Monday, October 16, 2006

We're getting closer!

We had our two day workshop in Pierre on Thursday and Friday. There were seven other couples there, plus the ladies from LSS. I knew some of the information, but we did learn some interesting stuff. The social workers recommend that after we get home from Colombia, we stay at home by ourselves for a few weeks without having people over to meet the baby. That way the baby will know that we are the primary caregivers and not be confused about being passed around. We can stay home from church for a few weeks. But telling family not to come over will be a hard thing. I already know that feelings will be hurt. So I'm warning you now. I'll find out more as the time gets closer, but what I'm thinking is that we might be OK with having some people over as long as they understand they can't hold the baby.

One of the LSS workers said that it's possible that we could be in Colombia by MARCH!!! That's only five months away!

Before we left, we scheduled our home study for Friday, November 10, 2006 at the LSS office in SF. We knew we'd be going to Elk Point for the football championships so it worked out well.

I just called one of two international agencies that we would use, Children's Home Society and Family Services, and she said that March thing is out the window. It's more like 15-18 months now. So my balloon was burst BIG TIME. BUT, I called LAN and they said 4-8 months. I think we'll be going with LAN.

Rob had to get home for guards and I drove to Winner to stay with my aunt for the weekend. I'm not sure how this happened, but I got lost on the way. I doesn't surprise anyone, does it? Well, in my defense, I thought the road that goes all the way through Pierre sort of runs north and south. So when you're driving "south" and make that turn left to go by the mall and Walmart, you should be able to keep driving "south" and end up somewhere down by Winner. I had a map and it all made sense. All of the sudden, I went by that place that Etzkorn's run (those of you from Highmore will know what I mean). I thought "that's odd". But of course I kept on driving. Pretty soon, I saw a sign that said " many miles". I promptly got out the map and realized that sure enough, I had gone the wrong way. I was SUPPOSED to go south in Fort Pierre. Whoops! :) So it took me a little bit longer to get to Winner. had been a while since I'd been to Stephan. Anyway, by the time I got to Winner, Karyl was already at the breast cancer benefit that we were supposed to go to so Jeremy and Jacob drove me out there. We had a good time. It was totally different from our single days when we'd stay at home, drink wine, and paint her dollhouse. So anyway...the weekend was good.

Oh, I totally forgot. While I was at the workshop, I talked to the birth mother counselor about this woman in SF. While she couldn't technically tell me she knew this woman, I knew she did. She told me that "IF" this woman was seeking counseling from LSS, which she was, then she (Erin the SW) would recommend that we meet at LSS instead of on our own. So I called my hair stylist on the way to Winner and ended up talking to the birth mother for a few minutes. I told her that since we were both using LSS, I thought we could use their services and facilities. Since we planned to be in SF on the 10th, we planned to meet after our meeting with the SW. I told her I'd talk to the SW and let them be the go-between.

At this point, I don't know how I feel about this option. As I've said before, the thought of having a newborn is beyond words. However, my faith in the domestic adoption process has been tested tremendously. I know it works for some. I've also seen cases where the child deserved a better outcome.

So I will end this windy post for now. Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

I bought a book!

I went to Aberdeen this weekend and bought a book about your baby's first year, week by week. It's similar to "What To Expect Your First Year" but it's weekly. And very interesting. I got it on Saturday morning. I've already read through the seventh month and highlighted everything I either don't know or think I should remember. I'm sure when the actual time comes, I won't even remember I have a book.

We also had some interesting news on Thursday, the 5th. The girl who cuts my hair in Tea is a very compassionate, good Christian woman. We've prayed together at her salon and been very open about our religous beliefs. She called me on Thursday night and said that she knows a woman in Sioux Falls who is pregnant and has decided on adoption. Stacey (my friend) told her about us and she'd like to meet us! Now, I know that isn't a guarantee, but still. A whirlwind of emotions went through my head. And that phone call triggered the purchase of the book. I have always loved babies. Rob would prefer to have a child that can PLAY with him. And for as much as his ADHD shows when we're home on a weekend, I would agree that he needs a playmate. So anyway...the thought of actually having a newborn is...well, as I sit here trying to find the word, I guess I'll say it's undescribable. Stacey and I played phone tag this weekend so we didn't get a whole lot of information. But I guess we'll see where this leads. I know that if this is the path God has chosen for us, it will work out. If not, I know He has another path for us.

So that's really all I had to say today. That and HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEELY! We love you and we miss you and hope that you have a great day! We'll see you at State Football.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Paperwork, paperwork!

Yesterday was a busy day as far as paperwork is concerned. Since our meeting is only a week away, I'm trying to get this all taken care of. So far our list to complete includes:
Birth certificates
Marriage license
TB tests
Fee Agreements
Privacy Act
Adoption Application
Background checks
Essay Questions
I sent off requests yesterday to Brown County for my birth certificate and our marriage license and had the request emailed to me from Sioux County, Iowa to get Rob's birth certificate. The poor girl at Sioux County shouldn't have given me her email address because I rapidly fired off a succession of email questions that I had. It's not difficult but compared to Brown County, it's quite a bit more work. And I just don't want to screw it up. Rob's in Lead for a school conference this week so I'll have to wait until he gets home to have him sign in front of a notary...good thing his secretary, Marlene, knows what we are doing and is a notary. I've had about 50 million physicals (well at least it seems like it) in the past year, so I just have to send the paperwork to my doctor and they'll sign off on it. Unfortunately, I haven't had a TB test done in the past year so this is going to be a little tricky. I have to go in one day and then go back 48 hours later. I thought I could do it in Watertown on Friday until I found out I have to go back. So then I thought I could drive to the lab at the hospital in Aberdeen. They don't do it. I have to actually go to a doctor. I don't want to do it in Redfield because I know even though things are not supposed to get leaked out, they do, and it's no one's business to discuss this except Rob's and mine. If I tell someone, that's my right. It isn't their right to tell anyone else. But it's happened to us way too many times and that's why we're keeping this to ourselves. Sorry, I got off on a tangent there. So anyway, I don't know how I'm going to do this TB test. I wrote my autobiography. As you can imagine, it's quite lengthy. The essay questions are done for both of us. When I go to Watertown on Friday I'm going to get my fingerprints done. The background checks require a listing of every address we've had since birth. Well, you all know how many times we've moved. I had a heck of a time figuring out the five street addresses we had in Highmore. The three in Elk Point weren't that long ago, so I could remember those. So now I'm just waiting for Rob to get home so he can sign, date, sign, date...
Did I mention he called me flaky? I countered with gullible. We had to list ten words or phrases about ourselves, ten about our spouse, and ten about our marriage. I could have listed "annoying when he wins games and a sore loser when he loses games" but I didn't. I was nice and said competitive.
Some of you know my penchant for odd dreams. I tell you...they're coming at me like crazy this week. Usually when Rob is gone, I sleep GREAT! Sorry, Babe! Seriously though, Billy usually waits for Rob in the living rooms so it's only Bob and myself in the bed and I have plenty of room. When Rob left for active duty, Billy waited for a few weeks and then finally decided that he better come to bed. If they'd start to crowd me, I'd just pick up my legs and move to the other side of the bed. That tended to be a problem when Rob got home. We're seriously getting a king size bed. So anyway, back to the dream part. My friend Cara has been a wealth of information about adoption. She's given me websites to check out and books to read. I have this little problem called OCD and I really like lists. My budget is done for a year ahead of time (in Excel no less), I enter all of the school events in my calendar before summer even starts, and I'm already making a packing list of stuff to take to Colombia. You'd think that with as obsessive as I am, I'd be able to get birthday cards out in time. I'm not sure how that ability was lost on me. Anyway...there is a lot of stuff to take! I don't think Rob's going to be able to take any clothes! He always packs heavy anyway. I pack just enough because I don't like to carry the suitcases. Good thing I'll have a big, strong husband to do that for me in Colombia, eh? :) OK, back to the dream thing...since I've been obsessed about this lately, I dream about it at night. Every night. So it's totally interfering with my week of good sleep.
All right, well that's probably all for now. If you know me, you won't question my ramblings. And since no one knows I'm typing this (not even Rob...he'd roll his eyes at me) I have to spill my guts somewhere! We do have some people we can talk to about this and we're very glad for their support. Next week when we go to Pierre, we're staying in Highmore with our friends Mike, Marilyn, and Max. They know what we're doing as Mike is one of our references. But for anyone else who knows we'll be in Highmore, I had to come up with a reason that we'd be going to Pierre overnight during the week. I'm not a good liar so what we're going to say is that we have a meeting for something for our church. Which really isn't quite a lie. It is a Lutheran Social Services meeting and we are Lutheran.
So until my next rambling...see you later.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Yay! Our first post!

Well, by the time any of you read this, we will be months into the adoption process. We aren't ready to share our news yet, but at some time we will. And when that happens, we want you to be able to look back at everything we've done.
Rob and I started the adoption process on July 30, 2006 when we attended our first Lutheran Social Services informational meeting in Fort Pierre. We went in not knowing if we wanted to do this FOR SURE. We came out knowing we wanted to do this FOR SURE! After the meeting, we called LSS to register for their two day workshop to be held October 12 & 13, 2006 in Pierre. They sent us lots of paperwork, which we have been busy filling in. Knowing Rob's competitive nature, I think he wanted to be sure he was done before me! He was, which I was actually quite surprised about. I thought I'd have to get after him to get his stuff done. We aren't done yet; we still have to do the fingerprinting, background checks, medical checkup, autobiography...and that's only what they've sent us at this time. The list will grow, I'm afraid. That's OK. In regard to where it will lead us, it's nothing to fill in some forms.
We've decided to adopt from Colombia since domestic adoptions have a huge risk that a birth mother would change her mind. We know that there are things that can happen with an international adoption, but we don't want to invest our hearts into a child and then have that taken away. The process can take around a year, but we've said that we would be open to adopting twins or a sibling set, as long as one of the children is an infant. That could shorten the process. At this point, we really don't know what we're doing. We do know that Dana has become addicted to researching Colombian adoptions on the Internet! What better way to pass the time! :) Since we are just barely into the process, we don't expect to travel to meet our child until this time of year in 2007. Once we get a referral, we will travel within ten - 14 days and receive our child the next day. We will have to stay in Colombia to complete the adoption process for up to eight weeks. My poor kitties! Well Bob, really. She doesn't do well with change or without me. I'm not sure how we're going to handle that part. Billy will miss us, but will lick the hand of anyone who gives him treats.
We're excited for the meeting on the 12th & 13th. Hopefully we'll know more then.
Ta Ta for now.
Rob & Dana