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Adoption Thread

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 26, 2003
Messages
20,773
diamondseeker2006 said:
Wow, Deb, that is indeed amazing! That is not something I'll ever encounter, though, because almost all the birthparents in China are unknown since it is technically illegal to give up your child. Such irony. But in a way, it just makes it easier to know that that door is closed. Anna is 15 and has never given much thought to her birthparents at all. I, however, do think of her birthmother especially near Anna's birthday and wish she could know how beautiful and precious and dearly loved her child is.

Our adoption was considered final in China so we didn't have to do anything when we arrived back in the US. Of course, that was right before the tax credit so we didn't have any timing issues for that anyway!
Actually, we had some things in common in the way we adopted, diamondseeker! We had thought that the road to our daughter's ever finding her birth mother was closed, too!

Like yours, our adoption was finalized in the country from which we adopted our daughter, in our case, Colombia, before we ever brought our daughter home to the United States. There were some strange days when she was legally our daughter but was a Colombian citizen who needed to get her Colombian passport and visa in order to leave the country and enter the United States with us. She was naturalized as a US citizen by the time she was four months old. Now the law no longer makes infants adopted to US citiens go through the naturalization process!

But back to why I thought we would never face the issue of our daughter finding her birth mother: there was no Internet. The birth mother had never been given our names. We had the name of the birth mother, but that was only because we needed access to the original birth certificate, not because we had any interaction with her. Only we and our daughter (not the birth mother) would ever have legal access to the original and the revised birth certificates. So there was no way that the birth mother could be expected to find us.

With no Internet, it seemed highly unlikely that our daughter would be travelling to a country torn by guerilla warfare and drug warfare like Colombia to try to trace a young woman (her birth mother) who had been from the country and gone to the capital only to give birth, who had probably married and moved and who did not speak the same language as my daughter!

The Internet-and Facebook-brought the world a little closer together, however!

Deb/AGBF
:read:
 

blackberry16

Brilliant_Rock
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This is a great idea for a thread. We started the process of adoption last summer but the mother changed her mind. I started a thread about my personal questions and everyone was so helpful. I think it will be nice to have someplace for all those with questions to go. I hope that admin makes this a permanent one!
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 5, 2003
Messages
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Just bumping to mention that it's National Adoption Month. Both the State Dept (international adoption) and the White House (international and domestic adoptions) have issued proclamations about it.

I was looking at old videos of us meeting our daughter for the first time. They brought tears to my eyes...

Good luck to all on this crazy journey!
 

JonyLeaber

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You don't have to own a home to be able to adopt, you just need to have a safe, clean home. And as far as income requirements, you need to be able to support the child. Although you will receive money for this child monthly until they reach the age of 18. And you DO NOT have to be married in order to adopt a child. There are many children out there who need a home, I would know, I work for this department. There are many websites and hotlines that will provide you with information if you are considering adoption. Contact your state department to get all the info.
 

ImperfectGirl

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JonyLeaber|1293559795|2807999 said:
You don't have to own a home to be able to adopt, you just need to have a safe, clean home. And as far as income requirements, you need to be able to support the child. Although you will receive money for this child monthly until they reach the age of 18. And you DO NOT have to be married in order to adopt a child. There are many children out there who need a home, I would know, I work for this department. There are many websites and hotlines that will provide you with information if you are considering adoption. Contact your state department to get all the info.
This is only true if you foster/adopt from the state. Doesn't apply if pursuing a private adoption.
 

ImperfectGirl

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Well...we are ready to sign on with our agency! Will probably do so right after the new year...exciting and nerve wracking at the same time!
 

Logan Sapphire

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Congratulations Imperfect Girl! It's a crazy and exciting journey! Are you doing domestic or international?

Tomorrow is our daughter's official Adoption Day- it'll be one year since her finalization but we've been a family since April 09.
 

Bella_mezzo

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Congrats Imperfect!!!! :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:

Logan-Wow, your lives have changed so much since April 2009 :bigsmile: Congrats on this anniversary!

On our end, all our paperwork is done and we are just waiting for the final copy of our home study (our homestudy agency is reviewing the social worker's draft this week).

But...we are 99.9% sure that we are going to switch agencies and adopt a child or sibling group who is waiting for a family at another agency.

So stay tuned. DH and I are hoping to make the final decision this week. I'll post as soon as we have news.

We are still very sad about the little boy who we wanted to adopt earlier this month but we learned that we basically got "bumped" due to agency politics. The more we learn about the situation, the more we are saddened and lose trust in our current agency. it is still ethical in terms of it's work in Ethiopia, but on the US side they seem to be either grossly unprofessional or are lying/unethical. I think it's the former due to the rapid growth they've experienced in the past 6 months, but either way we're not really comfortable staying and it looks like there is no way we would be able to adopt the little boy as several families have all been promised him if they family who bumped us decides not to adopt him (and at least one of those families wants to adopt him regardless of the results of his medical test)...those families are all trying to sort things out and since so many families want him and our agency is really not handling this well at all and still won't tell us any more than "you're being considered for him" and has lied to us several times we think it's time to move on.

In the course of that immensely painful process, we learned of another agency who we really respected but thought that we weren't eligible for (they had a requirement that you needed to be married for 3 years and we've been married for almost 1 1/2 years) anyway, a mom who had adopted from them and from our current agency suggested I call anyway. I did, and I found out that they have several toddler boys and young sibling groups waiting for families right now, so we're praying about it and hoping that one of these situations feels right to us.
 

ImperfectGirl

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Thanks Logan! We are going to pursue domestic adoption. It finally feels real and we couldn't be more thrilled! Congrats on your LO's adoption anni, how exciting. :appl:

Bella - sorry to hear about the politics that got you guys bumped :nono: I don't blame you for thinking of switching agencies...I'd feel the same way. Here's to hoping that you find the right agency soon :))
 

dcgator

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I just wanted to pop in to say:

Imperfectgirl - Congrats on moving over to adoption. I wish you and your DH lots of luck in the year to come and hope that you will have you little one soon!

Bella - I am so sorry to hear about that whole ordeal with your agency. That is really so dishonest and just plain old cruel. Is there perhaps an overssing body/agency that you can report them to? If so, I would recommend doing that, or at least posting on any adoption blogs you might be on for other couples to steer clear. I am hoping that you are able to switch over to your new agency soon and that you will be able to adopt some of their waiting children. Best of luck my dear and please let us know what happens! Hopefully, we can both be mommies before the end of the summer!
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 19, 2007
Messages
4,560
Bella - Happy to hear from you, my friend. But, gosh what an eye-opening experience you've been having. I'm glad that you're looking into another agency that will be more reliable. It must be hopelessly frustrating to deal with your current agency. It is so unfair of them to put so many families through this amount of pain. :(sad It seems like it just shouldn't be so hard. Once your paperwork and home visit are approved, are they transferable to the new agency?

Trust your instincts re: what to do. You and your DH will find your way. May the new year present you with a clear path.
:wavey:
 

Bella_mezzo

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thanks so much ladies! We're going to send a very clear letter to our current agency when we leave stating why we're leaving and our concerns about the agency and the way our situation was handled.

DH and I are hoping to make a decision by this weekend regarding which waiting child/children (if any) at the new agency we would like to adopt. We're just trying to listen to our hearts and get on the same page which is very hard for my impatient, impetuous, control freak self and my laid-back, more cautious, methodical husband :cheeky:
 

ImperfectGirl

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Bella- can't wait to hear what you guys decide!

As for us...we are officially contracted!!! We found out the agency we were planning on using was running a special in the month of Dec. for those who contracted before the end of 2010, so we made the plunge today and saved $2K! :praise: :bigsmile: Next stop...home study.
 

Bella_mezzo

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Congrats Imperfect!!!!

Well after a few twists and turns (and I'm sure many more to come) we are matched with a little boy who was waiting for a family at our new agency! He just turned two according to his paperwork and that seems to be pretty accurate though there is often a lot of varience in birthdays on Ethiopian adoption paperwork (we're prepared and completely fine if it turns out he's older).

We'll be officially matched as soon as our homestudy is approved by the new agency (hopefully by the end of next week) and then our paperwork will be submitted to Ethiopia and we'll go through the court system there to adopt him and the US Embassy to have him enter the US. In all he probably won't be home with us until the summer.

I'm sure there will be many bumps and hiccups, there always are in adoption, especially international adoption, but hopefully this is the start of the journey to our son!
 

Logan Sapphire

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Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,382
Congratulations Bella!!!!!!!

That was super fast! I'm sure you're very, very excited! That's really wonderful news!

Are you going to keep his Ethiopian name?
 

Bella_mezzo

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Aug 19, 2009
Messages
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Thanks Logan!!! We were really upset with how our first agency handled things with the waiting child we were considering there, plus things seemed to be unravelling in the US office (multiple staff quitting, hardly any referrals, not a lot of info flowing to families about changes in the court and embassy process). Several families recommended this other agency to us, including former staff members of our first agency, and it turned out there were about 15 waiting kids mostly toddler boys in the 2-3 year old range.

We were considering a pair of brothers, a sibling group of 3 under 3 :-o and this little guy and had no idea how to chose between them. They all really grabbed our hearts.

DH pretty much freaked about 3 under 3 (even though that was my secret dream :cheeky: !) and another family decided to adopt the brothers, so we were delighted to be able to be matched with this little guy. There was a miscommunication earlier this week and we thought that another family had asked to adopt him, so we were pretty bummed for a few days, but it turned out that the agency thought I asked "Does he have a family" and they said "no" when what I wrote was "Does he need a family" so, we were delighted to learn yesterday that this could become a reality!!!

The plan is that we're going to keep his Ethiopian name as his middle name and call him by first and middle together most of the time.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,382
Isn't it funny how things seem to work out??

How did they give you the referral? I'm always curious how different agencies do things. With ours, we each got a call from our case worker (I was in CA at the time, while my husband was back in DC)- I knew as soon as she told me that she wanted to talk to me but asked if I wanted to wait until my husband was on the line at the same time. She said they had a referral and it was a girl. I was sitting in the car with my grantee, who was the 2nd person to hear about our referral, and I about freaked out b/c I had wanted a girl so badly but had expected a boy. She then emailed us the referral paperwork, plus lots of pictures and a video, but cautioned us in opening the pics right away b/c she said sometimes people look at them and fall in love with the child immediately, making it harder to be an impartial judge of the referral. Of course I ignored that and opened the pics as soon as I could get my hands on a computer.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in preparing for your son.

PS- I saw your post about strollers- if you still are considering brands, I highly recommend the City Mini one. The only thing I don't like about it is that the seat back isn't as firm and the kid kind of slumps in it. I think there's a board you can put behind the child, but we don't have it. The one-hand fold is INVALUABLE.
 

ImperfectGirl

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Oh my goodness Bella!! Congrats!!!!! :appl: :appl:
I can imagine how excited you and your DH must be. Wow, that was quick!
I'm with your DH, 3 under 3 would freak me out too! You are a brave woman! I'm so excited to see how things go since I've really not done any research on International adoption. We are considering going Intl for our 2nd in a few years.

As for us...we've got the date set for our home visit and are gathering all the necessary paperwork in the meantime. We've set up our 800 number and are working on building our profile that will go out to potential birth moms. We hope to have it all done by the end of the month and then the wait for a match begins...I'm pretty impatient so I'm trying to remind myself that nothing is going to happen overnight but it's all just so darn exciting! :bigsmile:
 

Bella_mezzo

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Thanks EB!!!

I just wrote a really long post and PS ate it, so I'll try to recap tonight when I get home...:)
 

Lanie

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Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,793
This is awesome news Bella!!!!!!! So, assuming your home visit goes well (which it will since it went well with the other agency) this is a 100% done deal?!?!
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Bella Congrats; I am sooooo Excited for you!!!! You will be a fabulous momma!!

Imperfectgirl, congrats!

LoganSapphire congrats on 1 year anni!!!
 

Bella_mezzo

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Messages
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YAY IMPERFECT GIRL!!!!!!!! :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:


Thanks Lanie and Skippy and EB!!!

This will be shorter than my post that got eaten b/c I just got home and need to do a project for school.

Logan-Since he was a waiting child we didn't have a referral moment, after a lot of thought and prayer we narrowed the waiting child list down to three sets of children--two sibling groups and him--and through a combination of factors we realized he was our son so we emailed and called the agency and they officially "put him on hold" for us. We can officially accept his referral after they approve our homestudy. I think my special referral moment will be remembered as when my husband looked at me and said "I think we should adopt B, you can call the agency and tell them" :love: :love: :love: :love:

Lanie-Nothing is "a done deal" in international adoption until you are home with your child, but this is as much a done deal as it can be at this point. This is why what our old agency did was so shady. Our new agency has been great and has confirmed that no other family can adopt B.

The remaining steps/timeline is approximately as follows (keeping in mind that there are about a hundred variables that are outside of everyone control but God's...)

By Jan 30-final homestudy to agency, formally accept referral, file I-600A with USCIS (aka immigration), dossier approved by Washington
by Feb 28-have I-171H (what you get when your I-600A is approved), dossier translated and in Ethiopia (hopefully this will be earlier in the month)
by March 30-find out court date
by May 30-court date
by July 30-embassy date

We're praying that things happen faster, but realistically this is probably a pretty good estimate...

One of my friends was so excited and wanted to throw us a shower. It's a little premature for that (we're still kind of in the first trimester of adoption) but it was SO SO SO nice to hear. Not sure why, but I almost cried. So, once we find out our court date we'll have a great shower to look forward to:) I don't think that we'll need very much though b/c I went on a little shopping spree from a baby overstock ebay store and got a huge deal on a car seat (sunshine kids radian convertible the new model for up to 80 lbs), a volo stroller, a fisher price booster, and bjorn bib and potty seat. Plus I got some clothes in 2T, 3T, and 4T (I figure whatever doesn't fit him we can leave at the orphanage:)
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
Bella what wonderful news. I wonder if you can share, without specifics if you want, the type of information you have about B and his background? I have some close relatives who are in the midst of adopting from mexico (not a good country for such things, long story) and they have literally no information about their new daughter. They were even told she was 11 months and a pediatrician says more like 6 months :o I wonder if you get more information about B's history and why he was put up for adoption etc?
 

Bella_mezzo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
5,754
Hi DD-

Glad you are feeling better after your little scare with the peanut!

As for B, we have 5 pics, a few sentences about why he was put up for adoption, and a 5 page medical report including lab reports.

When we travel to ethiopia for court we will have the option of meeting members of his birth family if they would like to see us (we definitely would like to meet them if possible!). We'll also get more paperwork on him then as there are many documents that have to be assembled in country to further legally prove the child is an orphan and elegible for adoption.

In Ethiopia usually if kids are aged wrong they are older than they seem, but occassional they can be younger. Birthdates aren't so important when you are living in a developing country with 80% of the population living well below the poverty line and where 10% of children die before they turn 5...plus the Ethiopian calendar is different than the US calender and date conversion is very confusing. We are pretty sure his age is close, and it could be 100% accurate. Eitherway, as long as it doesn't seem off by more than a year we would leave it as is.

best wishes to your relatives! International adoption is a strange and confusing process, but so incredible in the end!
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,793
Ohhhhhhh I bet he's so sweet and cute. I wish you could post pics but understand. I can't wait to see pics of him back at your house! How exciting!!!!!! Hopefully spring will cruise along for you quickly. What will your mat leave situation be like? I'm sure the law allows the same amount as a biological delivery? Does the agency or equivalent back here in the US provide classes or support for transitioning him to your house?

I wish I could send you a shower gift! That is going to be such a fun shower for you!!!
 

Bella_mezzo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
5,754
:wavey: Lanie,

We've been reading like fiends about toddler adoption, transition, attachment, bonding, child development, etc. Plus we had to do 20 hours of training and we focused most of ours on toddler adoption, transition, and attachment.

Mat leave is the same, 12 weeks unpaid :knockout:. if at all possible, we will actually stay in Ethiopia between court and embassy and use the bulk of my maternity leave there to experience the country and have time to bond with B in more familiar surroundings. :appl: :appl: :appl:

Once we're home, if I am still at my current job I am going to fight hard to work from home 1-2 days per week--at least for the fisrt 6 months home. DH will be home most of the time and will try to schedule as many of his classes in the evening (after I am home from work) as possible. There is also a great daycare a few blocks from our house that is really nurturing and small for toddlers ages 2-5. Several of our friends have loved it and I think it, or a nanny share, would be good options for B if we end up needing childcare.

I actually just got called by a recruiter yesterday for a really interesting job at a small private company that would offer a raise, better benefits, AND is work from home most of the time. So, I am exploring that option b/c it would be amazing to have something like that for the first few years of being a mom! Send lots of prayers and some of that PS dust my way ;))
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,539
Congrats ImperfectGirl! It's great to hear you've chosen an agency! I hope your wait is short!

Bella..how every exciting that you have been matched with your son! I pray that the process goes smoothly! Please give us updates as often as you have news! What agency did you end up using?
 

dcgator

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
1,115
Bella - How absolutely wonderful and SUPER exciting that you now know who your little baby will be and that you will have him in only a matter or months. YIPPEEE! :appl: :appl:

I hope that the whoel paperwork process goes smoothly and should you need any DC info or plan to come here at any point, please do let me know, and I will help out however I can.

Congrats again mommy-to-be! :bigsmile:
 

dcgator

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
1,115
ImperfectGirl - That is great news that you signed with your agency and even better news that you have your homestudy all set up! I wish you lots of luck with setting up all the other stuff and hope that you get your little angel soon! :appl:

Please continue to give us updates, when you can.
 
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