Thursday, March 21, 2013


Well, 2 weeks have passed since our file was submitted to the referral committee in Ecuador.  They gave it a favorable review, but no referral.  Today they meet again to make referrals.  I am not excited about this meeting for any reason other than it will be over and we can put another week behind us.  The reason I am not excited is because I know that we will not be receiving a referral today.  I have no need to stalk my e-mail or bother my coordinator, because it's just simply not going to happen.  In another 2 weeks I will probably be writing the same post as it probably won't happen then either.  I am trying to be hopeful, but the facts are, that the wait for a healthy girl can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months.  Right now the committee that our file was sent to does not have any healthy girls eligible for adoption yet.  So we wait, and we wait, and we wait some more.  If after a period of time they still don't have a referral available, then our file will be transferred to another province to be presented to their committee.  It doesn't make any sense to me why they wouldn't have a central registry so that files are routed to the correct province from the get go, but this is adoption and this is a foreign country and they get to make the rules.  It is what it is and we are at there mercy.  I know that the timing has to be perfect in order for us to receive the child that is meant to be ours.  I am working on being patient and trying to get things done so that when it does happen I won't be totally stressed out trying to get everything in place.  The truth is that this is not fun at all.    

Healthy girls have always been a wait, even when we adopted Olivia we had to wait.  The waiting is never easy, no matter what you have going on to distract you.  While 3 to 6 months may not be a long time for most things it is a very long time when you are waiting to meet your child.  Especially since we have already put 9 months into the process and now we are going to add up to 6 months more to just see her face, then we will add another 6 to 8 weeks before we can travel to meet her and bring her home.  The waiting just stinks, plain and simple.  Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast and we have to do whatever it takes to be united with our second daughter. 

On a brighter note Olivia has a dance competition this weekend so that will be fun and it will be a great distraction.  Good luck Stage Door Dancers!!!! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today Wasn't The Day!

So, I was told by our adoption coordinator several weeks ago that our file would be ready for the meeting today of the Assignment Committee in Ecuador.  After stalking my e-mail most of the day waiting for something from my coordinator, I finally decided that I should e-mail her and confirm that our file actuall made it to the committee.  I just now received a response telling me that our file was indeed submitted to the assignment committee and it was given favorable recommendation!!  That means that as soon as a little girl matches our parameters we will receive a referral!

This is great news and definite progress, however the assignment committee only meets every other week to make referrals.  That means we have two weeks until they meet again.  If we don't receive a referral that time around it will be another 2 weeks and so on.  This waiting part is very hard!  We are going to remain patient in hopes that they take their time and find the best match possible for our family!  No more stalking my e-mail until March 21st.  This is not my favorite part.  Come to think of it I don't really have a favorite part, not counting placement of course.

We are hoping to travel when school let's out for summer, but the longer it takes for a referral the less likely it is for the timing to work out.  Oh we'll the timing will be right no matter when it is!  I have a lot to get in order before we can travel so I have a lot to keep us busy with.

Until next time here is a flashback to my first brown eyed girl.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Wow, it has been a long time since I posted last!  I keep telling myself that I have to post and yet I just haven't taken the time to do it.  Olivia's adoption was the only thing I had to worry about, think about and take care of, but now that I am a Mom there is so much more besides the adoption to keep me busy.  Now that we have made some progress I am going to try to be better about posting updates.

I can see why people always say that by the time the second child came they stopped taking pictures and doing what they did with the first one.  I already feel bad that Sissy's blog pales in comparison to all the postings that went on with Olivia's adoption.  Hopefully the guilt I feel for slacking on this blog will keep me motivated to keep up with blogging on a regular basis.  

So, here goes the first of many blog updates.
I won't fill in with boring details of what's been going on in our lives, I'll save that for another post, haha.  At this point we have completed all of 9 steps that I had listed in my last post.  Our file is in Ecuador and being checked over with a fine tooth comb for accuracy.  It will be ready for the assignment committee meeting on March 7th.  They meet every other week so if we do not get a referral at this meeting then it will be sometime there after at the pace of every two weeks.  We are asking for a girl as healthy as possible between the ages of 3 and 6 which takes longer than a boy referral.  So for now we just wait, wait and wait some more.  This is a tough stage because everything is in the hands of Ecuador and all we can do from this point on is wait and play along to the beat of their drum.

We are praying that we get lucky and get a referral at the March 7th meeting, but we know that if we don't it's just because our daughter is not ready for us yet.  It will happen all in good time!  For now we are happy to have made some progress and excited for the next step.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Where are we now?

So, I finally have all my documents ready to go to the home study agency.  It has taken much longer than I expected to get everything ready.  I forgot how the first time around I didn't have any distractions and was able to use every spare moment to get things done.  I'm not complaining though, I love my little distraction. 

This time around I am working with two separate agencies because my placing agency, Joshua Tree, is not licensed in North Carolina so I had to use an agency here to do our homestudy.  When we adopted Olivia, we used Gladney in Texas.  They weren't licensed in North Carolina either, but they contracted a social worker in our state to perform home studies for them.  We didn't have to do anything additional or in duplicate as all documents went to Gladney only.   Now that we are working with two agencies we are having to do two different sets of paperwork. 

Monday I will be mailing the completed packet of documents to Carolina Adoption Services so that they can proceed with our homestudy.  We will have the same social worker that we had for Olivia's adoption.  It will be great to reconnect with her after all this time.  Once the agency reviews all of our documents they will send requests to our references for notarized statements and requests to our employers for notarized letters verifying employment.  Once they have everything they need and all documents have been approved they will schedule a time for our social worker to visit us. 

Once our social worker has met with us twice, she will take the info she gathered when meeting with us, combined with all the documents we submitted and she will write our home study.  We will review it, and they will once again review everything before signing off and notarizing the completed homestudy.

These are the next steps after the homestudy is complete:
  •  Notarized Homestudy sent with I-800A application for determination of our suitability to adopt  a child from Ecuador.  
  • Wait for USCIS to send notification of fingerprint appointment.
  • Travel to Concord, NC for fingerprinting. 
  • Wait for USCIS approval of I-800A application. 
  • Send approval, homestudy and all other documents to the NC Secretary of State to be appostilled (certified).  Send NY birth certificates and marriage license to NY Secretary of State to be appostilled.  
  • All of these documents once appostilled will make up the Dossier.  
  • Dossier is sent to Joshua Tree to be reviewed and translated
  • Dossier and translation is sent to Ecuador to be approved.  
  • Once approved we will wait for a referral.  
It looks so easy and quick and simple when you write it out like this.  It's really not.  Although it is pretty easy compared to the first time around when everything was so foreign to me and I had to wait for instructions for everything I did.  I am thankful I can navigate this pretty easily.  Hopefully it will go smoothly without any snags.  Anything can happen, especially when thing are out of my hands and we are at the mercy others and rules, regulations, and laws.  All that can throw a wrench in things pretty easily.

Until next time.....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is Adoption right for you?

As an adoptive parent, I know a lot about adoption.  I don't know everything, but I do know a lot.  Not only do I have a personal relationship with adoption, but I am always reading and talking to other people whose lives were also touched by adoption.  I love the support system of other adoptive families.  To hear their stories and to get their perspectives and to hear of their triumphs and challenges and how they handle the challenges.  I am also always willing to share with others the knowledge that I have as well as my personal story.  

When someone starts a conversation with me about adoption I am in heaven.  There is nothing better than talking to people about the gift of adoption.  Especially if a person knew nothing about adoption, and I was able to open their heart and mind to understand and accept all that adoption is.   

Some conversations are brief, some are more in depth.  Some ask a lot of questions about the process.  Some ask a lot of questions about the children. Some ask why adopt internationally rather than domestically......... and the list goes on.  

Some tell me that I am a special person because I have adopted. 
That is the furthest from the truth.  I am no different than anyone else.  I did not do anything extra special.  My situation was one of desperation.  I had suffered so much while struggling to grow my family,  that adoption became the only option left for us.  I was not one of those people who was called to adopt from the time I was very young.  Even though Bill is adopted, I never really looked at adoption as an option for me and my family. 

So, I am proof that adoption comes into people's lives in different ways. Some people know from early on that they will adopt.  They have the why, where, when and hows all worked out.  Some are put in the position to adopt when they least expect it.  Some are like me and the option to adopt evolves and the love of adoption keeps them coming back for more.

Just as people have different likes for food, fashion, religious beliefs, etc. there are different likes for adoption.  There are some people who couldn't imagine adopting an older child over an infant or a boy instead of a girl, a healthy child instead of a child with special needs.  They couldn't imagine adopting a Hispanic child over an Asian child or an African child over a Caucasian child.  Luckily there are so many options in the world of adoption that no matter what your like is there will be a program that meets your needs and desire. 

I tell people how adoption is the most WONDERFUL gift a family can receive!!  I also tell them that the road to get there may not be so wonderful and that once you arrive things may not be so desirable.  The road is LONG!  It is DIFFICULT!  It is SCARY!  It is UNPREDICTABLE!  It is EMOTIONAL! It can be HEARTBREAKING, but it can also be WONDERFUL!!  

I know that everyone is called to adopt differently, but once you feel that you are ready to adopt, you need to soak up as much information as you possibly can and be prepared for everything.  

Expectations should not be one of only euphoria and fantasy.  Adoption is a hard road for everyone involved and the outcome is not always what you daydreamed about.  

Families interested in adoption need to do their homework.  They also need to be realistic in what they can and are willing to take on.  Only you can decide in what capacity you are able to successfully open your heart to adoption.  Being a parent in any capacity is a tough job and you have to be prepared.  People tend to think that just because you are adopting you can choose the best of the best and weed out any problems.  This couldn't be further from the truth. 

Whether adopting or giving birth to your child, there are no guarantees.  Your child can be born healthy and develop normally or they can be born healthy and develop problems.  They may even be born with problems that perhaps went undetected before birth.  Same goes with an adopted child. Know that with any adoption, you may not have all the facts you hope to have.  Those that are disclosed may not be accurate.  You may also deal with a normal child who cannot overcome the trauma of loss associated with being adopted.  Bottom line is, there is no guarantee with life or adoption.
We know, that as we venture into our next adoption, that it may not be all sunshine and sandy beaches.  Adopting an older child has it's challenges.  This child will have had anywhere from 3 to 6 years of a life without us in it.  Regardless of the circumstances in her life, it was her life and the only one she knows.  While we may not see it as ideal, she is comfortable there.  She will have a very hard time adjusting to her new life with us.  She has suffered loss already when she was placed for adoption and she will once again suffer loss when she is placed with us.  We will allow her time to grieve the loss of the only life she knows and the loss of the people in it.  We will allow time to earn her trust in us, to bond with us and to one day love us.  We will allow ourselves and Olivia time to grieve the loss of the life we knew and to learn to cope with the ups and downs we will endure as we all learn to be a family.  

So, whether or not adoption is right for you is a question that only you can answer.  The best way to figure out that answer is to do your research, know what you and your family can handle, open your heart and educate yourself.  Find a support system that works for you and use that support system, before, during and after your adoption.  Have faith. If you have doubts, figure out why and listen to your heart and your head to make the best decision possible for you and your family.  

If saying "no" to adoption is not an option then work hard to make it work and you won't regret it.  We did!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Step 2

Actually, I'm not sure what step I'm on.........that didn't take long did it.  I've lost it and I am only on step 2.........I think.

This adoption is very different from the first adoption.  Different not just in that we chose a different country, but different in that I am in a different place in my life and have different obligations that I didn't have the first time around.   

The first time it was me, Bill and 2 dogs.  My time was my own and I could spend as little or as much time on paperwork as I wanted to and no one cared.  This time around I have a daughter who is "my own time".  This time I don't get to come home from work and spend the entire night working on paperwork.  I get to wait until she is in bed and sound asleep before getting started.  Olivia is a night owl, she doesn't like to go to bed early, she doesn't even like to go to bed late, she doesn't like to go to bed unless I go to bed.  She would stay up as long as I do if I let her.  So, on a good night she is asleep by 10 and I can go downstairs and start working on things, (that is if I can keep my eyes open long enough to get at least one thing done), but on a not so good night I don't even come close to getting started.  So, to say it is taking a long time to complete this step would be an understatement.

Having done this before I thought it would be so easy.  I would be able to get the thick homestudy packet filled out and their requested documents retrieved and sent back to them within a few days of receiving it.  Wrong!  

Having done it before helps me to understand what I am doing and why, but it doesn't help me one bit to expedite it.  No, that requires free time on my part to devote to this.  Something I don't have this time around.  I'm not complaining though, because the crazy paperchase of adoption is what allowed me to be blessed with my beautiful daughter and I cherish every moment I have with her.  So, to that, I will take the snail's pace that I am chasing paper at and I will take, that I don't know, or for that matter, don't care what step I'm on.  I am just grateful to be making progress!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Step One

So, let the paper chase begin!!!!  

In case you have never heard that term before, and probably if you've never adopted you wouldn't hear that term, we are in the depths of the paper chase.  That means that we are working diligently at filling out, copying, notarizing, obtaining and sending document after document after document!  All in the name of the Homestudy and Dossier.

I am spending many late nights after my night owl goes to bed working on filling out paperwork and gathering documents, etc.  

Our homestudy agency requires a large amount of paperwork to be  submitted before they will even assign a social worker.  With the amount of paperwork involved they should be paying me instead of me paying them.  After I finish this packet there really isn't much left for the social worker to do.

Bill and I have gone to the CBI for our fingerprints to be taken.  Raleigh now does the fingerprinting at the very nice (not kidding) juvenile detention center.  So, as we entered the facility there were guards and a metal detector to go through.  I decided to take this opportunity to tell Olivia that this would be the place she would have to live if she made bad choices in life and did things that were against the law.  Probably should have waited until we on our way out of the building instead of in, because she refused to go through the metal detector and venture beyond the guards into the unknown.  Luckily she stayed close to me so she had no choice, but to follow me through the detector.  I must say she was very well behaved in there (LOL).  

Once we obtained our fingerprints I filled out the proper forms, attached money order for payment and sent them to the State Bureau of Investigations for a background check.  They will send me the results to include in our homestudy and dossier (more on what that is later).

Next, I realize that I don't have original stamped copies of Bill and my birth certificates or marriage license.  Of course they originated in NY so I can't just go downtown and request them, instead I have to order them over the Internet.  The lovely great state of NY (not) charges $47.20 $52.25for each birth certificate and marriage license.  Now, you could save $17.42 $22.25 per document if you are willing to wait 12 to 14 weeks to receive your copies............ARE YOU KIDDING ME..........12 to 14 weeks...........and they say Southerners are slow! 

I don't have 12 to 14 weeks to dilly dally around waiting on documents so here's your $52.26 $66.75 NY so I can receive my documents in 5 to 10 business days.  For that price they should turn it around in 3 to 5 days.  The real exciting part is that once I receive them I have to send them back to NY's Secretary of State so they can authenticate them.  I'm afraid to look and see what they charge for that service and how long they take.  Raleigh turns them around the same day if they are there before 10am.  Boooo to you NY!

Anyway, there is a lot more to say about the paperwork, but this post is long enough and I'll be amazed if anyone reads it to the end.  I guess I will put a picture of Olivia here as a reward for reading this post.
Until next post.......