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Guest Julie&Rick

INQUIRY

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Guest Julie&Rick

Well we mailed out the pre-application inquiry 10 days ago and are now awaiting preliminary approval. Then we guess a much more extensive application will be in store for us. It's hard to be patient when we read so may heart warming stories on this forum. Hope we hear something soon!

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I just wanted to wish you Good Luck on your journey to parenthood!  This is the start of something so-oo good!  God bless you!

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I hope the two of you are ready for the ride of your lifes!!! Enjoy every moment,because it all will happen before you know it, with Abrazo it is not if it is when! Please keep us posted on your progress.

Warmest Wishes,

Melissa Merritt

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Welcome to the Forum!  Keep reading and posting.  It will help the time pass more quickly and will provide you with a wonderful support system of caring and intelligent people with lots of varied experiences.  I wish you the best and assure you that you have selected the best agency in the entire country!  Good luck and keep us posted!

Jean

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Guest Julie&Rick

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. We value your opinions and appreciate any insights provided in regards to your experiences and the journey we are about to undertake.

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Welcome Julie & Rick.

My husband and I were exactly where you are just a month or so ago.  We sent our pre-app in Feb 9 and attended the March 5 & 6 orientation.  We are now offically Parents in Waiting.  May I also add - Abrazo is great.  The staff are more like family/friends.  They genuinely care about their clients; both BP's and AP's.

While you anxiously wait, may I suggest you go ahead and begin your home study if you have not already done so.  This helped us to keep "busy" and helped to get things ready.  Our home study only took little over a month and is being completed as we speak; but I've been told it can sometimes take up to 6 months. For the home study, there was alot of requirements needed such as documents from employers, reference letters, physicals, back ground checks, etc.  Make sure you let them know you are considering adopting in Texas.  Texas has certain requirements for their homestudies.  Even if you do not adopt through Abrazo, the home study will still be needed for other agencies. I hope I've helped a little.  Abrazo's mantra is "It's not if, but when".  Keep the faith.  I am sure before long you will receivethe much anticpated phone call, and will be filling applications and jetting off to San Antoinio, for a fun filled, emotional Orientation weekend.

Rhonda :)

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Guest Julie&Rick

Received a call from Elizabeth last night and now we are busy filling out the next application and securing letters of reference. We are one step closer to our goal of becoming adoptive parents. Thanks again to everyone for all the well wishes.

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It won't be long until you are holding your little one!!!! Like I said before enjoy every moment, because it will happen faster than you think!!!! Continue to keep us posted on your progress.

Warmest Wishes,

Melissa

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Guest cathyskala

Julie & Rick...I also agree with the above, you may want to start your homestudy process.  However, I'd encourage you to have a copy of Abrazo's "requirements" before you hire someone to complete the study.  I'd hate for you to finish your visits and then find out that some topics required by Abrazo and the state of Texas were not covered.  You'll just have to contact the agency to see if they'd be willing to fax you the information.  My husband and I attended the Jan 2004 orientation weekend and our daughter arrived Feb 13th!!  We had unofficially matched with our BP the night before leaving for orientation so it was a whirlwind...we had NOT had our homestudy completed yet so it was a nailbiter getting everything done knowing that the baby could arrive at any minute...thank God she waited for all of us to get our legal things handled before making her arrival.  Good luck in your adoption journey...ours was a wonderful experience and I wish you the best.  Cath

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I agree on the homestudy thing...

The thing that took the longest on ours (we attended the 8/02 Orientation - started our homestudy almost immediately after we left Orientation and it was all completed about 2 weeks prior to receiving the call about Kayleigh) is the background check - you and your spouse have to be fingerprinted and that is sent to the FBI (and maybe even to somewhere else as well) and then they run a background check to make sure you don't have any criminal stuff...anyway - your homestudy person has no control over this part of the homestudy so however long it takes the FBI to do their thing is how long it takes and there can be quite a back-log.  So - I would definitely start calling around, trying to find someone you're comfortable with and at least try to get that part going.  We live in Washington state and had to work with someone here in WA and before I began working with her, I made sure she was okay with doing a homestudy based on Texas's requirements and Abrazo's requirements which she was (she'd done out of state homestudies before - although we may have been her 1st Texas one...not sure).

Anyway, I know she & Abrazo spoke on the phone a few times and there was some paperwork we rec'd from Abrazo at Orientation that listed what the requirements were for a Texas/Abrazo homestudy (it differs from state to state).

So - anyway - I guess what I'm trying to say is definitely get started on that part of everything - the background check part is required regardless of what state you adopt in or live.

Best wishes to y'all!!!

-Lisa

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We are so excited about moving forward with our adoption process. We had a false start a couple of years ago and decided at the time to wait for some circumstances to work themselves out. Elizabeth was just absolutely wonderful in encouraging us in our situation (we were fostering our 17-year-old emotionally disturbed nephew for 6 months) and made us feel so connected to Abrazo.

We are now finished with our current application, starting our home study a week from tomorrow, and hoping to go to the May orientation. We have been married for 10 years and have really struggled to have a child - I can't believe we are going to finally be able to have one!  I am so grateful for this agency. :D

Linda and Scott

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Congratulations Sugarfamily!  I'm very excited for you as well!  You're in for an amazing experience that will change you and your lives forever.  Please keep us posted on your progress.

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Hi Linda & Scott!!!

I just wanted to let y'all know I'm so happy you're on your way too!!!!  Wow!  10 years is a long time to anticipate and wait for the big day!!!  I sure would like to be a fly on the wall on the day you meet your precious little one....

The feeling you have when that day comes is just indescribable - it makes everything in the world seem so unimportant other than that moment right then, right there where you're with your child - it's the most amazing moment you'll ever have (I think....so far, nothing has topped it for us) and everything you've gone through to get to that point seems so worth everything to be able to call yourselves the parents of the most perfect, precious baby in the world....I was reading a magazine yesterday (Adoption Today...it's more of an International Adoption magazine but I didn't know it when I subscribed but it still has some good interesting articles to read...but not as good as Adoptive Families...)  Anyway - one of the articles was written by an adoptive parent and she is a parent by birth and by adoption and she was describing the differences and similarities between the two...anyway (get to the point Lisa) and something she wrote in there and I just totally identified with it and I thought she described it so perfectly - it said something like when you meet your child, you find yourself looking around thinking, "I've just won the lottery because I'm just positive that we have the most perfect, wonderful, beautiful child in the world".  I remember thinking something so similar to that - I just couldn't believe that Abrazo had just placed the most wonderful baby in the world with us - how fortunate for us (and now I realize that others feel the same way).

Wishing you many blessings on your journey and you just couldn't have landed a better agency to work with - they are WONDERFUL!!!!

-Lisa :)

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Guest julie

Congratulations Sugarfamily,

You will finally have real hope!  You will finally have a baby on the way for sure!  We have all been where you are and it's all worth it.  

Good luck and be ready!  It comes fast!

Julie  :D

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Hi Sugarfamily,

We had been married 8 years when we brought our Abrazo babe home.  (She's 5 1/2 now and we'll celebrate our 14th anniv in August).  Get ready for some changes, because after 10 years of being together some of your old habits and ways of doing things are definitely in for some big changes!!!   Like, a Friday night out for us before being parents would have included a nice Italian restaurant or steak house, a carafe of wine, and maybe a late movie showing, or an outdoor jazz concert in the summertime.  Now a night out includes game tokens and happens at a place called Peter Piper Pizza or Chuck E Cheese!!!   Before we were parents, if we were expecting company, I would vacuum all the carpeting, mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, and just generally spit and polish every inch of the house, to include bathroom mirrors.  Now we just try to pick up enough clutter to clear a path from the front door to the living room.  The bathroom mirrors get cleaned when we can no longer find our reflection in them!!!  And...oh well why take all the fun out of it for you...you'll discover this out for yourselves soon enough!! :p  :p  :p

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!!!

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Oh yes, I forget to add Mexican restaurants and pitchers of margaritas to the Friday night line-up.  Now Mexican night for us is Taco Cabana (our local Tex-Mex fast food chain).  It really is fast, the food is fresh and hot, and most of all it's inexpensive!!   :D

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Thank you so much for sharing in my excitement!  :)

It feels so good to be connected to AP's who have "been there, done that"! I've read about 20 books on adoption over the past few years, but nothing can compare to actually talking with people who have been where you are and actually made it to parenthood!

We mailed the application today and will hear back on our acceptance (keep your fingers crossed for us) and the May orientation by around the end of the week. We're also looking at going to the 10-year reunion in Bandera - sounds fun!

Lisa - I went on your Web site and saw the photos of Kayleigh. She is adorable!

Linda

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Linda,

Please keep all of us posted on your process to  becoming a Mom! I love hearing from all the newbies out there. It kinda makes me ready to go through it again, but until I do I can live through your's and others experience. You will become a parent before you know it, enjoy the ride!!!

Warmest Wishes,

Melissa

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Yea!! We just got our confirmation of our application acceptance and we've been accepted for the May 14 orientation! Isn't the Abrazo saying "It's not if, but when"? Now that's true for us! :)

Linda

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Congratulations Linda!

  Get as much done as you can before the orientation.  Sometimes the stork visits before you can even participate in the amazing weekend.  That was the case with me and I think some others too.  May is just around the corner and so is parenthood!!

Jean

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Guest Julie&Rick

Pleased to announce that we will be attending the May 2004 orientation weekend. Both of us are really looking forward to the experience. Special thanks to everyone for sharing their own experiences and offering very helpful advice.

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Congratulations!!!  It is just a matter of time now....this is the first big step!!!  Everyone from our Orientation had taken placement of their babies within a year (give or take a bit....).  I was in the August 2002 Orientation - we were the 4th or 5th out of 9 couples to take placement of our baby and we took placement in December 2002 (early December at that! )  You couldn't be working with a more wonderful agency - they are the BEST!!!!  Please, please, please keep us all updated - we're all very excited for y'all.

-Lisa

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Hi Julie and Rick,

We'll be there too! Where are you coming from? We're in Houston.

Linda and Scott

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Guest Julie and Rick

We are from Corpus Christi, Texas. Reservations have been made and we are currently reading a couple of books recommended by Angela before the May 2004 orientation weekend.

Were you given any suggested reading material? Would like to get your feedback on a book entitled "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew" by Sherrie Eldridge.

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Hi Rick and Julie,

We just got that book in from Amazon.com the other day, but read through the table of contents. We fostered our adopted nephew for 6 months when he was 17 yrs old and going through a difficult time. I would say he probably felt all of the things described in the book and definitely expressed them in both appropriate and inappropriate ways. We had gone through PRIDE training (it's for people fostering or adopting through the state) beforehand, so we were quite prepared and were able to help him work through some of the feelings he had.

That said, our experience with Simon made us realize how beneficial open adoption really is. If they have a relationship with the birthparent(s) they probably have fewer abandonment issues and deal with their feelings about adoption earlier in life. I also think being a part of a great community like Abrazo has got to help them feel less isolated and "different" than their peers because they are surrounded by other adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents. That's one of the main reason we chose Abrazo as our agency.

Grief and loss is an important topic we learned about in PRIDE training. We actually went through an exercise where we looked back at our own losses in life and how we dealt with them, which the social workers felt would help prepare us to help the children.

I will tell you that affirming the relationship with the birthparent is very important, but it's nothing to be afraid of. I grew up knowing about and being somewhat fascinated by my birth-grandfather (and we even had a photo of him on our wall) even though my mom was adopted by her stepfather. She had a relationship with her birth family, but it was never the same as her core family. And the more I found out about my BGF, the less I really cared - he wasn't killed "in the war" as I had thought - he was drunk driving (and just happened to be in the army at the time). I'm really glad to have grown up with my granddaddy, who was wonderful (and sober). To date, I have only met one member of my birth-grandfather's family, and that was at my granddaddy's funeral just a few years ago. It's nice to know about my birthfamily, but I value my relationship with the rest of my family more!

What do you think about the book?

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