I Wish I Had Known

April 8th, 2011

wishingI recently came across an article on NPR, Fewer Russian Adoptions Since Mom Sends Son Back. I hadn’t realized it has been a year since Torry Hansen bought a one-way ticket to Moscow and sent her adopted son back to Russia.  I try not to judge others because no one can ever understand the true story behind the scenes.  Like most, I was outraged, but my focus was directed at the system rather than at Torry and her poor decision. When my husband and I started our Russian adoption journey 13 years ago, we were required to attend parenting classes at our adoption agency.  One session was about which particular country we wanted to adopt from.  One session was on the paperwork… [more]

Birth by Paperwork

March 21st, 2011

bbpblogI few years after I adopted Elle, a friend gave me the book, Clara: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled my Life.  She gave me the book to read because it chronicled the author’s journey into international adoption.  The author was adopting a baby from Russia, and since I had recently flown to Russia to bring Elle home, I could relate to the story…but just not to the pug. One of the chapters of the book was entitled Birth by Paperwork.  Those three words touched me.  I didn’t give birth to Elle physically, I didn’t have stretch marks or morning sickness, but I was still invested in her life.  She was my daughter; she just came to me in a different way. … [more]

What to Keep

February 21st, 2010

978111_copy_rubber_stamp_print_isolated_on_whiteI was recently cleaning out some old and much needed to be thinned-out adoption files.  I found myself having to decide what to keep and what to through out (recycle, shred, etc.).  Old articles that I once cherished and read over and over again now seemed irrelevant, medical information on traveling to Ethiopia would never be used again, as I'm sure this information will change before our next trip to Ethiopia.  I also had information on phases that we have passed and I feel  I don't need to read about again. So what do I think you should  keep handy two years after your adoption  has been finalized?  Here are my rambling thoughts on the information I just went through two years after our… [more]

Getting Started: Grab a Seat and Hold On

November 9th, 2009

International Adoption: Getting Started & Staying FocusedI've touched upon this topic in past blogs briefly, but it's definitely worth mentioning in a post of its own. Sometimes, the very process of getting started on your international adoption journey is very similar to riding a roller coaster. You're elated to take this first step, your heart is soaring with love and hope and possibility as you coast the hills effortlessly, seamlessly. But before long, you're back to the slow process of chugging to the top, trying to maintain a sense of optimism and avoid getting overwhelmed. At least, that was the case in my experience. It will surprise no one to read we were elated at the prospect of adopting a daughter from Guatemala. We… [more]

Even After Thorough Research, Agency Woes Still a Realistic Possibility

October 14th, 2009

agency woes: still possible after thorough researchThere have probably been hundreds of posts and blogs written worldwide, dedicated to the question of how to find a "good" agency. Some may detail things to look for; others may focus on what you should try to avoid, but either way, there is no shortage of tips on what to consider when selecting an adoption agency to complete your international adoption. That said, let's say you do all your homework. You research your agency thoroughly, ask questions of numerous employees/consultants, obtain references and check them all quite completely. Let's say you try to find the most negative review available, and wind up finding that even the most negative review really...isn't. You elect to go with… [more]

Pulling Out of a Paperwork Slump

September 23rd, 2009

Frustrated by a paperwork slump?Yesterday, I had one of those days--frantic, frenzied, basically just chaotic. What spurred this spiral of insanity? The mere thought of our adoption "to do" list. Having adopted internationally once before, the whole process is not entirely foreign to me. The second time around, I feel much more organized, much more aware of the progression of steps in the process. I swore I wouldn't allow myself to get frantically caught up in the list; instead, I've visualized myself calmly checking various boxes next to the items completed in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, I'm somewhere between those two categories and admittedly, I'm in a bit of an emotional slump as a result. Lately, life has thrown a few unexpected curveballs to… [more]

Staying Organised With Your Adoption Paperwork

September 19th, 2009

978111_copy_rubber_stamp_print_isolated_on_whiteI'm hoping my Hubby doesn't read this post as his version of organization is much different than mine.  In short, his is perfectly alphabetized and neat and my version is a bit more relaxed shall we say!  I have to shout out to the world that I did not loose one piece of paper work on our paper chase and we completed our paper work in an appropriate time.  The agreement between hubby and I was that I would do all the paperwork and research on the adoption while he worked on getting used to his new job position.  Whenever he wanted a receipt or a piece of information and tried to get it himself he was lost...but I knew where it… [more]

Piles of Paperwork: The Dossier

September 5th, 2009

Karen’s great recent post about the home study process really led me to reflect upon my own adoption experiences. Prior to our first home study (to bring Beauty into our family), I had heard the horror stories out the gate about all that could go wrong—the “white glove” social workers, those who asked endless, seemingly unanswerable questions, and so forth—and I admit it: I was a nervous wreck. Bear was only a few months old at the time of our visit, and while I doted (and still do!) on his care to the letter, he managed to somehow scratch a tiny scratch on his face with one of his fingernails. Of course, this took place the very morning that A., our social worker, was… [more]

Adoption Classes: Preparation with a Purpose

September 1st, 2009

I’ll start by saying this: while adopting Beauty, we attended one in-person class where they covered child care, basic issues relevant to international adoption, CPR, and the like. It was a good class taught by a very knowledgeable social worker. While pregnant with Bear, we attended a two-day class covering the basic child care principles as well as post-partum care. Another good class, taught by a very knowledgeable nurse. See the trend here? Good class, knowledgeable instructor. We recently completed our required hours of online training for our pending Ethiopian adoption. We took four courses and received certificates proving we had completed them as such. All these classes were also good. Overall, though? I have yet to be impressed with the set up of… [more]

Ethical International Adoptions Are A Must

August 30th, 2009

Courtney's post really struck a cord with me. I had insomnia (again) last night and thought I would check out recent posts on Adoption.com. I totally believe that our adoption from Ethiopia was on the up and up. I trust our agency, their reputation and my gut instincts. We also met with their Ethiopian father and met several family members. The baby pictures we have clearly show that we met the "real" family. Our girls were also six and eight at the time of the adoption. Child trafficking with older kids tends to be for slave labor or the sex industry, unfortunately. Young toddlers and infants seem to be the target for adoption fraud. I'm sure… [more]