Monday, March 29, 2010

Journeys of the Heart

The title of this blog post is not just a description of what we are going through (yes as cheesy as it is), but is also the name of the adoption agency we are beginning to work with! Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services is based here in the Northwest and works with families of all shapes and sizes - something very important to us. We submitted our application Mid-March (be sure to check out our handy dandy adoption timeline on the right hand side of our blog) and just finished the second round of paperwork extravaganza! The next big step for us is our first in person meeting April 16th in Hillsboro, OR. This is the meeting where we will formally be accepted into the domestic adoption program and be officially ready to start our homestudy.

Each time we complete a step this process becomes more and more real for us. It is easy to get caught up in the monotony of the paperwork and waiting (there is A LOT of waiting), but then we submit paperwork or have a meeting and that wakes us up that we are moving forward and soon we will be parents! Very exciting.

In addition to completing more steps, we are telling more people about our plans, which also makes this a whole lot more real. Everyone that we have told is so excited and supportive and we couldn't feel any more gratitude for the outpouring of support we have already received...Thank you!

One last thing, in a previous post we urged you all to contact your representatives to support the continuation of the adoption tax credit. If you did, thank you! If you didn't, well you are off the hook. Along with all of the great things that were included in the recently passed Health Care Reform Bill, is the continuation of the tax credit AND and a $1,000 increase! Can I just say that I love our president?

I think I fixed the comments section of our blog as well. You now don't have to be a "registered user" to post a comment. If you want to receive email alerts when we publish a new blog, be sure to use the "subscribe" tool at the top of the right hand column.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Step: Interviewing Agencies

The first step of this journey is finding the right adoption agency to work with. There are so many agencies out there it was a bit overwhelming to even decide what agencies to interview! So we focused on agencies based here in the Northwest and were open to all kinds of families. That helped us narrow it down to four agencies to interview and thanks to our very organized friends we were armed with a litany of questions to help us find the best match.

Just in these first few weeks we know way more about what it means to grow a family through adoption, and we have just begun to dive below the surface. We are getting more familiar with the language and jargon and learning about the different approaches and philosophies employed by different agencies. We can now can talk about disruption rates (cases where a birthmother changes her mind about parenting her baby), last minute placements versus planned placements, and so much more. While the learning curve is steep we feel that we've already come a long way.

All the agencies we spoke with gave us information that is helping us in our decision. Let's just put it this way...we were able to eliminate one agency before we hung up with them - not a good match. But that is why we did the interviews. What it will really comes down to is who do we feel we will be most comfortable with. All of the agencies had experience, were legit and could get us a baby in the end, but we want to work with an agency that will participate in this experience with us.

Anyhow, we are pretty close to making our choice and hope to submit our initial application early next week to the chosen agency!

Did I mention that we are now on the fast-track, if there is such a thing, for our adoption? We found out in our adoption tax credit research that there is a chance the $12,000 tax credit could go away at the end of this year. Yikes! Please call your Congressperson today! So we decided we didn't want to take that chance and are trying to get through the paperwork and homestudy process as soon as we can. Wish us luck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So, we are adopting a baby

One day we woke up and decided, "Hey, let's adopt a baby." Well, not really but to many of you who are reading this for the first time it may seem that way. Actually, we have been contemplating this decision for a very long time. We always knew we wanted a family. We have been together 8 years, married for almost four, lived in Montana, North Carolina and now Oregon, and know that right now is the perfect time to grow our family.

So, how did we come to this decision you may wonder. Well it took a long time, but what pushed us over the edge was the fact that recently our friends finalized their adoption. Seeing the process and hearing about the story first hand impressed upon us how wonderful, magical and fulfilling the experience truly is. More then anything though, meeting their beautiful baby girl clinched it for us. We had thrown around the idea as an alternative for us having biological children, but never really gave it much more thought than that until now. Thanks Kathy, Josh, Aria and Jasmine!

So here we are and there you are. We plan to use this blog to keep our friends and family up to date on the whereabouts of our future child. We expect the process to take awhile (approximately 12-24 months). We are very excited for this journey and to share it with you. Please feel free to ask us questions, comment on our musings and support us on this amazing journey.

Welcome and thank you for coming along for the ride!

Shelly and David