The Adoption Option

My spot for thoughts, feelings, rambles, and updates as we journey through the adoption process. Highlights: Dossier arrived in Thailand ~ Sept 26, 2005; Approved ~ October, 2005; Matched ~ August, 2006; Referral received ~ January 2007; Traveled & Home ~ June, 2007; Finalized!! ~ December, 2007

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

This is so real

Today was our Initial Assessment Interview at our homestudy agency - it was a 2 hour information fest. Mostly us sharing information with the agency representative, easy stuff like how we met, about our families, and our decision to adopt. There were some harder ones too, like why we are still together and please explain how you feel about inter-racial adoption. Sounds easy, but it's hard to articulate some of those thoughts and emotions. I don't really feel anything about inter-racial adoption because it's not an issue. And why are Sam and I still together... I mean what do you say "Well, you see, I loved him from the time I was 18 years old and it's hard to walk away from someone who stuck a needle in your butt everynight for a year!" Ummm, we're together because we're better together than we ever would be apart - because we love each other - we are best friends - and because it's meant to be that way. But I didn't say most of that. I just said we love each other and are best friends (although personally I think the part about the needles would have added flair).

I thought we were naive about welcoming an Asian child into our lives and raising him/her as our own, but it turns out that our lack of thoughts is actually more prepared than most. I guess it's not really a lack of thought because I think a lot about what's going to happen and how people will stare and what teachers will think at our first conferences and how in a crowd a stranger could never pick out the Listopad siblings based on their features, but it doesn't matter to us. I guess a lot of people are even so blinded that they are unaware of what's to come because they don't care about the race issue. But the representative seemed impressed we had discussed such issues and were preparing ourselves for those future situations.

We received a mound of paperwork that needs to be completed before we are assigned a social worker and can set up out in-home interview. This is where we really control so much of how quickly this initial process is going to take. It's a lot of running around, getting doctors' letters and test results, finger prints, photocopying documents, and signing papers. I think if we really concentrate and do a lot of running around we can have everything in about 2 weeks. This also includes a bunch of papers we need for our Dossier. Then we can set a date for our major interview and really get things underway.

The Dossier is much more than I had anticipated - it's a long list of documents the Thai government needs to review us - everything they are going to base their decision on about what child, if any, we are able to adopt. It all seems so random, a bunch of Thai officials sitting around reading letters from doctors and looking at pictures of our living room and then choosing a child from the orphanage for us to parent. But there's a magic in there, a destiny in the entire process that has worked again and again all over the world. It's really quite amazing when you think about it. How could it be random? I mean really deep down, can it really just be random?

Any - long update, but there is all is. I'll try to keep updates on the paperwork and the running around. I'm sure getting fingerprinted and asking for background checks on ourselves will be an interesting experience :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Quick update

Well, the past few days have been crazy - we received some information from WACAP. It was a welcome binder full of all kinds of information. I'm still trying to process everything in there. We also received a complete outline of everything we need for our Dossier (the packet of papers that sent to the Thai government explaining all about the Listopads). It's a lot of work and a little overwhelming but we just need to wrap our heads around it and form a plan.

The other part of our news, is that we sent off our paperwork to Family Resource Center (FRC) - the agency that's going to conduct our homestudy. We were called today and set up an appointment for our initial accessment interview. It's going to be the 29th of this month - so I'll have another update in a little over a week. I'll write more about some of the paperwork stuff when I have a chance, I just wanted to get out the update of what's been going on.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Couldn't wait

I just kept waiting and waiting thinking it can't possibly take this long to get mail to Seattle. So, today I called WACAP and asked about our application. Showing interest couldn't really be held againt us. Well, turns out our application was opened this morning and will be processed tomorrow and then we are officially in the adoption game. There really is no acceptance at this point, but we are in the system and getting everything underway. I spoke to someone who was so nice and ready to answer all my questions. It's really real. As of tomorrow we will be in the WACAP system saying the Listopad family is going to adopt from Thailand. It's all so crazy. The ease of this first phase has made me a little more relaxed about the following phases - I know we have nothing to worry about with our homestudy. We are good people who try our best to be good parents and are ready to accept another child into our lives.

We will mail the homestudy application to that agency hopefully this Friday. We still need to write our statement for that and then hopefully within 3 weeks we'll have our first meeting starting off the homestudy process.

I'm so happy with anticipation and excitement.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Harder than I thought

I'm a ball of anxious energy - and I don't know what to do about it. I never thought it would be this hard to just wait. I'm thinking about how fast mail travel between Chicago and Seattle, wondering is some crazy mailcarrier has stashed all the mail in his basement waiting to have a huge bonfire. Thinking about how I thought this would be easy and I'd just pass the time with whatever it is I do to pass my time.

I'm feeling a little selfish as well. I read an article that was linked from the agency's website about a family moved to adopt from India after the tsunami disaster. They mentioned that the agency has had enormous amounts of interest in its Thailand and India programs since the beginning of the year (nearly triple from last year). What if these people get in and get my baby? We decided on Thailand nearly 6 months ago and now everything might change (including the wait time we had our minds around and prepared for). I know it's crazy, because any baby getting adopted is a good thing, but at the same time our agency doesn't even deal with the region affected by the disaster.

I know it'll take whatever amount of time it takes, and whatever baby we are handed is the one we are meant to raise and love, but I can't help it I'm selfish and I'll admit it.

Hopefully we'll hear something from the agency soon (my nerves can't take it if we don't)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Signed-sealed-delivered, well almost

The first official step of paperwork is being shipped off tomorrow. We are sending in our initial application to the adoption agency in Seattle (World Association of Children & Parent - WACAP). This is the agency that handles the actual adoption process and has the Thailand program. I called a few weeks ago and they said they usually process the applications within 24 hours of when they are received. I don't see any reason why we would not be accepted and they assured me that no one is actually denied unless things are tragically wrong (and there is always communication before had and an attempt to figure out the issues). I don't think we have anything tragically wrong with us, but still submitting an application naturally brings along nerves as well as anticipation.

For the application we had to write a paragraph describing the child we were hoping for. I didn't want to sound too cheesey, but really we are just looking for a child to love and who will love us back. Although Sam and I have decided we don't think we can handle life-long medical needs. It's a personal decision, but one we both agree on and feel very strongly about. Most people going through the adoption process have to make that decision, thankfully for us it was not painful or disruptive to the process. I feel lucky that Sam and I have for the most part, grown-up together. We know each other so well that sometimes a hard conversation for others is a simple one for us. We understand each other (most of the time) and most of all respect the people we have turned into over the last decade. I feel truly blessed for the things I have in my life and often feel guilty for requesting more, but I know we are going to give a child the chance it needs to really grow and prosper in the world.

Anyway - keep your eyes on the look out for the next post (hopefully one saying we're accepted and on the way - officially).