Wednesday, August 31, 2005

CORI Checks

Mailed out our forms today for our CORI checks. These are just background checks to ensure that we don't have criminal records. We also sent out the forms to the people that we have asked to provide references for us.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

First Home Study Meeting

We had our first home study appointment today, it went very well. We first sat down and discussed some of the paperwork that we need to turn in. Then she asked about our reasons for adopting and specifically adopting from China. She also asked us some mandatory questions from INS regarding child abuse, drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Then we gave her a tour of our house, we think she liked it. We spent the last few days cleaning and Steve spent all weekend repairing the patio but she didn't even go out onto the deck. Lucy was even fairly well behaved, she initially jumped up onto the table a few times and came inches away from drinking from her glass but we stopped her in time. So we dodged a bullet on that one. We then banished her to the basement for the rest of the home study. The meeting lasted for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Our next steps are our individual home study interviews, Steve's is on September 15th and Jen's on the 19th.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Social Worker Called...

We got a call from our social worker today. Our first home study appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday. We will probably be spending the next few days cleaning up the house and yard.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Intake Meeting

We attended our Intake Meeting today at the CAWLI office. It was basically just a meeting to go over all of the forms we have to fill out and answer any questions we had. We also gave them our first big check to pay for our home study and post placement services. We should be getting a call from our social worker next week sometime to set up our first meeting. We can now start digging in and filling out some of these forms.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Baby Furniture Shopping

To take advantage of the Massachusetts tax-free day this upcoming weekend we decided to pre-order our baby furniture. We picked out a crib, changing table and dresser, probably won't be delivered for at least 2 -3 months. This is the set, but we chose a caramel finish rather than white. We also got started on our paperwork; we have written our autobiographies and have dug out our past three years of tax returns.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Intake Package

We received our Intake Package from CAWLI today. It is huge, 43 pages of documents and forms that we need to fill out to complete the adoption. We have a meeting on August 17th at the CAWLI office for our Intake Interview where they will explain the intake package to us. Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback and words of encouragement that you gave us on the guest book. It is really nice to get so much support from all of you.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Our Story

We are Steve and Jen. We met in May 1997 and were married July 28, 2001. After a couple years of being married we decided it was time to start a family. After almost a year of trying on our own with no luck we decided to get some help from a fertility specialist. Six IUIs and two IVFs later we decided that starting a family was what was important to us. We planned to try one more IVF and in the meantime look into adoption. The Third IVF did not work, and as much as it hurt we have so much to look forward to in getting our little girl from China.

After all of the heartbreak that we had been through with the failed fertility treatments we decided that domestic adoption was not a good fit for us. We did not feel comfortable with open adoptions where the birth mother still has a role your child's life. The birth mother can also change her mind and decide that she wants the child back after he/she has been in your home and has attached (this seems to happen very often). We've had so much loss lately that we would hate to have an adoption interrupted or wait longer since the wait can sometimes take years.

Through our research we both separately decided that Chinese adoption was really calling out to us. The more research we did, the more Chinese adoption just seemed right. There are hundreds of thousands of infant girls abandoned in China every year. There are many myths surrounding the abandonment of these little girls. It is a complicated issue that has a lot to do with China's population control (one child policy) as well as a cultural bias favoring boys. This bias comes from the fact that when a boy grows up he is expected to care for his elderly parents. A Chinese girl grows up, marries and is expected to care for her husband's parents.
The process of adopting from China should take us about a year if everything goes well. We have found an local agency called
China Adoptions with Love that we will be working with. We found this agency through an article we read in the Boston Globe about a couple who used them to adopt from China. Read the article here.

The following are the steps that we will be going through in this process

  • Attend Orientation - Done
  • Apply to the Agency - Done
  • Attend Intake Interview - Done
  • Home Study - Social Worker will visit us in our home to decide if we are fit to parent - Done
  • Apply to USCIS - This is a US gov't agency that decides if we can bring a child into the country - Done
  • Get criminal background checks and fingerprinting- Done
  • CAWLI takes the dossier of documentation completed above, authenticates them, translates them to Chinese and sends them off to China- Done
  • At this stage we will be considered dossier to China (DTC) and the wait is about 8** months to get a referral- Done
  • Referral - we will get a picture and some basic information about our little girl.
    Travel to China - 4 - 6 weeks after getting our referral we will travel to China to get Grace. We will be there for about 2 weeks. Usually includes sightseeing, travel to province to get our daughter, travel to Shiamen Island to the consulate to finalize everything and then go home.

We plan to request a six - twelve month old (this is the youngest we can request) but there are no guarantees on the age. In general the Chinese adoptees are in good health and transition well into American families. The process will be a long and bumpy road but having our little Gracie will make it all worthwhile.

**At the time we started this process the wait was about 8 month. By the time we get our referral we will have waited 27 months. More than three times longer than we initially thought.