Friday, February 27, 2009

What happens now?

I've had a lot of people ask me this question, about the adoption process, so I figured I'd answer it here.

We just got word that our home inspection is now rated as "passing," so we are moved forward in the licensing process. Now, we wait on the state. Once they license us, we scan the license & send an electronic copy to the adoption agency, which will then trigger them to activate our profile. Then, we wait.

Seriously, that's pretty much what happens. We have some criteria that we apply to birthparents, and they have some criteria they apply to us. If we know that a particular child will have issues that we are not equipped (financially, physically, mentally, and/or emotionally) to handle, our profile won't even be shown. If it looks there might be a good match, based off what the birthparents want in an adoptive family (for example, they might want a couple that already has a child, or a single parent, or a family that is Catholic, in which case we don't qualify), the agency contacts us & tells us what they know about the birthparents, and possibly the child. If it sounds like a good fit, we confirm we want our profile to be shown. Then, we wait.

Again, that's what happens. We wait to see if the birthparents pick us. We wait to see if they want to meet with us in any capacity. We wait to see if they actually terminate their parental rights. So, lots and lots of waiting. This is tough, but we think this adoption process is what's best for our family. We have no idea if the birthparents will want updates about our child or not, but we're open to the idea. Heck, being a major scrapbooker, I am open to sending a mini-album every 6 months!

Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive! And now you know .... what happens now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Congratulations, Jo!

I've drawn another name from all the entrants of my One World, One Heart giveaway, and I'm giving another customized mini-album to Jo! I'll be emailing her to ask her to send me some photographs & will be having loads of fun putting an album together for her! She's got a pretty fun blog, so feel free to check it out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More giving fun!

Today, I surprised a couple by paying for their lunch (you can read the details here, if you like!), and I've got to tell you, I am absolutely loving this 29 Day Giving Challenge. So many people are talking about how bad the economy is & all I can think is that I want to brighten a few people's day & maybe they'll pass it along in their own lives. And if not, isn't it enough to know that I made someone feel a little special? A little more secure? A little less stressed? I sure think it's totally worthwhile. I encourage everyone who reads this to think about how you can give today, tomorrow, and the day after that. Just keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to give something -- anything -- a worn coat you don't wear any more, a smile, a hug, a flower, a greeting card, a dollar to a charity, a cup of coffee, a meal for the person behind you in the drive-through -- big or small, it doesn't really matter. What matters is how it subtly changes the world for the better. Tomorrow, I think I'm going to give away another customized mini-album, 'cause it just feels good!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best. Give. Ever.

Okay, you all know I'm doing the 29 Day Giving Challenge, right? Today, I had what felt like the best give ever. I had been thinking about it for a little over 24 hours. My substitute yoga teacher yesterday was talking about abundance, and she said, "Not just financial abundance, but things like an abundance of sunshine, or an abundance of daffodils, because Trader Joe's has them on sale for $1.69 a bunch." At that moment I thought "How cool would it be to buy a bunch of daffodils & just give them to the person behind me in line?" So, today, I went to Trader Joe's, picked up 4 bunches of daffodils (and other stuff) and when the cashier rang them up, I just told her to bag one up separately from the other 3. At this point, no one was behind me in line, so I thought I'd just wait and see, and if no one showed up, I'd just pick someone at random. Well, a lady got behind me in line & I saw that she had some tulips, but no daffodils, so I waited until the cashier was putting the daffodils in my bags & asked her to hand me the one she'd bagged separately. She wished me well & turned to the lady behind me to check her out. I turned to her too & handed the daffodils and said, "These are for you." The look on her face ... OMG ... I wish I had a camera. Her jaw literally dropped, and she stammered, "Why, thank you!" I replied, "I just wanted to brighten your day," smiled & left. Behind me, I could hear her talking to the cashier about what a nice thing it was ... and all I could think was, "Hey, YOU made my day!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Adoption process: one step foward, one step back

We had our official home inspection today, which went very differently than I had expected. First of all, I really expected her to go from room to room. Secondly, I expected it to take much less time than it actually did. Third, I thought we would pass! Fourth, I thought our profile would go "live" within a matter of days.

Here's how it went: She inspected our backyard & we had a conversation about the bogland that's behind us that right now looks like a substantial lake, but that's just because of all the recent snowmelt & the rain we've had today. It turns out that if we have a "water hazard" nearby that she has to fill out different forms. We assured her that it looks like that only at this time of year, and pointed out how the backyard also has pools of standing water, which are not a regular feature. So, we cleared that hurdle.

She then sat down in our living room & asked us to verify certain facts & sign off on sheets saying that we authorized the agency to share our profile. Seemed a bit silly ... why else would we make a profile for birthmoms to look at it if we didn't want them to see it? Anyway, we made that official, and we initialled a different form attesting to the fact that we have no firearms in the house, that the water is safe & clean, and other minutia. She didn't say a word about the swords on our walls either (that note is for all of my buddies who wondered if I should take 'em off the walls or leave them ... we left them up & it created no problems at all!). She also walked through different features of adoption in terms of ethnicity, gender, age, legal risk, medical issues, mental health issues, and how open we were to each variable. After that she had a chunk of things to check off and review with us that is all for the licensing process. When she finished that, I'd run out of time & had to head back to work, which she said was no problem, as my sweetie could do the last couple of things & I didn't have to be present.

Right as I was leaving, I asked if she needed anything other than our profile & 2 copies, and if we'd be considered ready to have our profiles shared with interested birthparents. Well, nope, it turns out that we have to have our license from the state before she can do that ... which will take several weeks, once we've passed the inspection.

Well, when I got back home, it turned out that we did not pass the inspection!!! She tested our hot water temperature & it was 130 degrees F, and it has to be set to 115F or lower, which really just is a matter of us turning the dial down, but she couldn't sign off on that. It also turns out that even though we have 2 smoke detectors & 2 carbon monoxide detectors, we have to have 3 smoke detectors. Since our house is a split level, each level has to have its own detector! So, we failed that, too. This is also fixable, we just have to go buy another one & install it!

So, we now have 3 more time lags -- one to test our hot water heater has adjusted low enough & to install the smoke detector, one more lag if we can't get this all done by tomorrow, because if I can't email her by Friday, she won't get the info until next Tuesday, which I suspect will contribute to the 3rd time lag, waiting for the state to issue our license.

I'm feeling disappointed & frustrated right now, but the truth is that we have cleared another important hurdle. And she did indicate that our two fixes can simply be communicated to her -- she doesn't need to come back out to the house to see that they're actually instituted. Thank goodness, 'cause that would be another significant delay. So, some ups, some downs!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Congratulations, Tammy!!!

Since I have been so fortunate to win so many OWOH giveaways, I am going to give away some more prizes over the next month or so, from the entries I received! If you missed entering by the deadline, go ahead and enter now, here, and I'll keep drawing names out of the hat. My first lucky winner is Tammy's In Craft Heaven! I'll be contacting her soon to let her know ... and will offer to make her a mini album! It won't be like the one in my drawing, because they're all different, but I'm sure I'll have fun customizing one for her pictures!

One unbelievably lucky gal!

As a result of the One World, One Heart event, I am a HUGE winner! I've been graced with prizes from the following amazing artists:
Creative Sandwich
Marion
Magpie
Planet Janet
Diana Evans
Wigglebutt
Circles of Rain
Terronda Clarke
Odd Dolls
Rhonda's Ramblings
La Dama de Collage
and
Couture de Papier!
Can you believe it? I can't! And here I am, trying to do the 29 Day Giving Challenge & all of these wonderful treasures are being given to ME! I am going to draw another name or two ... over the next several days, to make albums for some of the entrants into my OWOH prize drawing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

29 Day Giving Challenge

I've joined the 29 Day Giving Challenge! If you want to visit my blog over there, click here! Yesterday, my "gift" was our donation to Kiva. Today, we made a donation to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. I haven't decided what I'll "give" tomorrow. It might be something random that happens throughout the day ... or I might come up with a handmade gift to give away on my blog ... or who knows? Consider joining me & reaping the benefits of sharing positive energy into the world!


Find more videos like this on 29-Day Giving Challenge

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good news on the adoption front!

We've got our official home inspection scheduled for next Wednesday! Hopefully we'll pass with flying colors (as far as I can tell, the only problems with our home are relegated to a closet door that sticks & two screw holes in the drywall that we should patch sometime), and then they'll take possession of our profile & 2 color copies, and we will start crossing our fingers that a birth mom picks us!

We've got all the money set aside for the next two phases of the adoption process, so whenever they call for it, we're ready to hand it over. The final phase we're still saving up for. We're thinking about doing some kind of a registry, kind of like a honeymoon registry, where we let people know that if they're thinking of giving us a birthday or Christmas gift, we'd like them to consider donating to our adoption fund ... but so far, the only registry I've found for this charges a hefty 12% fee!

If push comes to shove, we can liquidate some stock & then buy it back with any money we get back from the government during tax season for the following year, so we've got a solid Plan A ... I'd just rather avoid doing that if we can pay for it outright. Plan C would be to put it on a credit card ... but since we're trying to pay them off, I'd REALLY like to avoid that!

Anyhow, I'm feeling really excited about the process ... and after I go buy 2 more presentation folders this afternoon & slide the color copies in, we'll just be waiting for next Wednesday to roll around!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We have a winner!!!

The winner of my One World One Heart Giveaway is .... MARJORIE!
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, makes me want to take a vacation right now!

Thanks for the invite.

Pick me. Pick me. Please.

Truly, Marjorie
majumisco@skyrunner.net

January 19, 2009 6:28:00 PM CST

I'll be emailing her shortly ... and if she doesn't get back to me by the end of the day on the 15th, I'll be doing a redraw!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Women's Health Access Project

Are you a woman living in the United States?
Are you at least 18 years old?
Would you like to help in the effort to improve health care access?

We want to hear from you!

Melissa Howell*, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago is conducting The Women╩╝s Health Access Project (WHAP), a survey to gather information about what you think about your health, health care access, and how you make health care decisions. The more women who participate, the more information policymakers will have, so we hope you can help!

To complete an anonymous online questionnaire and join your voice with many others, please follow this link:

https://surveys.luc.edu/opinio6/s?s=WHAP

Spread the word! If you would like to invite other women to participate, please forward or post this message in its entirety.

If you have any questions, please contact the researcher, Melissa Howell, at Loyola University Chicago (mhowell1@luc.edu) or her faculty advisor, Dr. Anne Figert at afigert@luc.edu or (773) 508-3431.

* Melissa is a personal acquaintance, so I'd take it as a special favor if you would please take the survey ... and ask a couple of your friends to do the same, or post it on your blog. The survey really is quite brief -- it took me less than 5 minutes to ponder each question & answer it!