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. :-)