Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Domestic vs International (by Joe)

Thanks for the question! At this time we are not looking at foreign adoption. In general, international adoptions can take 2-5 years. Also, many countries have very strict rules (age, marriage length requirements, no mental health or disabilities, having to stay in the country for 6+ weeks while everything is sorted out). While the odds of a failed adoption are very low with foreign adoptions, if the adoption fails you're out all of the money you put in. One of the families in our adoption circle lost $40,000 when Russia closed international adoptions for US families, and if we took that risk and failed our only chance at that point (it'd be a very small chance) would be an independent adoption and we've had zero luck on that avenue thus far. 

Another thing with foreign adoptions is that the children are usually around 2-3 years old. While our home study allows us to adopt children up to age 5, we're hoping for a newborn.

Hopefully that answers the question. If anybody else has anything they're wondering, please let us know!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Adoption Lottery (by Joe)

Another question that people ask a lot is, what you do while you’re waiting to be matched? While it’s pretty much just waiting, we get monthly updates from most of the agencies we’re working with about how many times our profile has been shown. There are also situations that we apply for that are outside of our agencies. Rachel finds these situations on her own through various adoption communities she’s a part of, and those situations are the subject of this post.

We hear of anywhere between one and ten situations a week this way, and if the situation works for us we apply for it. That’s when the Adoption Lottery begins. Pretty much everybody has dreamed of winning the lottery. When you buy the lottery ticket you know that the odds are very low that you’ll win, but you still think about what it would be like if you did. An adoption is the same (though the odds are a lot better than winning the lottery). You know that there are a dozen other families applying for the same situation and that the odds are against you. However, you still get that "what if" feeling and start hoping that maybe this will be the child you’re meant to raise. You start looking at the date the child is due to figure out how much time you have to get everything figured out, and if it’s out of state, what the travel will be like. How long will you need to be out of state? Are you going to fly, drive, or take the train? What hotel should we stay at? How big of a car do we need to rent? What are the travel restrictions for newborns? All of these questions occupy your mind until you hear back from the agency and find out you weren't selected. But that’s okay. That just means that it wasn't meant to be, and there's no time to worry about what might have been. The next situation is right around the corner and you have to get ready to repeat the process again, because maybe, just maybe, the next one will be the child you've been waiting for.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Adoption Update (by Joe)

I get asked frequently about how the adoption is going and yesterday had a lot of action on that front, so here it goes.

I know most people probably aren't too familiar with the adoption process, and when it's complete and you have the child it's great. It's getting there that's difficult. As Rachel described it, yesterday was an emotional roller coaster, and the worst day we've had in the process since the failed adoption last year. We were told of a situation Tuesday for an African American child that was born a month ago, and the scenario was perfect for us. The fees were about $15,000 less than a typical adoption because the the child was already born, she was in Missouri so it was only about an 8 hour train ride, no drugs, alcohol, or mental health issues, and the birthmother was open to any race for the adoptive couple, and they wanted to child picked up next week. There were only 5 couples that they could find that were interested, so we had a 20% chance. Yesterday morning we heard from the agency, and the birthmother decided she wanted to see more profiles since she now wanted a family that had one African American/Biracial parent or child, so that one fell through.

Later that afternoon Rachel received a phone call from an adoption lawyer that was working on a case where a baby boy was born 10 weeks premature and the previous family had backed out. The lawyer was desperately trying to find a new family for him asap. The birthmother had already signed over her parental rights so there was no possibility of another failed adoption. The up front fees were fairly reasonable as well. I had to call him to talk about some insurance stuff and everything was going great until he said that the child was in Arkansas, and one or both of us would need to be there for 6 weeks until he was at normal birth weight and could be released from the hospital. With the medical expenses, travel, lodging, food, and car rental, those hidden fees would bring us way over our budget, so we had to pass on that one. After all the time we've spent waiting, and the failed match, it was very difficult to pass on it, but there was no way we could afford it.

Thankfully, once the adoption is all done and we have our baby, none of this will matter. Right now the roller coaster is at the bottom of the tracks, but we're nearing that final incline. Maybe one day I'll tell our future child the story of how everything worked out in a How I Met Your Mother-esque manner (I'm watching that right now, so that's where the idea came from.)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So Close to Being a Mom…

I’m sorry that it has been so long since our last adoption update. It has been a crazy last couple of months.

In early August Joe and I were finally matched. The expectant mother lives in Maine and was due in October with a baby boy. We spent the next few months finishing up the nursery, making travel arrangements, and buying all the necessary items to care for a newborn. We were stressed, nervous, and excited all at the same time! It was hard to believe that our dream of becoming parents was coming true.

About two weeks ago we found out that the baby would be born via C-section on the morning of October 2nd. We had planned to leave for Maine on September 29th. On Friday, one day before we were due to leave, we received a phone call that would once again turn our world upside down.

The expectant mother had changed her mind. It is unclear what happened but she is now insisting that we are not the couple she had chosen to raise her child. At this moment we are not sure if she will choose another adoptive couple or parent the baby herself. Regardless of what she decides, we truly wish the best for both mom and baby.

We are understandably heartbroken. However, we are trying to remain hopeful. We know that our little one will find us one day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pass Them On!

A few weeks ago we decided to order adoption pass along cards from We hope to use these cards to get our names out there and let people know that we are hoping to adopt.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with adoption pass along cards, they are typically used as a valuable networking tool.  The idea is to get as many of these business cards out there as possible in hopes that they’ll land in the hands of someone who is thinking of placing their child for adoption.

We’ve heard numerous success stories from other adoptive couples who used pass along cards. Often their child’s birthmother found them through a family friend, a former neighbor, a co-worker, etc. The point is that you just never know what will happen when you pass out one of these cards. If you’d like to help us become a family of three, please keep a few of our cards in your purse or wallet and look for opportunities to give them out

If you interested in passing these cards along to your friends/family/colleagues, please e-mail me at Be sure to include your mailing address and the number of cards you’d like.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Agape Project

I recently came across this beautiful video about adoption. It was so touching that I had to share it with everyone! 

Here is a description of the video that I found on YouTube

"The Agape Project is a personal project that involved birth moms and adoptive families to show how much love there is in adoption. I wanted to create an awareness video to educate others on adoption. It has been such a huge part of my life and has made my dreams come true. I hope anyone considering to place their child for adoption will be moved after watching this amazing video". -Briana Marie 

For more information visit.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Being Active and Getting Ready

Here is a long overdue update on how the adoption is going. Sorry for the delay but we have been pretty busy over the last couple of weeks.

On Friday, February 24th we received a phone call from Jenny, a social worker with Adoptions of Wisconsin. She informed us that AOW had an unexpected opening in their pool of waiting families and the spot was ours if we wanted it! Of course we said yes and we are now officially ACTIVE! It was a wonderful surprise, especially when we didn’t expect to be put in the waiting pool until April or May. Now we just have to wait for the phone call that will change our lives.

The Tuesday after going active we got an inquiry from AOW. They were going to start working with a law firm in another state. It was our choice whether or not this law firm would have access to our profile. We were told that adoptions in this state can cost upwards of $40k (Compared to $24-28k in Wisconsin). This law firm had birthmothers waiting to be matched and no waiting adoptive families. After discussing the opportunity Joe and I decided not to have our information provided to the firm. There was just too much financial risk. If we had a failed adoption through the law firm there was a good chance we wouldn’t have enough money to try again. Although this was a difficult decision, it was the right one for us.

To keep ourselves occupied during the wait we have been preparing for the baby. For one, we recently purchased a few essential baby items (car seat, binkies, diaper bag, etc.). I have also been researching cloth diapering (which is a lot more complicated than you might think). I am so grateful to have friends with experience in cloth diapering (thanks Kristen and Erin). They have really helped me sort through all of the information.

We’ve also started working on the nursery. Below you can see a couple pictures of what the nursery looked like before we started fixing it up. At this point we have painted the walls and the new carpet is due to be installed in a couple of weeks. After the carpet is in I will be sure to post more pictures. Our next step will be to purchase furniture items such as a crib and dresser. 


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