Thursday, June 22, 2006
Adoption #2 thoughts swirling in my noggin!
Before I get into the adoption thoughts swirling in my noggin, I wanted to point you to the post below this one so that you can check out my chosen Blog of the Week, Big Blueberry Eyes.

I also want to post a disclaimer to Oronzo, in case he's reading this. I doubt he is. He's probably out to lunch with Snuggle Bug right now. But, Husband, if you are reading this, I'm feeling the need to blog about this, as my attempt to solidify some of what I'm feeling, before I approach you to talk about this some more.

Okay, now for those thoughts swirling in my head. I think many of you know that we are hoping to adopt a 2nd time. We've put the word out with our family and friends, through a Valentine's Day newsletter. So far, we've had no real leads, but it's only been 4 months, so I'm not surprised. These things don't happen overnight. We're not in a rush to adopt again RIGHT NOW, but I'm hoping we'll be able to within the next year or so.

Oronzo and I have talked about how we plan to approach this adoption, in example, we're hoping to be matched again through family and friends, rather than going through an agency for placement, like we were with Snuggle Bug's adoption and we'd like to hire the same adoption attorney that we used before. Unfortunately, I'm realizing that we're not on the same page in all respects. I'd like to sit down soon and talk to him about this.

Oronzo wants to wait until we're matched before we start the homestudy process. The cost for a homestudy is not minimal and the kicker is that it expires in 18 months or the minute you adopt a child (because your circumstances change), whichever comes first, and then you have to pay again to have your homestudy updated. We've talked about using the same agency as our 1st time. I've been in touch with the owner of this agency off and on for the past 18 months and they have all our previous information on file. It'd be less work for us if we used the same agency again for the homestudy & licensing. They did a good job for us the first time around so I don't have a problem with this.

When we were in the process of adopting Snuggle Bug, we barely got licensed before he was born (1 week before, to be exact). It was nerve-racking to me that we were cutting it so close, but then our lawyer told us not to worry, if our license/certification didn't come through in time, he could get us temporary guardianship until it did and we could still take Snuggle Bug home with us from the hospital. It never came to that but it was close.

So, in Oronzo's mind, the logical thing to do is to wait until we are matched to start the homestudy/licensing process, as we did in Snuggle Bug's adoption. Even if we're presented with an immediate situation, we could go for it, have our lawyer get us temporary guardianship, and then get licensed. Not the ideal situation by any means, but feasible. Oronzo's concern is that we'd spend money to get licensed, not be matched in 18 months, and then have to spend even more money again. He doesn't want to do that. I understand.

Despite the fact that I understand the logic behind Oronzo's wishes to wait on the homestudy, I'm finding that I'm not as comfortable with that decision as I initially thought I was. I find myself wanting to get licensed sooner, rather than later, even if it means that we have to pay again later. There are a couple of reasons I don't want to wait:

1) By working on our homestudy, I'd feel like we were doing something concrete to work towards our 2nd adoption.

2) We'd be able to space out the money that we'd have to come up with for a 2nd adoption, rather than having to shell out money for everything (homestudy fees, lawyer fees, etc) all at once upon getting matched. We don't qualify as an often stereotyped "wealthy couple" trying to adopt and we never will. Spacing out expenses would be helpful.

3) If we have our homestudy completed before we're matched, rather than afterwards, I'd probably experience a lot less stress at the time of being matched!

In light of these thoughts, I decided to email the agency we used previously and ask a few questions, so that when I went to Oronzo to discuss it further with him, I'd have some facts in front of me.

Here was my initial email:

-----Original Message-----
From: Overwhelmed With Joy!
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:37 AM
To: the agency we used in the past

Subject: Questions for [agency owner's name here]

[insert adoption agency owner's name here],

Hi there! It's OW, Snuggle Bug's mom. It's been a while since we've talked. I hope all is well with you.

I have a few questions for you. I think you know that Oronzo and I are looking to adopt a second time. We're going to try for another private, domestic adoption situation. We've got the word out with our family and friends.

Here are my questions:

1) Would we be able to hire you again for your Homestudy/Licensing services?
2) If so, what is the cost for those services?
3) Would you be able to use the information from our previous homestudy, as well as updated information, to get us licensed?
3) Once licensed, how long would the certification last?
4) What is the cost to renew our certification if we haven't been matched by the time it expires?
5) What's involved with renewing our certification?

I appreciate your time in answering my questions. Hard to believe that a year an a half ago we were impatiently awaiting the birth of Snuggle Bug. :) He's been such a joy in our lives!

Hope to hear from you soon.


Here was her prompt response:

-----Original Message-----
From: [agency owner's name here]
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:47 PM
To: Overwhelmed With Joy!

Subject: RE: Questions.

Hi OW,

Of course we can get you Certified to adopt again. The present fee for 18 month Certifications in this county is $1,275.00.

For families coming back to adopt a second time, we reduce the fee to $1,000.00.

You will have to complete a lot of the same things you did for your first 18 month Certification. Fingerprints, Medicals, Financials, CPS and References that address how you are as parents. We have to have two visits again as well.

You do not have to redo your background information on your Autobiographies.You will have to update your autos as to your Motivation, Parenting style, new family system and how it works. Any other things that have changed.

As for renewing your certification, if we can get your "new" information to the courts before the 18 months is over, then we call it an extension, and for that we charge $650.00 (a bit more for China adoptions because they require more visits). Now this extension is only good for an additional 12 months, not another 18. The court will allow 2 of these extensions. After that point if you haven't been matched up, then we would have to do another complete certification which presently is the $1000.00 that I quoted you.

If you want to go ahead, we can send you a new packet. We can also, do it by email now if you prefer.

Hope little Snuggle Bug is well and you both are enjoying him immensely.

[insert adoption agency owner's name here]

Well, now I have some concrete information. I'll probably try to talk about this with Oronzo soon.

Oh I don't know, should we wait until we at least have a somewhat solid lead to pursue before doing the homestudy or should we do it now (or at least in the near future) and deal with the possibility of renewal later? What do you think?

Labels: ,

12:06 PM

At 1:17 PM, Blogger M-j said...

While I have never adopted, I understand that when you decide to increase the size of your family, you want it to happen, well YESTERDAY.
I can see DH's point, but think you are correct in wanting to get it done sooner so that you don't have to wait. To extend it isn't as much as re-applying (even though it is only 12 months) and you might as well get the ball rolling. Just my opinion.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger pithydithy said...

What do I think? Well, I think that this is all very exciting! Oh, did you mean about the homestudy. Well....I'm not a real by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of gal, so I think that, were I in your situation, I'd go ahead with the homestudy. But the point about expense is certainly valid. I can really see either decision, but I know that if it were me, I'd get all worried about what ifs and what if we were matched with very little lead time and such and would worry too much for it to be worth it. Whatever you decide, I'm so looking forward to hearing about your next little one!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Catch said...

OW...I really do not know what to say. I can see your point and I can see Oronzos point. but....I guess if I were you...yes, I would want to get the ball rolling.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

Ultimately you need to sit down and hash out what both of you are thinking and feeling. I so get both sides and I so cannot say since I have not been there. Talk. It will all work itself self out.

I am so hoping for everything to go smoothly and quickly!!

At 4:27 PM, Blogger wolfbaby said...

I'd start sooner rather then later but that is just me:)... Im the get it done and get it done now.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger MugwumpMom said...

I'm the kind of person...if I'm passionate or excited about something, I gotta get going on it's hard to take a step back and I totally understand how you want to get the ball rolling. Either way, I pray it all goes so smoothly and everything works out just right for you!

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Tammy and Parker said...

Women whose babies were born via their uterus often times start the 'baby dancing' months ahead of time to make sure their baby gets here when they want it to.

Why wouldn't a woman whose babies are born via their hearts start the 'paper work' ahead of time to make sure their baby gets here when they want it too as well?

And for you guys, the baby dancing can just be extra icing on the cake. =) How lucky is THAT?

How wonderful and exciting to be contemplating a new baby again! Somewhere out there your baby is waiting just for YOU!

I wish you all the luck you need and an extra sprinkling of fairy dust to make it even more magical.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I've never been through the adoption process so I can't speak from experience, I'm not even sure what exactly I would do unless I was in that situation either.

I can see both sides of the picture here - on one hand because of how frugual I am, I would hate to pay for the home study costs and then have nothing come up in 18 months and have to pay the fee to extend. That's the only downside I can see to doing it now - is if nothing happened in those 18 months.

But from your standpoint I do agree that I would rather "spread the money around over time"...if I could pay for part of it now as opposed to all at once later I would do it now to get that part of the fee out of the way.

I think if you are planning on being "aggressive" and think something could very well happen within that 18 months I would go for it and get the ball rolling...also like you said...less stress about when the time of adoption comes you'll already have the homestudy done. Less stress would be a biggie on my list!

I think it's a good idea to go with the agency you've used in the past, you get that discount, you're familiar with each other and they already have your information on file.

Good luck! I'm so excited for you guys!

At 10:54 AM, Blogger JennG said...

This is all very fascinating to me and I thank you for sharing it. It sounds like you and Oronzo have a long discussion ahead of you. I hope, and pray, that all goes well and that he'll be receptive to your thoughts. Keep us posted!

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Sylvie said...

Ok here's my 2 cents.
I think because you are doing a independent adoption you have the added benefit of waiting until you are matched before you shell out money for the 2nd homestudy, where as other couples who are doing an agency adoption have to do the homestudy before the match and stand the risk of not being matched during the time while teh homestudy is still valid. I would take advantage of that benefit if I were in your situation. I don't think you will have any problem getting guardianship since you already have a homestudy that just needs to be updated.
As far needing to feel like you are working towards #2 I totally know the feeling. Maybe you can start with the fingerprinting and updating your clearances. That is pretty inexspensive and you won't loose a lot of money if those happen to expire. As far as coming up with a chunk a money once you are matched it may be a good idea to start saving now, as if you were making payments to your agency, or maybe they will allow you to sort of pre-pay and set up an account towards you 2nd adoption.
All in all I am sure you and hubby will come to an agreement that works for you both really soon.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I understand wanting to move forward. I hope you both come to a plan that feels right for you. God bless you in this time.

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i googled "2nd adoption" and "homestudy" and a link to your blog came up -- i found it VERY informative, since we are planning to adopt again soon and our homestudy is still valid from adopting our son last year.
thanks and God bless your quest!
~ Mama K in NC


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

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It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 9)

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