Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just when you thought things were going good....


Thursday night our family adoption specialist came for our first home study visit.  That was quick and easy.  After taking a brief tour of the house, she talked to each of our girls asking them if they wanted to adopt, what age, what interests they'd like the child to have, boy or girl and so forth.  R is still hopeful for a little boy, I am still hopeful for as close to her 11 years as we can get.  But honestly, the best match of personalities within the 6-10 years old age range, would make us all happy.  The worker then asked me a few questions about my childhood, about Michael and our relationship.  She had said it would take about 2 1/2 hours - we wrapped up in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  That's not even the "better" part.  Initially she scheduled our second home study meeting for this coming Thursday...but it is now Monday! Two more sleeps until our final home study interview. Yes that is better than Thursday, but guess what? It gets even MORE better! My timeline all along  has been that hopefully we would have our home study meetings complete by the end of April, but that is now April 2nd.  My timeline has been that our home study would be complete and therefor we could begin the matching process by the end of May... Her goal is to have the FINAL copy of our home study complete by MID APRIL!!! That's a full 6 weeks earlier than I expected.  That is six more weeks for our son to find us.

So since I'm putting my timeline out there ideally it would be great if we could be matched over summer (preferably early summer) so we have time to do things together and get to know each other before throwing school routine into the mix.  There are 10 weeks until school is out.  Is it possible to get a match in 8 weeks?  Again referring back to the vague 9-12 months for placement following initial contact with the agency... October 2011 was first contact - 9 - 12 months would be July 2012 - October 2012.  So according to that we are still at least 4 months from matching, which would still be pretty good, putting us in the middle of summer vacation.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Background screens are complete!

Hooray! We just got notice from our Family Adoption Specialist that our background screens came back.  Michael & I were fingerprinted and K & T had juvenile screens completed. So now we have booked home study visits for the next two Thursdays. This is so exciting.  I've heard other adoptive parents refer to their adoptions as a 'paper pregnancy', we are in our 23rd week.  So does that mean 17 weeks until match? Until placement? Certainly not until finalization as that takes minimum 90 days post placement. Regardless of the timeline we are pleased the process is progressing in a timely manner.  

Saturday March 24th update - the "to-do" list is getting very short:

  • Michael's physical (April 12th)
  • 2 Home study visits (March 29th & April 5th)
  • Family adoption specialist writes up and completes our home study

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Last night we went to what was supposed to be our second to last night of MAPP training.  But as the evening wrapped up our instructors surprised us by announcing that it was our final class.  I guess we were just SO smart we finished early.  :-) Actually it was a very well taught class with tons of real life examples from people who obviously care a great deal for children in the foster care system.  We have the highest respect for all of our MAPP instructors.   Much of the information was repetitive for us from prior training as foster parents but a refresher course was a welcome experience. So this marks a major hurdle on the road to adoption.

Outstanding "hoops" to jump through:

  • cats vaccinations (booked for Saturday)
  • physicals (Billie's today, Michael's in 3 weeks)
  • waiting for security clearances from fingerprinting appointments (currently at 4weeks & 4 days) 
  • 2 Home study visits (pending security clearances)
  • Family adoption specialist writes up and completes our home study
Still hopeful for all of the above to be completed by the end of May 2012 so we can begin the matching process with our next child.

There are still a few practical things we can do while we are waiting out this next bit of time.  Painting the little guy's bedroom (currently a pretty shade of yellow) and working on redoing our family profile photo book.  Our first photo book was fine but it was small and didn't really show us having much fun and we do have fun, so I think a few more funny photos are in order.  Like this one....

Friday, March 9, 2012

What a great week... and it's not even Spring Break yet!

It was Canadian week at our house.  My dad arrived last Saturday and we promptly took him to Parkesdale Farms for their famous Strawberry Shortcake.

Dad & Michael - check out those shortcakes! 

Sunday we went to a brand new 4th service at Church at 5! Monday we had our MAPP class and it was so nice to know Grampy was home with our girls.
They spent lots of "quality" time together. 

Tuesday night Mike took Dad to an antique car show that was fun for both of them. 

Vroom! Vroom!

Then Wednesday things got busy around here.  It may not be Spring break for our girls until next week but we had visitors from Canada who are on Spring Break and a self imposed "Spring Training Break."

Chris and Del were here for Spring Training games and it was so nice of them to swing by for a visit.

The Howatt Family just before they took off for a day of roller coaster riding at Busch Gardens!!!

Thursday it was time to hit the mall and Grampy picked up a couple items to take home with him and a good book for the plane ride home.  Friday we relaxed at home and just hung out for the day until....
We took Grampy to Formaggio's for an early sixtieth birthday dinner then surprised him with a few decorations and an extra special birthday cake.

Adoption update... today has been three weeks since we had our fingerprints done.  No word yet on those.  Initially we were told they take 3-4 weeks to process, at our last class we were told they are running about 4-6 weeks. Hopefully those will be cleared within the next 3 weeks.  We should have all our personal references to pass in at our next class. We still have to book the cats vaccinations UGH! Michael and I have our physicals booked, just need to go to those appointments.