Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Here we gooo

Well I talked to Elly today and she said she will have some openings for the home study in early January. So it's perfect timing really since I'm on break from school and I actually have time to work on paperwork over the holidays. Our present goal is to get all paperwork done and turned in by the first week of January and then the home study will be scheduled shortly thereafter, in early January.

I've been told the home study isn't a big deal or anything to be afraid of but it still stresses me out. Even though I'm far from it, I have trouble resisting the urge to seem perfect on the surface. I guess one day at a time is the only way to play it. As I said to my cousin, I will probably laugh about how nervous I was once this is all said and done but for now it seems larger than life to me.

Anyway...I feel good about where we are and I'm so happy to be proceeding again!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chip in Fundraiser

I just found an online service that allows friends and family to contribute to our adoption fund via paypal. Check out my chip in widget on the left side of the page. I found this on the web site of another adoptive family and I think it's pretty never know where you might find support when you ask for it and every little bit helps so...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Because I belive in you

It's hard to write a blog entry when you're literally feeling speechless. Still...we received a very generous gift from my cousin, Lauren today, and it feels important to me to capture these moments as they happen.

Today had been just another ordinary day except that there's an ice storm happening. I had just gotten back from Home Depot where I bought a huge bucket of salt for said ice storm when I decided to check the mail. Usually I don't check the mail, I just let Michael do it but today I decided to. I'm so glad I did because what was there really made my day. No, my year.

What I said to my cousin and what I am feeling is that I am so very grateful...there actually are no words that can really convey how I feel right now. Her gift means we can move forward to the next step of the process much sooner than we had anticipated. Even her note at the bottom of the check, so simple yet so sweet has made a huge difference to me.

I am counting my blessings and they are many!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Well all I can really say is wow. I am so thankful to all the people who took part in the open house and who have contributed their time, energy and financial support to our adoption goals. Sometimes you find support and encouragement where you least expect it. The open house was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 18, and we had a great time. All in all there was quite a good response from people at Willow Run schools where my sister teaches and Detroit Edison where my mom formerly worked. And of course, my family was there and was (as always) very supportive.

I feel pretty good now and I think we will be able to start the process of our home study soon. We still have a fair amount of paperwork to complete and some funds to save up but it shouldn't take too much longer. I'll have some time over the holiday break from school that I plan on using to complete paperwork and maybe even start on our adoption photo album.

All of this just has to move along one day at a time and I need to remind myself of that from time to time. It becomes so frustrating for me when I feel that absolutely no progress is being made but then I have to remember that I can't force this process to move any faster than it already is. We can only do what we can do and plug away at it one small step at a time. I am confident that someday we will look back on these times and have absolutely no doubt as to why the journey unfolded as it did.


Saturday, October 20, 2007


...but surely, some progress is being made. I've been working (mostly subconsciously) on this problem of how to raise/earn more money for our adoption fund and it seems the wheels are slowly beginning to turn again.

We finally got my studio lights and backdrop set up in the basement, which means I can further apply my skills as a photographer and maybe make a little extra money (outside the graduation photography thing) on the weekends. I already did one photo shoot for a friend and I'm working on making myself a little flier to hand out in an effort to get some additional business. One portrait session doesn't take a ton of time so it's quite feasible for me to do several photo shoots in one weekend if I can generate that much interest. Digital has made the whole process so much easier and reduced my costs enough that I can do this for a reasonable price. Hopefully it will help.

Another project in the works is the Mary Kay open house my friend Molly (with the help of my sisters) is organizing on our behalf. The official date and all the details are still being sorted out but the general plan is to invite literally everyone we know to a holiday themed open house. Molly is being exceptionally awesome by doing this...she's going to donate all the profits from the open house to our adoption fund. I'm a little nervous about it because I hope it ends up being worth her putting in so much time and effort but I do greatly appreciate her offer to do this for us.

Other than that life is still flying on as usual! I can't believe how quickly this fall is coming and going but I guess that's what happens when you're busy all the time. For now I'm off to do (at least a little) decorating for Halloween.

Peace Out,


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


...or no updates as the case may be. There's still not much going on in terms of our adoption process. I sort of feel like we've hit a brick wall (pretty much due to finances) and it is very frustrating. I'm trying to keep it in perspective and remember that we're exactly where we're supposed to be even if that's not exactly where we want to be. Easier said than done.

I know we'll get there eventually, it just seems like such a long road sometimes. And as if we needed another thing on our plates...our washing machine broke last night. I knew this mini-disaster was coming because the machine is OLD and has been sporadically doing weird stuff lately but still...!! It's always something.

Other parts of our lives are in full swing though. I started back to school full time last week, 14 credit hours at EMU and it's a lot. Overall so far I'm loving it and feeling really excited about what I'm doing (elementary ed) but it's also a full load and quite an adjustment/balancing act for me.

I guess that's it for now...more to come when there's more to tell!


Friday, August 10, 2007


There seems to be a quietness--a lull in our adoption process that is a little unsettling for me. Most of it has to do with money since our biggest objective right now is to save enough money to proceed with the next set of services we need. But there is also the paperwork we're working on. Even though adoption is one of our highest priorities we are both finding it difficult to complete the required paperwork without feeling overwhelmed. My strategy is to plug away at it one tiny piece at a time until I get it done but Michael's seems to be to procrastinate all together. I guess one thing we really need (who doesn't, right?) is more time. In particular more time together. Maybe we'll have to schedule a day off together so we can work on this stuff, who knows? I guess I'm just struggling with the balance of it all. Life is busy and crazy even when there aren't big things like this in the works.

Right at the moment I feel as though I'm standing at the base of a large mountain with no sure idea of when or how I'm going to make it to the top. I guess all of these feelings are normal with such big life changes...?

To top it off I drank WAY too much coffee WAY too late last night and I cannot sleep for the life of me! Even though I know the rest of today is going to be exhausting and at some point in the next 24 hours I'm simply going to crash I cannot get myself to stop processing. Irritating!


Saturday, August 4, 2007


So we had our adoption physicals yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I was fearing it might be but still a little uncomfortable to dredge up all the known issues we have and basically put them down on paper. I left feeling a little (maybe even a lot) depressed but on the drive back to Ypsi from Dexter Michael was able to cheer me up.

I guess what upset me so much is the intensity of it all. We got to that doctors office at 3:30 and didn't leave until 6:15. I guess it's normal as a prospective adoptive parent to feel a huge sense of unfairness. We have to go through so much to start our family while other people (many of whom shouldn't) are reproducing like nobody's business. It seems like such a typical thing to say...and we all know life isn't always fair. I guess I almost feel a lack of entitlement to my own feelings and that makes all of this that much more complicated.

The things is--NO ONE is perfect. Every parent has some flaws and some bad behaviors they will inevitably pass on to their kids. One of our biggest flaws (or life challenges if you will) is our weight, which is right there on the surface for everyone to see. Alcoholics can hide their behaviors; even mentally unstable people can seem stable enough on the surface. When you're overweight and struggling with food on a daily basis there is no hiding that. Of course I already know it's an issue I face and I know I need to work on it so having it thrown in my face made me feel bad.

A large part of the adoption process is looking on the inside and seriously evaluating the kind of person you are, both physically and emotionally. That's hard. On the flip side, I do have to remind myself that we will be better parents in the long run because of all the questioning and paperwork we must go through to get there--there is some comfort in that for me. I guess there's nothing for it but to keep on keeping on, breaking all our tasks into more manageable chunks and getting them done, one by one.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

One More Task Checked Off the List

Well we've just finished the second and final day of our adoptive parenting classes. Today was emotionally draining for me. There were a lot of difficult moments for me when listening to adoptees and birth parents discuss adoption from the perspective of those who lose the most through the process.

One thing we've known from the start is that adoption is built on loss. That doesn't make it bad or wrong in any way but it does make it emotionally challenging. Beginning this process--attending classes--has forced me to take a look on the inside and consider adoption from all the different perspectives.

There are so many unanswered questions and so much I need to figure out within myself in order to move forward. I think a lot of it will just get pieced together as we go along. I don't think all the details can be planned out since every situation is unique. I'm feeling quite antsy - I want to get all the paperwork done today so we can move forward as quickly as possible but by sheer volume that is impossible.

I am struggling with the fact that I am a finisher. I tend to be very task oriented and want to see projects through to completion once I start them. With adoption that is just something that cannot be done. It is not a fast or predictable process in any way so on a major level I have to LET GO and let whatever will happen happen. Needless to say that is hard for me. The process of letting go (in general) seems to be a recurring life lesson for me. Go figure.

I also struggle with the fact that Michael and I deal with this process differently. He is more laid back and able to view our tasks as things we'll complete when we have a chance whereas I want to get everything done NOW. Other days I'm also very laid back though so this feeling of needing to control and conquer the process comes and goes within me. I guess it's all normal and I just need to work through my feelings as they occur and literally go with the flow. I'm working on that.

Overall I do know that while our adoption journey will most certainly not unfold the way we think it will, it will happen when and how it should. I feel a great deal of comfort in that, even when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. More than anything that is what I took away from the classes we attended. A feeling of hope and faith that all will be as it should and priceless.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day 1 is Done

Well classes one and two are now under our belts. Overall they were great! We learned/soaked up a tremendous amount of information in a very short period of time so needless to say I'm still processing a lot of what we heard. The best part of yesterday was the adoptive families (three in all) who came in to talk to us. It was such a tremendous comfort to see and hear them in living color. All of what they had to say about adoption with CSS was positive and they each had unique stories with some wonderful lessons and advice to impart. They weren't perfect people, just average, everyday people who have been where we are. Overall I walked away with a strong sense that this is all going to work, even if that doesn't happen the way we expect it to. That's been such a great feeling and while I do feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information there is to think about, I mostly feel happy.

Next Saturday we'll head back for classes three and four and then we're done with formal adoptive parenting education. After we complete classes and the mountain of paperwork I talked about in my previous post, all we need to do is save up the money for our pre-placement assessment (home study) and we can keep the ball rolling. Of course updates will be forthcoming...


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two days to go...

until our adoptive parenting classes begin! I turned in our application and fee Monday so it's official now.

Today I'm feeling a little...nervous maybe...or anxious if there's a difference. I don't know quite what to expect from these classes. I've read all the information there is on them and I know what I think they're about but I don't know...I'm just feeling edgy about Saturday at the moment.

I think the whole process of emotions I'm going through relating to our adoption plan is so strange. I've thought for a long time that adoption was the right choice for us but I've had a harder time convincing Michael of that. Now that we've finally reached this place together I am experiencing such a wide range of feelings.

There is joy and excitement at the forefront but not far behind them lies fear and nervous anticipation. I guess I'm stressed about what the road ahead will bring and how we will handle all the many twists and turns along the way. Then of course there is some sense of sadness. While I know this doesn't have to be an end to the road we've been on it does feel like an end.

We are completely changing our tactic and pouring our resources, tangible and otherwise into a completely different entity than we have been for such a long, long time now. Some days I just feel very overwhelmed by all the emotions I have. And other days I only feel happy and relieved that we are pursuing adoption. I guess it's all normal stuff but I don't really know since I don't know anyone else (yet) who's in the same place we are.

who knows...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Details and more details

So we had our intake appointment on Thursday. It went well but was much quicker than I had anticipated. I'm not sure what I expected exactly but she basically just showed us all of the forms we have to fill out and briefly explained each one. I had a couple of questions but really it was hard to think of them right then and there. I know that once I read through all the forms and paperwork we received, and especially once we begin filling out forms I will have questions.

The packet we received includes the following paperwork we have to complete before our home study can begin:
  • Two mini-books for us to read on open adoption
  • Two two-page "common fears and concerns of adoption" forms, one for each of us
  • Two one-page "fantasy child" questionnaires, one for each of us
  • A form asking for three personal references
  • Two criminal records petition forms, one for each of us
  • Two two-page adult medical reports for each of us to fill out with our doctors
  • A two-page family financial assessment
  • A CSS Fee agreement
  • A home study checklist including several additional pieces of documentation we will need
In addition to all of that we also have to fill out an online family background analysis that's four typed pages. She said that one will be the hardest because it's all about family history, etc. and it's very detailed which means it can take some time to complete.

We also received the forms for and learned more about the adoptive parenting classes we will be attending in July. They are broken down into four sessions, each about three-and-a-half hours long.

Here is the blurb from our paperwork about the classes:

"We believe that these classes are beneficial to anyone interested in or seriously pursuing adoption, whether through Catholic Social Services, another agency, an attorney or internationally. Please think about joining us. In a fun, non-threatening environment, our series of four classes attempts to prepare families for parenting through adoption by "walking in the shoes" of all members of the adoption circle. In addition to the didactic presentations, each session features a panel of adoptive parents, birth families and/or adoptees who will share their experiences with adoption.'s a lot of information to process and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed but I have a feeling this is only the beginning. Still...I said I wanted more information so I could stay busier and stop thinking so much about what was to come so I guess that particular wish was granted!


Monday, June 25, 2007


I just found out our intake evaluation is scheduled for this Thursday at lunch time. According to the email we received from Elly (she's our adoption counselor) the appointment won't take much longer than an hour but that is dependent upon how many questions we have. Most of my nervousness has moved out of the way for the excitement I feel, at least for the moment.

More to come...

Thoughts about Truth

I got up early this morning and I've been online, reading and researching more about adoption. I found one very interesting and heartfelt article that I really enjoyed. Here's an excerpt from Secret Thoughts from an Adoptive Mother:
"As more and more of us tell the truth about our feelings, and those feelings resonate with others, they gain a legitimacy that can be comforting. Like every other aspect of adoption, truth is not a gift that you can choose to give or withhold; it is a prerequisite. The process of adopting a child takes more courage than you think you have, offers more self-knowledge than you think you want, and reassembles your characteristics into someone familiar but changed. It is an incredible journey through a rich landscape of hard truths."
This resonated with me and it kind of sums up how I feel overall and why I'm creating this blog to begin with. I want and need to tell our story in a truthful, meaningful way and I hope I will be able to do that. If you're interested, you can read more of the article I quoted here

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Garage Sale

Towards the end of last week I somehow managed to motivate myself enough to clean out our garage, with the intent of participating in our neighborhood-wide garage sale this year. This basically means I've spent most of the past two weekends either in our garage or our driveway working my tail off. Despite the hard work of cleaning out garages, basements, closets, etc. it's always nice when the work is done and you can sit back and admire all the new-found space.

This time around my efforts were for a dual purpose. I decided to apply the garage sale proceeds to our adoption fund, thereby killing two birds with one stone: a cleaner, more organized garage and a little additional cash for our nest. This weekend was the actual garage sale and it went pretty well. While it was a lot of work to clean, organize and price all that stuff, I actually enjoyed sitting out in the yard chatting with people, meeting a few neighbors for the first time, and finding excellent uses for so much of our excess stuff. All totaled after Friday and Saturday I ended up with close to $150.00 that I can take straight to the bank. Not too bad for a few days of work that was begging to be done anyway...good times!

We should probably hear from the people at Catholic Social Services (CSS) this week sometime and then our intake evaluation will be scheduled. I am anxious to find out all the details of the adoption education classes we will take in July, as well as all the other ins and outs of our road toward becoming adoptive parents. I know it will probably be overwhelming when we get all the information but at least then I can feel like I'm being productive and like progress is being made towards our goal. My hope is that I'll feel less anxious overall when I can keep myself busy with adoption-related research and projects.

I guess time will tell...

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Journey Begins

And so it goes! I placed a letter in our mailbox today containing our application for adoption through Catholic Social Services of Michigan. The next step will be to have our intake evaluation, which should happen sometime within the next two weeks. This will be an opportunity for us to get to know our adoption counselor a little better and to learn much more about the details of the journey that lies ahead for us.

This is a big step and I feel excited and nervous all at once. There is so much to learn and I can't seem to get my hands on enough information to satisfy my curiosity. I've already read four adoption books, ranging from personal stories all the way to the how-to variety. I know that a lot of what we will learn will come through experience only and that's just the nature of the adoption process but I still yearn for answers to all my questions!

I haven't been quite sure until now that I wanted to create a blog for this part of our lives but the act of placing that oh so important letter in the mailbox today made me realize that I do. We have been waiting a long time to become parents and now that we have taken these steps toward making that dream a reality it seems impossible to NOT write about it. I am an avid journal keeper anyway, both in electronic and paper form so this will be yet another link in my journaling chain.

I guess I'm done for tonight. I know there will be more to say soon!