Sunday, January 26, 2014

Frequent Questions

There always seem to be lots of questions when people find out we are adopting.  I am happy to answer any question that people have.  I might not have the answer or I might choose to say that is a private matter but if you have questions feel free to ask.  

Some of the common questions we have received so far.

Are you adopting through the state or an agency?
We selected a private agency.  In November we went to an informational night for our county and were told they were not taking applications for people wanting to adopt children under the age of 10.  The main goal for children under 10 is reunification.  We were directed to look into a private agency for adoption in the age range we wanted.   While there are many private agencies many specialize in infant or international adoptions, we found one that has a program dedicated to foster to adopt.  Thankfully at the orientation we both really like the social worker and program director, this made it an easy decision to pick the agency.  

One of the added benefits of a private agency is they can work with every county in CO as well as other states, opening up more doors for us.

Why aren't you adopting an infant, you will miss all the important milestones like first steps, first words, etc?
It seems like there are so many children in need of a home, we did not feel a burning need to raise a child from infancy.   While there are developmental milestones we will have missed there will be so many firsts to celebrate.   Another consideration was my age, I would prefer not to have a child still in college when I retire.

Do you want a boy or girl?
I have no preference, Dave wants at least one boy as he is currently surrounded by girls (me, Paddy and Koda).  If we only adopt 1 child it will be a boy, if we end up adopting a sibling pair (yes we are considering this) it will either be 2 boys or a boy and a girl.

How long will the process take?
Who knows.   Based on the training we need to take and other factors we likely will not be licensed until the end of May at the earliest.   After that point it could be a couple of weeks or over a year to be matched.  It will all depend.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adventures of a New Kind

This blog has served many purposes from chronicling my expat adventures, to an outlet for my photography (which has been neglected lately) and now it will serve yet another purpose - documenting our adoption journey.  I started thinking about adopting about 4 years ago when I was single and wasn't dating.  When I met Dave he agreed to come along for the ride.

This process is going to be anything but easy, if everybody that wanted to be a parent had to go through this process many people would change their mind.  We are doing foster to adopt, I am not sure how different the process is for other types of adoptions.   Here's what we have done and what we will be doing over the coming months.  

Already Completed
Initial application, with this we had to provide 3 references, our tax returns from last year, and our employment history.

The second round of paperwork was much more involved.  With this we needed to complete

  • Fingerprints for federal background checks.
  • State background check.
  • Family medical background as well as a results from a current physical.   The physical also required results from an HIV test.  
  • We each had to fill out a questionnaire about our childhood, relationship with our families, and our relationships with each other.  
  • A 60 question form about what characteristics we want or would accept form a child.  Questions included questions such as would accept a child with learning disabilities, a child that harms animals, has nightmares or smokes.  
  • A notarized document indicating we understand and accept the fee structure.  
The characteristics questionnaire was the strangest component for me.  It makes it feel like we are shopping for a child like you would for a house or a car -creating a list of must haves, nice to haves and deal breakers. We kept thinking that some of the items didn't really apply giving the age range of 3-8 that we are looking for.  I would really hope there aren't a lot of children in that age range that would smoke, drink or do drugs.  

What's Next
Now that the second round of paperwork is being put in the mail this week the next steps will include
  • Completing a first aid and CPR course
  • A 6 week training course
  • The home study
Once these are completed we will be officially licensed and can then begin the matching process.   This by no means is going to be a quick and easy process, but it in the end it will be worth it.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Europe: The Food and Drink Edition

As people saw the few pictures I posted to Facebook during our Europe trip I was asked "Are you just eating and drinking?"   We did plenty besides that but I definitely enjoyed the food and beverages in Europe.

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I was very excited to spend some time in London for curry, Nando's and cider (specifically Bulmers Pear cider).   We treated ourselves one evening to dinner at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.  The service was great and I was surprised that all of the servers in the restaurant were male.   I thoroughly enjoyed a pint of London Pride at my old local.  

Dave was not as thrilled with the beers in the majority of pubs we visited so we took a trip to Camden to go to Brew Dogs.   They have amazing craft beers and are known for brewing one of the strongest beers, Tactical Nuclear Penguin.  It was so good we bought 2 bottles to bring home with us.

Nasty tasting sour beer
The best beer ever.
So many good beers here and I was surprised how good the food was as well.   I had my favorite beer of the trip here - Cookie Beer.  This is made with speculous, absolutely delicious.  I need to figure out how to find it here.  I also learned that no matter how many times I drink one I just do not like sour beers.  They are nasty, I don't know how people drink these.

Fries at the Fry Museum
One of the specialties in Belgium
Mid Morning Snack

France - Paris & Marseilles

We had the best meal of the trip and possibly of the year in Paris, and we almost missed it.   We got a little disoriented walking around and went the wrong direction looking for Les Cocottes, once we corrected the mistake and headed in the right direction all was good.   Dave was ready to give up and go elsewhere convinced we would not be able to get in.   We were there 15 minutes after they opened and within 15 minutes of our arrival the place was packed.   We were incredibly lucky to get a seat and enjoy some amazing food.   I am going to try to go back here when I go to Paris next week.

We splurged once again in Marseilles with a visit to Passedat Petit Nice a Michelin starred restaurant.  The restaurant is located in a turn of the century building, built into a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.   We arrived a little early and were seated outside to enjoy aperitifs and some yummy appetizers. This was thoroughly enjoyable.  Sadly after we moved inside we were less than impressed with the food.  .  

 Random Drinks



 Random Food