Sunday, November 4, 2012

8 Days of Adoption: A = Agency

Howdy Y'all!

November is National Adoption Month so I thought I would write a few posts on the subject just in case people have questions about it.  I have "borrowed" this idea from a fellow blogger and I hope she doesn't mind.  You can find her blog here...

So, for my next 8 posts, I will take a letter in ADOPTION and write about it.

Do's and Don'ts
Open or Closed
I'm Not in Control
Ongoing Communication
Next Steps for Us

So first topic up is our Agency.  We used American Adoptions and had a great experience.  There are lots of options out there to adopt children.  You can go domestic or international.  You can go through Foster Care or a private adoption.  You can go through an agency or a lawyer.  You can go with a small agency or a national one.  There are pros and cons to each option and it really all depends your needs on which is best for you.

There are a few reasons why I liked American Adoptions from the get-go...they have a presence here in Arkansas.  They actually have an office in the neighboring town so I felt like if I ever needed anything I could just go there.  I also loved that our money was safe because they have a guarantee if an adoption is disrupted.  This did happen to us (detailed more in another post) and I believe that we got back every bit of our money except $150.  It was a great security blanket knowing that our money was safe.

Some of the pros of a national agency: they can place lots of babies in a year with adopting families, your money is safe, they are experts in the field and they can facilitate adoptions all over the country.  Adoption laws vary in each state and they have experts (or use expert adoption lawyers) in every state.

If you want a more personal touch, small agencies would be the best for you.  I am not saying that we didn't have a good experience with American Adoptions, but since they facilitate so many adoptions a year and they are all over the United States, they are not present during the birth and your stay at the hospital.  They will work with the social worker at the hospital to be your point of contact - but your experience will vary based on the expertise at the hospital.  In our case, we had a terrible experience (detailed in a later post) and a great one.  One hospital was experienced in adoptions and the other one had never dealt with one.  With some small agencies, they will be there at your meeting with the birth mom and they will be there at the birth.  Some cons of these types of agencies is the number of birth moms that come to them and they can't take on a long list of potential adopting parents.  They are also usually only licensed in a few states so if you live in a state where they aren't licensed, you can't use them  because of the adoption law.

Going through a lawyer might be a bit cheaper than using an agency, but the average wait time may increase and if you have a disrupted adoption, your money may not be refunded.  We didn't research this option too much as we had some friends that had gone this route and had a terrible experience.

The cheapest option (but potentially the hardest emotional option) is Foster to Adopt.   I don't know if we could do this or not.  Years ago, Tony and I did go to a meeting about becoming a Foster Parents, but we didn't get a good vibe so we didn't pursue that route.  We did learn that you can specify what ages of children you would take and how many children you would want to foster at a time.  I just don't think I could have the heart to give a child back to its parents that may or may not be fitting to parent a child.  To me, there is just too much sadness that I couldn't take.

Overall, we had a great experience with our agency and we would certainly use them again.

Here is a pic of Harper and our social worker with American Adoptions at our last post-placement visit last November.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Whoo-laween!

Howdy Y'all!

Yesterday, Tony and I took Harper out for her first trick-or-treating and she did a few cute things that I need to write down so I don't forget.

Harper came up to the Walmart Home Office yesterday afternoon...and my boss LOVES "Baby Harper".  She told Harper to keep adding candy to her bucket so Harper would grab two handfuls at a time.  This went on for a few rounds - she then thought this is what you were supposed to do at each stop.  You mean you are not supposed to fill up half your bucket in one stop?  :)

Harper then turned the corner to the next stop and she put her hands in the candy and tried to put two handfuls of candy in her bucket.  I stopped her and told her she could only have one.  I was so convinced she was listening to me when she returned all the candy into the container UNTIL she then took the container by the handle and tried walking off with it.  You said ONE, didn't say it couldn't be one CONTAINER.  ha!  Silly girl!

We walked around to a few more areas within our finance organization and one of the teams tried to hand Harper some chocolate to put in her bucket and she wasn't having it.  She spotted some lemon cookies that one of the guys had brought in and insisted on having one of those instead.  She is a stubborn one, but pretty adorable too!

Last night as we were waiting for Daddy to lock up the house and bring around her transportation for the night, one little owl wasn't being very patient.  I guess even owls have to cry sometimes.

When the trick-or-treating finally got underway, Harper really got into it, but I think she loved the dogs that greeted her on the porch or at the door more than the candy.  Actually, I know she loved them more.  We always had to spend some extra time at each house where there was a dog.  She even talked one of the elderly couples in our neighborhood into bringing their dog outside so she could pet it.  She would not leave their porch until she saw their "dog-dog", but she does have one of those faces you can't resist so I completely understand.

Poor Harper just couldn't understand why we would be knocking on peoples doors and not go inside.  When our neighbors would answer the door and give her candy, she would then try to continue to go inside their house.  That cracked me up a little bit, but I guess I can understand her confusion.  I mean, why would you go to someones door and not come in.

The final cute thing Harper did was around her candy, but she doesn't really know what candy is outside of suckers.  She was given a sucker at one house and she carried it to the next house instead of putting it in her bucket.  When the next house gave her another sucker, she tried putting the other sucker in their candy bowl.  Sweet girl was offering up a trade...her old sucker for a new sucker.  At least the sucker was still in the wrapper and not a gooey used one.  ha!

We had a fun afternoon/night and Harper did great...and might I add that I think she was the cutest owl on the block.