Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Step Forward

To our amazement, our homestudy was approved last week and our paperwork in en route to the INS! Yay! What this means (I have to remind myself constantly that not everyone's daily life revolves around this process) is that our homestudy, along with several other very important pieces of paper, have been sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department for our pre-approval as adoptive parents. This process takes anywhere from 60-90 days, although some other adoptive parents have received their "pre-approval" in less time. During our wait, we will be compiling another stack of paperwork to send to FANA. It's exciting that such a big step forward has been taken.

Once we receive pre-approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department, our FANA paperwork will be sent to Colombia for approval. At that point all the paperwork and evaluations will be done and the REAL waiting will begin. We are collecting ideas of some things we can do during that time. My friend Tori has been instrumental in coming up with some fabulous ideas for us. I only mentioned to her in an e-mail that I will need something, anything, to do while we are in the waiting process and Tori sent me about 20 articles and websites, with some really great ideas. Thanks Tori! If any of you have ideas about things we can do while waiting, please let me know!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Exciting Referral!

One of the couples we met through FANA - Rachel and Andy received a referral this week-end! It's very, very exciting since they are the first couple we know to have received a referral. For those of you who don't speak the adoptive language - receiving your referral goes something like this for FANA families: once your paperwork goes to Colombia (which is about 2 steps ahead of where we are at), you are paired with a "buddy couple" which is a couple that has already adopted from Colombia. The buddy couple can answer all your questions about adoption and live with you the experience of waiting for your baby. Once FANA pairs you with a baby, your buddy couple is given the picture of your baby and they present it to you, usually in some fun way. FANA and the buddy couple are pretty much real-life baby-delivering storks!
Congrats to Rachel and Andy on the adoption of their beautiful baby girl! We can't wait to meet her!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Adoption Journey has Begun!

I thought it was high time that I start blogging again. We have been completely wrapped up in getting the adoption process started and, to be honest, I just needed a little time to analyze and deal with my own feelings before I started to share them again. The adoption blogs will be so different than the infertility blogs. I want to be very respectful of the fact that this journey not only belongs to Brandon and me, but also to our child. There are some feelings about this process that I want to share only with Brandon and our child. I have started to keep a journal for him or her, which contains all of my deepest feelings and sentiments about our adoption journey. So, with this in mind, I envision my blog taking on a bit of a new direction - a little more procedural than emotional.

Last summer I attended an informational meeting at Crossroads Adoption. We had just begun our first month of Clomid, but had already been trying to conceive for a year. In my heart, I think I always knew that this would not be our time for a biological child. As a woman, I believe I just knew. However, since we had just started Clomid, we decided to put our our adoption journey on hold for a bit. I loved Lyla at Crossroads and knew that was the adoption agency for us, should our journey to parenthood take us there. After 6 months of Clomid, 1 1/2 years into trying to conceive, many tears and hot flashes, we took some time off. In December we attended another informational meeting with Lyla and filled out our adoption application. It was accepted shortly before Christmas, which was one of the best Christmas gifts I could have hoped for.

We chose Colombia as the country we hope to adopt from. The process for Colombian adoptions is a little different than with other countries. Not only do we work with Crossroads, but also with FANA (Fundación para la Asistencia de la Niñez Abandonada) which basically translates to the Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children. FANA has a local chapter called Friends of FANA Minnesota. In basic terms, Crossroads takes care of most of our in-country adoption requirements and FANA is our liasion to Colombia. In reality, both Crossroads and FANA are so much more - a support system, a wealth of information, and a source of great comfort when living in limbo. Through Friends of FANA, Minnesota, I have met a wonderful group of other waiting moms, who no doubt will be an amazing support group on our adoption journey.

Our wait will be approximately 2 years. There are many days where that feels like an eternity, and some days where it feels more manageable. In the interim, we are hoping to become very involved with FANA and are doing all the reading we can on Colombia. We even purchased a Colombian cooking book. I have enough coconut rice and rice pudding to feed a small army! I truely hope to be fluent in Spanish by the time we travel to Colombia.

Right now, we have had our first homestudy visit and expect to have our second homestudy appointment in a few weeks. Tomorrow we have our first big Friends of FANA, Minnesota event - FANA's birthday party! I promise to write more frequently from now on... Maybe one of my blogs will even be in Spanish...