Sunday, April 25, 2010

No News is (still) Good News - by Killeen

In our adoption agency's manual, we were cautioned about when to announce that we were adopting. Because processes can move so slow, we were presented with the notion that it can become frustrating to continuously answer "no, we haven't heard anything yet..." as we wait for our child.

We have a long way to go, and maybe I'll answer this differently in another few months, but for now I am not the least bit discouraged by inquisitive friends and family. There may be nothing new to report pertaining to the progress of our actual adoption, but every conversation I have about the process in general gives me a surge of excitement. I get a lot of different questions and comments, and I feel like I learn more about how the experience is affecting me with each insightful discussion. I am surprised by how many friends mention their own desire to adopt. To help influence another couple/person to adopt a child of their own is something that means as much to me as my own adoption does. Patrick and I hope that this blog will not only help our fundraising efforts, but also help to educate others about adoption in general. The motivation to adopt is something that can only come from within, but I think the kick-start relies on external factors.

So, where was I?? I suppose it's untruthful to say that there is nothing new to report... We did recently receive our homestudy evaluation. A homestudy is where a local social worker visits and interviews us, collects information on our financial, health and family background, and puts together a report that recommends us as adoptive parent candidates. It was pretty cool to see in writing that we pass as "good parents." It seems funny to have to go through such a rigmarole to prove our capabilities when just one look at Zinnia is all the proof a person should need. Surprisingly, the report only mentioned once that Zinnia was a delightful, well adjusted infant. While the focus of the write-up was completely on us, I'd like to think Zinnia made it easy for the social worker to deem us fit for parenthood. All the same, it was interesting to see that when all was said and done, the notoriously "scary" homestudy was actually just the social worker's shot at portraying us in the most positive light she was able. I forget sometimes that, second to the best interests of our prospective child, all parties share the same goal: finding a willing, able family for a child without.

On another note, I'm happy to report that our online shop's Facebook debut generated 6 sales! 4 of those sales were to people I did not know, which means that those who shared the website on their own pages are responsible for our success! As a result, I've been able to purchase more supplies to help to get a good inventory base of hats and barrettes established, as well as some labels to help with advertising. Please continue to share the website and help Path to Acacia take off! I've added some new items... check them out at I wore some of my new pansy clips out yesterday, and received flattery from a pedicurist, a grocery clerk, a few children, and even a Harley-esque biker. Doesn't get more honest than that, right? :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Waiting With Excitement - by Patrick

Is it not breathtaking to see the seeds of your ideas come to fruition? Plans that you used to discuss in pubs and coffee houses- plans that awarded you the title of an idealist. That excitement that you felt before the reality of the conversation with your parents. But later, they were proud to see you could make those dreams come true. I remember when Killeen’s father visited us in Vermont, only a few months before we started our hike on the Appalachian Trail. I remember his eyes always wandering toward our kitchen that was filled with hiking gear and large boxes of trail food.

As our plans to internationally adopt a child begin, that excitement is so real again. While I am excited, I try to exercise caution. Five minutes into our hike on the Appalachian Trail, the 35lb weight on my back, the rain, and the pain in my knees were all a lesson in reality. They were a great counterbalance to the romantic visions I had about living in the woods. It was a struggle and it was real.

I am cautious because I know the reality of this adoption will make the Appalachian Trail seem like a weekend in Disney World. Through our process we have explored the struggles we will experience being a Transracial Family, working through attachment issues, living in a new reality where race is always applicable, and financially absorbing the towering cost of the adoption. These issues, which are certainly not an all inclusive list, require a lifetime commitment. While the road will be challenging, I have never questioned whether we should take this journey. I know in my heart that this adoption is the right thing to do, no matter how difficult.

*Please visit our online shop (link below) to see what we've been creating. Become a follower of this blog to stay updated on our path, and to learn about new items in the shop. We're just getting started, but after just one weekend of channeling the emotions behind this adoption into a tangable effort, we feel hopeful that we can make a difference for Acacia, and other babies just like her.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Announcement - by Killeen

When I was pregnant with our first child, Zinnia, it was almost impossible to wait the standard 12 weeks before we broke the news. In fact, it was impossible, because 1) I ran out of excuses as to why I was passing on the wine, and 2) I relied on saltines like they were oxygen. I told -or else, gave myself away to- a handful of close friends early on, but when the second trimester hit, the flood gates opened and out came the announcement. It spread quickly, as pregancy alerts always do.

This time, the rules weren't so concise. When we decided to adopt, there wasn't a magic-number week to tell people. Ironically, if I was to consider conception the day we sent in our deposit to our agency, then we're a few weeks into trimester 2 right now. So... surprise! We're expecting our second daughter, Acacia, in the next 6-18 months. She will be from Ethiopia, and be younger than Zinnia by at least 15 months.

Recently, I had someone ask me if I had encountered health or fertility problems. The answer is no, but I can see how the question would come up. I was very blessed to have a relatively easy time getting pregnant with Zinnia, and minus a lot of pulling over to the side of the road on my way to work in the morning, it was also an easy pregnancy. I liked being pregnant for the most part, hope I get to experience it one more time, and don't forsee any problems. So, why adoption? It's not the easiest thing to put into words. It's always been a thought. I've always wanted a big family, since both Patrick and I are from small ones. But the true motivation behind it is knowing that there is a baby out there without anyone to answer her cry. If I'm late getting Zinnia lunch, I feel awful at the thought she went hungry for 30 minutes. There are 5 million babies in Ethiopia alone, being juggled by hospitals and orphanages without even half the luxuries of care facilities here in the US. We wanted another baby, and there's a baby in Ethiopia who wants us. So, now we just have to wait for the match to be made.

In my twenties, I babysat for three adopted children from three different families. All of them were extremely well off. Our family is fairly comfortable, but this process is making its dent. In an effort to help save for the program costs, as well as the two trips we will be making to Ethopia, we've come up with what hopes to be a successful fundraiser.

*Please visit our online shop, to see what we've been creating. Become a follower of this blog to stay updated on our path, and to learn about new items in the shop. We're just getting started, but after just one weekend of channeling the emotions behind this adoption into a tangable effort, we feel hopeful that we can make a difference for Acacia, and other babies just like her.