this moving on means private adoption, which means adoption fees.

And...well, the adoption fees. I can just hear people "how is she going to pay for a private adoption?!?!" Heck, I am saying that myself! But, where there is a will there is a way. I have not come this far in my life letting obstacles stand in the way of what I want to accomplish.

So, I will raise the fees.  I am going to begin my adoption fundraising by selling crafts. Moo and I have already begun work on some of the crafts (his little hand prints and fingerprints and my print work). I am also painting seasonal plaques and slates. I work for a few hours each night on my creations. It is time consuming, but my strong desire to grow my little family, become a parent to another precious child, and give my son a sibling is all the motivation I need. I know this will not raise all the money to cover the fees, so if anyone has any other fundraising ideas they want to throw out there, feel free. We could use all the help we can get!

 Here is Moo helping me...those are trivets/wall tiles we are working on. I will print a scripture verse on them (Matthew 18:5).

I will link a PayPal account to this blog and hopefully figure out how to take orders for some of my crafts on-line. I have only been working for 3 weeks and I have about $500 in crafts completed. If I keep working on this through the summer and do several craft shows in the fall, plus sell some things through this blog, I might be able to raise some decent money ((fingers and toes crossed!!!))

My plan is to get the home study done and apply to that no-upfront fee special needs infant program I mentioned previously. I will also send my home study to DYFS' adoption operations unit. I will then take 12 months to raise some funds. After 12 months, I will begin the network program through my home study agency for an older child/special needs infant. I don't want to over-extend myself financially and I think this is the smart way to go about this adoption. The network program estimated their fees between $6000-20,000. Obviously I would not be able to afford the upper limit of that fee range (unless I craft 24/7 from now until 2050, haha). But, you never know what events will transpire between now and next year. Hey, I could win the lottery!

Adoption fees are so high! Many people in the adoption world refer to these fees as "ransoms". This term is used more with international adoptions, where children are institutionalized in poor orphanages. The agencies I am looking at are all non-profit and I am interested in special needs adoptions. The fees to adoption a healthy newborn average around $30,000. It can get crazy expensive.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Got a Call!

The deafening silence from DYFS has been broken. I got a call!

But, of course they called on a day I was out of town. I NEVER go out of town. That weekend was a rarity- I was taking my son to Great Wolf Lodge for his birthday. There is no way I could back out of the son was so excited I thought he might just self-combust. I told the placement facilitator that I could take them, but not until the following Monday. She (placement facilitator) said she would speak to her supervisor about it. But, I didn't get another call on Monday, so I guess the kids needed a placement sooner rather than later.

Oh, well. It wasn't meant to be. Sigh.