Friday, June 27, 2008

Gotcha Day

Do you have any tips / advice / suggestions for your “Gotcha Day” for people preparing to travel to pick up their little one. . .This could include things that made your day special, an easier transition at home, etc. Tell us what worked (and what didn’t) for you.

This is such an emotional day. With international adoption, I think the entire time you spend in your child's country is important. We have two other children that we were leaving at home due to their ages (4 and 2 at the time). We did our entire trip in 6 days - not a good idea. All I could think about was getting Max Rup and getting home to my babies. Because of the travel and the times our flights arrived in the different cities, we got very little sleep the entire trip. we did very little sightseeing in either city - this was our huge mistake. My advice to anyone would be to see as much of your child's country as you can! This is especially important if you won't get a chance to return. When we got home, I felt like we had only seen the poverty and the filth. We had missed all of the wonderful history and culture.

Before we left, someone told us to buy, buy, buy. We thought we were going to do more shopping later in our trip, and new that Kolkata was much more affordable, but we never got out to do any shopping. Those tangible things that were able to bring home with us are so special and important to us.

Pictures are like this too. They are tangible views that you can show your child throughout his/her life. We took many pictures of the staff and babies at the children's home, but very little of the surroundings. Again, I feel like I didn't capture his culture, and the people of his hometown on film for him.

The actual Gotcha Day is very powerful, but don't limit your focus to this one day. Enjoy the whole experience - it's amazing.

Gotcha Day - Nov. 27, 2007

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We're getting ready to do our first unneccessary post-placement visit on Monday (can you sense my frustration). Dan went down to the court last week to see why the confusion. The woman who usually deals with adoption related matters has been out on medical leave for quite some time. I've been dealing with a gentleman who I have found to be intrusive, not at all knowledgable, and just plain frustrating. Dan got to speak with the lady who was very knowledgable, and kind. She led him through the paperwork (the correct paperwork this time). She also informed us that even if we got an attorney, the process would still be lengthy.
At the same time, I spoke to a lawyer who was very familiar with Indian adoptions specifically। I expressed that I was surprised and disappointed that there was such a wait and process at this point. She told me that our county is certainly the most "oh, let's use the word dilligent." Great. Slow judge in India, slow judge in Maine. The other thing that she mentioned was that usually she completes all of the paperwork and files it as soon as the family comes home. Then she just hands in the post-placement reports as they come, so no time is wasted. We were under the impression that we couldn't file anything until the initial 6 months had passed.
We had really expected to get much more support with the court process than we have. I guess I had high expectations, and this is one area that we will reconsider when we do this again. I take full responsibility for the decisions in this area, and don't feel I can say much more, but my decisions in this area were not based on the research I did on other areas of our process. Next time it will be.

The woman with the probate court said that right now there are only three cases in the judge's drawer right now. However, we have to have our fingerprints done, and oddly, it takes 2-4 weeks for them to get the cards that we need to make the appointment. This makes no sense to me. After that, we need to wait for our fingerprints to clear, and then we can get an appointment with the judge. After this meeting, he will set a court date. We made it very clear that we are very flexible and can come in with an hours notice. So who knows.
The other update I wanted to provide was on my friend। Thank you to everyone who sent prayers, positive energy and other well wishes. Casey was on her way from one of our offices to the main office to drop off paperwork when she was struck head on by a man going North in the Southbound lane of the interstate. She had no time at all to respond. She had a brain injury and many broken bones, compound fractures to her legs. It was very scary for the first week, and she was kept in a coma. She is now awake, recognizing folks, has a sense of humor (which is so important for her :) So we are very glad to see her recovering so quickly, and it has been such a joy to get to know her family. We can't wait to have her back at work!

OK, here are some of the recent pics. Myles' eyes are so gorgeous in some of these. He is truly so sweet and sensitive.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How do you choose which country you will adopt from? I think each family has a unique story as to how and why they made their decision.

For us, we initially considered domestic adoption, but it somehow felt competitive to us. We didn't want to be in a pool with others, selling ourselves. It just didn't feel like the right way to go for us.

We are not from a diverse community and wanted to have at least some connection to our child's birth country. My sister had recently travelled to India to volunteer at an orphanage. We fell in love with the pictures she was sending back of the people, especially the children. In addition to this, she had many friends from India that we hoped would be resources as we began the journey.

As we were completing our dossier for India, our local home study agency called with a unique situation. While they usually had long waiting lists for domestic infants, at the moment they had a baby and no families to match it with. We were offered the opportunity to complete a profile for the birth mother to review. We initially said yes. It seemed easier, faster, and it made sense in our heads. I couldn't sleep that night. It just didn't feel right to me. I talked to Dan about it the next day and we both agreed. Our baby was in India. This baby was more convenient, but it wasn't ours. We were sure that India was the right path.

The epilogue to that story is that the birth mother of the little boy offered to us decided to parent her child and is doing very well. Although we didn't have strong preferences to begin with, once on the journey we knew where our child was.

For a while this has been a general family blog, and I plan on continuing with that. Adopting Max Rup has really connected us to an amazing community and turned us into those people that want to shout about how wonderful adoption is - for the children and for the families they join. If you're not familiar with the Red Letter Campaign, please take time to visit their website at

So in addition to the continued family updates, I'll also be participating in their adoption journal blogs. A way to give back to a community that has given us so much over that past few years.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Recital

So, it's Father's Day. We didn't have the chance to do anything big and special, but I hope Daniel knows how very special he is to us. My kids are so lucky to have a Daddy that is patient, kind, honest, and isn't afraid to interact with them, be silly with them, and show lots of affection. I am so lucky to have these same qualities in the man I get to spend the rest of my life with.

Maddie and Auri had their first dance recital today. They were on either end of the group since they were the leaders. They looked absolutely adorable in their cowgirl outfits.

Quote of the day: A conversation between Madeline and Michael, a little boy in her class that also has a small farm.. .

Michael: "Hey, Maddie, it's almost time to shoot my cow and eat him."

Maddie: "Oh, yeah, and cows make good steaks, don't they Michael."

Great conversation for a dance recital.
The kids are very glad that summer is here. As usual, we're spending lots of time at the lake, swimming and turtle hunting. Myles loved this little guy. Not to worry - we always bring them home to their Mommies.
Above is Max's attempt at making friends at the LopHop. Thomas wasn't in the mood for sharing. :)

We're having a bit of difficulty getting the adoption finalized. We have to do this within our county, and thus far the folks at the court haven't instilled a bunch of confidence that they know what they're doing. We were hoping to not have to pay attorney fees for this, since it is supposed to be "the easy part" of the process. Dan is going down to the court tomorrow, and if he can't get it straightened out, we're hiring one. I just want him to be ours, and I'm sick of fighting with people at every turn. We were given the wrong paperwork and now they are saying it will be December before we should expect a court date. That's more than a year after we got him home! Everyone keeps saying "no big deal, he's home with you," which is true for the most part, but there is other stuff. We can't get our tax credit until we finalize - HUGE chunk of money that we are counting on. And until we finalize and get that money back, it isn't feasible to consider the next adoption, which is clearly in my heart already.

So that's the update. Keep the prayers coming for my friend, Casey. She is improving steadily, and we're so happy for each update we get from her lovely family.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prayers, Please

Asking for prayers and lots of positive energy for a friend and co-worker critically injured in a car accident yesterday. She and her family are very strong people, so we have high hopes that she will recover. Thanks.

"We ask that you watch over those who are tonight in a coma, as their brains sleep in an attempt to heal. We ask that you watch over their loved ones, whose consciousness has been permanently altered by this sudden shock. We ask that you give help to those who have awakened, to have the energy and perception to address the process of rebuilding themselves. We ask that you give their loved ones the energy and hope, to enable them to stay as long as they can, to be the partner in the rebuilding and recovery."