Sunday, April 29, 2007

10 months

Today, Sunday April 29th, is 10 months. Not much going on, no new news to report. We are going to call in for our monthly check in this month, instead of our usual email. Though honestly, it's probably going to be the same "all is ok, we have your preferences on file, we don't need any more profiles, talk to you next month".

Ah, well.

We decided to take a little escape this weekend, and went to the family house in the hill country. It's nice to spend some time just the two of us, as we mark the 10 month anniversary of starting the adoption process.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A child who is adopted is born from the heart

I was watching Adoption Stories on Discovery Health today, and the parents who were adopting said "A child who is adopted is born from the heart". I like that sentiment.

Usually you see the poem:

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart - but in it
--- Fleur Conkling Heylinger

Both are really sweet thoughts. And oh, so true. Our hearts are going to be overflowing with joy when we finally are matched with our little one. We have so much love to give, we can't wait to share it with our future children.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Fireside Chat

We had a teleconference call earlier this week. It was called "A Fireside Chat with Mardie". It was basically a Q&A session for folks who are contracted out with Lifetime. It was interesting, sharing some stories and tips as to what to expect, what's been going on, etc. They told us a bit about what to expect when matched, the hospital experience, etc. It was very informative.

They plan on doing some geared toward adopting mothers later this summer. That should be interesting :)

They also reminded us about the hundreds of websites they own. They even have one for every state. We are found on . It is interesting to see all the states, and the parents from there. If there are not enough parents, or if the state doesn't allow adoptive parents to work with facilitators (NY is one of those) then they list adoptive parents from other states. Birthmothers can come from any state, but states do sometimes restrict who adoptive parents can work with.

We got some great information on this call this week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How cool is this?

I have to send a shout out to D of Making Twiglet. She is wonderful.

I posted last week about how challenging it is to find coupons for diapers and formula. They all pretty much require the birth date or due date for a child, and as adoptive parents we can't predict that.

I received an email from her that was so sweet. She works for Nestle (Very Best Baby), in a different department from Infant Formula. She found a contact, and wrote them an email about adoptive parents such as I.

I am hoping that you can help me. I have a friend that is in the middle of the adoption process, waiting to get matched with a birthmother. She is trying to stock up on necessities for when the day comes because it could happen at a days notice. She was looking into signing up with Very Best Baby to get formula coupons (as she obviously cannot breastfeed) but found that
she could not sign up since she did not yet have a due date or birth date. She considered making up a date but figured she wouldn’t be able to change the date if the adoption process took longer than she hopes.

Here is where I hope you can help. Is there any sort of pre-adoption program for Infant Formula? If not, is this something that someone could look into as I think there could be a need to be filled here.

She knew I worked at Nestle and thought I might be able to find some information for her. Any information you could give me would help (or if you could direct me to someone else, if you are the wrong contact). Thank you very much!

They wrote her back!!

Congratulations to your friend!

Please have her call 800 811 7500 to sign up and explain her situation. We should send her a full set of materials.


She is a wonderful person to do that, and I am going to be calling them tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


After starting to purchase baby supplies (in order to be prepared) we are realizing that coupons come in quite handy. Every little bit helps, that is for sure.

One thing I have found is that there are not many programs for adoptive parents. There are plenty of "expecting moms" programs, such as The Huggies Baby Network, which has A Happy and Healthy Pregnancy program, as well as a Happy Baby program, but you have to have a child's due date or birthdate in order to participate. Pampers has the same type program, except it's all in one- the My program. Again though, in order to sign up you need a due date or a child's birthdate. has the same. You have to enter a baby's birth or due date.

And the formula companies are exactly the same. Similac has a Welcome Additions Club, Enfamil has a Family Beginnings program (though Enfamil does have a spot for you to check if you are not expecting and do not have children younger than age 5 in your household, it doesn't address adoption specifically, and Nestle Good Start has the Very Best Baby program, again requiring a due date or birth date.

That's just for diapers and formula, but you get the picture. When you are adopting, and could be presented with an insta match at anytime, you need to go ahead and purchase some of these products. So, you have to pay full price retail unless you are able to get your hands on a coupon. It would be nice if they had a program for adopting parents.

One thing you can do is go ahead and sign up with a made up date. We did this with our Babies R Us and Target registries. The only problem is, if you pass that date, you have to go in and change it, or re-sign up.

Which is fine in the case of registries, but with diapers and formula coupons they might not let you sign up again with another date.

So, we take the coupons we have, hold on to them, and if we can't use them before they expire we share them with others who are using those formulas or diapers. I actually belong to a couple coupon trains, and we all share formula, diaper, and other baby related coupons. That way, everyone gets to save, and the coupons that aren't needed by one family might be used for another family.

It's just frustrating though, that we can't legitimately sign up for coupons, and have to make up a due date because we are adopting.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Having a toddler visit... a great way to see what needs to be changed in your house!

So far, we have determined, a rocking chair really needs to go in the nursery. A couple times this week, it would have really come in handy to help a little one who is fighting sleep.

We also are finding areas that need to be "toddler proofed". We knew there were a few areas and things that need to be made more secure. Our niece is helping us to find others :) When my friend's little one comes over to play, she's been helping us to find things too.

I guess it's time to invest in the door locks, cabinet locks, etc and all those good things :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Looking forward to this weekend

We are really looking forward to this weekend. Our niece is coming to visit ;) We go to see our nephew play in a soccer game tomorrow, then go to The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, and bring her home with us.

My friend's daughter turned one today. She is having a birthday party at Toddler Town, an indoor playground on Sunday. The kids are going to have a lot of fun :) I know my niece will have a great time playing with my friend's daughter (my niece is a few months older, but they play well together) and enjoying the birthday party. Another friend of mine has a one year old (her birthday was last month) and she's bringing her too. There will be several that are the same age.

Our niece gets to stay with us until Tuesday, so we'll have plenty of play time on Monday and Tuesday. If the weather is nice, we'll take lots of walks, and maybe go play at Challenger 7 Memorial Park (it has a great playground).

Mike is on call on Monday and Tuesday (he goes in to work at 2), so we'll go have a special dinner with him on Monday night at our niece's favorite mexican restaurant. She always has a good time when she goes, and she charms all the waiters and waitresses.

We got the great news that another family using our agency that we keep in contact with was also matched. Their baby is due in August. Fantastic news!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So apparently if you know me...

..... and are adopting, this is your lucky month :)

I got an email from a friend in our agency yesterday, they were to chat with a birthmother last night. A bit later, another email that they are matched!

Wow, in the past month, I have known 3 who have brought their babies home, 3 who are matched, and 2 who got referrals (adopting internationally). Four of those were from our agency, so obviously they are working hard this month.

Fantastic adoption news!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The founder of our adoption facilitator is going to be in San Antonio

We received this email today. It's too short notice for Mike to be able to get off of work and make the trip, but I am trying to see if I can find someone who wants to go with me. We've talked to Mardie on the phone before, but never in person. While we are not adopting internationally, we will be able to chat with Mardie. It would be a good experience to go.

Event: "International Adoption: Let's Talk About It"

When: Thursday, April 12th 2007 7:00-9:00p.m.

Where: Casa Rio Restaurant - The Texas Room, on the Riverwalk

NTI Upstream has created a unique event that fuses a reception, the taping of a radio show, and a Q&A style discussion on international adoption. Whether you're a prospective parent, a current adoptive parent, or a professional that serves adoptive families, you can benefit from an evening of interaction & information on international adoption.

Reception with appetizers and refreshments

International Adoption Question & Answer session with select panelists

Host of “Let’s Talk Adoption”, Mardie Caldwell’s interview featuring Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff

RSVP is not required.

For sponsorship information, please contact NTI Upstream at 312-423-5657

starting to think about what to say

I received an email from another girl who is using our agency. She is going to be talking to a birthmother tonight. How exciting! She's very nervous, and wondering what to say, how the conversation should go. I know she and her husband will be fine.

That brought me to question, what will we do when we are chosen to chat with a birthmother? What do we say? What questions to ask?

We figure obviously we'll just be ourselves. Tha's most important in our book, let the birthparent see who we are.

Will be be nervous? Sure. Of course, who wouldn't be? It's a pretty important part of the adoption process.

We have been given a list of questions to use as suggestions. I guess we'd need to see the situation to determine which questions would work for us.

Hopefully we will be able to experience it sometime soon....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great news for my friends!

I just got an email from R. Her soon to be daughter's birthmother is very uncomfortable right now, and the OB/GYN thinks she is going to have the baby within the next 12 hours. Yay! R is going to be a mommy soon :) I am so happy for her!!

And K (katd) and her husband and daughter(!) are on their way back home. The ICPC (adoption paperwork) is done, and they got the all clear to go home today :) She's a little nervous about taking the newborn on the airplane for the first time, but she'll do just fine :)


What a great adoption day :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Interesting decision and hospitals

My friend R's birthmother is due to give birth this week. R has a very interesting decision to make. The birthmother is assuming that R is going to be in the room when the birthmother gives birth. R hadn't really thought about it. She's not really sure what to think or to do, or if she will be comfortable with it. It's a very personal and private decision that needs to be made.

The birthmother has told everyone in the hospital that R and her husband are the parents, to make sure that the hospital is very good with them, and treats them well. The birthmother is very sweet, and wants to have a good experience for all of them.

From my friends who have adopted, various people's experiences with hospitals were quite different. One family, when their baby was born, the hospital staff didnt want them there, tried to kick them out of the delivery room, and just generally didn't make things comfortable for them at all. The hospital said they "don't do adoptions". In fact, when the baby left, the hospital wouldn't let the adoptive parents take the baby out of the hospital, a caseworker had to do it, then give the baby to the adoptive parents.

Another friend's experience was quite different. The hospital let them be in the delivery room, made them comfortable, and even gave them a room to stay in after the birth of the baby. It allowed the adoptive parents to bond with the baby during those precious few beginning hours.

In general, about half the families I have known have been in the delivery room, the others just waited in the waiting room. But most of them went to the hotel at night, very few stayed in the hospital with baby.

As for what to do when it's our turn? Who knows. We figure we will cross that situation when we come to it. It may or may not apply to us.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Our last child free road trip? And some practice...

Well, we just got back from a wonderful road trip. We decided to just get in the car and go. We had a loose idea as to where we were going (south Texas) but no certain plans. Our mission: to knock out as many Texas counties as we could. See, Mike's goal is currently to go to every Texas county. He's doing pretty well, but needed to have south Texas covered. So, since we always go somewhere for Easter, we thought, why not?

It was nice to get away for a bit. Not focus on anything adoption related, work related, or anything in particular. Basically, just the two of us on the open road. We wonder, will it be out last child free road trip?

We both traveled quite a bit as children with our families. I have fond memories of Mom and Dad piling us into the car for the weekend, as we hit the open road. One thing Mike and I insist on is doing the same with our family. We already love to road trip, and plan on continuing that when we have children.

Our car is big enough :) But we did discuss (and look at cars on the road we saw) what would happen if our family was a bit larger than we originally thought and we'd need third row seating. We know there are some great vehicles out there.

The Easter Bunny visited our hotel room. About 440 in the morning, the Easter Bunny hid chocolate eggs around the room, and left a cute Easter basket. Boy was Mike surprised when he woke up this morning :)

We plan on making road trips with our kids fun. We learned growing up that road trips can be both fun and educational, and we plan on following that path ourselves. Easter is always our holiday to travel as "our family". So, we figured we'd have fun with it this year. Hopefully next year we'll be hiding eggs for a kid or two or more :)

We are going to get some practice this weekend. On Sat we are going to go watch our 4 year old nephew's soccer game. Then, we are going to bring his 15 month old sister home with us to spend the night. A friend of ours is having a birthday party for her one year old on Sunday, and our niece was invited to attend. I'll take her home Monday, when her parents get off work. It will be nice to get some niece time in. She is such a sweetie, and we have everything she needs to be comfortable here in our house. We are looking forward to her visit.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Meet the Robinsons

So, there is a new Disney Movie out called Meet the Robinsons . It's based on the book A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce. Wikipedia has a great summary of the movie, more in depth than IMDb or Yahoo!Movies or many others. What is interesting is that in the previews and trailers you don't realize that adoption plays a MAJOR part in the movie.

I guess I'm just a bit surprised (but then again, not all that surprised) that it had such a big adoption theme, yet it wasn't really known until the movie actually came out. All I really have heard was the tag line "I have a big head and little arms" that you hear quite a bit in the commercial . Even the trailer shown in the theaters doesn't really go into the adoption them (it's mentioned just briefly - that "all Lewis wanted was to find the family he never knew").

As is in the case of most things, there are two sides to every story, and varying opinions on everything.

I received an email from a friend who is also adopting. She was passed on this letter from the Executive Director of External Affairs for Wide Horizons For Children (an adoption agency) with their take on the movie:

Dear WHFC family,

We feel that it is important to warn you about a Disney movie called "Meet the Robinsons" that is now playing at many local cinemas. The advertising for this animated feature makes it sound like a great movie for any young child. Fortunately, one of our adoptive parents alerted us about the negative adoption messages in the story and the very unhappy experience she had with both of her children who were very greatly disturbed by the messages conveyed in this film. As a result, I went to see the film to decide if it warrented putting out an alert to our adoptive parent community. Indeed, I thought that the concerns raised were completely valid.

The movie is filled with extraordinarily inappropriate messages about adoption. The basic story is about an adorable baby whose birthmother leaves him on the doorstep of an orphanage. Portrayed as loving, sweet, extremely smart and overly appealing, he spends the next 12 years of his life wanting a family and being turned down by one family after another - in all, 114 couples refuse to adopt him. One scene shows a prospective dad losing interest in adoption because this very smart little boy is more interested in science than sports. The prospective parents leave the disappointed child in a huff when he accidently splatters them with some liquid from his science project. This is supposed to be funny.

Since no one else wants him, the child invents a time machine in order to go back in time to find his birth mother. The "bad guy" in his time travel journey turns out to be his best buddy from childhood, once his orphanage roommate. Now an emotional wreck resulting from being left behind when the orphanage was closed and shut down, the once-cute orphan is now mean and devious. Another chuckle. Various monsters attack the child as he continues his birth mother search. You get the picture !

I found "Meet the Robinsons" to be both tasteless and totally insensitive regarding adoption issues. Please think very carefully before taking your child to see it, whether adopted or not. I will write the Disney Corporation to let them know about my concerns about their flippent way of dealing with issues that are extremely important and not funny for millions of adoptees and their families in this country and around the world.

Feel free to share this message with anyone who you feel might benefit from knowing about this warning.

Vicki Peterson

Yet another agency, Bethany Christian Services has the following review:

Meet The Robinsons Movie Overview

Lewis is an orphan who dreams of finding a family. His journey takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks him away to a world where anything is possible…THE FUTURE.

There, he meets an incredible assortment of characters and a family beyond his wildest imagination, The Robinsons, who help lead him on an amazing and hilarious adventure with heartfelt results.

Movie Review From Bethany

Bethany Christian Services staff members and families in the west Michigan area had the privilege of being part of a private preview screening. Bethany staff members were happy with the outcome of the movie which showed adoption as a positive message. It was really interesting watching an animated movie that had adoption play such a central role in the plot.

While we believe the movie in most aspects played a good balance between the sensitivity of adoption and child-focused humor, there are a couple parts of the movie that concerned us a bit. The fact that the movie starts in "modern-time" and has an orphanage in the U.S. and a birthmother who leaves her baby in a basket at the doorstep are both simply not realistic today and were only true in the U.S. many decades ago. We don't hold any of these parts against the film as we understand these parts are important in creating a compelling story that is also simple enough for children to follow.

Overall, we think it is an excellent movie that we hope is very successful in theaters. It was clear that the movie was very well liked by young children and will be successful with this audience. This is a story about adoption that you can take your whole family to view - it is rated G.

They even offer a Meet the Robinsons Leaders/Activity/Study Guide.

I found another movie review (more positive than the first one) from an adoptive parent. She really goes into detail, and like most people, she too didn't realize the movie had such a huge central adoption theme. I really enjoyed her realistic review of the movie.

What to think, what to take of it? I guess we'll need to go see it for ourselves, or wait to rent it on Netflix. Where we can make our own judgements about the movie.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's hard to avoid the baby aisles

So, I found myself in Target today, and just had to stop by the baby section. I was good today, didn't buy any formula (though I saw diapers are on sale, I need to take my coupons and get some tomorrow!) or baby supply stuff. Though I was very tempted. I did purchase a few things for my friends that have recently adopted or are going to be adopting soon. Oh man, it was hard not to buy lots of stuff. There are so many cute things out there. And now, with spring and summer on the way, so many cute dresses for girls, and outfits for boys :) I love sailboats, and am starting to see several lines with sailboats. It's hard to resist buying them :) But I was good, and very focused. I 'daydreamed' a bit, but only bought what I needed to purchase.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My friend has a daughter!

My friend K's (katd) daughter was born today. Her birthmother had her this morning. It's been an emotional and wonderful day for K and her husband, and I am so excited for them!