Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Real Updates

We've had a few people asking why we haven't updated recently and many more asking if there is any news.

Unfortunately, no there isn't. We received our notarized copies of the homestudy in the mail and that felt great. Otherwise, we're in a holding pattern.

This is a somewhat frustrating thing about an adoption--sitting and waiting. But it's all a part of the process, and knowing that something could happen tomorrow or could happen next week or a year from now is kind of exciting in its own way.

In the meantime, we are enjoying some time with our new niece, and just waiting and hoping and praying that our own baby is on the way. People have asked if news of other people's pregnancies have gotten us upset.

It's a strange thing, because you are truly happy for that person, but at the same time, you think, "Well, geez, we really must be defective." Particularly if someone didn't have to try very hard. I have had clients who said, "I looked at my husband and I got pregnant." And I thought, "Geez, that must be nice."

But honestly, there are a couple of things that bother me much more. The number of people in grocery stores and restaurants whose kids are being rambunctious and who say something like, "I don't know why I ever became a parent". That is my number one pet peeve. I want to grab them by the shirt and say, "Do you know how freakin' lucky you are?!" Same with people with babies who complain about how tired they are and how they haven't slept or showered in days or gotten in a full meal. "Do you know how freakin' lucky you are?!" And when people complain about being pregnant, I just want to scream. I'm sure it's not a fun experience, and I now know first hand that labor and delivery is not a whole lot of fun at all, but don't complain about it. At least you have the chance.

I guess that's kind of a 3 in 1. But the other is how easy commercially companies make it seem to have babies.

A couple cases in point: I recently bought a new computer game called "Dream Home". You are playing as newlyweds renovating your first home after your wedding, and as you go along, you can renovate different rooms, etc. And there is an attic room in particular that you keep making progress on. Well, after about 6 turns in the attic room, it is clear that the room is going to be a nursery. And sure enough, when you win, the game says, "Guess what!? We're having a baby!" The game is a sequel to Dream Day Wedding and Dream Day Honeymoon, neither of which I have played. However, the impression given is, you get married, buy a house, and have a baby in a short span of less than 3 or 4 months.

The other day, I was driving around listening to the radio, and a jeweler in Charlottesville was advertising its engagement rings. And the announcer says, "When she sees the ring, she's seeing the wedding, their first house, and their children."

Ok, I and thousands of people like me are living proof that it just doesn't happen that way. And I can attest to the fact that when you get the A-OK from the doctor to go ahead and start trying, it's not like you "have relations" once and boom, you're expecting. We waited for six freakin' years, only to be told "Sorry, not going to happen". And I think we did ultimately wait an abnormally long time, but life has a way of intervening. The point is, for many, many of us, it just isn't that easy, and it is both painful and frustrating to have these types of scenarios presented as the norm.

So anyway, that's my little venting session about that. And we are managing. We are both very excited about the decision to adopt, and neither one of us regrets it or at this point wishes it were any different. I think we are at peace with the way things turned out, and just hope that the end process of building our family doesn't take forever to get done.

If we do get a little gloomy, one of us invariably says to the other, "It's OK, our baby just isn't ready for us yet" or "We have to wait so we get just the right one". This does cheer us up a bit.

We'll be sending out Christmas cards soon and everyone's card will have our little adoption business card taped to it, to remind people that we are still looking and can they please keep us in mind.

Just trying to keep positive! It's all we can do at this point :-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Email from the Social Worker

I got home to this happy email from our social worker today:

Ok—I called yesterday and we are all set with the fingerprints. I am printing out your homestudy as we speak and am going to have it signed and notarized and hopefully in the mail today! Hooray!

Wow. Just... wow.

We are officially paper pregnant. Feels so good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home Study Draft

I received a draft of our homestudy today. Just reading it made me want to cry. Things are really happening! I'm just so excited, I think I'm going to burst.

Our Profile... on its way to Richmond this morning to go and live with our social worker.

Thanks to all who gave advice and feedback.

I had a color copy made at Staples this morning and the woman there could not believe that it was my first project as a scrapbooker. Honestly, if nothing else comes out of this whole thing (God forbid), I will honestly consider that profile a major accomplishment--and something to treasure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun Finds at the Book Sale

This weekend was the Fredericksburg Friends of the Library book sale. As I read more and more about making adoption a normal part of our child's life, it was suggested that we read stories about adoption to our child.

I spent a lot of time in the children's section of the sale this year--I am a firm believer in secondhand books, especially when we're not going to use them forever. I happened upon 12 Sweet Pickles books, which were books I had as a child. My set is still up at my dad's house, and he's looking for them for us, but we also want a set for my niece. I went on Ebay, and a full set of the Sweet Pickles is going for $245+!!! I got 12 of them for 12 dollars.

As I was scouring the boxes, however, I managed to find 5 books about adoption and quickly snapped them all up. Of course, several of them are a bit dated, but I thought it was great that I could even find any! I brought them home and read them immediately, and they are all actually quite good. So I thought I'd start to compile a little adoption reading list with the information, in case others are looking for books as well.

1. Adopted by Judith E. Greenberg and Helen H. Carey (copyright 1987). Adopted follows the story of Sarah and Ryan, both domestic adoptees. The children are Caucasian and were adopted by Caucasian parents. Sarah is seven and was adopted as an infant. Ryan is about a year old and was recently adopted. This is a non-fiction book with photographs as opposed to illustrations.

The book deals with Sarah's questions about her birth mother, questions she has about why her parents couldn't have biological children, and Sarah's other friends who are adopted--one is from Vietnam and the other is African-American. The book deals with teasing and extended families as well.

2. We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo by Linda Walvoord Girard (copyright 1989). This book is the story of young Benjamin Koo Andrews, who was adopted from Korea. This is a fictional book based on a real life Benjamin's story. It is illustrated beautifully.

The book talks about what Benjamin knows of being found and placed in an orphanage and how his parents came to adopt him. It discusses his journey to America, becoming an American citizen, and the first time he realized that he didn't look like his parents or his classmates. Benjamin has some hard feelings towards his mom for a while and learns that just because his mom didn't give birth to him doesn't mean she isn't his real mom. And then Ben's parents decide to adopt again, this time a little girl from Brazil. Ben loves being an older brother and his parents share cultural celebrations from both Korea and Brazil. The book also deals with extended families and kids in school teasing.

3. We Don't Look Like Our Mom and Dad by Harriet Langsam Sobol (copyright 1984). This is the story of Eric and Joshua Levin, Korean adoptees living with a Caucasian family. The boys have different biological parents. Eric was adopted when he was a few months old and Joshua was adopted when he was 2 1/2. This is a non-fiction book with photographs as opposed to illustrations.

The boys ask lots of questions about why they were adopted. They both love talking about their adoption and learning of the circumstances of their adoption from their parents. The story talks about their friends and interests. It also discusses how their parents try to incorporate the boys' Korean heritage into their lives with things like food. The book talks about stereotypes, citizenship, birth parents, and what makes a family.

4. A Forever Family by Roslyn Banish and Jennifer Jordan-Wong (copyright 1992). This is the story of Jenny, an 8-year-old Hispanic adoptee who was adopted at age 7 by an Asian-American father and Caucasian mother. This book is probably more on the level of a 6 or 7 year old. It is non-fiction with photographs instead of illustrations.

Jenny talks about her interests and activities in school and how she came to be adopted. She discusses going into foster care at age 3, where she was cared for by an African-American family at her second foster placement. Jenny talks about her social workers who helped her find a forever mom and dad and how nervous she felt meeting them for the first time.

Jenny talks about learning her father's Chinese culture through his extended family, and about the joy she experiences with her mother's family as well.

5. How it Feels to Be Adopted by Jill Krementz (copyright 1982). This is a group of teenagers talking about how they feel being adopted. The teens are all different races and ethnic groups, including Native American, African-American, Caucasian, and Asian. The book is non-fiction with photographs. It is organized into chapters, one chapter per child. As such, it is meant for a slightly older audience, probably pre-teens and up, but is by no means a tough read.

They discuss birthparents--some have already found their birthparents, adoptive parents, culture, siblings, foster care, siblings, school, etc. The book shows that families come in all shapes and sizes (there is a young man adopted by a single father, for instance).

So this is my initial kid's reading list on adoption. I enjoyed all 5 of these books immensely. It was instructive for me as a potential adoptive parent to see how parents deal with the immortal "You're not my real mother!" issue as well as to read some real feelings by adoptees. As I find more, I'll add them to another reading list in the future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The General's fingerprints have bounced back again as "unverifiable". This is the second time. Considering that he has prints on file with the FBI, I'm not sure what the problem is--surely the FBI can just look him up and be done with it? Right?


So now there is a new form which Beth, our social worker, says we might be able to fill out and request an end to the bouncebacks. I'm not 100% clear on whether or not that means we can skip doing the General's fingerprints or what, but I guess we'll find out more.

The philosophical part of us says that this is all happening because our child isn't ready for us yet. He or she is out there in the great beyond, waiting for us, and we all have to wait for the stars to align properly so that we get the right baby and a baby gets the right parents.

The irrational part of us is fuming. Fuming enough to say "The heck with it, is this really worth this kind of hassle?"

Of course it is, and all this will fade from memory when we have our little one home. But dang, this is only the first step! What else is going to happen?


I spent a good part of my lunch break reading the blog of Sweet Baby James, which you can find at It was such an inspirational story and so sad, but this family moved me--from the parents' struggle with infertility to the birth of a special needs child and his way too short life.


My in-laws were down this weekend and bought us a crib! All we need now is a mattress and at least our baby will have a place to sleep and some snuggly blankets. If only we could get a floor put in.

Thanks, Hank and Sheila!


Colleen, our attorney, said she thought the profile looked good. She suggested we solicit feedback from family and friends. Thanks to those who have commented. If anyone else has a few minutes to look it over, please feel free to do so. It can be found at and after viewing it, please leave us a comment about what you thought.


I guess that's about all. Hope everyone is well out there! We are keeping the faith, even though faith seems to be making a break for it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


All the paperwork is officially in! Hopefully we will not have to do anything further.

Also, we got our profile done and scanned in. We are awaiting word from the attorney that it is "good", but I think it came out great and am getting lots of positive feedback on it. Thanks to Jacalyn for scanning it.

If you'd like to see it, please visit:

It's a large file, so it may take a couple minutes to load up. Be patient. :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Been Kinda Slow, But Some Tidbits

There isn't too much big news to report on the baby front. We've been doing little things that will add up to big things, but nothing major at the same time.

Our physicals have been done by our doctor. He wrote on my form, "Will make a GREAT parent!" which is encouraging from a doctor :-) He also gave Michael high marks, so that made us both feel very good.

Michael's fingerprints bounced back from the FBI, which has now happened twice--once for work and once for the adoption. We went to the police station to get him re-printed and the trooper on duty demanded to know if Michael had even read the paperwork that came back with the bounce back notice. I was like, "Um, obviously not" since Michael had his cane with him, and I guess the guy kind of thought I was being a pain in the ass because he wanted to know if Michael had any prior arrests. When he finally let us in the back room, I think he was a little stunned to see the full white cane and he apologized for being rude. Michael and I just laughed a little. Frankly, his "rudeness" was minor compared to some we've encountered, and he was just trying to do his job. So no hard feelings. The trooper actually turned out to be a very nice guy. (I almost wrote "nice young man" but that makes me sound a little geriatric, don't you think?)

Our family profile is nearly done. I have to take some pictures of our house, but in order to do that, I actually have to clean our house first. So that will be tomorrow evening's project--cleaning and picture taking. It's been really cool here, so I might even start a fire in the fireplace, which I think would look pretty in pictures. We'll have to see. If I do that, I can't highlight my photography wall in that room, so I have to make the tough choices! Otherwise, the profile looks amazing and I am thrilled with how it came out. For someone who has never scrapbooked before, it was a damned good effort--and kind of gives me hope that I can scrapbook in the future.

We had a little fundraising yard sale over the weekend. Two adoptive families stopped by--one guy with his daughter from Guatemala who was GORGEOUS and one woman who adopted one daughter from China and has a special needs child in China waiting for the final paperwork to come through so they can bring her home. They didn't want to buy much, but they both gave us very generous donations. They also gave me and Michael a lot of hope about the waiting process and showed us just how worth it this all will be. We made just about $200, so that was great, and donated all the leavings to the Salvation Army for a nice little tax write off, so even better. :-)

Saturday evening, I went baby registering with Judy and Lucas at Target--little Dottie is coming in less than 2 months now, hopefully! Since there wasn't much else to do, I created a registry for us as well, although I felt a little funny doing it. I had fiddled with it on line a lot, but there's something about actually going and doing the registry that feels a little "gimme"-ish. I think I will probably use it more as a checklist for things that Michael and I need to purchase than anything else. It was a lot of fun to run around with the gun, however, and Lucas and I played a bit of laser tag in the aisles at Super Target, which was great.

Also, I don't know if anyone from the state workforce is reading this and looking for a charity to donate to during the CVC campaign, but our adoption agency, Jewish Family Services, is one of the listed charities in the pile this year. So if you want to support the agency that is supporting us, please list them as your CVC beneficiary.

On the "how we're going to raise this kid" front, I've come to the decision to try cloth diapering. I was cloth diapered as a baby because I had a lot of skin allergies to disposables--although I won't be passing along my allergies to our child, obviously. However, it seems the responsible thing to do in this age of the greening up of society, and I figure I can learn. I need to find out what type of cloth diapers are good to use and how to handle diapering on the go. Otherwise, that's the plan.

We've started getting leads from our attorney--she has us on her mailing list and we get little blurbs from people around the country who know of people with infants who will be up for adoption. I'm excited that once our homestudy is approved and I finalize our profile and get that copied and bound, we'll have some good opportunities to send it around and maybe find ourselves a baby!

Let's see...

I really, really appreciate the sentiment, everyone. I don't know how to say this exactly and not sound like a total witch, but here goes...

Yes, a small minority of adoptive parents do manage to become pregnant after deciding to adopt. I have heard stories--heck, I'm guilty of saying that to people who were adopting! With that in mind, Michael and I continued to take zero precautions after hearing the news of our infertility back in May. It is now September. And this morning, I asked my doctor for birth control pills. I'm going on Seasonale, which gives you only 4 cycles per year--for which I am extremely grateful. The regular cycles are a disappointing reminder to both of us that things didn't pan out like we had planned, and I feel so much better knowing that we won't have those little monthly reminders in our face. If I continued to think, "Well, the doctors could be all wrong" or "stranger things have happened" or "now that the pressure's off, I'll get pregnant", then Michael and I will have to continue living through the hell of emotions that our infertility has caused, all the pain that we've endured the last 6+ years. He and I have made peace with the news that we will not conceive biologically, and we are moving on with our lives. The pills will help regulate and diminish the cycles, and we won't have to worry about the emotions that come up month after month, despite knowing that it isn't likely to happen. My cycle was irregular and uncomfortable and I take great comfort in knowing from here on out when it will happen and being in control of the situation. So no, we will not miraculously conceive after being told we can't. Thanks for the sentiment, but we've heard all of that we can for right now.

Ok, back to happier topics. I've been Brailling some children's books with a client of mine and I was in Borders the other day and I found a really cool book that I can't wait for Michael to read with our little one. It is a scratch and sniff book!! How cool is that?! It has all different kinds of fruit and each page smells like one of them. Remember those scratch and sniff stickers? This book smells exactly like them! Peach, orange, pineapple, lemon, strawberry. It's amazing. So I'm going to Braille the hell out of that sucker.

Ok, that's about it from here for this week. Hopefully I'll have news for you all soon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Fourth Letter of Reference

So we got a letter of reference in the mail today from our friends Brian and Lara in North Carolina. I've been posting them all on here so I'd have a good record of them, and this one is no exception. It's really lovely and thank you so much, Brian and Lara!

We have known Susan for 11 years and Michael for nearly as long, and we can say without hesitation that they would make wonderful parents. As adoptive parents ourselves, we are quite familiar with the strong desire for children that led us down that path, and we have seen that same desire in them.

Susan and Michael are very family-oriented. They are close to their own families, which gives us confidence that any child they raise will have a very strong support system available from the very beginning, to help nurture the child and give him or her strong family ties and a sense of belonging. They have a very strong marriage, and we have watched their relationship grow and evolve over the years. They exemplify love, loyalty, truth, and commitment to each other and to their ideals.

We can also attest that Susan and Michael have the personal qualities that will make them good parents. They are loving, honest, mature, and well-grounded emotionally. They have proven time and again to be very dependable people, and we have no doubt that they would make caring and responsible paretns. Education is very important to us, and we know without question that a child of Susan and Michael will be read to every day, and that both Susan and Michael understand the importance of a quality education and are committed to provide it to their child. They have shown much love to our daughter, along with the patience and understanding that is required to care for a small child. We would feel perfectly comfortable leaving her in the care of Susan and Michael. (And as for our daughter's opinion, when we visited Susan and Michael a few weeks ago, she was determined to hold Michael's hand rather than one of ours, and begged to stay longer when we had to leave!)

It is a pleasure to know Susan and Michael and to be able to write this letter attesting to their great fitness to be parents. They are both fantastic people, who we are honored to call friends, and they have much to offer any child who is placed in their care. We think highly of both of them, and we are absolutely convinced that they are up to the challenge of parenting. We both look forward to following their adoption journey, and to the day when their dream of being parents is realized.

Yard Sale

This Saturday is our first attempt at holding a yard sale since moving here. We are attempting to raise some much needed capital for the adoption fees. I don't know how the hell we're going to get it all set up--we have a bunch of junk already and no real tables or anything to put stuff on. Judy and Lucas will be coming down to help out with it, but if anyone else is free on Saturday and wants to take pity on me, please feel free to drop over :) And also if you have any "stuff" you want to get rid of and don't mind donating, please let me know. You can either bring it over or I can try to pick it up tomorrow or Wednesday. I'll be in Fairfax tomorrow and Wednesday mornings and in Fredericksburg tomorrow and Wednesday evenings. Thursday evening I am committed to picking up a futon and mattress from Judy and Lucas's place, thus signaling the end of my Sunday stayovers, as "my" bed is up for sale on Saturday and I'll have nowhere to sleep over there. The end of an era... Sad, but happy...

Anyway, anything we don't sell will be offered on Freecycle first and then we'll donate whatever's left to the local Hospice thrift store. So your goodies and mine will all go to a great cause regardless of what happens to it!

The sale is Saturday from 9:00AM till ???

(X-Posted to BRB blog)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two More Letters of Reference

We received two more wonderful letters of reference in the past couple of days and they were so sweet.

The first was from Melissa, who wrote:

I am writing today in reference to Michael and Susan Kosior’s application to adopt a baby. I have known Michael and Susan for a number of years and can say that I wholeheartedly support their plans to parent a child.

Imagine a child being brought up in a home where they are loved for who they are. A home where they are treated with respect, but given limits and boundaries and rules. A home where they are allowed to be creative, even if it means making a mess. A home where the parents are loving and supportive of each other. A home where they are talked to and encouraged to develop their own communication skills. A home where they are read to and where books and learning are a priority.
A child raised in Michael and Susan’s home would experience all this and more! Michael and Susan will be great parents because they have a strong marriage, strong communication skills, and they are willing to learn.

A strong marriage is the foundation for great parenting. Michael and Susan are partners in everything that they do. They have been married for more than six years giving them plenty of time to grow their relationship and fully understand each other. Life has thrown them enough curveballs over the years that they have learned how to be there for each other and in what capacities in order to support each other.

Susan and Michael do an excellent job of communicating with each other. They are very open with each other if something is bothering them or is they are happy about something. Susan and Michael are able to communicate effectively with each other in many different ways, both verbally and nonverbally.

Parenting is a constant learning experience, and they have both already begun the process of learning though reading parenting books and researching the best baby equipment. Being a learner means being willing to adjust your approach as you go in order to meet the needs of the situation and I have seen Susan and Michael do just that. Susan and Michael both are able to take stock in a situation, create a plan and then change the plan as new information comes in.

All three of these characteristics combined with a very strong desire to raise a child create a solid foundation for Michael and Susan as they enter the next chapter of their lives together. They will be excellent parents!

Thank you so much, Melissa!!

The second came from our friend "Little Anne" who lives down the street from us. She wrote:

I have known the Kosiors since the summer of 2005 when Mike and I began sharing our daily commute to work. Since that time, I have been a guest in their home many times. I have watched them interact with one another and with their friends, both young and old, and I can honestly tell you that I couldn’t possibly recommend them highly enough. No one who knows them can help but be impressed by the love and dedication they show to one another and the friendliness and genuine hospitality they freely offer others. Not only that, but it’s obvious that they are both intelligent, hardworking individuals who aren’t afraid of tackling head-on the obstacles life puts in their path.

Looking at each of them separately, both Susan and Mike are impressive in their own way. Susan must surely be the hardest working individual I’ve ever met! Nothing seems to slow her down. In addition to taking care of her home and her husband, she works full-time at what is undoubtedly a very challenging job, and yet she still has time for family, friends and even hobbies like her book club. As for Mike, I am constantly in awe of him and what he has accomplished in his life so far. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or expecting handouts from others, he accepts his physical handicap as simply a part of life and doesn’t allow it to slow him down. His technically-oriented degree and high ranking position with the United States Government are impressive enough in their own right; the fact that he earned both while blind makes it doubly so.

Please don’t take this to mean that Mike and Susan are all work and no play. That’s most definitely not the case. They’re both fun, imaginative, outgoing people who always seem to have a smile on their faces. I believe any child of Mike and Susan will be presented with a world of opportunities to explore. Imagination will be encouraged and I know Mike and Susan will make sure whatever sports or physical activities the child is interested in will be made available. I’m sure travel, art, music and books will also play an important part in the child’s life, as will an extended circle of friends and family.

As regards their abilities to parent a child, there is no doubt that Mike and Susan will face difficulties, but what parent doesn’t? Any child who can call the Kosiors “Mom and Dad” will have the benefit of two loving, caring parents to guide him/her as well as a wonderful example of persevering against the odds and winning. (Personally, I hope my own son has the continued benefit of knowing them and learning from their example.) In addition, I believe a child adopted by Susan and Mike will grow up feeling secure in the knowledge of being truly wanted. Providing a child with a strong, stable, loving foundation from which to face the world is an invaluable gift that I believe they’re both more than ready and able to give.

I know that Mike and Susan have an abundance of love in their hearts and that they long for a child to share it with. I think they’ll be wonderful parents and any child chosen for them will be truly blessed. I am definitely looking forward to welcoming the new member of the Kosior family, hopefully in the very near future.

Thank you, Anne!

These letters made each of us a little weepy. I'm going to start asking for letters of reference for all kinds of things--they really are a boost to the ole ego. :-)

Seriously, though, it's so flattering to read these letters and read of people's regard for us. We know how much we love each of our friends and family members, but it's not always something that gets put into words. And I don't think it necessarily needs to be either, if you can demonstrate through your actions and times together how you hold your friends in such high esteem.

But it's nice to have these beautiful letters as a testament to our relationship with each other and with the people we love and respect.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Nursery is Painted!

There is only so much you can do while you are waiting for your child to come home. But a fun thing is to get the nursery in order.

Obviously this would be easier to do if I knew we were having a boy or a girl, but we don't and we may not find out till the last minute. So I was just messing around on the site and looking at all the things I could get for a new baby and I happened upon a fun bedding set that was totally me while being totally neutral.

I nearly decided against it because the company making it is called "Babylicious" which makes me think of that little twerp on Project Runway who calls everything "Licious" this and "Licious" that and I sure don't want a Babylicious. I'll take a baby, thanks.

But ultimately good taste won out over idiocy and I bought it. It arrived last week and I love it.

Here's a little preview:

The only difference is that it didn't arrive with the checkerboard along the inside, which I am hearing as a complaint from many people. It has stripes instead. But I don't much care, I bought it for the polka dots.

So anyway, above you can see the before shot. Someone had plastered a lovely Americana border around the top of the room, which apparently complimented the forest green they painted the baseboards, window frames, and closet doors. (And for added fun, you can see the bunny supplies.) Well, Lucas more or less took care of the forest green issues, and I spent Sunday ripping down the wallpaper border. Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, the people had slapped it up there to hide the fact that the crappy paint they used in the first place was cracked and peeling. So I had to repair that first.

Ultimately, I decided on a real sassy green for the nursery. Despite my current aversion to Home Depot, they were having a sale on paint this weekend, and I happen to love Behr Paint, and they happened to have a color I was in love with in their chips, and so I temporarily forgave them for the flooring debacle.

Here is the color on the walls:

The color is called Honeydew, and I think you'll agree it's quite sassy. It also matches beautifully with the color of the bedding and I really love it. It's very fresh and spring-y. Now that the room is painted, I can put down flooring. The next task will be the flooring, but I'm already 2 strikes down and starting to get discouraged just a little bit.

Anyway, Lucas was down this weekend, so the paint went up in under 2 hours for 2 coats. Turns out he is an excellent painter. I took the high road and he took the low road and we shared the cutting in. I'm going to be looking for some cute little switchplate and outlet covers and then once the flooring is in, I can work on finding furniture.

But it's nice to see something tangible in place. Oh and TomTom is still high as a kite on paint fumes!!! And seriously angry about all the disruptions in HIS room. Since we keep calling it The Bunny Room, does this mean we can call Baby Kosior "the bunny" until s/he gets here?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Word is Out at Work

So today, I broke the news of our impending adoption at work. Team DBVI Fairfax was extremely supportive and sent a number of lovely messages. Our office manager even called me half in tears over the news. It's so exciting to have some recognition, and makes it feel even more real.

My officemate, Kris, is an adoptive mom of a son from Korea and she wrote us a letter of reference and dropped it and two books on adoption on my desk. I thought I would exerpt the letter here and add in some of the emails I got from my colleagues.

Kris's letter:

I am writing this to recommend Mike and Susan Kosior to adopt a child. I have known Susan for four years. We have been colleagues, office mates, and friends for the past four years as fellow employees of the Department of the Blind. She has a good working relationship with everybody in the office.

Susan is a very sweet person and I consider it a privilege to know her. She is funny, nice, and usually has a smile on her face. She is tolerant and nice to people who don't think like her in various areas (i.e. me!). She has a very easygoing personality but she is not a pushover. She has leadership abilities. She took charge of a special program the Department did last spring providing services to our elder population. The program ran smoothly under her leadership and there was no in house jostling for power.

I have also spent time with Mike socially at their house and they have both been to mine. Mike also seems to be a very nice person. Mike is a foodball addict and wants to see his Boston team win all their games. He appears very knowledgable and dedicated to his job. His computer knowledge keeps the country safe from international hackers. Mike and Susan's marriage seems to be solid. They have been together for over five years.

It is my opinion that Mike and Susan would be wonderful parents and have a lot of love to share with a baby.

Isn't that the nicest letter? I've left out the rest as it has some details I'm not ready to share yet, but I really love this. So sweet. Thanks, Kris!

Some emails from colleagues:

**That is fabulous, Susan!!!! I've had friends who have adopted and it can be frustrating but I think it's the way to go--give a home to an otherwise unwanted child is to give a second chance at life! It's the way I'd go if I ever decided to have kids--either that or foster care. This is if I ever find Mr Right! (who's name is NOT "Always" :)
[NB from Susan: I have a little flip chart type of thing on my desk with all kinds of sassy comments. The one currently showing says "I married Mr. Right. I just didn't know his first name was "Always."]

**Babies are adorable!!!!!!!! Yeah.... Can't wait until you get your little baby... Are you going to bring him or her in to the office?
Hey, I will volunteer to babysit!!!!!

**That is a very sweet heart warming story. Thanks for sharing, I am sure you will make wonderful parents.

**My hearty congratulations to both of you in advance, what a wonderful thing to do giving best life to a kid. I wish you both all the success.

**Susan, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! Motherhood is wonderful.

**AHHHHHHH. This is soooooo BEAUTIFUL. I am sooooooo excited, Congratulations! Of course I want to be in the know every step of the way!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Home Visit Was Today

Beth arrived a little bit early and it was great. There was a Q&A period, including what religion we'd be raising the baby in, who the guardians will be, what our philosophy of parenting and discipline is, how we feel about adoption and birth parents, etc. Then we did a quick tour of the house. I was all worked up over it, but actually, it was no big deal. Just a quick walkthrough of each room, in and out, and that was that. Our house "is beautiful" and "smells so good". And TomTom got some lovin', so he was happy too!

Next big day is September 2nd, the day after Labor Day. We will be going back to Richmond to meet with the attorney and with Beth for our final meeting before our homestudy is complete and finalized. And then we will submit our physicals and our references should be in and our background checks. And as soon as all of that is complete, we will be "paper pregnant". Hopefully by mid-October.

That's all for now. In the mean time, I'll be doing battle in the bunny room, trying to turn it into an actual nursery. I'll be taking picture as the time goes by and the room starts to shape up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Two Thumbs Up

We had our fingerprints taken today for our homestudy. If you squint hard, you can see the ink. We had the nicest State Police trooper do our prints, and tomorrow they're getting mailed off to Richmond. This is our version of the growing bellies pictures, considering our bellies are shrinking ;-)

Another task on the "to do" list accomplished.

(Yes, I have a squinchy eye. No I do not know why. I think it's because I don't like flash in my eyes and I'm really forcing myself not to blink.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

First Meeting

Today we had our first meeting with our social worker, Beth, down in Richmond. It was a really, really nice meeting. We liked her so much. She is a rabid Red Sox fan, so of course, it was like meeting the family!

She asked our preferences for a child, and apart from healthy, we don't have a preference in terms of gender or race. We did express our concerns about raising a child of another race in general terms and she gave us some resources about the subject to read up on. So hopefully that will help us feel more prepared.

Because we are so flexible and open in our quest to have babies delivered to our home, she is estimating somewhere in the next 12 months, we should have our little one home. It could take longer, and if we wanted a "kid who looks like us" it would take up to 2 years. We are also the only family they have right now who is open to interracial adoption, which should help.

Our home visit will take place on August 22nd. I am looking forward to it. In the meantime, we are getting our ducks in a row in terms of finishing up the paperwork we have to do--getting fingerprinted, firming up our finances, contacting and hiring an attorney, etc. (Anyone know any good attornies to help with an adoption?)

It's exciting and terrifying to think that this time next year we could be parents. But overall, the meeting was great and I felt like we really got a great fit with the social worker, the agency, and what our goals are.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is Adoption For You?

Melissa sent this and I really liked it...

The Top 13 Reasons Why Adoption is For You!

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can’t watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child’s “real” parents.

7. You have ever been “pregnant” with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth. (2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God’s heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word “Dossier” means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Appointment That Wasn't

So today was supposed to be our initial meeting with the social worker. The General and I have been spending the entire week sweating the paperwork. We've written tons and tons of stuff about ourselves, filled out myriad forms, etc. It's crazy.

We've also spent the last two weekends working on the house--painting, ripping up carpet, washing walls, etc.

Yesterday the housekeeper came, the house was in shipshape, everyone was ready and waiting for word of how the appointment would go.

11:30, no social worker. 11:35, no social worker. 11:40, no social worker. By noon, I figured she was well and truly lost, and then the phone rang. It was here.

Beth: We had an appointment today.

Me: Yes, we did. Where are you?

Beth: I'm calling to find out the same thing.

Me: We're here waiting for you.

Beth: You're supposed to come to my office.

Me: No, you're coming here.

Beth: No, you're coming here.

Lo and behold, the signals got crossed. When I had first spoken to her on the phone, she had mentioned a surcharge of $50 if it took her longer than an hour each way to get to our house, so I just assumed that meant she would be coming here.

Unfortunately, I forgot the ole adage of never assume. So we are rescheduled for next Thursday, 7/31 at 10:30am. Which is kind of funny, since that is also my first PT day.

So I was really upset with myself for not making sure I knew what was going on, and the General wasted a day off work in the process. Still, we now have longer to do some more stuff to the room, so that's good, since I've decided to rip out the closet, and we still need to do some work on the floors. As in, deciding what floors we want and having them installed.

So, that's the news. Hang on for more come next Thursday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Transfer Post: Getting The Ball Rolling

The General and I attended an adoption 101 seminar in Richmond in June. We wanted to learn about the different types of adoption and hopefully meet some other people that were in the same boat as us.

It was a really great seminar, sponsored by RESOLVE, a national infertility resource center. We met other couples, social workers, an attorney, etc. and got tons of information and were able to make some decisions about how to proceed.

Ultimately, we've decided on a domestic adoption. The tides are turning against the US internationally, for reasons that I can't necessarily say I disagree with. Add in the fact that we're overweight and one of us has a disability, and it seemed like domestic adoption was the way to go. I spoke with a social worker while we were at the seminar, and got her card. I emailed her when we got back about getting the ball rolling when we got back from The Wedding, and we spoke on the phone this morning.

In other words, we're getting started. She's sending us some documentation to get ready and she'll be here to visit us on July 25th. Lara has sent me a copy of her homestudy and some books to read--one of which I devoured already--and it helped us understand what to expect and what to have prepared.

So, there are some things to do before Beth arrives.

The main one is to totally and completely gut the bunny room. TomTom on his own is a very clean rabbit. He's litter trained for peeing in a litter box, he keeps his food in his cage, etc. However, at one point, we were housing 5 rabbits in there, and he got a little territorial. And before I had the bunnies trained, they laid waste to the room. The carpet needs to be torn up. The walls need a good scrubbing. We need new flooring and to touch up the trim and closet doors.

We're starting this weekend.

If anyone out there has any experience installing laminate flooring or is interested in helping with painting, I'd love to hear from you :-) I will happily offer you compensation in the form of pizza and beer. You can drop me an email at s u s a n k ( a t ) m k o s i o r ( d o t ) c o m.

I am excited and terrified... But after 6 years of uncertainty, it feels so good to take a step forward.

I don't think I have it within me to start another new blog, so this blog will be your chief source of information for the latest. And thank you so much to all who have lent their ears, tissues, and support over the past 3 months. It has really meant the world to me.