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  1. Melissa, I want you to know that you are not alone in your feelings! I was amazed that the second time around was stressful in ways that I had not anticipated. I had set myself up for it won't be as stressful this time because I/we have Garrett to take our minds off the wait but that was unrealistic. He of course was a distraction some of the time but I still would allow and let my mind wonder to the possibility that we wouldn't be chosen because either we were two old or because we were already parenting. It became harder after each phone call that we had and would later find out that we
    8 points
  2. When my first daughter was born we didn't have medical insurance. My in-laws gave us a heifer which we later sold to pay the medical bills. I am glad to report that after almost 40 years, our daughter does not appear to be traumatized by being paid for with a heifer. No, she wasn't adopted. But I think some children will embrace all aspects of their adoption story and some won't. I would guess if someone is upset because funds were raised to bring them into the family then they are probably struggling with adoption in general.
    7 points
  3. I have been thinking about this post for a few days. First thank you Elizabeth for your kind words and wisdom!! I know that this time around for us we have tried to be more "laid" back and know that in God's perfect timing we will find the right family to join ours. I will admit that it has been harder than I first anticipated. I am not sure why really not sure what I was expecting to happen, I guess we only have our first expierience to compare it too and we only spoke to two expectant moms and were chosen by the first one I spoke to. (I know no two adoption stories are the same but wh
    6 points
  4. Leslie, You may think you are "shielding" your parents but I really believe (at least from my perspective) that most parents don't want to be shielded. I am enormously grateful that Melissa and Steven chose to make me a part of all aspects of their journey, both the good and the sad. Melissa asked me to start reading the forum from the first day she discovered Abrazo. It doesn't take long reading the journeys to truly believe in open adoption. No, it is not the way adoption was addressed when we were growing up, but it is clearly better. I'm not sure I would have grasped that as fast as
    6 points
  5. Welcome to our family baby girl! I've been praying for a long time that you will find your home in the arms of James and Christy. They have been through a lot and will love you more than you will ever know. Imagine the future... You will grow up knowing your whole family. I bet you’ll be a well traveled little lady. Your big brother Benny will watch over you. In fact, I bet he'll be super protective! Soon enough we'll be down to visit and give you a zillion little butterfly kisses. (Although I'm ready to pack up today and squeeze those cheeks of yours today!) James and Christy - Wheneve
    6 points
  6. I was thinking today about how blessed Abrazo is to have as many againers as we do, and how I wish more prospective birthparents would consider againers when choosing parents for their babies. Parents who are placing typically prefer childless couples because it assures them they are changing a couple's lives in a way that nobody else can. They feel it makes their sacrifice more meaningful, on some level. Some wish to only choose childless couples because they want their baby to be the firstborn in the family. And still others feel more secure with couples whose level of adoption experience
    5 points
  7. I read the below submission in a blog called Bumbler's Bumblings today, which is written by an adoptive mom, but her son's birth mother is a guest writer sometimes. The writing below is from her son's birthmom Amber about the day she first met her son's parents, her expectations for them, why she chose them, and her feelings on selecting the right family for her baby. Such a moving story about all of the thought that went into her decision. Here's the link, but the text is pasted below in case the link goes bad.
    5 points
  8. Just wanted to chime in that my employer does not offer a paid maternity leave for mothers (adoptive or biological) either. Any maternity leave is taken with vacation time, and FMLA does not apply in my case like Abrazo's because of less than 50 employees. They did however, want me to spend as much time as I could afford and allowed me to go in the negative, which I was very grateful for. We were very impressed with Scott's employers benefit, to say the least. We did not learn about it until after Abrazo urged us to double check with our employers for benefits at orientation. They exceeded
    5 points
  9. Bridgett - I have to admit I was also pretty angry when I realized our policies. I work for a large, global company and just before we adopted Oliver, I found myself in DC. I requested time with our Chief HR Officer and gave my thoughts and opinions and asked for an explanation. He got very detailed with me and though I respectfully had to agree to disagree with him, I could see why a group of decision-makers who had never been touched by adoption made the decisions they did. I chuckled the other day when I called the company that now handles our benefits (outsourced now). I explained to
    5 points
  10. It is insulting to me that I have heard so much about potential/hopeful adoptive parents giving us biological parents money in order to make our problems go away. As if a lump sum of money is going to make our situations better. It isn't just about money (and I'm glad to know that so many Abrazo families recognize this!). How is a "donation" from a prospective adoptive couple going to fix the intangible and non-mometary problems that exist and make placements necessary or optimal for birth parents and their children? Sickening. To me, it isn't "buying" a child, as we birth parents never see th
    5 points
  11. I've been thinking about this post a lot, which is good, I think! I definitely don't have all the answers either. I will be honest, in our first adoption it all seemed rather simple. Simplified because we did not meet Luke's birthmother. We did not witness her pain. We did not hear her cry. We did not see the love and raw emotion. I have no doubt it was there, but we didn't see it and she and her husband did not choose to meet us. We simply went to the hospital, our arms were filled with an incredible baby boy and we came home. Yes, I cried for her, and not a single day goes by that I d
    5 points
  12. It's not a question for me that God was in our failed matches and our son's arrivals in our family. Just 2 days before (talk about coincidence) one of our biggest adoption heart breaks, I was at my sisters house. She pointed out to me that God uses ALL that is in our life for our good. She and her husband had started a business and she had so much faith that even if the business failed - it would still be an experience for their good and that they would learn from the experience. She encouraged me that even if the adoption plan did not result in placement, we were in that match for a reaso
    5 points
  13. I always love going back and seeing posts like these... nobody had any clue sweet Madelyn was just a little over a week away from making her grand entrance when this post was written. It is funny how everything works out and another example of everything will happen as it is supposed to and when it is supposed to. (Even if we don't want to always believe that) One of the things the J told us about why she selected our family was one of my fears about already parenting, but she said when she saw our family picture on the last page and saw that we had a son she just knew that we needed a d
    5 points
  14. I always love going back and seeing posts like these... nobody had any clue sweet Madelyn was just a little over a week away from making her grand entrance when this post was written.
    5 points
  15. Yes, Thank you for posting the reminders! Like Monica I also have all these fears but my hubby tries to keep me in line! lol I have to say I have certain days or weeks where I wish I would know what is going to happen and other weeks that just fly by! I am like Monica I am more reserved and I find it hard to really get to know someone in such a short amount of time and it being on the phone doesn't help things. I feel as though most of my conversations this time around have gone well with that being said. A few weeks ago we visited Alexis and she had asked how our adoption this time arou
    5 points
  16. I'm here rooting you all on!!! Againers are awesome! It is different the second time around. Some things are harder, some are easier but there will be a family that needs YOU just as you are!!! Our 2nd adoption doesn't fit any of the typical scenarios above. They were very young not older, they were first time parents. Yet they needed us ... they'd been through every profile in our agency in WA before we submitted our profile. Someone out there is going to need Monica, Melissa, Carrisa, Beth (I can't remember all the guys names but them too) and all those of you who are againers but di
    5 points
  17. Mari, I just wanted to tell you that you are such a blessing to this community. Your insight and wisdom are so valuable. You always have a level head and loving heart in the words you share, and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for taking the time to be a part of the forum.
    5 points
  18. From the days of the Pilgrims and the Indians, this week has been one in which it's customary to stop and count one's blessings, and for one Midwestern couple from our BGE&s orientation weekend of 4/12, the memory of this Thanksgiving week's blessings will forever be woven into the tapestry of their family story! For the birthparents of their new baby boy found their way to our agency thanks to a referral from another Abrazo birthmom from a few years back, and when they first came to Abrazo, their son's first mom said she knew from the moment she saw their profile that they were the famil
    5 points
  19. When our youngest graduates from high school, my husband will be 67 and I will be 60! YIKES! Do we think about being older parents? You betcha. And, we do everything in our power to "stay young" and plan for the future -- the kids' and ours. We are forever grateful to Abrazo for being one of the very few adoption agencies that didn't immediately write us off the books for our ages when we first started our journey to being a family in 1997. But, the reality of the situation is that there ARE many age-related things we now must consider if we truly want to be the best parents possible for
    5 points
  20. I can't imagine being in a position where I needed to choose a family... put all my faith in this family... to raise my child, never knowing if the things they told me about themselves (their family history, their medical history, their aptitude to be parents, etc) was true. The leap of faith that takes far surpasses any leap of faith I think APs have to make. Sure, we go through home studies and all of that... but how do they know if the promises we make are true? They have to put their faith in us. We're taking on a lifelong responsibility to raise a child, so of course we hope for a hea
    5 points
  21. My experience.. When I spoke to the AP's I picked it just "felt right" on a personal level! I didn't know what to expect when I called. I was sure they were going to be just as nervous as I was. They were the 2nd PIW I spoke to and on our subsequent conversations I felt connected to her as a friend. I thought that if I met her outside this situation that we could be friends. The 2nd thing that made me feel wonderful is that they felt the need to connect to their current child's BP's. Even though those BP's had chose not to continue an open relationship w/ them they continue to send pictur
    5 points
  22. I’ve had very positive responses to the design of both of the adoption profiles I’ve created for our family, and I remember feeling so very lost when we first started trying to create a profile and never felt like I found really useful information online or anywhere that gave me good direction to follow. I already understood that I needed to include in-focus pictures with nice close-ups and use a cohesive design theme of some kind, but I still wanted MORE information. So here I am, paying it forward by passing along a few things I learned through the process to share with anyone working on d
    4 points
  23. When a San Antonio couple came to speak on Abrazo's panel for our last two orientation weekends, they had no idea that they, too, would be preparing to adopt again in the near future. Yet when a local mother-to-be was led to Abrazo by a friend who had placed here, and then found herself without a Texas couple to adopt her child (which was the desire of her heart), the AbrazoChicks leaped into action. We called the folks who have been so gracious about sharing their story at orientation (and who had just finalized their first adoption of a beautiful baby girl, after having initially had a twin
    4 points
  24. hi katie and matt! welcome to the abrazo community! i was struck by your original post, as andrew and i were in a very similar situation two years ago. we completed a homestudy and began working with a local agency (in the washington, d.c., area) in october 2009... we ended up matching with an expectant couple in december 2010 (which was, believe it or not, a short wait for this particular agency), then took placement of their daughter in february 2011. unfortunately, that particular placement wasn't destined to end in a successful adoption, as the parents revoked their consent for adoptio
    4 points
  25. She has a beautiful writing style. I really liked this post. I never put myself in the adoptive couples' shoes with either of my first meetings, but I was nervous and excited all the same. It is so overwhelming to meet the people who are going to raise your child. I like what she said about the personalities meshing well. I believe my children will inherit a lot from me, and I'm glad that I was at ease with both of my meetings. I'm gregarious and silly, I lack a mental filter at times and I can be very sarcastic. Neither couple minded. This birth mom is right: We don't find the couple, God lea
    4 points
  26. Pie in the sky. Adopting from foster care IS cheaper, but it is still expensive (around $10,000 for legal fees in this state). While I can understand how this would make an adoptee fee "icky", it's unreasonable to assume that just because someone is infertile they have piles of money laying around to afford to expand their family. It's not reasonable or ethical to suggest that infertile folks should give their resources away so that other families can "stay together". There is no way to ever prove that giving funds to others will increase their own ability to parent. It's not always about
    4 points
  27. Monica, your profile is fine! Not to worry... if we thought it needed revisions, we'd have Brianna tell you so (and so for those who have gotten that advice from Brianna, please know that she's only the messenger, and remember that we are still waiting for your "new, improved" look!) The road to one's second or third child is invariably a different voyage than the journey to one's first. The second (or third) time around, you have the benefit of knowledge and experience that you didn't before. And yes, the second (or third) time around, you're not just wiser but older, too, and that can pres
    4 points
  28. I think Melissa said it better than I can. I can't imagine the difficulty BP's face in essentialy trusting complete strangers with their most precious child. As an AP, not being selected by a BP would feel like rejection, however, we would completely understand. They have to do what they feel is right and not rush into something that are not completely on board with. This is one of the biggest decisions of their life and we would expect nothing less. From the beginning Tim and I wanted it to be the right match and not match with the first BP that was interested in us just because we want to be
    4 points
  29. 4 points
  30. We Skyped with Victor and Julie's bps for the first time today. It went SO well. The kids were much more engaged in the conversation and you could tell it meant alot to Stacey and David! Julie said her ABCs for them and Victor read them a book....even held the book so they could see the pics!
    4 points
  31. I say a prayer every night for God to lead is in the direction we are meant to go. I too learned that God had a different plan for our family long ago. What a wonderful plan he had. Faith is a very strong thing! Still wondering if he has more plans for our family.
    4 points
  32. Makes perfect sense, right? I think that's why so many of us out-of-towners want our kids to have Texas pride. That's why we invest in the Longhorns gear, Don't Mess with Texas t-shirts, etc. And it's why we plan our annual trek there! I know it's to a much lesser degree, but it's still parallel. As good adoptive parents, you should want your child to be proud of where they came from - their heritage, their roots, their culture. Kinda hard to do that when the child hasn't experienced their place of birth first-hand!
    4 points
  33. I have been trying really hard not to respond because I think even at Abrazo, we still have plenty of clients who still think this way, at least initially, and that pains me to admit it. Yet... it's all too easy to forget that expectant parents living within ideal circumstances rarely need to place. (And that children who were once adopted still need their parents to honor their primal connection to "chain-smoking bar hopping birthparents with lots of drama" just as much as those whose birthparents are good Christians from good families.) Obviously, some adoptive parents struggle with e
    4 points
  34. Monica, you know how blessed we feel to have you and your girls, and of course the cutest little man in our lives! Not a day goes by that we don't think of you and pray for you and are thankful for you. We are as committed as ever to make the best of a difficult situation... we are so aware of the pain you feel. We know that we weren't brought together by accident and we look forward to a future of watching these beautiful boys grow up together with you in our lives. We feel such excitement when we hear how Aria and Elida are excelling in school and sports and all the sweet things they say a
    4 points
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