Summertime fun

There is so much going on here in our neck of the woods!

We are moving forward with our home study and will have our first interview in a week!  (As I told my friends this is getting real.  You work on paperwork for what seems like forever to even get to the home study and you think it may never come. After we finish the two home study portions, our background checks come back and the agency approves us – we will be presented to families.  The thought is exciting and humbling at the same time!)

In other news  . . . .

I have some trips coming up and will be trying to post a blog post (or two) about those!

And . . .

I have been featured on Lisa’s blog, Amateur Nester, about my struggle with infertility and what the future hold for us.

Lisa is such a wonderful resource and inspiration for women in her personal journey.

Check out my interview:

http://www.amateurnester.com/2014/06/on-the-journey-with-kari.html

Some frequently asked questions

As we go through the adoption process I thought it might be helpful to answer some questions we have received over the last few months (and just in case you are curious).  (Please keep in mind I am not an expert in any of this and of course I am relatively new to this process and my statements are what I know/understand.)

*How long does the adoption process take?

It really varies. Our agency stated that one family matched three days after posting their information to the online site (but this was also because they also put up a billboard in a major city) and another family took up to three years. We are thinking (and hopeful) that the average time will be between 6 months to a year to match (once we have our homestudy and are approved).  Honestly there are many variables in the whole process: it will depends on who wants to match with us and it also varies how many women/families are in need of adoption services.

*Do you get to pick the child?

Not exactly. With our agency you can discuss ethnicity and potential medical problems that a child may have but no you cannot select the gender of the child. In our case we are pretty much open to discuss anything.

*Why are you blogging about this/have a Facebook page?

If you haven’t yet check out our Facebook page J made at J&K Adopt.  Reasons why we are doing this:  1.  As part of our prerequisites our agency wants us to share the option of adoption and we have chosen to share this information via social media and word of mouth.   2.  This is a way to share our story.  As I/we have had to deal with infertility problems finding other families who were in the same situation was a comfort.   It was a comfort to know I/we were not alone.  Some of those families have chosen other means to achieve pregnancy, others have gone on to adopt and others have chosen to live childless.  All of those families (some of who I talk to on a personal levels, others I have not) have become a support group and if I can help someone else out there through my little stories or even educate someone not going through infertility or adoption then I have done my job of what I planned to accomplish.

*Why are you doing an open adoption? Wouldn’t that cause problems?

When we first looked in to adoption we were hesitant regarding “open” adoption. Keeping in mind that “open adoption” can vary per situation and agency. After doing some reading, talking with our agency, hearing from birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents it became clear that there was no need to worry about problems from open adoption. In the case of our agency open means that you have open lines of communication between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s). In reality this is what is best for the child – especially as they get older. They will be able to know their heritage, background and medical information. Obviously each adoption is unique and all parties will discuss what they will and will not do but at this point we are open to discuss anything because ultimately we want what is best for the child.

*How much does it cost?

It varies but when it is all said and done it is around $25,000 total.

*How will you pay for this?  

We have been saving for awhile now but even if we utilized all our savings we could not cover the complete cost alone. There are grants, scholarships and loans available from different places.  I plan on applying for grants and scholarships but we have to have our home study complete and approval from the agency (so that will start probably next month).  There is currently an adoption tax credit but you can apply for that once you have finalized and paid for your adoption.  We are also planning on selling shirts to promote adoption (they are so cute) and if I get the opportunity I plan on sewing, crocheting and crafting more to open a small store online.

*Why does it cost so much?  

Our agency is very upfront about costs associated with adoption.  A large portion of the money goes for the all of the legal processes involved (and it is quite lengthy).  In addition, our agency provides assistance and help to birthmothers/parents through helping them with their needs from medical expenses, living/housing expenses, etc.  Our agency has places where birth families can stay during the adoption process.  I really feel that our agency helps not only adoptive parents but focuses on the well being and needs of the birthparents as well.  When explaining the fees our agency just summed up the cost by saying that when adoptive parents pay all of the fees they are essentially helping one birthparent who chooses to place their child for adoption and one who chooses to parent.  I really feel that our agency is really trying to help these women/families.  We are essentially helping with mission work (and I am biased but I think this is one of the best agencies who really is trying to help people).

*Why don’t use foster or go through DHS?

I know of several families who have used DHS to adopt children and while we are considering that route in the future – the purpose of DHS is reunification with families. Because of the attempts to work to reunify families adoptions can understandably take a considerable amount of time to finalize – not to mention the relationship between birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) are very different due to these varying life circumstances.   While it is a great avenue to help children and families we have chosen not to go through the foster system to adopt yet (key word here is: yet).

Again we are so happy to be working with Christian Homes. To get an idea or simply just a glimpse of the work our agency does please watch the video below:

 

If you want to check out our agency’s website they are linked on the right side of this page.

And of course if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer them!

Moving right along

Exciting things are happening at our house!

So let’s do a recap . . .

Monday – Part of the requirements of adoptions is to have a state and federal background check.  I found out that despite that I had to get fingerprinted (and consequently a background check) to work at school that apparently I have worked at a school too long so I got to get my fingerprints done again.  This time I got it done old school not electronically.  Needless to say between myself and the lady (who by the way was cracking me up) we had to redo my finger prints like three times.  It was ok though since there was a few times where we both were laughing too much at me being silly.  The staff at the place I had to get these completed were absolutely precious and sweet – too bad the couldn’t run my back ground check too that would have made my life so much easier!  One of the ladies even called me bubbly to which I replied “I am just behaving.”  They thought that was funnier.  Though it was funnier when I couldn’t get out of the door to get back to my car.  Apparently pushing a button and a door at the same time was a little too much for me Monday.

I kept going with wrapping up some of our paperwork.  You would think typing up a simply autobiography would be easy enough right?  HAHAHAHA  It took me over an hour to type three pages and answer 8 of 19 questions.  Sadly enough those question were not even really that hard looking back. . .

Tuesday – During the day I “think” I got all these fingerprinting things sorted out.  Here in Oklahoma it isn’t very clear on what you need to do or who you go through when utilizing private (or in our case agency) but I decide Tuesday I am going to go to OSBI myself and then send my stuff to the FBI so our agency doesn’t have to do it.  (Keep in mind our agency is licensed here but they don’t do a ton of adoptions here so when things change they may not always know it.)  J gets his fingerprints completed.

Wednesday – I get up and get dressed ready to go to OSBI and all the while I keep thinking and the whole process is seriously bugging me.  It really should not be this hard.  I get all the way to OSBI’s parking lot and do a little google research and decide that no I am going to make some more calls.  Next, I spend some time on the phone dealing with DHS and all these finger printing issues finding out that they actually run everything (too bad their website is not exactly clear on that).  I have their people fax me the forms.  We fill them out that night after church.

Thursday – During the day I send copies of all of the DHS forms to our social worker to have on file (hopefully another family in our state won’t have to go through what I/we did)! We both work more on our last few forms for the agency.  The whole autobiography thing was taking forever!  Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind talking about my life but putting it in a way that also goes with what the agency wants is trickier than I thought.  I work on mine until midnight and decided I would review it one more time in the morning.

Friday – My sister reviews my autobiography and makes corrections and I double check it for the last time.  I finally adjust the formatting and send it to J.   By 4 he emails our files to the agency.  Unfortunately our social worker is already gone for the day (and won’t be back for another week).  I won’t lie that I am little bummed we didn’t get it in earlier, however, it looks like the paperwork part is finished.  Some of the other staff at the agency will look it over and make sure we turned everything in and send us back our check list.  Then we can send in our fees and hopefully a week from Monday we can schedule a time to go down there before the end of the month!  As far as I am concerned we are finished with paperwork!!!!!!!  Yippee!!!

One step closer!

I am prayerful that we will be on their list of waiting families the first week of July.  Until then I will just have to keep myself busy with our projects around the house and try to enjoy my summer.

My Top 10 of May

To change things up a bit – because after all this blog is about my/our life I decided to share 10 random things I have learned/enjoyed this month! (Not to mention making a list makes it easy to be random!)

Get ready for some pics and memes just for fun!  These are listed in no particular order – they are all great to me:

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1.  We went to see Gavin Degraw earlier this month and ever since I have been on a borderline obsessive kick to play his music at least once everyday.  Though I bet some of my colleagues at work are glad they don’t have to work as long as I do because all I have played all week in my office is Gavin Degraw!

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2.  As much as I can get irritated by cleaning there is something that makes me so happy to have a clean house.  Our house is clean generally speaking but we have had people over the last week so extra care has been taken to make sure unnecessary clutter is put away and I love it!!!!

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(While I don’t sit around with an adult beverage in hand and certainly not that ridiculous hat during the summer months, this meme was cracking me up!  Yes, in this house Game of Thrones is watched so this is just too funny.)

3.  The end of May signals the end school and the almost end of my work for the school year!  Just a few more days!

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4.  This May we have been blessed with quiet weather in comparison to some years and (knock on wood) hope it stays that way.

 

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(I honestly cannot remember where I found this so if you find the site let me know so I can properly cite it.)

5. I am so lucky to have great and supportive friends. Since “relaunching” this blog and beginning to share my (our) story and our plans for the future I have received love and support. For this I am so grateful. This week alone I have had three friends help me at work. One was my “little brother” who came and helped fix a table and take down bulletin boards. My “big brother” helped me sort out what I needed to do for our background check stuff for our adoption agency. Finally, my best friend brought me lunch and helped me move stuff. I am blessed!

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(I cannot remember where I found this if you know the source let me know!)

6. We have been able to see and spend time with family we normally don’t get to see this month. First we spent time with our funny and caring cousins – went to the movies, went to church and spent time talking. It was nice to “get away” even if it was only the weekend and we were only an hour and a half away. Then we spent time with my grandparents in law (or in love as Grandma would say). We don’t get to see them often so it is always fun to see them and spend time with them.

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7. Finding good deals! I love shopping (and always have) but I can’t help but be happy when I find something new – especially for a good price. I found a new brand of popcorn at Target and it is yummy and low fat! We also went to buy shoes the other day and we ended up with four pairs of shoes for a total of $60. That’s a good deal to me! Apparently my patience and waiting for a sale paid off this time!

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8. Two words: Tiger Woods. No I didn’t see the real Tiger but apparently people at the city zoo think my brother in law is him or at least a total look alike. Admittedly this probably isn’t as funny unless you were there but I called him Tiger for well over a week and am still totally amused by it.

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9. I learned this month that the Stanley Cup playoffs are RARELY on regular NBC and not on Game Center so I have been going through massive withdrawals without cable (honestly this is pretty much the only thing I miss about cable).

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10.  I cannot be more happy that it is now June and I survived May and the summer has lots of things to look forward to!

Our Crazy Life

Our Crazy Life