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Speaking of Leaky, I used to go to Alto Frio camp in the summer. I'm too old now, but the two summers I went there were amazing. That river is named appropriately, let me tell ya!

And I will be there tomorrow, so all you newbies be ready! ;)

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Howdie from fellow Wisconsite Abrazo family. You have made a terrific choice in adoption agency. We were in the November 2007 InDecision group and our angel was born in May 2008. We couldn't be happier for you and will love watching your journey to your little one unfold. We are from Green Bay, WI and if we can be of any help along the way, just let us know.

Steve and Patti Chovan

Hi, we are from Wisconsin. Are you also in the Midwest? Brandy

Hello to all the Wisconsin girls! My husband and I are researching agencies and I came across Abrazo by chance. Everything that I've read sounds amazing! My questions are this...we too live in WI, why did you choose to go out of state? Are there a lot of extra costs involved? I would be so appreciative to get your feedback (and anyone in other states too)!

Thanks!!

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Howdie from fellow Wisconsite Abrazo family. You have made a terrific choice in adoption agency. We were in the November 2007 InDecision group and our angel was born in May 2008. We couldn't be happier for you and will love watching your journey to your little one unfold. We are from Green Bay, WI and if we can be of any help along the way, just let us know.

Steve and Patti Chovan

Hi, we are from Wisconsin. Are you also in the Midwest? Brandy

Hello to all the Wisconsin girls! My husband and I are researching agencies and I came across Abrazo by chance. Everything that I've read sounds amazing! My questions are this...we too live in WI, why did you choose to go out of state? Are there a lot of extra costs involved? I would be so appreciative to get your feedback (and anyone in other states too)!

Thanks!!

Hi Missy -- we adopted our first child, Jack, in WI 8 years ago. When he was 2 we began our adoption journey again and worked with 2 different WI agencies for 4+ years and the process was very slow and placement rates were dropping off tremendously in WI. We ended up having one failed placement. We started reseraching other options, both international and USA and learned more about interstate adoptions. It felt perfect for us and it wasn't nearly as complicated or costly as we thought. Plus we loved the idea of an open adoption. We found an agency in WI that had experience in interstate adoptions and started working with them and they helped us connect finally with Abrazo.

The extra costs for TX vs WI are for traveling to TX, depending on how many trips you make before and after placement, and the time you spend in TX after placement while waiting for interstate compact approval from TX and WI. Abrazo does a great job estimating everything for you so you can plan and budget accordingly.

Good luck with your decision. We highly recommend working with Abrazo and would be glad to help answer any other questions you might have.

Patti

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Missy,

We live in Missouri where the adoption laws aren't that great for the adoptive family so we were looking at other options. My husband works with someone who went through Abrazo and raved about them. They adopted their baby fairly quickly and we had heard nothing but LONG waits from other agencies.

We went to their orientation in July 2008 and were SO excited afterwards. And of course the forum is such an awesome, supportive place. Everyone on here is so encouraging. They've gotten me through a day or two. The forum friends have been through what you are about to go through so they can help you every step of the way either with advice or just encouragement.

-Rebecca

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Howdie from fellow Wisconsite Abrazo family. You have made a terrific choice in adoption agency. We were in the November 2007 InDecision group and our angel was born in May 2008. We couldn't be happier for you and will love watching your journey to your little one unfold. We are from Green Bay, WI and if we can be of any help along the way, just let us know.

Steve and Patti Chovan

Hi, we are from Wisconsin. Are you also in the Midwest? Brandy

Hello to all the Wisconsin girls! My husband and I are researching agencies and I came across Abrazo by chance. Everything that I've read sounds amazing! My questions are this...we too live in WI, why did you choose to go out of state? Are there a lot of extra costs involved? I would be so appreciative to get your feedback (and anyone in other states too)!

Thanks!!

Hi Missy,

My husband and I are living in Madison now, but I grew up in San Antonio and still have some family there, so that's why we were originally attracted to Texas (also because WI adoption laws aren't particularly good for the adoptive parents). After we looked at a few agencies that our homestudy agent recommended, Abrazo seemed to have the best relationship-building philosophy and that looked good to me. After having just gotten back from an orientation weekend, I am even more convinced that we made the right decision.

Carissa

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Welcome to Abrazo Missy!!!

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  • 1 month later...
Welcome to Abrazo Missy!!!

Hello again, Wisconsin girls! Well, after looking high and low at every agency out there...we can't seem to find anyone better than Abrazo :) We will be hopefully starting the process early next year. Please update me! How was orientation? Can you give me an estimate with airfare and hotel how much it cost for the weekend? Are you currently waiting? It's wonderful that I can look to these forums for not only the great information but the wonderful support too!

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When we went to Orientation a year ago. The cost for us was about about $1000. That includes airfare, hotel, and orientation cost. Airfare was a big chunk of that cost. We are from Minnesota so this should be a good estimate for you to go off of. That weekend was definitely worth the money.

Hope this helps,

Mark

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When we went to Orientation a year ago. The cost for us was about about $1000. That includes airfare, hotel, and orientation cost. Airfare was a big chunk of that cost. We are from Minnesota so this should be a good estimate for you to go off of. That weekend was definitely worth the money.

Hope this helps,

Mark

Thanks, Mark! That is very helpful. I am so excited to get started! We just have to get a bit more saved up, but I bridge my time on the Forum. It helps me stay positve and excited for the journey :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Missy!

I think the $1000 estimate for Orientation weekend is probably a good one. My husband and I came from Pittsburgh, PA over 3 years ago and we probably spent around that amount. It is a weekend that you will never forget. Not only do you get to meet the wonderful ladies at Abrazo personally but the relationship you build with the other couples in orientation class is the best! We are very close to the other people in our orientation class and still keep in touch with everyone. At first it felt like they would be competition for us but once you meet them and spend the weekend with them you have friends that know exactly how you feel. That is really hard to find most of the time.

As far as after you are matched and/or take placement, you can often get discounts from hotels if you explain to them your situation. When we came for the birth of our second son this year I called Homewood Suites and they were willing to give us a $20 discount per day. That was a pretty good deal especially since they provided breakfast and dinner. They have kitchens in their rooms so you could buy food and have lunch in the room so bascially you wouldn't have that much of an expense for food. Always check out Hotwire.com too. They typically have really good deals on there too. We are in Texas now for finalization and to spend time with our birthfamily and I was able to get a really good deal for a hotel close to the Riverwalk, which is a really nice area downtown (lots of shopping, food, entertainment, etc...) When there is a will there is a way I always say :rolleyes:;)

You won't regret any of it and Abrazo is a great agency to work with.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions we are all here to help you through :P

Donna

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  • 7 months later...

We sent in our application on Friday, March 12! I went ahead and filled out the orientation paperwork and sent in payment with the application, just out of wishful thinking that we could possibly get in for the April 30-May 1 orientation!

I know adoption is a leap of faith in many ways, but we're trying to be as budget-conscious as possible. I wanted to have our currently approved TN home study updated for TX standards so that we were "good to go" when we went to orientation. We're working with a local social worker and she can squeeze us in on the afternoon of March 29 (my hubby's b'day!)... I'm just wondering if it's too presumptive for us to go forward with this - knowing we might not get into the April/May orientation - and knowing the home study has to be updated every 6 months.

Advice?

Thanks!

Melissa

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We sent in our application on Friday, March 12! I went ahead and filled out the orientation paperwork and sent in payment with the application, just out of wishful thinking that we could possibly get in for the April 30-May 1 orientation!

I know adoption is a leap of faith in many ways, but we're trying to be as budget-conscious as possible. I wanted to have our currently approved TN home study updated for TX standards so that we were "good to go" when we went to orientation. We're working with a local social worker and she can squeeze us in on the afternoon of March 29 (my hubby's b'day!)... I'm just wondering if it's too presumptive for us to go forward with this - knowing we might not get into the April/May orientation - and knowing the home study has to be updated every 6 months.

Advice?

Thanks!

Melissa

Melissa,

The homestudy is good for one year. I'm sure it felt wonderful to put your application in the mail. Adoption is a leap of faith but worth every step and leap.smile.gif

Blessings,

Tracey

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Given that an original homestudy is valid in Texas for only six months from the date of the interviews... I would suggest that you hold off on doing any addendum(s) necessary to bring it into compliance with Texas standards until after attending orientation.

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Given that an original homestudy is valid in Texas for only six months from the date of the interviews... I would suggest that you hold off on doing any addendum(s) necessary to bring it into compliance with Texas standards until after attending orientation.

Thanks for your guidance, Elizabeth! I've contacted our social worker and asked if we can reschedule after orientation.

-Melissa

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  • 8 months later...

Our 2011 orientation dates are tentatively set! (This year, with no regard for the UT football schedule.) We are currently contemplating a change of hotels, due to feedback from our 2010 attendees who reported that the Hilton was getting outdated, so stay tuned for fresh new hotel info! but for those who like to plan ahead, here's what we've got cooking for the coming year*:

January 21-22

March 18-19

June 24-25

August 19-20

November 11-12

Note: all approved applicants must receive an official orientation confirmation letter prior to booking travel arrangements. Those who have already requested the 1/11 orientation weekend should be receiving said letters shortly.

*Dates are subject to change. Orientation is an invitation-only event for those with approved inquiries and applications already on file with Abrazo and full participation is required for all applicants seeking admission into Abrazo's Milagros (full-service) program. Attendees receiving acceptance packets at the close of orientation have ten (10) days, post-event, to execute contracts and remit fees and funds needed to enter Abrazo's program, or forfeit acceptance. Orientation is an intensive, adult-only event; those with children should plan their childcare accordingly.

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Our 2011 orientation dates are tentatively set! (This year, with no regard for the UT football schedule.) We are currently contemplating a change of hotels, due to feedback from our 2010 attendees who reported that the Hilton was getting outdated, so stay tuned for fresh new hotel info! but for those who like to plan ahead, here's what we've got cooking for the coming year*:

January 21-22

March 18-19

June 24-25

August 19-20

November 11-12

Note: all approved applicants must receive an official orientation confirmation letter prior to booking travel arrangements. Those who have already requested the 1/11 orientation weekend should be receiving said letters shortly.

*Dates are subject to change. Orientation is an invitation-only event for those with approved inquiries and applications already on file with Abrazo and full participation is required for all applicants seeking admission into Abrazo's Milagros (full-service) program. Attendees receiving acceptance packets at the close of orientation have ten (10) days, post-event, to execute contracts and remit fees and funds needed to enter Abrazo's program, or forfeit acceptance. Orientation is an intensive, adult-only event; those with children should plan their childcare accordingly.

Great to see dates! We will recommend your agency to others we know. May I suggest Embassy Stes Airport location as a new site. 2 room suites, great full breakfast and Happy hour!

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I love that Embassy Suites! (Don't tell anyone I helped open it back in 1985 when I was fresh out of college and got a job there as a desk clerk right after it was first built, ha!) Unfortunately, though, they won't give us a per night room rate of less than $100, which is our general rule of thumb in selecting properties for orientation, since we know it's not an inexpensive weekend and we do what we can to help keep the costs down for our participants. Otherwise, we'd be all for it! :)

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We recently stayed at the Springhill Suites San Antonio Airport and were pleasantly surprised with the quality. Although it's not a huge hotel with an on-site restaurant, we found the value well worth the $70+/night for this Marriott brand.

SPRINGHILL SUITES SAN ANTONIO AIRPORT hotel allows guests to experience the convenience of being close to San Antonio International Airport when visiting Historic San Antonio. This hotel offers complimentary airport Shuttle Service to and from San Antonio International Airport.

• 4 floors 116 suites

• Complimentary on-site parking

• Hot Buffet Breakfast

• Full-service business center

• Guest Rooms: Wired, Wireless

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/satsa-springhill-suites-san-antonio-airport/

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(Don't tell anyone I helped open it back in 1985 when I was fresh out of college and got a job there as a desk clerk right after it was first built, ha!)

Haha! I just told their sales person today. :) Hopefully she's already given you a call to work out an adjusted rate for upcoming orientation groups and couples who stay in San Antonio waiting out their ICPC!

Edited by Steven&Melissa
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks to Oliver's mommy, Steven's wife, and Abrazo's resident hotel fairygodmother, Melissa Giarrosso, the Embassy Suites in San Antonio are now offering reduced rates for Abrazo's guests this year!

This is a huge boon for our clientele, as the Airport location (literally within a mile of our office) will be offering a $99 per-night rate, and the IH10 location (nearer to the Medical Center) will offer an $89 per-night rate... which, of course, includes the legendary cooked-to-order breakfast, manager's reception and free Internet!

To get the reduced rate, guests will need to call each property directly and give Abrazo's corporate number, which we'll post here as soon as we get it from the hotel sales office.

Many thanks to Melissa, for pulling strings for us, because rates this-discounted are virtually unheard of, at Embassy Suites' nationwide!! We are absolutely delighted, and encourage our clients to make ample use of these arrangements, anytime travel needs bring you to San Antonio (Abrazofolk need not be attending orientation to qualify).

:D:D:D

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Thanks to Oliver's mommy, Steven's wife, and Abrazo's resident hotel fairygodmother, Melissa Giarrosso, the Embassy Suites in San Antonio are now offering reduced rates for Abrazo's guests this year!

This is a huge boon for our clientele, as the Airport location (literally within a mile of our office) will be offering a $99 per-night rate, and the IH10 location (nearer to the Medical Center) will offer an $89 per-night rate... which, of course, includes the legendary cooked-to-order breakfast, manager's reception and free Internet!

To get the reduced rate, guests will need to call each property directly and give Abrazo's corporate number, which we'll post here as soon as we get it from the hotel sales office.

Many thanks to Melissa, for pulling strings for us, because rates this-discounted are virtually unheard of, at Embassy Suites' nationwide!! We are absolutely delighted, and encourage our clients to make ample use of these arrangements, anytime travel needs bring you to San Antonio (Abrazofolk need not be attending orientation to qualify).

:D:D:D

Whoo Hoo!!! My favorite hotel chain!! Thanks Oliver's Mom!! This will come in handy since Ry & I are expecting a special delivery on 1/29. Thanks to AAA for sharing the love no matter what time of year.

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Wow that's amazing! Is this where you'll be holding orientation? I know one of the challenges we always had was finding a place with a reasonable rate and a good size meeting room. Or are y'all doing orientations up in the office now on both days?

Can you tell I miss doing them with you? I'm not sucking up I really do! :(

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Thanks M! What a treat to stay at the ESuites!

Thanks M! What a treat to stay at the ESuites!

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Hooray! The staff there are such big supporters of adoption and are excited to make a home for Abrazo's clients, whether at the start of their journey at orientation or during the ICPC with a baby in tow. Happy they were able to work out such a good rate and hope there are lots of families who get to take advantage! :D

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