Sunday, February 27, 2011

Questions, Questions and more questions

We received our next stack of paperwork. This is the everything there is to know about us packet. 35 pages of essay style questions for each of us. Questioning everything from our childhoods, to our plans for daycare, to how we plan on dealing with nudity. Now there is something I never thought of.

We were also asked to start working on our Adoption Profile Scrapbook. So I am going through my thousands of pictures trying to find the ones that best represent us, our family & friends. I love this part.
I like the idea behind it to. Unlike private adoption where this is used for the birth mother to pick the family she wants the child to go to; they use it for the foster child to get to know their new family. Even if they can't read they can look at the pictures and the foster parents can read it to them. From the research I have done, this book becomes something that they continue to look at once they come to live with the adoptive parent.
Since I enjoy scrap booking so much this will be very enjoyable for me to do.

So things seem to be moving right along. And time is going quickly. Cris is going to Ecuador this week and then I am throwing a Bachelorette party for my good friend Nikki. The week after that I am off to Asheville to visit Krysha. The weekend after that my parents are coming. And I am hoping to start painting "Her" room. Speaking of "Her" room, we were able to find a bed fame for the mattress and box spring we already have. I am going to make a headboard out of pickets and paint a picket fence on the wall that the bed will be on. I am then going to see if my friend Alex can paint Hunter, Darling and Oakley in front of the fence.
I am going to paint the wall behind the fence Sky Blue and paint clouds and grass and some flowers.
I am going to ask Alex to help me do a big tree in the corner with birds and then a pond with lily pads and frogs under the window, with pussy willows on both sides of the window and dragon flies flying around and above the window.
I hope that it is not too much. The rest of the room I am going to leave blank and get input from "Her" on what she wants.

Back to our crazy busy schedule. We will start our M.A.P.P. training the weekend after my parents leave. 2 weeks after that ends we are going on our Honeymoon Cruise. That will be the peace before the real  fun starts :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


My friend Alex is an artist and she has agreed to help me with a mural for our daughters room. I am looking through lots of pictures to come up with ideas. Here are some that I like:

I know I would like something with dogs, dragonflies and flowers.
Alex is extremely talented and I can't wait for her to customize our daughter's room!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

While Cris and I have been excited about finding our daughter, Cris' grandmother who raised him passed away today in Ecuador. This is particularly difficult for Cris becasue he is booked on a flight to Ecuador next Wednesday. The price of tickets for him to go sooner is ridiculous! This really stinks.

On a good note, we were accepted into the MAPP training that starts April 2nd!
So this has been a bittersweet day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Meeting

Well, the first meeting definitely went better than I had anticipated. We met with Ms. Baptiste from Children's Home Society. She was great. She normally does post adoption work and educates. However due to a medical leave she is filling in this roll. For this I am glad. First we filled out a bunch of paperwork and then she conducted a thorough interview of Cris & I. We talked about our childhoods, our families  and our relationship what we like to do ect.... We discussed what we were looking for and what we expected from this process. Ms. Baptiste was very helpful and I can tell that she is definately looking out for everyone's best interest. She spoke very candidly about issues that some children had but she was also positive about the good things. I can tell that things went well for us. She stated she really enjoyed spending time with us. She liked that we had the dogs as dogs are very theraputic for these children and she stated that homes with dogs have a much easier time adjusting.
She was also honest with us in saying that we need to be the ones to question everything and really do our research on any potential children. Talk to their foster parents, get their histories, if they have had multiple foster homes find out why. I am hoping she can stay with us. But there is a chance that we may get assigned to someone that does this all the time. I really like that she is the one that does the follow up and helps to get families to blend. I can tell that she is committed to this. She was telling us a story of how she stayed with one family for 4 years ( which is much longer than normal) I really like that about her.

From this meeting Cris & I decided that a girl between 3-8 would be preferred but we would be open to a boy.

I walked away feeling great about the first meeting. Next step we do finger printing and FBI/SBI background checks. Then we start our what they call M.A.P.P training. They teach you how to deal with the challenges that children in foster care have.
After that ends in May we will have our home study and then get matched.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Excited for tomorrow!!

So we meet with our social worker tomorrow!!! Yea!
Me being my typical OCD self has been obsessing over this.
I just finished reading a great book, 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew. It was very insightful. I could see a lot of validity in it. Some things I could see in myself with feelings I had through the years about my biological mother's passing. There were many years of hurt and confusion and even years where I was just self destructive and could not pin point a reason. I was always surrounded by people who loved me and cared for me. But I could never get rid of the feeling that at any point they would reject me. The way that I felt my mother rejected me by not wanting to live. It talked a lot about the need to discover ones birth family. I too went through that. And even though I have chosen to not per sue a relationship with my mothers family it was paramount that I met them for me to finally after 20 some odd years to have true closure.
I know I wasn't adopted in a legal sense, but I was adopted by the woman who became my mom. I know that she loves me as much as her biological children. For years I did not see that and I see now how hurtful my rejection of her in my early twenties must have been. Until reading this I had never thought about how she felt, I was so consumed with my own anger and my own search for who I really was. I know she forgave me for being so awful to her, but it really makes me sad because she is and always has been a loving & wonderful mother. Her sticking by me no matter how awful I was became the foundation of our relationship now. A realtionship that I do not believe I could have ever had with my biological mother if she had not died.
She just wasn't the same type of person that my mom is.

There is so much that I can take from my own childhood losses that I can use to parent a child who is experiencing similar losses now.

I had a discussion with Cris this evening about what exactly he is looking for. Originally he said he wanted a 3 year old boy months ago. but now that the process is in motion he wants a little girl and will go up to the age of 9. I am so glad for this because that is what I would prefer.

The issue of race was brought up to me a few days ago and I had not put much thought into that. I am grateful for my friend Cara who grew up in a biracial family and she has been so open with sharing her story with me and the struggles attached to it. It has given me a lot to think about. But I appreciate her support in what ever we choose!

I have about 10 different books lined up to read, I have joined a local adoption support group and I have located a local counselor who specializes in adoption loss for the child. Even though they are gaining us as a family they are still suffering a huge loss. Wether their family has died, given them up or they have been removed due to abuse, our child will be broken in ways that we alone can not heal her. I know it will take lots of work, family, friends and God's help to help this child go from being a victim to being a survivor.
I am confident that I can help a child find who they are. I know I can love them even when they feel they don't deserve to feel love.

I am really looking forward to the journey, the high lights and the low points. The low points are where we will begin to become a family. It will be conquering those issues that will be the foundation for our family. Each issue we overcome will bring us closer together.

So, I need to start what is called a life book for our child. This will be a scrapbook of how they become part of our family. This will include their past, our past and then continue with all of us together. I love this idea!
I love to scrap book and what a beautiful way to remind that child of where she came from. I know I will always be open with this child about where she came from. I will not be afraid to share the truth with her. I think one of the biggest setbacks in my own relationships with my mom was the secrets of my biological mother. I know my father kept it a secret to protect me and maybe even himself emotionally a bit. I am in no way blaming my father for any of my own issues. I own them.  My father always did what he thought was best for me. It took a long time to see that. Growing up I took his leaving me with family as rejection, but I now know he really did do that with good intent. And I was always in a loving environment.

I also related to this book in the need to be perfect for people to love me. This is something I still do to this day. I feel like if I do everything just right I won't be abandoned again. I read in the book how it is often found that the adoptee will be an over achiever, but inside you are dying. I spent most of my high school years doing that. Being class president, Yearbook Editor, playing sports...just longing for that affection that I thought I would gain if I was great at all those things. I have done the same behavior with 2 ex husbands. Always trying to be perfect to the point that it became the issue. I will never forget the one day my ex said to me it must be so darn difficult to be so perfect all the time. Gosh, how that resonates with me now.

So, tomorrow is the official beginning of our journey. I am nervous and excited. We start our M.A.P.P training the beginning of April. That is a series of classes that will help equipped us with the skills we will need to successfully integrate a child into our home. I am very excited that the agency that we have chosen to go with (Children's Home Society) has a fabulous support for during and after the adoption process. They have lots of different classes we can take at no charge. I am going to try to get into one called Parenting with Love and Logic. The cut off date for registration was a couple weeks ago. But the speaker is my social worker who I meet tomorrow. I am going to beg her to let me take it :)
Well, I will have lots more to talk about tomorrow. This I am sure of.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things to think about

So I woke up this morning again this morning in full panic mode.... thinking there is so much to do, but where do we start??

I know I will get answers next Saturday when we meet our social worker. When someone finds out they are pregnant they have 9 months to plan and get things ready. And then you come home with this little bindle that just in my fathers words just "eats,sleeps and shits". When you bring home an older child there is so much more to think about.

The hardest part is the not knowing. Not knowing what to expect of the process and wondering will I be a great parent? I want to be. I think I will be. I know it will be so hard for me to reign myself back and not just go with the first wounded soul that we see. There are so many children that need homes, how do you know which child you are meant to choose.
There are videos of some of the older children here: Adoption Chronicles . There are a few I would be interested in meeting. However, I believe Cris would prefer a younger child.

So, next Saturday will hopefully be very insightful. I am excited to get going with this.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

They Called!

We got a call today to set up our appointment for our first meeting with a Social Worker!! Yea!!!
My nerves are going nuts! So many thoughts running through my head! This is going to be a wild ride!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Children's Home Society of NC

After a lot of discussion Cris & I decided to go with adopting a little bit older of a child. Around 5 years old.
We have chosen to work with Childrens Home Society. They have received our application and are running background checks. In about another week or so we will be assigned to our social worker. I am so super excited!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


A quick intro: I am Jenny, I am 35 on the crest of 36. My husband Cris just turned 35. We have been married 3 1/2 years. Cris recently gained his permanent green card and will be eligible for citizenship this October. We are finally at a place were we are ready to start a family. We have 3 wonderful dogs, Hunter, Darling & Oakley who we adore.

So why adoption? After years of hormone treatments and surgeries I had a hysterectomy that included removing my eggs  last summer. Cris & I have both dealt with the loss of family at a very young age and I feel that we would be great examples of how no matter where you started you can end up in a happy,healthy place!

My husband Cris & I have decided to pursue adopting a child from the Foster Care System. This blog is going to be about our journey to finding our child.