Wednesday, December 31, 2008

happy new year

All the best to you and yours in the new year. Of course, I hope it is the year we welcome a newborn into our family. I hope you get your heart’s desire as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I spent just about all day off and on the phone with Verizon business trying to set up an 800 number for birth mom’s to use to contact us. It proved to be much more difficult than I’d ever imagined.

The first call they set up my account, did a credit check, and checked about five numbers I’d come up with: all taken. They even checked 866, 877 and 888. Nuthin!

So I was told it was ok to call back with more numbers, but be sure to mention I already have an account when I called back.

So we came up with several more numbers. Several? 20+ more numbers. I called back. We went through all 20+ AND MORE variations, and still nuthin.

Finally we settled on the last 5 digits being HOPES.

Both times the agents were extremely helpful, especially after I explained the reason we wanted an 800 number was to make it easy for birth moms to contact us since we are hoping to adopt. Lemme tell ya, the second agent even waived the $15 set-up fee and I didn't even ask.

In case you are thinking of setting up an 800 number, we are having it roll over to my cell phone so we don’t miss a call by not being home (or because I am blogging on our DIAL-UP service using the phone line). The service is $12 a month, and calls are 6.4¢ a minute.

This 800 number will go on our profile and on calling cards that I need to create. This makes it easy for potential birth moms to contact us from wherever they are. At this time I have no plans to post it on line, though I know others have posted their 800 numbers online as well as in newspapers. We will consider that later.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good to Know: A Hard Knock Life, Saved

from the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

Good to Know: A Hard Knock Life, Saved
Desiree Parker

Thursday, December 25, 2008

expecting a miracle

Saturday, January 10
9 p.m. eastern, 8 p.m. central

When Pete (Jason Priestley) and Donna (Teri Polo), a busy professional couple, are told their latest fertility test is negative, their world crashes down around them. Their once-strong marriage quickly unravels and literally goes south when a business associate of Pete’s offers them the use of his vacation home in Mexico. But the getaway takes an unexpected detour across the border when they take a wrong turn on a dirt road, leaving them with a damaged SUV, far from a main highway and out of cell phone range. When they spot a nearby sign pointing to the town of Dommatina, they agree to head there for repairs. What happens in the tiny village over the next six days not only changes the lives of the couple but of all of the townspeople they meet, including a kind priest (Cheech Marin), a young boy with an infectious positive outlook, and his watchful older brother (Shalim Ortiz). When all is lost, it takes a village to create a miracle.

Saw this advertised tonight and wanted to share, especially with my Fertility Forums girls. Can't help wondering, will they conceive or adopt?

Merry Christmas

Yesterday, 12.24.08, we received our finalized Home Study report in the mail. Wooo Hooo! What an awesome Christmas present.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

National Geographic - photo of the day

Always take advantage of shooting locations. When the photographer saw the striking resemblance between this woman and the portrait of her grandmother, he knew immediately what his photograph would be.
Photograph by David L. Arnold
I just loved this so much I had to share.

Monday, December 22, 2008

“Baby Quest” on CNN's “American Morning” this week

American Morning explores alternative methods of starting a family. We'll look at cutting-edge fertility treatments, surrogate mothers and of course adopting a child in dire need of a family.
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from the show that aired 12.24.08

Surrogates for Wannabe Moms - video

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from the show that aired 12.23.08

Single Dads Opt for In Vitro - video

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from the show that aired 12.22.08

IVF Vacations - video

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The National Foster Care and Adoption Directory - website

New York State Adoption Services - website

Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange
- website

Sunday, December 21, 2008

home study update

Friday I received a copy of our home study report. Unfortunately there were many errors. If /when you have a home study, please be sure to ask to see it before it is signed and notarized. My husband's age was off by 10 years among other errors.

Due to the amount of errors, I have asked to see the report again before it is signed and notarized.

I am guessing this is gonna mean our report won't be finalized until some time between Christmas and New Years. Keep your fingers crossed.

I plan to get our 800 number ((866) number?), finish our profile and make up some calling cards over the holiday break. I am keeping busy and that's a good thing.

Chris and I are considering entering a 10k next spring . We did it in 2007. It will give us something to work towards and keep busy to help the time pass.

Friday, December 19, 2008

home study update

Today our social worker emailed me a copy of our home study report. We are to review it this weekend and send it back on Monday.

12.20.08: note: Be sure you ask to review your home study report before it is finalized. There were many errors in our report, we even asked for a second review to be sure all the mistakes were corrected.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

wait training

Nothing new to report. Still waiting for the final home study report.

I guess this is training us to be patient while we wait to be matched with a birth mom.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

shopping for bunny slippers?

Shopping for bunny slippers? Check this out. It's really awesome!
When Laura and Gayla launched Runaway Rabbit Creations, they committed to making a difference both with the products they offer and with a portion of their company's profits.

Passionate about their own children and their roles as mothers, they want everyone who has that desire to have the opportunity to experience it. There are millions of children, desperate for good homes and loving families who may never be united with the men and women just as desperate to bring children into their lives. Too often, lack of financial resources prohibits qualified adults from adopting. The folks at Runaway Rabbit know that this is just wrong. They have aligned themselves with Gift of Adoption Fund, which awards grants to qualified adults in order that another family might be created and touched by the miracle that adoption provides. A full ten percent of all Runaway Rabbit profits is donated to Gift of Adoption which awards grants to qualified families in the process of adopting.

So every time you purchase a pair of Runaway Rabbit Bunny Slippers, some little bunny's life gets better!

Friday, December 12, 2008

the cost of adoption

Our social worker sent me some links to articles about covering the cost of adoption so I thought I'd share.
  1. Affording Adoption - from Adoptive Families magazine
  2. Adoption Expenses: Where to Go for Help - from The Adoption Guide
  3. How We Afforded Our Adoption - from The Adoption Guide
I knew I'd read this someplace, it’s from #3:

I made a brochure explaining who we were and why we wanted to adopt a boy from Russia. I put it in every hand I could find - I even sent one in when I paid my bills! One day a man from New York called to ask how much we needed. I told him we still needed $20,000, and he said, “It's yours.” He had adopted from Russia six years earlier and had intended to adopt more children, but decided that his new son needed undivided attention. His way of bringing home more children was to provide the funds for another family.

my “Adoption Stories” addiction

We watch “Adoption Stories” every morning at 6:30 on Discovery Health Channel while we get ready for work. While it bothers me that all we see is the “happy ending” portion of the adoption journey, I still find these programs inspiring and educational.

Today’s program in particular got our attention.

Episode: Devon’s New Family
Marty and Joe, a gay couple in a long-term relationship, meet 23-year-old Emily, who has already lost custody of two children due to her drug problem, has entered a methadone treatment program just as she learns she is pregnant again.

Marty and Joe’s adoption went VERY quickly, like a matter of WEEKS from the time they decided to adopt (I want more details!). And they were so cute, they said Emily looked like she could be their daughter, and it was true, the three looked very similar.

Anyway, it was a very touching episode. They all wanted an open adoption and kept in touch with Emily. But the end, the voice over says something like “shortly after filming this episode Emily became ill and died in her sleep.” I wanted to CRY!

These stories continue to touch my heart and inspire me. If you or someone you know is in the process of adoption, you might wanna check them out. I think the same episode runs three times a day.

Adoption Stories episode list

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i will be a mother

This shirt says it all!

From: Evil Genius Tees

it’s all relative

In an earlier post, I wrote about the much dreaded two-week wait (2ww) while trying to conceive and how it seems like an eternity. Now a two-week wait seems like a piece of cake to me.

Before we began our home study, we were told it could take two to three months and I've read on other adoption blogs where home studies have taken SEVEN months! Our home study took SIX WEEKS and I was frustrated that it was taking so long. I think we may have set a record.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

what’s next

The big question: "now that your home study has been approved, what's next?"

  1. We wait for the home study report to be written, hopefully by Christmas.
  2. We get an (800) number (now probably 866).
  3. I finish our profile.
  4. I send our profile to anyone who may come in contact with potential birth moms, including our adoption attorney, my aunt who works in the maternity ward of a hospital, the local abortion clinic (recommended by our attorney), a mid wife (also recommended by our attorney), and our social worker.
  5. A birth mom some where, some day, will see our profile and fall in love with us and choose us to raise her baby. According to our adoption attorney, the birth mom may narrow it down to three couples she wants to meet. Depending on the circumstances of her pregnancy, some birth moms don't want anything to do with choosing the adoptive parents and may leave it up to their attorney or social worker. The birth mom will still be pregnant at this time and has made an adoption plan for her unborn baby. I say this because at this point we are still hoping for a newborn baby, we may change our focus as time goes on.
  6. As I said, we may or may not meet the birth mom, it is up to her. We are willing to have an open adoption because we feel it's important for our child to know their own biological history. Our social worker can act as a go-between if our birth mom doesn't want direct contact with us, which is cool too. There are all different levels of contact between birth parents and adoptive parents.
After the profile is done, basically, we wait. Our adoption attorney said the better we are at marketing ourselves, the more people we tell we are hoping to adopt, the better our chances of finding a birth mom sooner rather than later.

We have asked our family and friends in the medical and education professions especially to keep their eyes and ears open, since they are the ones who could potentially come in contact with a birth mom making an adoption plan. I've also asked my friends with teenagers to keep their eyes and ears open for us too. You just never know where your child could be. We just hope the wait goes as quickly as the home study did!!!

Thanks again to all of you (family, friends AND strangers) for your support and well wishes during this time. We really appreciated.

celebrating the holidays while you wait

This is an article from "Adoptive Families" for my friends who are waiting too.

Celebrating the Holidays While You Wait

(Our social worker sent this link to me. How thoughtful.)

Monday, December 8, 2008


It won't matter how you became parents,
it will only matter that you did.

– Scott Mars, Adoptee and Founder, American Adoptions

Saturday, December 6, 2008

1,000 visitors

Visitor #1,000 is someone from Philly.
You have won a free post on my blog & a gold star!

Wooo hooo!

the waiting is the hardest part

The Waiting
lyrics by Tom Petty
Oh baby don't it feel like heaven right now
Don't it feel like somethin from a dream
Yeah I've never known nothing quite like this
Don't it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could have ever told me bout this

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part...
When you are suffering from infertility, our bit worry is the infamous 2ww (two-week wait), meaning the amount of time between the possible date of conception and the day you can by POAS (Peeing On A Stick) to find out if you have a BFP (Big "Fat" Positive) - positive pregnancy test. We ALL dread the 2ww.

Well, in adoption, there's a new meaning to "wait" and it makes the 2ww seem like a piece of CAKE.

Upon completing your home study, you enter the wait, but there is not defined end date, so it's got me thinking that the 2ww isn't really that bad - but every thing is relative.

We are in the wait. We still have work to do that will keep us busy and the holidays are upon us, always a busy time for anyone. But I came across a list (list lover that I am) and thought I'd share it with those of you who find yourself at loose ends while waiting to be matched with your child. Keeping yourself busy and occupied will make the time go by more quickly. Here are a few tips to help:
  • start a hobby
  • complete those unfinished projects and/or start a new one
  • read about parenting an adopted child
  • join an adoptive parents support group
  • talk to others—friends, doctors, etc.
  • take a parenting class
So far, I have enough to keep me busy but may need to refer back to it later.

the adoption guide

Our social worker suggested we get ourselves a copy of this "Adoption Guide" published by the people who publish the magazine "Adoptive Families." It's about $15 but she says it's full of great information. And it looks like they update it each year, so the information is current. I sent in for a subscription to "Adoptive Families" some time and it's never come, guess I'll call and try to talk to a human and order both.

The Adoption Guide

(note to self: ordered 12.9.08)

Friday, December 5, 2008

home study APPROVED!

We had our third and final meeting this morning, it was short and sweet, and she told us she is approving our home study.

Our home study report should be complete in two weeks. She will let us see it to be sure all the facts are correct and she will have some of her coworkers look over the report as well to be sure she didn't overlook anything. Then we will receive three original reports.

We celebrated by having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (if you knew where we live, you'd understand what a real treat this is!).

We had our first home study meeting exactly six weeks ago today.

The search is on! and now I'm ready to have some Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the universe and beyond

Ok, so Sharon (friend from Va Tech) and Ashley (old boyfriend) came along just when I needed them (both having been through home studies and adoptions themselves), shortly after our decision to adopt. They have both been a great help to us throughout our home study.

Now, other family members and friends are coming back into my life people I haven't spoken to or seen in YEARS, even more support for us. I find the timing very interesting. Hopefully this is all a sign that things will start going our way. The more people who know we are looking to adopt, hopefully the sooner we will be able to find a baby to adopt. As odd as it sounds, it's all about networking for us. We are not Brad and Angelina.

Infertility was so different, so lonely and isolating. I'm so glad we are finding the adoption process to be the total opposite. It's so wonderful to have so much support from family and friends and even strangers. My world is getting smaller and bigger at the very same time.

• • • • • •

The home study portion of the process is nearly over (final meeting tomorrow, Dec. 5). I will be so glad to have that behind us. It's been such an invasive process.

After we have been approved, I will get an 800 number (866?) to include in our profile and on our calling cards. Our attorney advised us to get an 800 number to make it easier for a potential birth mom to contact us if she wants to. I need to look into the 800 number thing, I'll report back and let you know what I find out.

In the mean time I have to finish our profile, we can't hand it out until our home study is approved. We will list the name of our attorney and her contact info and our 800 number and an email address specifically for birth moms to contact us. You DO NOT list your last name anywhere in the profile. It seems a lot of birth moms do not want to know your last name, if they do want to know, they can find out later. Also, do not list your home address on your profile, just use your first name(s).

After our home study is approved (two weeks - Dec. 19 - hopefully) we can start applying for grants. So there is more paperwork on our horizon, but we can handle it.

• • • • • •

I recently learned something that really surprised me: in the state of Florida, gays and lesbians are not "permitted" to adopt. What is that about. I really find this shocking in this day and age.

I have learned the adoption laws are different for every state, not surprising. I understand Arizona is one of the "easy" states to adopt in. Some states are more difficult to adopt from than others. A good attorney will know the different laws for all or most states.

States have all different amounts of time for birth parents to terminate parental rights (TPR). The shorter the required time, the better for the adoptive parents.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

all I want for Christmas

Our third and final home study meeting is this Friday, December 5. I'm counting days, hours, minutes... I will be so glad when this phase is over. It has been a lot of work, but all more than worth it for the end result: BABY!

Our social workers says it will take her two weeks to write our report, so we are expecting to get our final report on Friday, December 19, signed and sealed. Then the searching begins. Since we aren't hiring an agency to locate a birth mother for us, we will be doing most of the searching ourselves and with the help of our adoption attorney.

All I want for Christmas is a completed and approved home study!