Monday, March 8, 2010

Adoption Update

I have continued my search for adoption agencies. I have read websites and talked to at least seven agencies. There are two that I really like. The next step would be to find a way to somehow do a background check, if you will, on those agencies.

One of the agencies I like is in MA, in the Boston area. The other agency has four offices throughout the U.S. The office closest to us is in NC. In the end, we would be doing some traveling regardless of which agency we go with. We would be flying to wherever the birth mom is so we can meet her and so we can get the baby when he/she is discharged from the hospital.

Something interesting I learned this week… I was aware of this, to an extent, but learned much more about it recently. The race of the baby you would like to adopt affects the waiting period and even the cost of the adoption process. The Boston agency told me that if we were willing to adopt an African-American child, we might very well be matched with an expectant mom in three months or so. If we want a 100% Caucasian child, we might end up waiting for 18 months.

There are African-American moms out there who would like to place their babies up for adoption, but people do not want to adopt them. Same goes for children with special needs or children of parents with certain medical conditions. So, so sad. Many agencies are willing to give the adoptive family a grant or a lower fee if the family adopts a “difficult to place” child.

We already have every race covered, except Asian! If Ari marries an Asian person, we’ll have it all! In theory, there is a small amount of African-American in me (Puertorican = Spaniard, African and Indian). Geeky Entrepreneur is Portuguese, Italian, English, Scottish, and who knows what else! See what I’m saying?!

If the right mom was to reach out to us and she happens to be African-American… So what!

My biggest problem would be learning how to deal with curly hair! Not doing so good with Ari’s hair yet, given the fact she gives me five seconds to do her hair! But we can figure it out! People with curly hair, I might be reaching out to you in a few years!

I am sure we would get questions, some polite ones and some not-so-polite, about being a transracial family, or whatever they call it these days. I believe we could do a good job handling those situations because I have 27 years of experience dealing with ignorant people. My visual impairment is fairly obvious. My eyes move a lot. People always make comments as if I can’t hear them. The smarter and more polite ones ask me directly. I am always happy to answer their questions, so long as they do not address me as if I am this poor little thing that can’t accomplish anything in life due to my visual impairment.

That reminds me… I have mentioned my visual impairment to most of the agencies I have talked to. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who can’t even begin to imagine how I got through college and how I parent my two-year-old. Clearly, someone must be with me 24/7, doing it all for me. Thus far, there are two things I have a hard time doing: clipping her nails and using medicine droppers.

Anyways… I wanted to hear the reactions of the people I spoke to at the adoption agencies. So far so good. Should we move forward some day, I hope the birth moms feel the same way. I hope that, if they are concerned, hearing about how my daughter has been with me each and every day and is safe and thriving will make them feel comfortable. Whoever does not can screw off, seriously! Oops, did I just type that?!

Back to adoption. As I said above, I have two favorite agencies right now. The fees are similar. They range from $21 to $26 thousand. If the adoption tax credit remains as is, we would get about half of our money back. The trick is saving that much money!

So, where are we in regards to adopting? We have had several conversations, including a lengthy one. We decided that the following needs to happen for us to feel comfortable adopting:

Our income needs to be a bit higher or we need to wait until we are done taking care of some debt.

I need to sort out some health issues. I am making progress! I have a vitamin D deficiency and that was really affecting my day-to-day life. I am 99% certain I have ADD, believe it or not!

I need a better support structure/network. I have two people who can give me a hand: my mother and my husband. Geeky Entrepreneur is the only one earning money, so he’s unavailable from nine to six, unless someone is sick. My poor mother… She does so much for us. Sometimes, she does classic grandma things, but, overall, I am very grateful. She is the reason why I finished my degree and will be getting my diploma in May, finally! She even makes it possible for us to go on dates every now and then! My mommy rocks!

Lastly, I need Amor Chiquito to get over her booby obsession! Sorry, I don’t know how else to put it! The kid still falls asleep with a hand on my chest! It’s because I let her, I know! We are getting five to seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, so we are making progress. One step at a time! For now, I am enjoying this “I am a new woman” feeling!

So much to think about when considering if we want our family to grow or remain as is, whether it is via pregnancy or adoption. Please feel free to share any thoughts or suggestions. Leave comments or email me privately, whatever feels more comfortable to you.

Geeky Entrepreneur is humming the Elmo song! One of those “you know you are a parent when…” moments!

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