Sunday, March 9, 2014

Homestudy and Transracial Adoption

In February, we had all of our homestudy meetings with our counselor, Katie.  We also turned in a giant pile of paperwork...
Office Kitty is not impressed with our papers
...recorded a video of the two of us that will go online with our profile where we answered the typical questions of "What do you like about your spouse?" and "Why does openness appeal to you?"...
Oh dear god, never do an image search on "openness."  Kids, the internets are scary.

...and then we also talked a lot with Katie about some major adoption topics like transracial adoption, attachment, and exposures.  Since we have plenty of time coming up and will review some of these later, I'll keep this focused on transracial adoption.

What does transracial adoption actually mean?
It's a fancy term for when you adopt a child of a race different from your own.  For us, Andy and I are both white.  A transracial adoption for us means that we could be adopting a child that is hispanic, asian, african american, etc.  The end result is that the child may look obviously different from us.  Looking at our first child, Dominic is a white baby that easily fits into the societal mold where people can easily assume that we are his parents.

With two dads and an old brother that are white, some of these kids might look the same as us while others would look different and be confusing to people that don't know our family
Even the folks from Avenue Q tell us that our family
will be judged at least a little bit whether we're a
transracial family or if we're all white
One point that really stuck out the most to me is that our future family could all be together in one place (Andy, myself, Dominic, and a future little brother or sister), and someone walks up and talks to Dominic about his "friend".  Thinking about how we perceive families, typically a child that looks different would normally be a friend or relative rather than part of the family.  It's something that would come up over and over again: at the grocery store, at security with TSA when we fly anywhere, on the playground, at school, and many other instances.  These are situations where adoptive parents and children are outside of societal norms and need to educate those around them.  For our family, we're already a little unique and adding one more layer of depth to our family isn't really that big of a deal to us!

So looking ahead, where are we at in 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 [0 months to 2+ years]
  • Chosen by Birthfamily

  • We're moving right along!  There are still several weeks of wrapping up our homestudy and getting background checks done by the FBI.  Beyond that, we also need to write and prepare all of our materials for our online profile for the OA&FS website.  Still a fair amount of work left, but we're likely less than 3 months away from the pool and should be "swimming" with Charley the Waiting pool whale again before summer starts!

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Waiting Pool - March Stats

    It's been a crazy week at work, but here are the "official" statistics on our adoption agency's waiting pool as of today.  It's been an interesting month with some shifting in the waiting pool that has seem some families leave the pool and a lot of new families join.  In the end, the waiting pool is nearing 100 families in total with 97!

    Since our February totals, 11 brand new families have joined the pool and 7 families have left the pool.  There were also 3 families that re-entered the pool which resulted in a net gain of 7 families for the month.

    Why would families re-enter the pool?
    This feels like a good opportunity to feature a question some people might have about the waiting pool.  Why would families leave the pool and then come back into it later?  There are 3 main reasons that this would happen:

    1. Disruption
    2. New home
    3. Taking a break
    Of these, the first one is one that is always a possibility for any adoptive family.  An adoptive family can be "chosen," leave the waiting pool, and prepare for a baby to be placed with them.  During that time for a variety of reasons, there can be a disruption.  It can cover a large range of things with one main example being that a birthfamily opts to parent the child.

    The other two reasons are entirely on the adoptive families.  If a family moves to a new house, then that means their homestudy would need to be updated.  (Luckily, Andy and I are settled in our home and won't be moving anytime soon!)  The last is that sometimes other families want to take a break.  It could be a breather after being in the pool for a while, or some families might travel out of the country on vacation and decide to remove themselves from the pool for a few weeks.  That's definitely not required, but it could help some families relax a bit more and enjoy their trips!

    Back to the Waiting Pool Stats
    Time for our last chart which builds on previous data by orientation. Nothing earth-shattering here as the only changes are an increase in straight families and a sizable jump in single adoptive parents from 3 to 6.  Still, no news is some news as it shows a fair amount of consistency!

    If I get more time for next month's post, I'll try to skim through all of the profiles and draw stats on which families have at least 1 child already or simply who has pets.