Adoption class!

This weekend Bobby and I spent all of our Saturday in an adoption class hosted by our adoption agency. The class is required training that must be completed before you can receive your child. There were 8 couples and one person whose spouse was unable to attend, 19 people total. The class was long, but good. It caused a lot of wheels in my brain to start spinning, so I’m going to sort of try to express everything in one long, jumbled up post.

First of all, it was wonderful to meet so many other people going through the process. They even had a family come in that had recently adopted two boys from Korea and talk to us. They were a light at the end of a long tunnel. We met some really great people who were at various stages in the process, some of whom already had their referral! We got to see some cute pictures of babies and hopefully make some connections for the future.

The process seems to move fast up until the referral currently, at least for those open to either gender. We have been told over and over again that our referral will take longer, since we are waiting on girl. Our agency said they are seeing one girl for every three or four boys. I know she’ll be worth the wait. Realistically I know it could be December or longer before we see a referral, but for some reason I’ve got a good feeling about it being sooner.

I need to select a book on attachment and read it. I already had a good idea that certain things needed to be done differently with “Goomba” than had been done with Landon or Oliver. When we first bring her home it will be important for her to stay with us, and for the first two weeks or so to not let others hold her to help her bond with us. We need to do all of the actual “parenting” for the first four to six weeks. This will be hard, as we’re very much into the whole “it takes a village” concept, and our boys often ask for food or other items from anyone at Laura’s house, and everyone co-parents. We’ll need to not go anywhere overnight for the first two months. Given that we try to go somewhere overnight once a month, totally doable. We’ll also not want anyone to stay overnight the first month, which is fine as we rarely have company actually stay with us, and Landon can wait on his friend spending the night for one month.

We talked about sleeping. I don’t intend to buy a crib for her. Most likely she’ll go straight to a toddler bed, but we’ll see what happens once she’s home.

We got a better concept of what it will be like to go to Korea. I really, really hope we get to go. The plan is to go, but timing will be everything. We’d most likely only be in Korea for 4-5 days. About two days as a tourist, just Bobby and I, and then we’d get to go meet up with our daughter and her foster mom (or family) for about an hour. In most cases, we’d get to ask questions and play with our daughter, and then foster mom would take her home for one last night. Occasionally the child gets to stay overnight with the new family, but that is apparently unusual. I would totally take her overnight at the hotel, if the option is there, but, in the end, I’m going to defer to what foster mom wants. In the event she doesn’t spend the night with us, the next day they would basically hand us our daughter, and we’d head to the airport. It’s a thirteen hour flight, with a little girl who barely knows us, our daughter. That said, I’d rather she take the flight with us than with a stranger, which is the backup option. I’m really praying we can bring her home before she turns two, so that we can avoid attempting to buy her a one way ticket, and because, I’d like her to come home as early as possible. (of course!) That doesn’t mean I’m not still planning on a three year old in three years. That’s what I just have to keep telling myself.

There was also a panel of adult adoptees from Korea, which provided some interesting insight on how to go about raising our daughter and respecting her birth culture. It was great to hear their perspectives!

The class was good, but a long way to spend a Saturday. I’m thankful our agency provided it and that we could attend!

Landon “names” his sister

Landon wants to name his sister “Candace” I told him I didn’t think we would be doing that. He then told me that he wants to name her “Candon” I told him I thought that might be a boys name.
His next suggestion was “Goomba.” I told him Goomba was cute, but that it was more of a nickname. He then declared that “Goomba” is her nickname. It made me think of how Landon was “Alabaster” and Ollie was “Bear” until we knew their gender and their name. So now in my head I’ve nicknamed her “Goomba” and it’s all Landon’s fault.
Of course, Landon then said that she should have a second nickname, Spikey Turtle.

Eventually, I told him the names Bobby and I liked, and Landon voted for “Eve.”

Eve and Ivy are my lead names at the moment. Bobby’s seem to change. We’ll know what her name should be when we see her. Part of it will depend on what her Korean name is, as we plan to incorporate that into her name, most likely as her middle name.

Other names we are thinking of include:
Dorothy “Dotty”
Gwendolyn “Gwen”
Kyra (or Kira)
Meredith “Merry”

International Adoption Journey, on our way to family of five

Many of you already have heard, and may have even helped us through the process so far, but I felt it was time to mention here that Bobby and I are currently in the process of adopting a child from South Korea.

The short story is that we are in process, we should be completing our home study next month, and then we will be waiting for a girl under the age of one to be “referred” to us. At this point we will get a picture and medical information on a girl in South Korea who is eligible for international adoption. This could happen right after the home study is complete, or it could take up to a year. There are less girls available for international adoption out of Korea than boys, so we are not sure how long it will take. Once we accept the referral, (accept that this specific little girl) we will have to wait for paperwork in Korea to be finalized before we can travel to Korea to pick her up and bring her home. It can take another 1-2 years for paperwork to be final, so we will be bringing home a little girl who is between one and three years old by the time everything is finalized and she actually comes home with us.

I was slow to announce all the details until the process was underway, and there is a lot about international adoption, specifically Korea that we needed to learn. At this point I think we are far enough along in the process that it’s pretty much common knowledge with most of our friends and family we see on a regular basis.

I’m going to do a series of posts about what we’ve done and why we decided to do what we are doing over the next couple of weeks or so.

Adoption timeline
12.25.2011 Decided to move forward with adoption
01.12.2012 Pre-Application in to Agency
01.31.2012 Attended Adoption Seminar at Agency
02.13.2012 Adoption Application completed and turned into Agency
02.18.2012 Application accepted
02.20.2012 Home Study Started
02.28.2012 First Home study interview (Couples)
02.29.2012 Second Home study interview (Bobby)
03.05.2012 Third Home study interview (Jen)
03.10.2012 Adoption Class
03.17.2012 Final Home study interview (Whole family in home)