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Friday, February 29, 2008

Footprints of a Family, our second adoption journey, Part 4

this series begins here

The initial process of this adoption was much easier. Because we adopted previously within 5 years, we only had to update our homestudy. This was a huge blessing...the homestudy process alone is very daunting, the update was much easier! We compiled another Dear Birthmother Letter which was very similar to our first one. We held to the same beliefs...Keep It Simple. A major difference this time was the use of the internet. We didn't even have a computer when Cassie was born and 3 years later we not only had a computer, we also created a webpage for our adoption search. Our webpage was essentially our Dear Birthmother Letter in a webpage format. We linked this to numerous adoption websites. Each website charged us a small fee and if I remember correctly, we linked to 3 or 4 sites.

We started this process in January of 1999. Cassie was 3 1/2 years old, she would turn 4 in May. She was in preschool and I was working 3 1/2 days a week. We had enough money saved up for the adoption process, we were ready to go. Let the ride begin!

By February/March our letters were complete and our website was created. Our agency was mailing out letters and our website was link to a few sites. We bypassed hiring an attorney. Our agency was able to perform all the necessary procedures so we could save on attorney fees. We were now in the "hurry up and wait" mode. Every day I checked our email, waiting for a response from a birthmother. Everyday I checked our voicemail waiting from a call from our agency.

On our website we had listed our email address as a contact. Prospective birthmothers would email us for the initial contact and I would respond with request for their phone number. After a phone conversation, if the match appeared to be promising, we would refer them to our agency. If they contacted the agency, then the process would begin.

Waiting....waiting.....never pray for patience, you just might be given the opportunity to practice it!!

Cassie's adoption was very quick....we were hoping to get that lucky again. At times I wished I could look into a crystal ball just to know how long it would take....that is all I wanted to long did we have to long would we have to practice patience.

The initial email came in May. I promptly responded and followed up a phone call. This woman needed alot of financial support. Legally an adoptive couple can pay for any expenses related to the pregnancy. This can include medical fees, food, clothing, etc. We are not a wealthy family, we had our limits. She did not have insurance or a place to live. We could not afford this situation. We wished her was very hard....the desire for a baby sometimes supercedes the reality of the situation. We had to always remember to think logically and not emotionally.

Waiting again.....practicing patience again.....

Our next email came from a woman who was staying with friends in Washington. She had always wanted "to live in the Bay Area" (in California) - this was our first red flag. We interpreted this as saying that she wanted to live with us or have us find her a place to live near us and of course we would pay all expenses. Then the second red flag appeared - "All I want from you after the baby is born is a plane ticket to South Africa." South Africa?? Why South Africa? "I have burned alot of bridges here and I don't know anyone in South Africa." I was speechless. We live in a fairly large country. What has she done is her lifetime? Again....we thanked her for her interest....wished her luck....and we walked away.


to be continued...


Sherryl said...

Hi Cuz,
I love your writing. You have a way of keeping us on the edge of our seat, even when we were in the journey.
Love you!!!!

Kim said...

No fair, Sherryl. You know how it ends. Don't encourage her!

I obviously haven't had as much practice with patience as Allison has.

Heather said...

Wow, Allison,

This must have been so difficult. How many times did you have to go through saying "No"? That must have been terrible! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Alix said...

That must have been so hard the waiting and the saying no.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

Cynthia said...

THis has given me so much insight. I can't imagine the heartache that went with saying "no"!!

Kelly said...

Our wait to adopt Jack was so quick. We used Parent Profiles. Our son's birthmother contacted us 2 weeks after our site was up. The hard part came when we found out that she was only in her first trimester. But, we went through her entire pregnancy with her. It was like experiencing it myself. The docs appointments and stuff. It was a really special and difficult time. I can't wait to hear how it went for you.
Love and peace!

lisa marie said...

You like to keep us hanging on. :) Many moons ago I considered being a surrogate, even met a couple and decided against it when a. they wanted me to get pregnant on my own b. they wanted me to say my name was her name so I could be seen by a doctor under her insurance - uh, yeah, no. I always thought being a surrogate would have been fulfilling but I'm way past having any babies now.

Sandy said...

It does sound as though the second time might have been easier, though, because you at least knew what you were doing.

Good job on saying no when it needed to be said. That would be so hard!

-Ann said...

All I want is a plane ticket to South Africa??? Wow. You can't make this stuff up.

Personally, I'd go for Australia. Still warm. They speak English. And it's big enough that she'd have a lot of room to burn bridges and not run out of country.

Irene Latham said...

Wow, it takes such strength to say "no" to these pregnant moms! You guys were so smart to see the red flags and move on in your quest... I have heard some real horror stories! Do you feel like attitude was different with baby #2? I wonder how the level of desperation changes the process... I would imagine that Cassie's presence in your life made it easier for you to turn away from these women. Plus there would probably always be this comparison between experience 1 and experience 2 (as there is with pregnancy and childbirth for those fortunate enough to experience it more than once). I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I also can't wait to find out which birthmom was the right one. xxoo

suchsimplepleasures said...

that must have taken so much strength, to be able to tell those women no...but, you had to be realistic.
it's so interesting, the whole adoption process...i'm so glad you are sharing both of your stories!!
how are you? how's your mommy? did anyone else get sick from hubby?

Jennifer said...

I guess I can't compare waiting for the next installment to waiting for an actual child! But's kind of similar!

Around The Funny Farm said...

Oh wow.. on that South Africa experience!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I know these young girls find themselves in a difficult situation but to use their unborn child to buy their freedom just seems so callous.

Looking forward to the next installment

Andrya said...

WOW!!! Just wow! I don't even kow what to say to that one, but I now understand how you can put up with Alex. I love you!