Category Archive: General Adoption Info

2015
03/17

Category:
General Adoption Info

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Why domestic adoption?

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A friend was recently asked about why she was choosing to adopt a domestic infant (a pretty expensive way to adopt) rather than adoption through the Foster care System. This question can make an adoptive parent feel a bit judged but as you know I never want to deter anyone from asking questions. I have written a little about this before in Choosing Adoption but I would like to address it a little more.

Domestic infant adoption is giving an opportunity to a woman to choose life for her child when she knows she is unable to parent the child in the way she wants. She is able to make an adoption plan in order to keep her child safe, well loved, and taken care of. If a mother is unprepared to have a child and does parent, this could increase the chances of CPS involvement in the child’s future. I am in no way saying that a birthmother who chooses to parent will have CPS called on her but counseling and the option of making an adoption plan would increase the chances of preventing any future encounters with CPS.

I also encourage people to have a completely open adoption in order for the child to know their Birthparents. Which is pretty specific to domestic infant adoptions. Although there can be contact in some CPS adoptions, this is not the norm or even necessarily a positive thing in some cases. Open adoption allows the child to hear about what a hard sacrifice it was for their birthparents to make an adoption plan and although they were unable to parent, they are very loved. I was also very glad to save our money, fundraise, and ask for donations in order for social workers and counselors to get paid for the many hours of their time counseling these women and thoroughly investigating potential adoptive parents. Adoption can be extremely expensive but most of these women choose to parent after these counseling sessions and are much better parents because of their time spent with a social worker. As children of God I feel that it is not only important to comfort and care for the children but also the mothers. I hope that our child’s birth mother feels the love we have for not only our child but for her too, along with the birth father and birth siblings of our daughter. Giving these mothers options on who they want to parent their child is a good thing. What some refer to as a “waiting list” is seen through my eyes as options for the parents out there who are thoughtfully choosing a safe, loving home for the child. Our particular agency never had more than 12 families in the adoptive parent book at a time and when we were picked there were only about 7 families.

I also should add that as adoptive parents we should be diligent about picking an agency or lawyer who we know will be supportive of the birthparents decision making and ethical in every step of the process. We never want to be a part of coercing any mother into an adoption plan that doesn’t want it in this country or in any other.

am in complete support of adopting through CPS and international adoption in addition to domestic infant because there are way too many children out there who need forever homes.

When deciding on an adoption route we need to try and find God’s will. Nate and I felt completely led to adopt through domestic infant and if we do adopt again we aren’t sure exactly how we will go about it but I am sure prayer will be our first step. Adopting a child is a very complicated and intense process. What is right for some families may not be right for others.

2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption

If you have been friends/acquaintances with Nate and I for the past 15 months, you know that

A) We adopted our smart, independent daughter, Baeya Hope, last year

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and B) one way we were able to do that is through a fundraiser that we had in June of 2013 that we loving call Cornholers for Adoption.
Obviously adoption is close to our hearts and when we came up with the fundraiser idea we wanted it to not only benefit our situation at the time but to hopefully benefit other families in the future.
Our very good friends, Rob and Caroline Carmack, have decided to adopt also through Buckner and are allowing us the opportunity to host a 2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption fundraiser for their sweet growing family. If you don’t already know them here is a link to their Go Fund Me page. You can also learn more about them on Rob’s blog. Sweet Caroline Boutique is Caroline’s adorable etsy shop to help raise money for the adoption as well.

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We learned a lot from last years fundraiser number one being, June may be a little hot to have a cornhole tournament in a airplane hangar without air conditioning. So the tournament will be Saturday, October 4. This is a family friendly event where we hope to have amateur cornholers up to the league attending diehard cornholers, such as my husband. Please do not feel intimidated, there will be different brackets for different levels of players to win, yes there is prize money:) We will be raffling off lots of goodies and will have some kid friendly activities. We will also have plenty of opportunity to buy food throughout the day (another thing we learned the hard way). If you have never played cornhole or unsure of the rules please watch this you tube video.

So please mark your calendars and find a partner (or we can find you one)! You will not want to miss out, here are some pics from last year.
If you have any potential raffle items to donate or a spare bounce house we could use please let Caroline or myself know. Hope to see you there!

Adoption Seminar

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This seminar was what I was looking most forward to in our adoption process. First of all I got to spend two whole days back to back with my best friend. Nate and I always have a good time together and when there is no toddler to pull our attention we get to focus on each other. The conference being in Dallas meant 1 hour and 15 mins in the car each way. Which means PLENTY of time to talk. Now to other people this sounds like a beating (we had to be there from 9-5) but to me it sounded GLORIOUS! My “love language” as I have previously mentioned is quality time, so this was like 5 hours of unavoidable quality time! I don’t think Nate felt the same way, BUT we enjoyed our time together nonetheless.

The other reason why this was so exciting for me is the fact that we would be learning about adoption. I have learned (through age, CIS, and graduate school) something that I never realized about myself…I am a huge nerd when it comes to learning about things that I care about, and ADOPTION is towards the top of that list. On the first day of the seminar we talked about grief and loss. We talked about the losses for the birthparent, the adoptive parent, and the child. It was heartbreaking in some ways. Really thinking about what the child might be “losing out on” by not being raised by their biological parents. I realize in many cases, such as international adoption, it is not possible for the biological parents to be a part of the adoption, but learning about open adoption has really made me aware of the benefits of the birthparents being a part of the child’s life. The losses for the birthparents are pretty simple to point out, and when you really think about them, are too much to even comprehend. I know some people don’t understand why there are losses for the adoptive parents, but a lot of that has to do with infertility and the loss of not carrying that specific child for nine months along with missing out on the birthing process of that child. I am starting to understand why we were led to open adoption when that was not our first choice. I think that Nate and I can love not only the child but the parents that so lovingly picked us for the adoptive parents.
The second day we spoke about the legal risks that go along with adopting in this way. It started to get pretty heavy until they brought in a couple that had adopted a newborn that was now 8 months old. He was such a cute, sweet little boy. As we were blessed to hear their painful and amazing story, we grew pretty tired. We were then able to watch an entrustment ceremony on video from another couple. During an entrustment ceremony the birth parents literally hand the baby to the adoptive parents. It’s beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. On our way home Nate and I were exhausted so much so that I am just writing this post and its been 4 days since we attended the seminar.

2013
05/14

Category:
General Adoption Info

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Starting your Adoption-Where do you begin?

When Nate and I started our adoption process we didn’t really know where to begin. In my last blog I talked about how we completely thought we’d be adopting from Mexico only to learn that the original plan was not God’s plan for us. I hadn’t thought about this in a while until a friend of mine told me that she doesn’t know where to get started on adopting. I figured I might as well help the process along for anyone who might be interested. This is just how to BEGIN the process of adoption. Hope it helps!
Step 1:
Research as much as possible.  I have gathered up a few informative web sites that might be of some help.  Some questions that you have can be answered through your research and help you with step number 2. This research can also open your eyes to another way that you had not considered or had assumed would not work for your family.
http://www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/facts/starting-adoption-process/

Foster to Adopt
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/children_in_our_care.asp
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_start.cfm#educate

Open Adoption
http://www.openadoption.org/bbetzen/adparent.htm#error
http://americanpregnancy.org/adoption/openadoptionadvantages.htm

International Adoption
http://adoption.state.gov/

Step 2:
I think the second step is to talk to your spouse.  Some questions that you will have to decide on might be pretty difficult and researching before any decisions are made is a good way to go about it.  These questions will probably include:

http://faq.adoption.com/questions/how-do-i-start-the-adoption-process.html

1. Do we want to do international adoption?  Or domestic adoption?
2. If International adoption is for us, do we have a country in mind? Is there a culture that we feel comfortable with adapting some of the parts of culture into our family; clothing, music, traditions, food?
3. If we choose domestic adoption do we want to go through an agency or an adoption attorney?
4. What age are we willing to take? Do we want a newborn?
5. Is fostering to adopt a possibility for us?  Do we want to learn more information about fostering? And if so, is there a local agency that holds fostering informative meetings?
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Get_Started/Information_Meetings/default.asp
6. Does the gender of the child matter?
7. Are we willing to accept any race or ethnicity into our family and if not, is there a different race or ethnicity that we would be open to?
8. Are you emotionally ready to take on this amazing endeavor and is your marriage ready?
9.  Are mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or emotional disabilities something we can deal with and if so, to what level?
10. Are we willing and able to spend extended time in another country in order to complete the international adoption?

Step 3:
Contact MULTIPLE agencies and/or attorneys in your area that adopt in the way you have chosen to adopt.  Ask a lot of questions.
1. How long does the process usually take?
2. What are the risks? (for adopting in this country, of the birthmother choosing you or changing her mind)
3. What are the costs of the programs?  At what point in the process are you expected to have the funds?
4.  If fostering, what are the training expectations and can you and your spouse meet those? What is legal risk when adopting through foster care?
5. What ages are being adopted out to the U.S. in the country we picked to adopt from? Can we get an infant and if not, are we okay with that?
6. Are we prepared to handle the questions and the potential for emotional stress that can come along with a child who has been adopted?
7. Are we prepared to support an open relationship with the biological mom and to what level, if we choose an open adoption?
8. If we choose international, we need to research that the agency in our adopting country is running things ethically.  There are countries that have been closed to the U.S. for adoption due to unethical practices. Such as paying women to get pregnant in their country in order for them to make money from the adoption. There is a large “black market” and other unethical practices for babies.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_ethics/types/intercountry.cfm

The following web site is to allow families to make a profile page to show others what they are doing and give family and friends a way to donate money to their adoption process. This will also allow you to read about how others made their adoption decisions.

http://www.adoptionjourney.com/starting-the-adoption-process

Here are a very few adoption blogs that I follow. Some have been very helpful, but they are a families’ personal story, and don’t reflect adoption all around.

International adoption blogs
www.laurencasper.com
http://babykautzi.blogspot.com/p/make-way-our-adoption-story.html
http://www.5minutesformom.com/69032/expecting-through-adoption/
http://everygoodandperfectthing.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-to-expect-when-youre-adopting.html

Open Adoption
http://www.spencerandwhitneyadoption.blogspot.ca/2012/05/why-open-adoption.html
http://www.chicagonow.com/portrait-of-an-adoption/2012/11/this-baby-is-ours-forever-adoption/
http://thehappiestsad.com

Some agencies in the DFW area:Foster to Adopt Agencies:
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Adoption_Partners/private.asp

Some domestic/international agencies in the area:
http://www.hopecottage.org/
http://www.buckner.org/
http://www.adoptionsbygladney.com/
www.catholiccharitiesdallas.org/AdoptionProcess
(These are just ones that I am familiar with, I am sure there are many more available.)

If you have anything to add or think I am missing anything in my steps of how to START the adoption process, comments are welcome!

Thanks!

2013
03/07

Category:
General Adoption Info

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Positive Adoption Language

Nate and I have obviously been talking about our adoption process with many people lately and sometimes are stumped by specific phrases. Luckily, our awesome agency gave us a cheat sheet for positive adoption language. I know that there are others who struggle with finding appropriate words too.  So in an effort to cite my sources, I will let you know that this was printed in OURS magazine. Hope you find it as interesting as I did.
Positive Language     Neg. Language
Birth parent……………..Real Parent
Biological parent………Natural Parent
Birth child………………..Own Child
My child……….Adopted Child; Own Child
Born to unmarried parents….Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights…..Give Up
Make an adoption plan………Give Away
To parent………………………….To Keep
Waiting Child………………… Own Child
Biological Father………………Begettor
Making contact with………….Reunion
Parent…………………………Adoptive Parent
International Adoption…Foreign Adoption
Adoption Triad…………..Adoption Triangle
Permission to sign a release……Disclosure
Search…………………..Track down parents
Placed for adoption……..Unwanted Child
Court Termination…………Child taken away
Child With Special Needs……Handicapped
Child From Abroad………….Foreign Child
Was Adopted………………….Is Adopted