Sunday, September 30, 2012

Waiting Pool Stats - October Edition

During September, the waiting pool hit the highest total we've ever seen.  At one point, there were at least 95 families in the pool!  Of course, it might have expanded before some adoptive families that had been chosen were removed from the website list.  One day the pool jumped from 95 down to 86 which is where it's at as of right now.

Total Number of Families: 86
Families Remaining in the Pool from May: 66*
Families Leaving the Pool: 11 (-12.4%)
New Families: 8 (+9.0%)*
Net Change Since May 1st:  +4, (+4.9%)

Net Change Since September 1st: -3 (-3.4%)

Couples: 83 (97%) (+1)
Single: 3 (3%) (-1)

Heterosexual: 50 (58%) (-4)
Gay: 23 (27%) (--)
Lesbian: 10 (12%) (+1)
Single: 3 (3%) (--)

With our tracking of the waiting pool, we've seen ups and downs in the numbers and types of waiting families.  It's been fun to see who has joined us over the past couple of months.  However, a few of the stats were marked with a "*" above.  This month was a bit of a reminder for us that families can leave the pool and come back into the pool if they have a disruption.  One of the families left the pool a couple of months ago and recently reentered the pool which could only happen if they took a break or had a disruption during their placement.

In any case, a disruption is certainly possible.  When we're chosen and move into adoption planning, there will always be a chance for a disruption until court documents are filed a minimum of 48 hrs after our future baby is born.  Like many adoptive families, we know that giving up a child is not an easy thing to do.  That final moment in the hospital has to be heart wrenching for everyone involved no matter how much counseling or mental preparation has taken place beforehand.  Andy and I will certainly have our fingers crossed when our time comes, but this is one topic that will probably be explored further in a future post.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baby Pick Em - Results

At the beginning of August, Andy put up a fun post inviting everyone to comment with their guesses on when we would have a placement.  Some brief facts before I list the results below:

  • We entered the waiting pool on July 12, 2012
  • Average placements per year range from 40-60
  • There are currently at least 94 families in the waiting pool
  • Assuming no families join the waiting pool, it would take 1 year and 10.5 months for all 94 families to be chosen at a rate of 50 placements/year
  • May 29, 2014 is the date that matches a 1 year and 10.5 month waiting period

With that, here's the final tally of the 14 guesses.  We definitely appreciate all of the optimism!
Placement Date: (1) 2012, (11) 2013, and (2) 2014

Gender: (8) Boy, (6) Girl

Placement Location: (6) Washington, (4) Oregon, (2) California, (2) N/A

Date Gender   Location
November, 2012GirlOregon
January 2013BoyWashington      
February 2013GirlCalifornia
February 24, 2013        GirlWashington
March 2013GirlOregon
April 2013BoyWashington
April (mid) 2013BoyN/A
July 29, 2013GirlN/A
August 2013BoyWashington
August 2013BoyOregon
September 2013GirlWashington
October 2013BoyOregon
January 2014BoyCalifornia
May 2014BoyWashington

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baby Names - Library of Info!

A couple weeks ago, we had a fun post about baby names.  In the post, we referenced one website (US Social Security Administration) which has a great history of baby name popularity directly from the government.  After that post, many of you had some great comments and suggestions for other resources as well.  Rather than keeping all of that fun info to ourselves, we thought it would be much more fun to share it with all of you and to essentially create a go-to reference post for everything about baby names!

Baby Name Wizard
Being a data dork, this site is just...fantastic.  The main page greets you with 4 options.  You can search for a name, graph a name's popularity, see a name's popularity by state on a map over time, or find some common meanings of names.  As an example, here is the overall summary page of results for my name.  It's full of lots of goodies like the 4 big ones and then other fun things like global popularity by country.

This is a fun website that allows you to suggest a single name.  Then it jumps in and suggests other names based on the one given.  In essence, it's a generator for name ideas if you're just starting out with a couple names on the list.

Name Nerds
This is a simple site that has some names grouped together by origin.
Behind the Name
Has some good info on the etymology and history behind first names.

As a fun teaser, here is a name graph for one of the names that is currently on my shortlist:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Months In!

Brian pointed out to me tonight that it's two months to the day since we entered the waiting pool! So, what's been going on since then? Well, the answer is: not really a lot.

Within the first couple of weeks of entering the pool, we got four screenings for potential birth mothers. It definitely felt like a higher rate than we had been expecting. Now it seems to have trailed off - in two months, no more screenings have happened since those initial ones! Maybe it's the sort of thing that goes in cycles? Who knows.

That's not to say that no one's looking at our profile, of course. We only get screenings for cases where there are some complicating factors, and so there could be tons of other people who are considering us. And in all reality, I expect that we'll have to wait for quite a while before "the call" comes.

The hard part now for me is just remembering that we're waiting for a placement! While we were doing the homestudy and doing all the requisite preparation, it was easy to keep our upcoming adoption top of mind. But now there are no real reminders on a daily basis, and so I find myself getting caught up in the normal day-to-day activities of life. Whenever we eventually do get a call that we've been picked, it's definitely going to feel out of the blue for me!

On the flip side, now that summer's ending our agency has some events for waiting families that'll start up soon. It'll be good to finally meet some other folks who are also waiting. (Side note: last time we tried to go to an adoptive families event, we couldn't find it! But that's a story for another post.) And in the meantime, our agency has sent out a request for us to read another adoption book that recently came out, so I've got another item on my reading list.

So, here we are! Two months down, and some unknown number to go :) Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Family Weekend

Part of our adoption journey is all about Andy and I expanding the family in our immediate home.  Of course, it's still great to have a chance to take a break and spend time with others in our family.  Over Labor Day weekend, my parents stopped out for a visit.  It was great to see them as they live in Nebraska and we hadn't seen each other for a few months.

During their trip up, we had a great outing for brunch (pumpkin pancakes!), watched a football game, and took a trip up to Vancouver, Canada.  With a walk across a suspension bridge, wandering around downtown Vancouver, and hitting up a really fun improv comedy night, it was a fun trip both because of what we were doing and also because my parents were there with us.  It was their first chance to really see Vancouver which made it exciting.

Also, Andy and I were treated to a huge surprise.  Ever since we started waiting in the pool, we've been especially clear that we don't want our family to send cute baby things our way.  Despite many thoughtful and generous offers for playpens, cribs, etc., we know it would be tough to essentially have a nursery without a baby.  Walking by an empty nursery year-after-year waiting for a placement has been a bit of a concern even though we have our fingers crossed for a fast placement.  However, my mom decided to work around arrangement.  She brought out a big bag for us and said she couldn't resist doing something.  When Andy and I looked in the bag, there was a beautiful baby blanket that my mom had knitted by hand.

Knowing how much time and care went into the blanket was definitely a wonderful surprise.  Also, while she essentially knitted herself a loophole in the 'no baby things' decree by not buying anything for us, I guess we'll have to give her a pass    While I still think we have a fair amount of time left until a placement, I'll be excited to put this blanket to use!  Meanwhile, I know I'll have a high parental standard to live up to.  Our future kids are going to have some fantastic grandparents.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Remember that January Snowstorm?

Now that we're in to the month of September, it's fun to think back on one of our major reasons on getting into the waiting pool as soon as we could.  Back in January, we had a giant snowstorm which shut things down around Seattle for a couple of days and also knocked out power.  As we noted in an old post of ours about 'Snowmageddon 2012', there does tend to be slight increase in newborn placements ~9 months following major weather events/power outages.

Even though the odds of that potential baby boom resulting in us being picked between now and mid-October are not high, we've certainly got our fingers crossed!  Also, I'm not a fan of rooting against humanity, but I might be secretly hoping for another snowstorm to come this fall/winter to boost our odds for 2013  :)