Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home Visits and Parenting Classes

Bear with me through the next several posts as I try to update things. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that any of this will be very interesting for anyone besides myself. Liam even finds the date keeping tedious, which is why I'm the one keeping a blog. I think it will be important one day to our child, though I may be in denial and he or she will find it all a waste of time.

I had sat down tonight with the intention of writing about the reasons for our decision to adopt, though that seems to overwhelming and emotional of a task to undertake at 10pm on a Wednesday night. I'll come back to it one day, because I think that it's important to explain to our child. Then again, depending on how public this blog becomes, I may choose to leave it unadressed, as the decision to adopt is a very personal one. Anyway, for now onto the homevisits and parenting classes.

Liam and I officially applied with Holt International on December 30, 2008 (our 8th anniversary) after 3 years of trying to conceive. We were really having a hard time knowing what direction we should go in...I was originally drawn to adoption, but then became more and more convinced that IVF might be the right step. Liam was always on board with adoption- not to say that he hasn't had several reservations about the financial aspects. We went ahead and applied, but were still on the fence about what to do.

Liam was deployed to Afghanistan on March 6th, 2009. By September 2009, we were fully committed to adoption. While Liam was gone, our adoption process was on hold since one of the first steps is a homestudy and that requires both parents to be present.

During my Christmas break in December, I began to collect paperwork for the homestudy and dossier. I applied for several copies of my birth certificate, our marriage certificate. and Liam's divorce decree from his first marriage. I had a physical and had to get it notarized, go by the bank for a notarized letter stating that we're in good standing with our bank, employment letters and a notarized letter from the police station stating that we don't have any outstanding warrants, etc. The worst part was the bio that has to be completed on each's a 30+ questionaire that asks you eveything from your parenting philosophy to what was your childhood like.

Liam came home on February 28, 2010. He spent the next couple of weeks collecting his paperwork. On March 20th and 21st, we had our parenting classes from 9-3 each day. These were held in Kansas City and we had the worst time trying to find the Holt building. We arrived just in time for the classes to begin. I thought it was a very helpful and insightful 2 days. It really caused Liam and I to think about not only why we are adopting, but also th kinds of influences that our child will be around. How many minorities are present in our lives? At one time they showed us a video of adult adoptees discussing their adoption in a very negative aspect. It was really disheartening and gave us some concern..well, maybe not Liam so much. To be honest it was pretty scary. But I understand where they are coming from that they want everyone to go into adoption with eyes wide open. On the plus side, we met a wonderful couple from the KC area, Joe and Ali Freudethal. They received a referral for their little boy a week after the classes and are coincidentally on a plane as we speak headed to Ethiopia to bring him home!

The following Friday (3/26), Judy Young, our case worker came for our first home visit. I really love Judy. We had met once before KC parenting classes at a Holt gathering. We had been warned not to worry about cleaning the house from top to bottom, but never-the-less, we were up late the night before cleaning, much to Liam's complete annoyance. Jason, our brother-in-law, said our house had never looked that good before. Judy came in and looked around for about 10-15 minute, checking for smoke detectors and other safety issues. She was in and out so quickly (partly because of car troubles her daughter was having), I was somewhat disappointed.

Her next visit, however, on April 23rd was more lengthy and involved several questions. We were notified on May 12th that our homestudy was complete and ready to pick up. We met her at the Library center that Friday, the 14th. Funny story, I didn't realize that we were approved yet. When I found out, I nearly leapt with joy. One more step closer to our little one.

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