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Dale and Amanda

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Everything posted by Dale and Amanda

  1. Wow! Congratulations to the two newest families! Prayers for all of your expanded family!
  2. Amen! We didn't have time to prepare ourselves for #2, much less prepare Arianna, so I can't help you there, but I will say that there is more than twice the work with two children. One of the biggest issues was sleep in the beginning. Arianna was 15 months when Nichole was placed, so she was on a toddler schedule when Nichole was eating every two to three hours. I was up all night and all day for several weeks, so that would be the main thing I would prepare for. If you can have someone that is willing to watch your children so you can take a nap...priceless! Good luck and please do enjoy spending time with your son (not that you wouldn't otherwise). There is very little jealousy with our children at this point, they are fascinated by one another and I hope that once Nichole starts crawling, they will be able to play together more.
  3. Praying that the right family reads your words and responds or is able to pass on info to the right family!
  4. Erin and James, it is true that we all have to be honest with what we can handle. The racial considerations are not the only ones. When we first started looking into adoption, we started asking others what would happen if the birth mother had smoked, consumed alcohol, done drugs, and to what degree could we realistically expect a healthy child. Most of the children that are placed for adoption come from less-than-ideal situations. It doesn't mean that the baby won't be healthy, but there are never guarantees, even if we were all able to have biological children. In the past year, I have had a friend that is VERY health-conscious lose her baby during delivery. Another friend currently has a baby in NICU, and they have had constant prenatal care and have stable homes, support, finances, etc. All of this is to say that adoption is a bumpy road. This one may exist to move you to where you need to be (another agency or re-thinking an aspect of your inquiry). Most of us have had similar bumps (and I would be happy to share some of ours with you if you would like). Some are public and some are private, but they all work together to get you in place to meet your child.
  5. Erin, Melissa is right. There are many different things that affect Abrazo's orientation invitations because they don't want to have families hanging out there forever. They have an idea of what birthparents are looking for, so it isn't that you are wrong. They may not often have babies that "fit" your preferences, and those that may might prefer that their child is the first. Our family choices aren't for everyone, but we have two beautiful African American baby girls, and my husband and I are both anglo. It has been an interesting adventure and we wouldn't trade it for anything. If you have any questions about transracial parenting, feel free to ask (you can pm me if you would like). Hopefully you will have better understanding after you talk with Abrazo. Wishing you the best in seeking an addition for your family!
  6. Melissa, what did the SW that offered to do the update say about it? I'm not sure about how it would all work, but you are doing a great job of staying on top of things! I hope it works out that you can just use the update!
  7. Congratulations to the newest family! May you be the first of many April placements!!!
  8. Hoping an Abrazo family will soon be on their way to adding to their family!!!
  9. But Hope, it is SO worth taking the time to read. Your family's faith has resulted in an amazing way!!!
  10. Amazing! You have a beautiful baby BOY!!! Congratulations! Happy tears for the newest family.
  11. I appreciate all of the thoughts shared here. It has really given me some things to think about. Natalie, one of the things a friend at church said is that many of our friends would love to help, but they don't know how. When somone in our church is pregnant, we try to help them with anything we can. With adoption, it is usually more prayer and financial help that is needed. If you have friends that want to help you, I say allow it. One of the things that we are to do in church is bless others. This is one way that your friends will be able to help you. Dale and I also struggle with the pride of self-support. I think that is why I was questioning the yard sale. We have worked to get to a position that we are often able to help others rather than need it ourselves. Good luck with the adoption funds!
  12. I think when asked some of the more uncomfortable questions (especially about "buying" a child), it is easiest to say that we pay fees for adoption services. If someone is truly interested in the information for the possibility of their persuing adoption, I am a bit more open about the differences between our two adoptions (i.e., medical costs and travel). It really is no one's business exactly what we have done, but then again, I really want people to understand the realities of adoption vs. the misconceptions. As for "reduced" rates being an incentive to adopt AA children, it was never a thought for us and I don't know that it is really a true incentive. We persued both girls before we had a clue as to what $$ would be involved. It is different because they were both BOGs so there was no advance preparation. It was pretty much busting through what we needed to do because the money was secondary. I may have posted this elsewhere, but I didn't even ask about Nichole's health until the day we left for SA, and then it was only so that we could be prepared for additional care if necessary. We are so thankful for our girls.
  13. I see from previous posts that some of you have had yard sales to help finance your adoption. Would it be odd for us to do this post-placement (since Nichole came WAY before we thought she would)? I am struggling with this one, because most people don't know about the $$ that has gone into it (and will continue to through finalization!). We aren't struggling financially, but it would be nice to have the loans taken care of sooner rather than later. Any thoughts and/or suggestions? I won't be offended by honesty!
  14. My goodness, the Stork has been VERY busy this week! Congratulations to the newest expanded family!!!
  15. Congratulations to the newest family!!!
  16. Welcome Melissa! As I type I am listening to my 3 1/2-month-old daughter squeal with delight at her daddy. I look forward to following your journey!!!
  17. My sister called earlier and said that she and my nephew are planning to fly out to visit next Friday! They are flying on passes, so hopefully the flight will not be full and they will be able to come in as planned. Arianna was almost a year old before they got to see her, and they didn't want that to happen with Nichole. My neice is devastated because she has to go visit her dad for spring break, and will not be able to make the trip with them. We are going to plan for her to come out here on a long weekend later on this year. I can't wait for them to get here!!!!
  18. Welcome to the Abrazo family and congratulations on your little bundle!
  19. Natalie, they may require that you do the update before you can take calls, I'm not sure. I just know that you will have to have another one within 30 days of placement because of Texas law, and an update is only good for 30 days, so the law isn't working with you so much there! It wasn't long ago that we started looking at a second child. We were placed within 3 weeks of that, because Nichole was born without a waiting family, and we took placement of her 6 days after birth. We never did make it to an Abrazo orientation, as we took placement of Arianna (our oldest) through another agency right after sending in our inquiry to Abrazo. She was 4 months old and also did not have a waiting family, so we only had 10 days to get our info in order for her placement. Thank goodness we had been foster parents a few years ago, so we only had to have updates as well. So to answer your question, we didn't wait with either of ours...and our girls are only 15 months apart...and they keep me quite busy! (Today is a rare day that they are napping at the same time because we ran a few errands earlier today).
  20. Natalie, check with the ladies at Abrazo how to proceed, because they need an update done within 30 days of placement, so you want to make sure that you don't just need to send them a copy of your original hs. I don't know the full procedure, but saving time and $$ is BIG for me!!! BTW, welcome! We have an 18 m.o. AA girl and a 3 m.o. AA girl (placed through Abrazo).
  21. If people truly just wanted a baby to love, it would be a moot point.
  22. Finally, the announcement! Congratulations to the new family of FOUR!!!
  23. With our adoptions, we did not take the financials into consideration when presented with either girl. We didn't have a clue about any of it when we called about Nichole. Arianna was also persued without regard to the $$ involved. I just knew that there are several agencies that reduce fees for AA children. That had nothing to do with our decisions. I know of people that won't work with agencies that reduce fees. That is their choice, but it isn't a child's choice as to what agency they are placed through. Regardless of fee structures, all children deserve a loving home. This really is a difficult subject, but it is one that has much room for improvement.
  24. Not necessarily! There are social workers here who work on TX standards for those of us going through Abrazo. They would be more than happy to "get you up to date" I'm sure! I saw this, and obviously you were correct! Our hs update was done in a VERY short time, so anyone else (or maybe I'm the only one) that may have thought this...it can be done!
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