We stopped counting!!

I lost my job in December, after some pretty stressful months I was actually glad to be out of that stressful situation.  While taking the time to relax and trying to find another job, my husband got a call from the County Social Worker.  She said you have been matched with a child and this is the general information for him.  Are you interested in doing the telling? What is the telling? During the telling we found out about this boy’s (Spidey) family history, the trauma he has gone through, and his health history among other things.

Well we where pretty overwhelm, it was a lot take in, but we moved forward with meeting Spidey.  We made this decision on a Thursday morning of the first week on my new job and we had to get his room ready and create a photo album of our story. We did everything over the weekend and turn the album back to the social worker Monday morning.  We met Spidey Thursday afternoon, he was pretty shy.  We visited him at his foster Mom’s home for the next month for almost every day and he spent some weekends with us.

He officially move in with us Saturday March 2nd, 2013.  I can’t believe we have waited over 2 years.  Today those 2 years seem like nothing.  Our countdown ended, now we are counting on the days we are spending together and counting down the days to our first trip to Disneyland.

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The adoption countdown continues…One month down.

We got approved as potential adoptive parents December 7th, 2011, this Sunday it was our one month anniversary.  My Mom laughed when I told her that we were celebrating our one month anniversary.  I am thinking, I need to keep some excitement while we wait for the phone to ring with awesome news and we decided to make it an anniversary.

When the social worker came to perform the last visit, she told us the average wait time for placement was between 4 to 6 months.  This means we only have 5 more months to go, in the mean time we made some changes to our pantry, wahoo!(win-win).  We have no idea of how much free time we will have once the placement activities begin, so I am taking advantage of that.

It is funny how my life has changed, from some years ago when I was trying to become pregnant to today when we await a child placement for adoption.  This process has been very hard for me, it has disturbed all my feelings and beliefs to the bone.  It has questioned my beliefs to a degree that I stopped praying and talking to God.  However, today I’m happy.  I’m happy that God was there waiting for me to be ready to make my self whole again, it is amazing!  Today I learned that all my believes are certain, that my spirituality makes sense and God is noble.

So while we wait I am finding my way back to God and my beliefs, I love it.

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Home Study visit

After taking a long break from all the adoption paperwork we are finally back on-track.  During the month of October we had our last home visit and if everything goes according to schedule we  are on track for approval by the end of November.  Two weeks earlier I had a 2.5 hrs interview with our adoption social worker, a week later my husband had his interview.  Now we have this form we need to fill out before our home visit.  To fill out this form we had to sit down a couple of times and do some research on the different topics before our home visit.  The topics of this form are Health, Behavioral, Developmental and Background issues, prenatal drug exposure and adoption openness.

The questionnaire brings really interesting topics to light, the biological parents drugs use, mental health, and the child’s behavior, health and disabilities.  Believe me going through the  list was difficult and we tried to make the most informed decision while also thinking of what we are able handle.  This is hard, we will be completely new to parenthood and having to decide what we THINK we might be able to handle was a difficult task.  Once the social worker went over the form with us we made a couple of changes with her help, knowledge and explanations.

Now we await, we should go into the potential parents pool in December and then the average wait time is between six to four months.  Now we have to prepare and have a plan for the placement process, we also have to check our benefits.

Adoption interview update

This past Monday we prepared all of our paperwork, we finished entering the financial information, and the employer information release forms.  Then I went to look for our marriage license, I had to go through several boxes of documents until there it was, in the 3rd box with all of its colors.  I went and checked the marriage date, we got married 12/21/2002. I some how always forget the date (we had our religious ceremony on a different day).

The next morning, Tuesday, we got our schedules at work changed.  We got to worker a bit early so we could leave early to be at our appointment on time.  I blocked my calendar so that I would not get any meeting requests.  I was planning my day, going through the early emails and then the phone rings.

-Hello, I’m calling on behalf of your adoption worker, is this Paty?

– Yes, this is she.

-We are calling to cancel you appointment for today, your adoption worker had an emergency and will not be available for the appointment.  She will call you back to reschedule.

-Ok, thank you.

After I hang up the phone all the anxiety and expectations went away.  Now we have to wait again, so we wait for the phone call.  So of course we worked from very early in the morning until late Tuesday.  We went home feeling bit down, I went back again to look at the kids in the CAkids website and send another inquire about a pair of siblings.  I must have sent 3 inquiries for the same siblings.  They look so cute and they are in the age range we are looking to adopt.

On Wednesday morning, as I am again at the office going through the early emails and the schedule for the day my phones beeps.  If you can picture the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” when she would open the computer and it would say “you got mail” and her eyes got bigger and her smile got wider, well it was something similar.  I heard the beep, picked up my black berry, saw an email from the CAkids and I got a huge smile and I could feel butterflies in my stomach.  Then I clicked and read the email carefully, I read it several times, then it sink in.  The social worker was sending me to the county webpage to see the requirements.  I though I don’t need to know the requirements I’m almost done with all my paperwork.  I decided to reply and send her more specific information about my adoption worker and my case number.   To my surprise a few minutes later my phone beepped again and it was a response from the social worker.  I picked up the phone, saw the sender got all excited and open the email.  I could feel my heart pounding faster.  My email read something like this, the pair of siblings you were interested in have been already assigned to a potential adoptive family.   It must not be meant to be, at least for us to adopt these children.

On a brighter note, we got a phone call from the adoption worker and our meeting has been reschedule for next Wednesday!! Yeah!

Adoption worker assigned

Today we received in the mail a letter stating the social worker assigned to our adoption process.  We have to fill out a couple of questionnaires and approve an employment verification form.  We also have to call the social worker to schedule our interviews.  YES!!! The ball is on our court.  

Waiting to adopt, while children wait to be adopted

We just completed all of our requirements to receive the foster parent license, now we just sit and wait.  Even though we just completed the last requirement this week I already feel antsy.  I check websites that display the kids that are waiting to be adopted constantly.  Just this week I found two siblings of the age we are planning and in our state, not in our county but in our state.  I have no idea what will it take to foster-adopt siblings in my state, but not in my county.  These are the websites that I constantly browse:

This websites keep me inspired and maintain my hope of adoption.  The only thing that I wonder is why the wait? why do they have to wait? and why do I have to wait?

On one of our last Pride classes, the teacher explained that they  have 150 families waiting for adoption and that usually they do around 650 adoptions per year.  You can see me in the class room right away calculating, if 650 per year this means about two children a day. If I would calculate that they are all siblings (2), then it will be one adoption per day. Also if there are 150 couples before us, then we would approximately have to wait 5 months, wow!

So for now we wait.

Couples making a difference

Tiramisu, a well-known dessert from the Veneto...

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We had several speakers today, a nurse, two foster children (now young woman) and a birth parent.  The nurse was the first speaker and she went through all the required documentation that will be filled out for the foster child and the importance of complying with the expected number of check-ups and sending the information to the agency in a timely manner.  This helps support an exact health history for the child, they call it Health Passport.

The second speaker was a bubbly young woman, she told her story in great detail and how she got into foster care and how she focused on her school and was never able to make a connection, it made me remember the attachment class.  This young woman had such a hard life and had been all the time trying to be accepted and liked.  At the age of 10 the state remove the birth parents “parental” rights and she felt it was already to late for her to get adopted.  It broke my heart to hear it, the entire room was so attentive, as she kept talking about her challenges in life and growing in foster care it made it so difficult to keep a straight face, my eyes were all watery and my throat had a big knot.  Overall, it was such a positive presentation that made me realize how fortunate we are to have the time, strength, faith, support and love to continue on this path.  The class ended with a candle ceremony.

We went to the back of the room and formed a circle and passed a candle as we said “I light this candle for …….”, this was a very touching moment for me.  Seeing all the couples around the room and to feel all the love, excitement, dedication and willingness it was amazing.  There are really good people out there trying to make a difference. I love it!

SPANISH

Tuvimos varios oradores del día de hoy, una enfermera, dos niñas que estuvieron bajo crianza temporal (ahora jóvenes) y un padre biológico.  La enfermera fue la primera en hablar, explico toda la documentación que se requiere para mantener al corriente el historial médico del niño de crianza temporal, la importancia de cumplir con el número esperado de los exámenes médicos y el envío de la información a la agencia en el momento oportuno.  Esto ayuda a mantener un historial médico preciso del niño, que lo llaman Pasaporte de Salud.

El segundo orador fue una joven simpática, ella contó su historia con gran detalle y cómo entró en este programa desde muy pequeña y cómo se enfocó en su escuela y nunca fue capaz de hacer una conexión con ninguna de las familias, me hizo recordar la clase de apego.  Esta joven tuvo una vida tan dura y había seguido tratando todo el tiempo ser aceptada y querida.  A la edad de 10, el Estado les quita a los padres biológicos los derechos de patria potestada y sintió que ya era demasiado tarde para que ella pudiera ser adoptada.  Me rompió el corazón escuchar su historia, toda la sala estaba silencia y todos muy atentos, ya que no dejaba de hablar de sus diferentes retos en la vida y cada vez mayores, lo que hizo tan difícil mantener una cara seria, mis ojos estaban llorosos y tenía un nudo en la garganta.  En general, fue una presentación positiva que me hizo darme cuenta de lo afortunados que somos al tener el tiempo, la fuerza, la fe, apoyo y amor para continuar en este camino.  La clase terminó con una ceremonia de una vela.
Fuimos a la parte posterior de la sala, formamos un círculo y se pasa una vela cada quien dice “Enciendo esta vela para …….”, este fue un momento muy conmovedor para mí. Ver todas las parejas alrededor de la habitación y sentir todo el amor, el entusiasmo, la dedicación y la voluntad era increíble.  Hay mucha buena gente tratando de hacer la diferencia.  Me encanta!