Thursday, December 27, 2012

We're moving along.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season!!!

I’ve been away too long, bad blogger, no cookie.  We had a computer incident – someone spilled water on our laptop and we were out a computer for about 2 weeks.

By the time we got out new computer in the house and up and running I had gotten out of the habit; so now I’m getting back into it.

We’ve been pretty busy as far as our home study is concerned.  It looks like we’re probably on track to have it completed by the end of January.  The biggest pain in the bum, by far, has been the state police checks- from every state we’ve lived in since we turned 18.  So that is four states for me and three for B.  Two of our state applications were bounced back to our social worker K due to paper work errors.   Not errors we made filling them out mind you!  One state has recently changed forms and we were given the wrong form, and another requires a notary seal on a letter – but there were no instructions to that effect.

There is still a question as to if I require a clearance from Ireland and at this point I’m really hoping not, since it could delay K having all the paperwork by WEEKS.   There seems to a question of if international checks are required if your stay was over five years prior vs. within the last 5 years.   DRC doesn’t require it, but our home study has to be up to CT standards.

We’ve gathered the vast majority of the paperwork and are all set for our home visits.  The first is on January 7th.  Which means I’ll be a crazy person cleaning and organizing all next week.  Our second visit will be for a week later.  I’m a bit nervous for the visits…..  All we have left to finish is 5 hours of adoption training. 

After the home study is complete we then submit out I600a to USCIS.  The I600a is a pre-approval form the US government for our family to adopt a child internationally.   They make sure we meet US standards.  Once we have a referral for a child and go through the process in DRC we will submit a I600 to classify that child as an immediate relative.

You can kind of think of the I600a and the I600 as the US bookends to the DRC adoption process.  The I600a will take 6-12 weeks to be approved.  While we would love to go through all the steps as quickly as possible, honestly we wouldn’t mind the I600 taking the 12 weeks.  It will give us more time to save for our referral, and we have some major saving and fundraising to do!

So that is where we are in the adoption process.  I plan on a blog post catching you up on our lives since Thanksgiving and a Christmas re-cap tomorrow.  We’ve been reading books on adoptive parenting and the Congo from the Library as well and I’m planning on doing a book review a week as well.  Doing a review a week will not only give me some good subject matter for the blog but also give me a goal for my reading!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Forms, forms and more forms

Today was my day off and so I sat down this morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to fill out all my paperwork.  I planned on finishing the background check paper work and thought I could probably move onto other home study paperwork as well.  K recommends we do the background check documents first as they can take longest to come back (6-8 weeks).  Everything else can be done at our pace and we would love to have our home study done in 6-8 weeks!!!

Boy was I wrong.

My head is spinning.  I have four states to get background checks from and B has three.  At least I think we do.  Two of the states were relatively easy with three forms and very little to confuse a person.   The other two states have forms with little itty-bitty lines and ask for a lot of the same information in different formats.  Between those two states we’re required to list every residence we’ve each had since 1974 (we we’re born yet) in consecutive order making sure there are no missed dates and every person we’ve ever lived with.   Yes I am sure that is what the form asks for, every person we have ever resided with.   Oh by the way- I have to list full names and cannot use middle initials.  I’m not making this up folks.

So I spent the better part of an hour figuring out how to get the full names, and ages of all of B and my college dorm mates as well as the people I lived with in Ireland.   Phone calls made and emails sent I started filling in forms.     Our home study provider emailed me PDFs.  My handwriting is horrendous, and I cannot spell.  I had to toss out multiple sheets….. Then I got smart and tried to find the documents online.  I found both of the documents in formats I can type in.  YAY! But only after wasting time and paper.

This evening I chatted with another DRC mama.  During our conversation it came up that I might not even need a background check from one of these states!!!!  I only went to college there.  I never had a driver license, paid taxes, worked or lived outside the dorms.   So after all the struggling sat down and emailed K all of my questions, including clarification on which states I really need to do the paperwork for.

I know this is just the beginning.  There are hundreds more forms in front of me.  Today taught me something though.  I need to get organized.  Tomorrow I’m making a binder and a checklist.  And I am finishing those freaking background check forms!!!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Next steps

We met with K, a home study provider, yesterday morning.   It was just an informational meeting, and it went pretty darn well.

For those who don’t know, a home study is the state’s evaluation of if you can adopt (you also have to do one if you want to foster).  So our state has to say “Yep- those people will make ok parents and they have an ok house. We’re fine with them adopting.”  It involves a LOT of paperwork.  Background checks from every state we have lived in since we were 18, multiple references, previous taxes, birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank statements, letters of employments, we both have to write a life store, medical exams and forms for all of us and a metric ton of forms.   Then we sit down with the home study provider and answer a lot of personal questions, as well as ones that explore our mental preparedness for international adoption.  Somewhere in there the home study provider also comes to our house and does a home safety check.

The whole thing feels very judgy to me.  I do understand that the government wants to make sure that adoptive parents are not child abusers, and that they are prepared to adopt.  It is in everyone’s best interest for adoptions to be final and to minimize disruptions.  So don’t get me wrong, I think home studies are necessary.  I just don’t like feeling like I’m being scrutinized.

So we met with K yesterday morning.  She was very nice, professional, informative and calming.   We will be using her for our home study, which should take 6-8 weeks from when we sign up and start.

One of the things we loved about K was her LACK of judgyness.  I’ve been contacting a lot of home study providers over the past 6 weeks or so.  I’ve gotten varied responses to my inquiries.   Some have just not returned my contact email or call.  Some think we are very young to adopt, others have really been discouraging about international adoption and have tried to guide us to change our minds and go foster adopt or domestic infant.  And a few were just exorbitantly expensive, as in almost double the going rate.

K is totally comfortable with our ages and our decision to adopt from DRC.  She views her job as making sure we are prepared for the possibilities and to make sure we have evaluated our options and the possibilities.   That attitude was so refreshing.   So all in all yesterday was great!  And we’ve made one more baby step forward.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-tzu

We have begun!  Tonight we filled out the first forms, signed our contract with our facilitator and sent our first payment.  Goodbye to any hesitancy and onward with boldness.

The paper chase will start once we get a list from our facilitator and we have a tentative meeting set up with a home study provider on Monday.  I will let you know how the meeting goes.  Hopefully by Monday we will decide to go with the provider we are meeting with and we will start our home study as well.

There are thousands of miles ahead of us, for now my belly is aflutter with excitement and hope! To the next steps! May we appreciate the journey as we look  forward to the reward at the end.


Shopping online this holiday season???

To help fundraise we’ve signed up as Amazon affiliates.  If you are planning on shopping online please consider shopping through our link.  Just empty your cart (or else the purchase does not count) click on the link on the blog or on my facebook page and then shop as normal.  A percentage of your purchase will go directly into our adoption fund.   Don’t worry, we can’t see who purchases what!


P.S.  The link isn't very pretty.....  I guess I'll be learning new computer skills along the way too.  I've gotta figure out how to make this blog do what I want it to...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving forward?

Sort of.  This process, and we’re not even in the thick of it folks, is not easy.  What was easy was the decision to have another child join our family.  The decision to adopt was made years ago.  The decision to adopt NOW was made over the last six months in inches, an inevitable progression to this decision.  

I’d like to share a quote B and I used in our wedding guest book. W.H. Murray wrote this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back – Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A while stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed wound have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

We are committed.  We feel it in our bones and we walk around noticing things we did not before, have conversations we did not before.  I am planning WAY ahead (I know, big surprise, right?) and very much putting the cart before the horse sometimes.

What is that final act of commitment? What is that last thing we need to do before the chase really starts? We need to commit financially.  

Can I just have a moment to admit I have a little bit of rage inside of me that it takes so much money to adopt?  That a little irrational piece of my mind thinks it is so freaking unfair that we will struggle with the finances to make this happen for us and our future child .  There I have said it.  Maybe that will be the last time I say it in this blog- maybe I can let it go.

I could detail our finances, our bills and my school debt and our mortgage, my income and B’s search for employment outside our home.  I could drag all that in here- but I don’t think it is really fair or relevant.  And honestly we make everything happen we need to each month and that is so blessed compared too many.  I do not want to complain about our situation- we are just fine.  I just wish, as I am sure many people on the adoption path (or other goals that require large amounts of money) that I had it ALL NOW and I wasn’t worried.

It looks like this is the month folks.  We’re about to send in our first check and start the paper chase as long as no emergency happens this month. I’ll tell you when we do.  Before I had some if-thens in the process.  If we had x amount in savings then, when B found a job then.  We’ve tossed all those hesitancies.  As long as we can meet our obligations we will keep moving forward.

B and I have been talking about, well a lot of things, and we are not going to be sharing the costs of this process in a public forum.  Suffice it to say it is a large amount for us.  We feel that putting a number on it implies a price tag on our future child and that to share that would be implying worth.  That just is not true and if our child ever reads this blog we never want there to be any doubt that his or her worth has NOTHING to do with money.   So please forgive us for being vague.

We are hoping and praying that Providence and hard work with start moving with this act of commitment.  So yeah, I guess we are moving forward.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Exhausted ramblings

Disclaimer:  I was at work until midnight on Tuesday and then for 12 hours on Wednesday, and 3 hours today on my day off.  I am very tired and need to unload bit.  So please excuse the exhausted ramblings.

Last night as we were crawling in bed B told me about his grocery trip with C yesterday.  They had one of those two seater carts and C was sitting in one of the seats.  C lost it and pitched a tantrum in the store because he wanted someone to sit with him in the cart, specifically a little boy to sit with him!  Sit with him “RIGHT THERE” pointing at the second seat.  B told him mommy and daddy were working on it- that we are working on our adoption so he can have someone to sit with.

My heart broke.  My heart broke because my two year old is lonely.  He is such a social kid and LOVES playing with our neighborhood children.  He loved daycare when he was enrolled.  I think he’ll still love it when B goes back to work and C is in day care again. I think he’ll love school next year.  C wants someone to sit with.  I want to give him a sibling as much as I want another child.  It is all wrapped up together in one aching hole of knowing our family is not complete at three people, one dog, one cat and one bird.

But then, then there is the worry.  Don’t think because we’ve decided to move forward that we don’t, I don’t worry about if it is exactly the right choice.  Are we ready for two (or more) children?  Are we capable of being good adoptive parents? Will we be able to complete this process and what will life look like on the other side?   But you know what? Every prospective parent asks those questions and they are never answered until you get there.  No one knows if they are read of if they will be able to do a good job of it until they get there.  Honestly, if we end up over our heads what we’ll do is seek help! Just like we would with any child we add to our family.

There is also the worry about timelines.  If I could MAKE it happen faster and have another child home in 2 months I would!  But I know the process will take 12-18 months AFTER we sign on with our coordinator and we have not be able to do that yet.  Why not? Well honestly it is a money issue.  We have to be smart about this and have a financial cushion before pulling the trigger- and we are working on it.

A few people have commented that it would be easier to just get pregnant again, and don’t we want “real children” or “our own?”  Well yes we could probably get pregnant multiple times in the next 18 months, and we may never have another problem in a pregnancy.  That is possible.  It is also possible I have an easily diagnosed and treatable issue that has caused our miscarriages (like a progesterone deficiency).   We are not ruling out more biological children.  

This is not our plan B.  Adoption was always in plan A, it was just not necessarily right now.  We’ve decided to work on it now- but it is NOT plan B.

Those questions are so HURTFUL.  Firstly, any adopted child will be OUR OWN, and REAL.  Just like B is my REAL husband.  Chosen family is just as valid as born family.  Otherwise we’d all marry our siblings and cousins.  I suggest people try and think of it like that.

 Second, there is a lot stuff influencing our timeline decisions you may not know.  I need a medical test in March that I cannot have while pregnant or breastfeeding.  So, we have to wait until then to even think about trying to get pregnant.  We really want to be working on building our family in some way now.  So choosing our providers, hopefully starting our home study by January 2013 etc are all ways we can work on building our family NOW.  And there is no guarantee that I would get pregnant in March and it’ll work out.  We are pursing all of our avenues.  If I should become pregnant and we do not miscarry we always have the options of putting our adoption on hold, or not.  My understanding is DRC does allow families that are pregnant to adopt.   

We’re not closing our minds to the possibilities- we are open to them.

That is all for now.  Thanks for listening.  This mama needs a nap.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's getting chilly here

We have heat! Doesn’t sound very adoption oriented, does it?  Well I guess there will be many non-adoption things I write about and it actually is adoption related, sort of.

Our home was built in 1959, and some of the parts are original.  When we had the home inspection we found out the furnace is older than either one of us! And will probably have to be replaced in the next 5 years.  We also found out we have an in furnace type of water heater.  Well after moving in we figured out there is no hot water in the Bates house L We have about 3 minutes of hot water and then it goes lukewarm.  Which was fine and dandy for summer but in October…. Not my favorite.

We’ve been told we can install a separate hot water tank and fix the issue.   We’ve been delaying because of the cost.  The other big question was, if the coil is corroded and we’re not getting hot water, will we have heat?  Since we have baseboard heating.  Well folks we turned on the heat tonight and IT WORKS!!!

That means we can get a separate hot water tank and get hot water back in the taps without replacing the entire furnace.  Hopefully in the next two weeks.  I’m making it my project for Monday.  It’s much less expensive to put in a hot water tank, so we don’t have the expense of a new furnace using up out funds we’re trying to earmark for the adoption. 

I am so looking forward to a hot bath.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Why Africa?

So why Africa?

Once we ruled out infant and foster care adoption in the states we evaluated the four main international regions: Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa (as well as some individual programs like Haiti and Kazakhstan).

We don’t qualify for most of the Asian countries programs.  To adopt from China there is a 5-7 years wait list, we both have to be 30 years old and we have to have a net worst of $80,000.  We basically don’t meet any of the requirements nor do we want to wait for that long.   Many of the other Asian countries either have similar time lines and requirements or only adopt older children internationally.

We are uncomfortable adopting from Eastern Europe because of the fetal alcohol syndrome risk.  FAS is common in many eastern European countries… and it may indeed be our bias showing but we just are not willing to risk it.  I’ve read a lot of FAS and honestly at this point I think I’d be more willing to adopt a child that had been exposed to hard drugs before I’d knowingly take on a child at risk for FAS.

The South American programs are riddled with corruption.  The Guatemala program was shut down due to some serious child trafficking.  Columbia still has a program going but when speaking to a few agencies it is mostly and older child program and the implication is that if someone tries to promise you a child under two either a) they are lying and trying to get you involved and hopefully you’ll adopt an older child or b) the adoption of a child under two will probably be unethical. 

That left us with a few single country programs to evaluate, none of which seemed to fit our needs and Africa.  We looked into different programs and settled on DRC.  While we qualify for Ethiopia and Uganda as well there are things that made us hesitate with both programs.  Ethiopia has slowed down significantly to the point that wait times have doubled or tripled and there are families that have had referrals for a long time who have not been able to bring their children home.  Ethiopia also now requires two trips to adopt.  Uganda’s program is very new and is mostly an older child program.

So we decided on DRC.   They have a program we qualify for and we can adopt a child under two pretty easily (from what we have been told so far).  We also have settled on an adoption facilitator that we believe will help us adopt as ethically as possible.   The ability to find providers we are very comfortable with was also a huge consideration in the process. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why not adopt from U.S. foster care?

Why not adopt from U.S. foster care?

I can hear it now.  “Well M, you want to adopt a child who has less chance of finding a family, and you’re not fussed about gender or race.  What about adopting from US foster care?  We have thousands of children in need of homes right here in the states. Plus domestic foster care adoptions cost less.”

B and I thought a lot about adopting from the public system.  It came down to what we were comfortable with.  You’ll probably get sick of hearing that phrase if I don’t chase you off reading this blog with my long posts, punctuation and spelling mistakes :-D

B and I are not willing to adopt out of birth order.  So we will only accept a referral for a child younger than C.  Since we’re being totally honest on this blog (at least striving to be) we’ve thought a lot about age ranges and we don’t think we’re up for a child over 2 years old.  We absolutely know that a child at two years old has a lot of experiences under their belts that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.  They can be severely traumatized. We are not under the impression than a child under two will not remember or not affected long term by their experiences.   We do think that attachment and bonding will probably be easier for a younger child.  It is important to us to be there for as much of our child’s life as possible.  Since we are being completely honest- we’d love to adopt a child as young as possible but two really seems to be our mental cut off range.

B and I are not up for being foster parents.  Thank God people are up for it- but we are not.  Neither of us can imagine taking a child into our home, loving them, caring for them and then having them leave.  We are just not that selfless. We cannot fathom explaining a foster sibling leaving to C.    So if we were to pursue adoption from foster care we would NOT be participating in foster to adopt.

We’ve also really reflected on adopting a special needs child.  It is true you cannot ever know if your children will have special needs or develop them later, but we know that there are special needs we do not feel capable of knowingly choosing.   We would adopt a child with a minor physical disability- missing some digits or maybe even one limb, a cleft pallet, hip dysplasia, club foot, and umbilical hernia- you get the picture.  We would also carefully consider the adoption of a blind or seriously vision impaired child or a deaf child.  We are not willing to knowingly take on a developmentally challenged child, a child with severe physical disabilities, a known shortened life span, or a non-curable communicable illness.   Of course these are generalizations and there is a ton or grey space between the lines we’ve drawn.

We would only accept a referral of a child under C’s age (preferably under 2) that was legally free to adopt.  In other words that the parental rights were already terminated.   Based on those three factors we’re pretty darn sure our wait would be unpredictably long.  Think about it- if a child has been in foster care long enough to be legally free to adopt by their 2nd birthday don’t you think most of them will be adopted by their foster parents?  I hope most of them are, I hope and pray for as much stability for those babies and toddlers as possible.

If you look at the U.S. waiting children lists- and I have- you see two major types of children under two looking for adoptive homes.  The first is a child under two that is a part of a sibling group.  Since we’re not going to adopt a child older than C this basically rules out sibling groups.  The second child under two has major disabilities that B and I do not feel capable of caring for.

U.S. adoption from foster care just isn’t for us.  We’ve looked into it- we really have and it is not the way for us to grow our family at this time.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why not domestic infant adoption?

Wednesday morning before heading into work I called a home study provider that had returned my contact email.  She wrote a very nice response and asked me to give her a call so we could discuss the process.  Since I had time before work I decided to give her a ring.

Over an hour later……  I was scurrying to be on time.  The conversation we had was interesting and challenging.  She asked me questions I honestly did not expect from a home study provider.  In retrospect they were all good questions aimed at figuring out if we really knew what we wanted, or if we had our head in the clouds.  Our conversation was a winding one but came down to asking a lot of “had we considered? And why not’s?”

So this is my first series of topics.  Tonight’s post is:

Why not domestic infant adoption?

First I want to say that for many parents domestic adoption is a great choice.  Everything I type here is only my (and B’s) opinion and is no way meant to be judgmental.  In figuring out how to navigate our choices in adoption we have to figure out what is important to US as a family and what is not.  We also have to figure out what we think is ethical for US, and what makes US feel uncomfortable.  Others have and will have different priorities and different stances on many of these topics.

There are multiple aspects of domestic infant adoption that have lead us to choose another path, here are a few.

Birth parents looking to place their unborn children into adoptive homes in the U.S. have a huge range of families to choose from.  Unless a child has a significant medical problem already diagnosed prior to birth there is no shortage of families looking to adopt.  It is true that boys and children of color are “less desirable” in adoption terms (not mine!!!!), however there are many families out there willing and happy to adopt infant boys that are not white.  We would be one of those families if we were going with domestic infant adoption.  Burton and I want to provide a family for a child that may otherwise not have one.  We have spoken a lot about special needs and do not feel that we are up to taking on an infant with a serious known condition prior to birth.  Those two things combined drive us to feel that domestic infant adoption is not for us.

In domestic infant adoption there are many service providers, lawyers, placement agencies, full service agencies, local providers and national providers.   In general the smaller the agency the longer your wait time for a referral since they cannot compete with the volume of larger service providers.  The largest service providers are national full service adoption agencies. In general the more you move towards these national full service the shorter your wait and the larger your bill.  Domestic infant adoptions with a full service national agency can be $45,000+.  Not all will be but they can be.

In the US you have to abide by different state regulations.  In many states you are allowed to pay for birth mother expenses.  Some states put a cap on the amount; others regulate it by what type.  This can include rent, food, medical bills etc.  If the birth mother changes her mind and you as hopeful adoptive parents have paid these expenses you are SOL. It is illegal and unethical to buy a baby, so any expenses you paid for are basically a gift to the birth mother and you have lost those funds moving forward toward (hopefully) another referral.  This whole process makes B and I uncomfortable.  We do not feel comfortable paying expenses.  If we were to go the domestic infant route we would be restricting our pool of possible birth parents significantly by not being open to participating.

We also have very strong opinions about prenatal care and substance exposure.  You have to document all of your preferences.  This helps you get matched with birth parents so your agency can send them your profile.  B and I are NOT comfortable with prenatal tobacco, alcohol or drug exposure and we feel strongly that we would want a birth mother that had prenatal care.  So when you combine the fact that we would not want our profile to be shown to mothers that have any of that in their history with the fact that we are uncomfortable with paying birth mother expenses our pool of prospective birth parents gets smaller and smaller.  This is even though we have no preference for sex or race.

In most domestic infant adoptions the birth parents pick out the adoptive family.  Adoptive families make profiles that are placed online and hard copies are sent to birth parents who are using the same agency as long as your preferences match. Many agencies have specific guidelines for profiles and will help you market yourselves.  This whole marketing aspect feels really odd to us.  You can see on agency websites information that tells prospective adoptive parents that the wait times are typically X-X, and if you do not have a referral in that time then you should listen to our profile recommendations, we know what adoptive parents want to hear.  I am paraphrasing of course, but I have seen that type of message on a few sites.   We don’t want to feel like we’re selling ourselves.  We know we’re good parents and we can provide a wonderful family to a child.  If we went with domestic infant adoption I don’t know that I could follow advice about how to market our family.

When you add everything up we’re just not the right family for domestic infant adoption.  There are other things that bother us about domestic infant adoption, but this post is long enough and I think I hit most of the key points. While it would be WONDERFUL to have our child in our home right from birth that doesn’t outweigh all the other things that make it just not fit right with our family.

In all of this analysis we know we won’t be able to satisfy all of our desires.  For example, we know we cannot control the prenatal substance exposure of a child from foster care or international adoption either.  In the end we have to analyze each process and decide which fits us best, knowing that none if perfect.


Monday, October 1, 2012


Why? Why do we want to adopt?  The short answer is family; we want to build our family.  The long answer is more complicated and WAY too long.  So here is our medium sized list.

1. We want to build our family.
2.  We believe adoption is a valid way to build a family and that adopted members of a family are just as valuable as those born into a family.
3. We love being parents and we want more children.  I want four children and B wants less, we’re shooting for three and then we plan to reassess.
4.  Adoption provides a family (not a home, a family) for a child that otherwise may not have had one.
5. Adoption sometimes provides a life for a child who otherwise would have died.
6.   No one deserves to be an orphan
7. Adoption is a way for me have my big family without contributing to overpopulation (reproductive replacement rate in a first world country is 2.1 children per adult woman)
8.  I have wanted to adopt since my father talked about it when I was a little kid. 
9.  I feel called to adopt, can’t explain it I just feel that way.
10.   Adoption will challenge us a parents and we believe will make us better parents to all of our children.
11. I have been pregnant four times and we have one living child

The last point on our list is not really WHY we are adopting, but rather why we’re working on it now.  We planed on adopting at a later point in our family building even before our first pregnancy.  Our plan hasn’t really changed, our timeline has.


We're adopting.

We’re adopting!

B and I are very excited and anxious to get on with the process.  This blog will follow us through the whole process of international adoption.  At least I hope it will, I plan on at least one post a week.  B has not decided if he’ll be contributing or not.

Hopefully our newest family member will come home in late 2013, but honestly I think it won’t be till 2014.  We are planning on an independent adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo using a facilitator.  Hopefully the process will go smoothly and we can save enough funds to keep money from being the thing that holds us up.  We researching and saving our pennies right now, so this blog will follow us right from the beginning.

Our current to do list for our adoption is:
1. Sign up with our facilitator
2/3. Save funds for our home study
2/3. Pick a home study provider
4. Prep for our home study.

Please comment! And ask any questions you may have.  I will do my best to answer them.  I hope you enjoy rollercoasters- I’m sure this trip is going to be full of ups and downs.