Friday, January 31, 2014


It's official!
Dear Andy & Brian:

Open Adoption & Family Services is honored to welcome you into our program. Based on your Application & Intake meeting, it is apparent that your values and expectations for your adoption are well aligned with our commitment to creating healthy open adoption relationships. We feel that you will be a great candidate for our program and look forward to working with you.
We have officially received our acceptance letter from by OA&FS and are on track to continue work to prepare for our second adoption! On Tuesday, Andy and I went over to their office to have our official Intake Interview with our counselor, Katie.  Going through this process for the second time really provides a different perspective.  Compared to the first time we went through and did this interview, it was a lot more relaxed.  The fact that we already know Katie and that she knows us made it incredibly easy.  It has also helped that we have been very active with our agency since adopting Dominic as well.  We have been to two holiday parties (2013 and 2014), I was a guest speaker at one of the pre-adoption seminars, and we also attended their summer picnic back in August.  Sometimes I wonder why I always feel so busy... this might explain a trend.

So why did we have this interview?  OA&FS has every adoptive family go through this interview to make sure they are ready to 'buy in' to the concept of open adoption and that they are a good fit for the agency.  Interviews like this one help protect adoptive parents, birth families, the agency, and especially the children to make sure everyone is committed to working together towards an open adoption.  A few questions we had in our original intake interview which reflect this were:
  • How did you decide on adoption?
  • How do you feel about openness?
  • How and when did each of you decide that you wanted to have children?
This time around, a good chunk of our time with Katie was spent talking about Dominic and our current relationships with his birth parents, Carly and Jason.  Beyond that, there was plenty of talk about personal perspectives, describing our experiences during Dominic's adoption, and what we expect for the second adoption.  (We certainly feel more prepared, but understand every adoption can be different!)

We also spent some time talking about the upcoming process for entering the waiting pool again.  There is still a lot to do (paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork!) which we'll likely touch on in some posts in the coming weeks and months.  Speaking of future posts, there are plenty of other topics we talked about with Katie that we'll be exploring further in depth as well such as:
  • Homestudy interviews
  • The chance of adopting a baby from another state and how that would be different for us
  • The size of the waiting pool
  • Preparing our photo book
Overall, we just reached a big milestone in our process, but there's plenty of work left to do.  Thinking about all of this on top of my regular duties at work, I'll be ready for a vacation soon.  Any place that's warm, sunny, and near an ocean sounds just about right. (*hint hint Andy)

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Events

It's been a busy January for us and now that we're actively preparing for another adoption, there's been plenty of things going on!

First off, we attended our agency's holiday party last weekend.  While we likely would have gone to the party anyway, it put a different perspective on it for us as we got to spend time with adoptive families we have gotten to know over the past couple of years as well as some new families in the waiting pool.  One of the reasons we have really liked working with OA&FS is the environment.  It truly is an adoption "community" in so many aspects.  During the adoption process, they help waiting families connect with each other and with families that have already been through the process.  This type of process is a profound and life changing experience that links people together that might never have met otherwise.  This continues long after placement which just adds another great layer to how OA&FS works with families.  On an exciting note, Andy and I had the wonderful surprise of knowing that our blog has helped other adoptive families out there.  When we started this blog back in 2012, we mainly wanted to use it to keep in touch with family and close friends.  It quickly expanded and picked up far more interest than we expected which was a wonderful surprise.  Hopefully, our posts the second time around will continue to be exciting and interesting...but we'll see  :)

Speaking of doing this process a second time, we have our intake interview scheduled for Tuesday (1/28)!  We were recently contacted by Katie (our original counselor) to let us know that she'd be doing our homestudy this time around as well.  During this interview, Katie will be evaluating us to make sure we're ready for another adoption and she will also likely give us an update on how the rest of the process will go.  Considering that it's been about two years since we last went through the homestudy and paperwork, a lot has probably changed!

14 months old!
Meanwhile, life at home keeps moving forward.  Dominic keeps getting bigger and is already 14 months old. 

We also have plenty of projects at home in addition to the adoption which will keep us busy and certainly occupied once we're in the waiting pool.  A fun one was finally getting some toy bins for all of Dominic's toys and mounting our tv.  Our living room is no longer a death trap waiting for us to trip on 50 toys!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Adoption #2 - The Process

As Andy noted in his latest post, we have officially submitted our application to our adoption agency (OA&FS)!  Over the past few weeks and months, our blog has been rather quiet.  Dominic has kept us busy and in effect, our adoption blog didn't have any adoption-related things to post about.  However, now that we are back in the middle of the adoption process again we'll have lots of fun things to post about in the coming weeks.  Being the engineer that I am, I tend to like lists and schedules which means I'm going to use this post to outline as a refresher on the adoption process.  If you have any questions about our process or are potentially interested in an adoption with OA&FS, this post is a great starting point!

Adoption Process
This time around, getting the process started has been rather easy as we're veterans.  We've already picked our agency and completed our application paperwork which we started back in November.  So what's next?  Officially, our agency has a list on the Steps to Adopt on their website which shows a summary of steps from the beginning all the way through legal finalization.  The last time through, we put together our own list which was similar but had more detail on the early portion of the process:
  • Information Meeting
  • Pre-Adoption Seminar
  • Application Submission
  • Application & Intake Interview
  • Homestudy Interview #1
  • Homestudy Interview #2
  • Homestudy Interview #3
  • Homestudy Interview #4
  • Homestudy Completion
  • Pool Entry
  • Waiting in the Pool
  • Chosen by Birthfamily
Out of these steps, we're already pretty far along!  This is because we have already completed one adoption with OA&FS which gives us a bit of a head start.  Back in February of 2012, we attended the Pre-Adoption Seminar for our first adoption.  That seminar can continue to satisfy a few adoption requirements for several months to come, so we don't have to redo the full 2-day seminar (woo!). 

Looking ahead, we won't have anything else that we can jump past.  There will be meetings, papers to fill out, and plenty of other baby prep to do.  Last time when we blazed through the process to get into the waiting pool, it took about 6 months.  This time around, we started in November, and might target getting into the waiting pool before summer starts.  Speaking of the waiting pool, we had a series of posts last time around that tracked some basic statistics.  For those of you that enjoyed those posts, we'll be doing the same thing this time around too in the near future!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

Happy New Year to everyone! With all of the reminiscing that's been going on the past few days, I thought it seemed an appropriate time to fire up the ol' blogging machine and send out a quick update.

January 1, 2013
Dominic's ready to root for Big Red!
It's amazing how much changes in a year. One year ago, Dominic was 7 weeks old, we were new parents, and our entire lives seemed majorly in flux. I wouldn't say that we were in over our heads (not completely, anyway), but there was definitely a steep learning curve. Lucky for all of us, I think we made it through all right!

Fast forward a year, and Dominic's an entirely new person: he's walking, talking, and eating real food like a pro. Where he once seemed helpless, he's now asserting his independence and learning new things every day. I'm so thankful that he's a part of our lives now, and I can't imagine things any differently.

So... on that note, it seems an appropriate time to mention that we're about to make things extremely different! Today we mailed in our application forms to OA&FS, officially starting the adoption process again. Sometime within the next few years, Dominic will have a little brother or sister!

January 1, 2014
Going for a run in the park
I'm not entirely convinced of our sanity right now. As much as Dominic's grown, he's still just over a year old and we've been extremely busy just keeping up with him! But I think we're ready, considering the timeline. The paperwork took us approximately 6 months last time, and I think it'll take around the same amount of time now - we've already done it once and can use that as a base, but we also have to do it while caring for Dominic! Once that's finished, the average time waiting in the pool of prospective adoptive parents is around 18 months. We got picked quickly last time, but there's no telling how long or short it'll be this time. All in all, the back-of-the-envelope calculation says we're likely to adopt again when Dominic is 2 or 3 years old, which seems just about right to us.

No matter what, though, we'll make it work. If we get picked right away (like our friends who got picked 5 hours after finishing their homestudy!), it'll be a bit of a stretch but I'm sure we'll handle it. And if it takes much longer than expected, well then we'll have more time to prepare and make sure Dominic's ready too. Either way, it's an exciting way to start 2014, and we're looking forward to chronicling the process again!