I’m still here…

Untitled-1I know it’s been well over a month since my last entry, but there is literally nothing to report. We are completely stalled and haven’t had a response to the many emails I have sent to our case worker. It would appear that we are not unique in this either. Of the other classmates from our PRIDE class, only 1 couple has a completed home study and only bc they had extenuating circumstances and already had a child identified. All the others, from the informal survey myself and another classmate completed, no one else is even close. Not even the potential foster parents which surprised me.

We graduated on September 10th and were told they had to be completed by December 10th. Hi, it’s December 16th. We haven’t heard a peep since November 20th when I received an email about an adoption picnic event. From the get go, it’s been very difficult to get in contact with almost anyone from our agency. We’ve actually looked into switching agencies in the hopes of completing our home study faster, but it seems like they are all pretty slow. Joining and attending the association meeting is pretty eye opening. We’ve learned a lot about the process talking to other families.

I’ve had so much more luck talking to my friends at Our Kids than hearing a peep from our own agency. No, I take that back. I was called a couple weeks back by one of our awesome PRIDE instructors asking about placing a child with us. Unfortunately, he was way far out of our criteria and also not having a home study, we couldn’t have accepted him no matter what.

This whole process is just extremely frustrating and painful. I know that one day we will have our little one in our family. But until then, I am struggling. And with every new post about my friend’s pregnancies, my heart breaks a little bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited for every single one of them, but it still breaks my heart that they will all likely have their babes before I have mine we have ours. Even the ones that just announced in the past week.

Having an inordinate amount of stress at work isn’t helping either. I am currently wrapping up the largest event of the year that we’ve been working on for months. And come January, I am taking a new job. In being fair, I’ve given my boss the opportunity to meet the salary of my new job, but it has an expiration date on it.

Plus, we were really really hoping to have a child in our home – or at least going through the visits – by Christmas/ New Year’s.

To the person/people that read every single post in my blog on December 5-6, I am in awe. There is so much that I’ve written over the years that I’ve even forgotten most of it. Hope you enjoyed it!


Adoption Support Group

Yesterday, I went to my first adoption support group meeting. I finally met the very first person I spoke with at Our Kids back in April as she was one of the hosts for the meeting. Thanks to the power of Facebook and texting, I made plans to meet up with 2 other almost-mom’s – J and B – from our PRIDE class. Unfortunately, both were unable to go to the meeting in the end. It was a small group, only about 10 people, but it was interesting to hear from different stages of adoption. I went alone since Steve had to sleep for work last night, but we were the only couple pre-home study. There was a woman that had already adopted a baby, another woman going through the TPR process for her soon-to-be-adopted son, and a couple wanting to foster to adopt. After the meeting, I was able to get a little more insight into the process we’re going through.

We met B&R for breakfast and hang out for a couple hours with them. Yay for a social life! That will definitely be a repeat event in the near future. And one day… with our children!


Fingerprinting! And other good news..

This afternoon we are venturing to downtown Miami to get our fingerprinting done. For some odd reason – I’m sure it’s been explained but still – we have to go to our agency main office in order to have this done. So yay! We also get to finally meet our case worker as up to this point all our contact has been over the phone and via email.

I’m totally hoping we see our awesome teachers while we’re there! In fact, I emailed them last night to give them the heads up that we’re going to be there and to let them know that on Saturday…

We have our first Home Visit!! Um, with our Adoption Case Worker (ACW) as opposed to the one during our PRIDE training.

Yep, Saturday is our first home visit and she’ll be asking us eleventy billion questions from the Life Stories we turned in. When I mentioned them, she said she preferred to do it this way and then incorporate the written outlines later. Uh, OK. Glad we took the time to write them then.

We have to compile a bunch of documents, not limited to:

  • Our marriage license
  • Current lease
  • Paystubs to show we’re gainfully employed
  • Tax returns for the last few years
  • Bank statements for all our accounts- 3 months worth
  • Lola and Phoenix vaccine records
  • Steve’s divorce decree – the NC court website isn’t very user friendly 🙁
  • A voided check for the monthly stipend

This will be the first of 2-3 visits and will last about 2 hours. She said it is more of an informal meeting and to walk through our house. We don’t need to have everything child-proofed, have the office converted, or all the medication and chemicals locked up. It’s going to give us time to ask her all the questions we both have since up until now, we’ve not been able to ask an adoption person these questions. Well, not exactly. The awesome folks at Our Kids are crazy knowledgeable and we couldn’t have made it this far without their help.

By her next visit in a few weeks, we should have the bedroom furnished with “whatever [we] would buy as parents to furnish [my] child’s bedroom.”


Progress Report

I started writing this last week after our final class. It was amazing. We wrapped up the lessons, turned in all homework/ life stories/ online assignments, had 5 guest speakers – 2 of which I’d been put in touch with months ago via my MPC – and lots of food. So. Much. Food. During the breaks and after class we chatted with everyone, exchanged phone numbers and got even more information about the local associations. I can’t believe it was our last class!

Seriously, didn’t we just attend orientation like yesterday??

Now begins the long trek through the finger printing, references, physicals, final home visit and so much more. And then, finally, a Fletchling.

We were told we would be assigned a Case Worker within 2 weeks of class ending. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call yesterday with our new CWs name!! Yes, it honestly was the greatest birthday gift ever. Eh. Ver.

Oh, you want actual dates? Let’s see what I can plug in…

Updated Timeline

  • Classes ended last Tuesday (dear self, do not drive to class tonight!)
  • We were assigned to our ACW yesterday and she will do our Home Study which includes a second and maybe third home visit and all the paperwork/ fingerprinting.
  • Once the Home Study is completed, we are officially in “the books”
  • We search, they search, I use all the amazing resources I have accumulated, we get matched – ummmm, November? December? I have no idea.
  • From there we have several informal meetings and sleepovers with the child and then he will move in with us after an unspecified amount of time.
  • We keep hearing different “child in home” answers so it could be anywhere from 1 month to 6 prior to the adoption being finalized.

And somewhere in there we have to furnish the Fletchling’s bedroom and piece together a computer for homework. And I have to knit the other 75% of the blanket.

This was taken last night. It’s currently 14″ long out of way more than that…



Family Research

The more I dig into the past, I think I might regret it. Hello can of worms!

I’ve been chatting with my [newly discovered] cousin several times a week and have found out some rather shocking things about my family. No, I’m not at liberty to give details. It’s not my place to reveal that stuff. Let’s just say that my family should be a lot more open to adoption. A lot.

This ties is really well with our classes the last few weeks. Last week we discussed Loss and this week was about Creating and Supporting Family Relationships. With all my new discoveries about my own family and finding new [to me] family members, I sort of feel like I will be able to better relate to my child. Where he’ll be removed from his family and may have questions later on, I would like to help him. We certainly plan on being the best possible parents, but I know about those gaping voids that family can fill. I’ve felt that I’ve had one for years and now it’s packed to bursting.

In class last night, we were reminded that family relationships are not just birth parents. They also include siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other extended family. Steve and I have been discussing this a lot. Every possible adult in a child’s family is given the opportunity to adopt a child once parental rights are terminated IF it is in the best interest of the child to remain with family. Obviously this isn’t always the case. We as prospective adoptive parents need to decide how little or how much we plan on being in contact with their families. We also have to decide on the relationships we maintain with his foster family. ultimately, we will allow him to decide how little or how much he wants and try to respect his wishes as best we can.


Class #3, the social experiment

Cranewoods.comImage Source:

In our 3rd class on Tuesday they did an exercise with us… a social experiment, if you will. We were randomly given the letter A or B to stand for Andrew or Belinda as the children in the story. We were given the back story for each baby – born the same hour of the same day in the same hospital – then told of their progressions into toddlerhood and beyond.

The “A” babies were born to a young couple that anxiously awaited a baby, full of love, support and just overall a great environment. They supported him, guided him, fed, clothed and bathed him, etc. He was obviously quite loved and hit all the milestones. When he would cry, they would pick him up to take care of his needs. His extended family and family friends loved and cherished him and would often babysit. He crawled around the yard exploring only to be picked up or redirected before he would potentially get hurt.

The “B” babies were also born to a young couple, but they weren’t expecting him and couldn’t really provide for her. The parents started drinking a lot and smoking pot and not really taking care of themselves or baby B. she was often ignored when she cried for food, a dirty diaper or just to be comforted. She eventually learned that by not crying she wouldn’t get smacked around. One day she wandered out into the street and a neighbor picked her up and called the police. Another day her high father yanked her by the arm and dislocated her shoulder.

Baby B was eventually taken into the system where she was fostered and later adopted by friends of Baby A’s parents. These foster parents only ever knew of happy, content, hitting all the milestones babies and were unprepared for the difficulties of an abused and not fully developed child. They struggled but eventually learned how to deal with her past and they all overcame it.

The social experiment part came in that every time our teacher would switch between A and B’s stories, we were to hold up the placard with our letter on it. The A’s kept doing that throughout. Somewhere around the “B was frequently left alone in her crib for hours at a time,” the B’s stopped holding up their placards.

Steve was A and I was B. We both kept holding ours up. Afterwards, he said he wanted to grab the B from the lady next to him and hold it up bc it wasn’t the baby’s fault that her parents suck and we should be helping her not feeling sorry for or ignoring her as well.

I wonder how often people see someone in a terrible situation and look the other way. Personally, every time I see a panhandler begging for money on the street, I want to drive to the easily 50 businesses within walking distance, collect job applications and hand it to them.. But instead I drive away.

Maybe learning about everything we’re learning in these classes will make me more compassionate towards the homeless. I mean, not the ones that have better clothes and look cleaner than me, of course. Bc there are plenty of those around here too.



My completed family genogram for class tonight. I decided, in the end, to do what was asked and not add the family that I’m close with aside from these. I wonder if it’ll be like “oh you know their names so you must be close,” as opposed to, “oh you know their birth dates so you must be close” like the example.

Yeah. I’m apparently terrible with numbers. Sure, I could’ve looked up the names and birth dates on FB, but I opted not to do so as we were supposed to go off memory.


clicky clicky to see it all… even though most of the names are blurred out. 🙂


Gigantic Recap and Update

Dearest blog, I am not intentionally ignoring you. There is just so much going on that I feel overwhelmed. And by that, I mean I don’t know where to start writing. I’m going to just jump in and we’ll go from there and play catch up later. Deal? xoxo, Becca


We have now had 2 classes. 2! Only 7 more left before graduation. We’re learning a lot and meeting new people. Awesome people. Other people that want to open them hearts and home to foster children. Yeah, I like our classes. We have homework after every class that will all become a part of our adoption packet. The first week was easy short answer and circle the best answer type questions. For the 2nd week it was a lot more in depth. We have to create a family tree of sorts – a genogram. It is a charted representation of our immediate family through our grandparents. This is mine, not filled in. And as Steve pointed out, the 2 sides are not connected, but that was unintentional.. even though we aren’t blood related to that side.


Check out all the information we will be learning. That’s 2″ of learning to deal with/ understand the children in Foster Care that we will be adopting.
PRIDE Binder

The biggest thing I am learning in our classes is how desperately there is a need for foster parents in Miami. Like class derailed for 5+ minutes talking about it. So if you’ve ever even remotely considered being a Foster Parent, please do it. I can put you in contact with our licensing specialists who will be forever grateful.

Let’s see, quick recap of the other adoption-related things in the last couple weeks..

The House – We re-upped our lease for 6 more months so the Home Study will be done on this apartment. I also bought a sturdy wood over-the-toilet hutch thingie and sturdy wood tower. We currently have wibbly-wobbly metal shelving in there. The metal shelves were moved to the laundry room for chemicals and cleaning products. #SafetyFirst

Welcome Gift – I am crafty. Duh. While we are waiting on this process, I want to make something for my child. While we are leaning towards a son, we could very easily be better matched with a daughter first. So whatever I make needs to be gender-neutral. I took an informal poll on my FB page and in Ravelry group about yarn colors – oh yeah, it’s going to be a blanket – and narrowed it down to a teal/turquoise, pale grey and brown. It will either be blocks or a Fibonacci sequence, below.

Block Blankie

Life Story – Our overall homework assignment is writing a life story. We have to do it individually and turn it in before class ends. It too will be sent to the Adoption Case Worker assigned to us. I started mine and have been jumping around to “easy” and “not painful” subjects. I have about 6 more weeks to work on it.

Picnic – We went to our first Adoption event this weekend. SDFAPA had a picnic in Key Largo and, even though the weather sucked, we had a good time. We learned a lot as there were both Foster and Adoptive parents there, as well as the famous KB from my mystery phone call. We were invited to their next meeting in a few weeks.

Updated Timeline

  • Classes end September 10
  • We will be assigned to an Adoption Case Worker within 2-3 weeks after that to do our Home Study
  • Once the Home Study is completed and officially in “the books,” we could be matched at any time.
  • We keep hearing different “child in home” answers so it could be anywhere from 1 month to 6 prior to the adoption being finalized.

I promise to not let it go so long between posts next time!