Tuesday, June 17, 2008

10 Reasons to Adopt When You Are 50...

Apologies to David Letterman-

And now, Jon's Top Ten Reasons to Adopt When You Are 50!!

10. 50 is the new 40!

9. What a great fitness plan!

8. I get to play with Super Hero toys again!

7. Having children later in life worked out well for Abraham.

6. The look on people's faces when the child calls me "Dad" will be worth it!

5. I'm up half the night anyway!

4. The baby gadgets are WAY cooler than they were the first time around!

3. AARP discount applies to formula and diapers!

2. There is this one chick who I think will really dig it!

And the number one reason to adopt when you are 50...

1. We have the opportunity to do for a child what God did for us!


What's Happened So Far...

Once you are hooked up with an agency, there are things to do. To bring you up to date, let me give you the run-down...

For us it started with a general information meeting. Several couples considering adoption come together for a presentation by one of the agency's representatives and hear a presentation about adoption and about the agency. We've done that.

At the meeting you receive a packet with a ton of stuff in it- one item being the formal application. If after the meeting and reading through the material provided, you feel that you are ready to jump in, you complete and submit the formal application. The formal application must be submitted with a pretty substantial application fee, so when you turn it in it is somewhat like jumping off the high dive. You're in now. Let's get the party started. We've done that.

Soon after the application is in you have to write an autobiography. I think that each of ours will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble sometime in July. We've done that.

Once the autobiographies are in, you are assigned to a case-worker or social worker, and the "home study" process begins. Agencies go to great lengths to be certain that prospective adoptive parents are solid upstanding people. (At this point I would like for my two brothers to just be quiet). The home study involves meeting with the case-worker at the agency office and at your home, (thus the term HOME study). Home studies can be completed in 2 or 3 meetings. We have completed two, (including the one in our home), but we have one more coming. Apparently we talk too much or something.

In the midst of all of this, you have to get physicals, which, Mother, I do every year anyway. And, you have to have blood drawn. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am a total wimp when it comes to needles. I mean, nearly pass out kind of wimp. But I will have you know that I had my blood drawn Monday and came through with flying colors- kind of a whiter shade of pale. (A nod to the older ones like me who remember that song)

We have been fingerprinted and our "FBI" background check has been run. (The Agency assured me that my previous stint as an agent would not jeopardize our adoption chances at all.)

We have attended a panel meeting during which we heard presentations from adoptive families and birthmothers which was very informative and beneficial.

Our personal references are in, (thank you if you are reading this and you are one of the families that wrote references for us).

So- what's left? Well, we do still have to meet with our case-worker one more time, (coming very soon), and we have to attend an "Education Meeting" at the agency. As of now we do not know when that meeting will be. It appears that the Education meeting will be the last item in our home study.

Once the home study is complete, then it is on into the selection process. More about that in future posts!

Thanks for coming along!


A Little History...

In order to understand where we are, you have to know a bit about where we have been. So, let me explain- no wait... there is too much. Let me sum up. (Princess Bride- you knew that, right?)

It was always our plan to have children together. Of course, I have two wonderful children from my first marriage, (Sarah- 21 and Christian- 16), and Melanie has now had a chance to do the stepmother role, but we really wanted to parent together- from the beginning. We talked about it before we were married and we decided that it was something we wanted to do.

Well, when the Dad is 50, the clock is ticking more quickly than for some others, so we wanted to get the show on the road. Unfortunately, after what was, for us, a long period of trying... no luck. Finally in the summer of 2007 the stork came! Melanie was pregnant! The due date was early to mid January of 2008, and we were excited!

But God had something else in mind. In September of 2007, Melanie developed HELLP syndrome, (google it if you wish), and very suddenly, she was in a life threatening condition. She was admitted to the hospital where they told us that there was no other option but to deliver the baby, (then at 22 weeks). Lucy Ann was delivered on September 15, but was too small to survive. We were, for a time, crushed. I say "for a time" because when you live with the God of the universe, you find healing and restoration no matter the intensity of the blow.

In subsequent, (like that word?), appointments, doctors informed us that it would be a very risky thing for Melanie to be pregnant again. There was a very good chance that any pregnancy would end with the same result, and any pregnancy would place Melanie at risk as well.

So, there we were. What do you do with the desire to parent when you cannot have children? Hardly a new problem, just new to us. We never thought we would be here. In our position, there are two options- surrogacy and adoption. We, being the responsible and rational people that we are, began to investigate both. (You know, they have those "For Dummies" books for everything!)

It didn't really take us all that long to decide to move toward adoption. Surrogacy has the obvious advantage of having your own biological child, but it also has some other associated issues that did not thrill us all that much. Lindsay Lohan offered, (she needs money), but we turned her down. We decided to move toward adoption.

Even after you choose a direction, the choices do not end. With adoption, it boils down to this- you can go through a lawyer or you can go through an agency. We, being the responsible and rational people that we are, investigated both.

We met with a local lawyer who specializes in adoption. He stuck us in a room where we watch a 90 minute, (not kidding), dvd about the firm and about adoption. Then he came in the room and said "Any Questions?"

Just a little market research to any of you who are thinking of starting your own adoption law firm- don't do it this way. It doesn't work. At least not for us. We walked out certain that we would not be using their services.

So- on to the "agency" route. We, being the responsible and rational people that we are, investigated more than one. But in the end, we settled on Bethany Christian Services. Click here to see their site

Now the process is underway. In the next post, I will bring you up to date on where we are in the process. Don't try to hide your excitement!

Thanks for coming along!


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Purpose of the Blog...

We're Adopting!!

That's right- after much prayer and consideration, we have decided to make an attempt at domestic adoption. More about how we got to this point in the next post. For now, let's establish this much: We decided to adopt domestically because, at least this first time around, we are interested in adopting an infant. International adoption usually merges a family with an older child. Maybe next time. This time, we want an infant. Yea, I know- that means late and sleepless nights, long periods of unexplainable crying, diapers that should be registered with the government as a toxic weapon... But it also means that first belly laugh, the first time they roll over, the first crawl, the first step, and, we get to do it together. Now if there just happen to be some afternoons when I have to rock the child to sleep and then find myself trapped under a sleeping baby, well then, I will sacrifice and sleep as well- (so as to not wake the child, of course.)

So, in order to keep friends and family posted concerning the progress of this effort, we decided to blog. OMG! We are just with it!!

Feel free to leave comments- we would love to hear from you. We will try to post as often as possible with new information, or just our latest thoughts and feelings.

Let the journey begin!!