Monthly Archives: May 2010

Funny Story (Three for the Price of One)

Funny story number 1: I was at the yarn store (no big surprise there) and I mentioned that we were in the process of adopting a baby. The woman behind the counter asked “What Kind”. Me “DuHHH HUMAN” I said snarkaly. She kind of looked embarrassed- so I laughed and told her the whole story.

Funny story number 2: I was a bitch to my mom today. Not a major bitch- but yeah she is always hot and I am always cold so I was being kind of bitchy about her turning the heat on IN MAY. Andy said “Stop being a bitch to your mom”. I apologized (like a grumpy 12 year old). Mom said “Oh don’t worry- your is coming VERY soon”

And finally- My Auntie Barbie is the funniest person on the planet and she referred to our baby as a Beachtheopian. That made me laugh. If you don’t kn0w- Andy’s last name is Beach. Our baby is going to be a baby Beach (not Weisman sniff sniff)/

Home Study- Not Such a Big Thang

The first of our two interviews for our home study was this week. We were just excited that the process is moving forward. I was thrilled when Holt told us who our social worker would be–we had met her before at the Holt open house and she seemed totally unflappable. Before our home study began we had to fill out a really long questionnaire – that had super personal questions on it- ranging from our religious and child rearing beliefs to our family history.  We also had to provide them with 4 letters of recommendation from friends. Consequently- I think she had a good idea of who we were and what we were about before we walked in the door.

All the other adoptive families I have met assured me that this isn’t such a big deal. Frankly, I was more excited then nervous – however my excited energy is almost the exact same as my nervous energy – so if you don’t know me- you would think I am an insane spazz (which is totally correct).  Also when I am excited I become wildly inarticulate and giggly and probably swear waaayyy too much. It’s like someone when some says don’t say the word “blue” and I can’t help but yell “blue blue blue blue” like someone with tourettes syndrome.

Andy- knows I am a totally competitive person and he bet me $300 that I would fuck the whole thing up.  Thanks baby.  It made me HAVE to prove him wrong!  Our Social Worker said I didn’t screw it up and he owed me $300 bucks (which goes to the baby fund).

First our social worker talked to us together. She had just gotten back from a trip to Ethiopia and had lots of tales to tell.  She also told Andy about the internet access. Gotta  love my husband- he isn’t at all worried about becoming a dad, bonding with his kid, going to another country, traveling with a group of people we may love or hate- but he was REALLY worried about the internet  connection in Addis.  Fortunately for us- there is a Hilton and a golf club that both have internet connection. Andy also has 10 billion Hilton points so he is hoping we can use them there. We can’t actually stay at the Hilton when we go to pick our kid up (some legal thing). But hopefully we can stay there when we go for our shorter court visit. It has a pool….

She also said that the current average wait time for a kid by the time the Home Study stuff is approved (ours will be done at the end of June) is NINE MONTHS.  And that’s MAX!!!! There is a chance our baby might be here for Christukah!!!!! That’s three seasons away! Amazing!!!!!!!!!  We also put down that we wanted a kid 0-12 months old (but were pretty flexible up to a point).  I think once our Dossier is approved- this can all move pretty freaking quickly. Almost at the same rate as an actually pregnancy (‘cept I can drink all the booze I want and eat sushi).

After she talked to us together- she wanted to interview us separately.  Andy went first ‘cause I had to pee. They were in there for about 30 minutes. I can hear laughing and every once in a while. Andy is a total pro at this stuff- he is funny and charming. I REALLY wanted to put my ear up to the door but I TOTALLY knew I would get caught.  Then it was my turn. I had practiced (in my head– kind of Miss America style) all the answers to these complicated questions I anticipated.  I had LOFTY answers about race, religion, the responsibility of raising a kid, etc etc etc…

She seriously asked me totally easy and straight forward questions like, describe your mom, your dad, what did you like to do as a kid? How did you celebrate the holidays?  Name 3 words that would describe you (funny, enthusiastic and kind-hearted). Andy said his was (sarcastic, pedantic and- I think snarky). He is all those three things- I call him pedandy as a nickname. The home study interview was really quite fun, informative and pretty laid back! Not such a big deal!  It does make this whole thing seem so real!

Next week- after we get back from San Francisco she is going to come over to the house. Hopefully Bella won’t feel the need to deep tongue kiss her and Georgia won’t feel compelled to show her knife skills. She just takes a look around, will talk to mom and ask us a few more questions. Then we will be all done with that. I am working on the rest of our dossier documents. Our parenting classes are in June. After that we can send our stuff off to Ethiopia and get put on the list for a baybay!  Hurrah a Baybay!!!

We took these photos after the interview. I like this photo of Andy because he could be interested in Senior Care, Adoption, Sandra Yang or Real Estate. He just wanted me to get ON with it….

As oppose to me the used car (or baby) sales woman…

Screw You Old Friends- I Got Some New Ones (Just Kidding)

Another great thing happened this week! I met some “Mom’s in Waiting”. We all met through the Holt Yahoo Group and all live around Portland.  We met in Beaverton (the middle). It was freaking awesome!  There were 5 of us total and we were all in different parts of the process. Some folks are waiting on court dates and to travel to pick their wee ones up- other were waiting for a referral and (of coarse I am always last) I was just waiting to get my act- I mean- dossier together.  We sat the table at Starbucks and laughed our butts off for almost 3 hours. Because some folks were further along in the process they could help with more practical things- but really it was nice to know we were all in the same boat and could just commiserate and laugh a lot.  My transition to Portland hasn’t been very easy.  I am used to having a great network of friends around. I think I got fairly lucky in North Carolina because I stumbled into the Durham String Thing and found an awesome group there. I have made friends here- great fun people- but it has been slower than I would have hoped.  So this felt really great. We are going to try to get together once a month.  Hopefully our group will transition from coffee to playgrounds and juice boxes as our little ones arrive from Ethiopia.

A Thing About Grandparents…

Next week would have been my grandfather’s 100th Birthday.  He passed away a few years ago and I think about him everyday. He was a total force in my life.  He was a Holocaust survivor and the last one of a family of 8 or 9kids.  I think this is why we were so close- my dad, brother and I really represented  a new beginning for him and also- really- all he had left.  Also- this is a big part of why my Jewish identity means so much to me.

I am pretty lucky, ‘cause I have had a lot of grandparents in my life. There have been multiple divorces and remarriages in my family so at some point in my life I had 4 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers.  As a kid I never thought there was any difference between my grandparents and my (technically) step grandparents.  All I knew is that I was pretty lucky to have so many people who loved me. And I got LOTS of birthday gifts (hey I was a kid!)  Our son or daughter will be the first kid my brother and I have. My dad and step mom have been married for over 20 years and I do have 2 stepsiblings who both have two kids each. My dad is blessed with 4 little kids who call him Papa Jack. And our kid will have 4 little cousins (on my dad’s side) to teach him/her how to play without messing up Dad and Adela’s house too much! I once told my stepmom that the upshot of all of this divorce was that many years later our kids have more grandparents to love on them! I think she liked that (‘cause I have heard her repeat it a few times.)

My mom lives with me and Andy. She moved out to Portland after living in Michigan for 63 years. I think she gets major props for her braveness.  She was planning on coming here, getting a job, and finding a place. Well the economy in Oregon is only slightly better than the one in Detroit- so far she hasn’t found a job yet and she is still living with us. She recently requested some books for grandparents of adopted kids (I am going to list them below). There is NOTHING I love more than a good research assignment. It made me feel good (looking gleeful) that we owned two of the three books that were recommended! But I digress- a few days after she had asked for suggestions- I thanked her for being so interested and supportive. She said “well this is going to be our life sweetheart and we all need to think about it and it will be your life well after I am gone”. Then I got a little weepy and we hugged.  It was less morose sounding at the time.

My dad has been a little more reticent about this process. We as (Weismans) really hate change and I think my dad was a little surprised that we were embracing and committing to adoption (particularly) since we were less interested in other options (e.g. pursuing fertility treatments).  I have to say that he is coming around TONS and is EXCITED about the arrival of our little one.  I just need to give him the time and space to process his emotions, mourn the loss of his direct bloodline (its all up to you bro) and keep him involved in the process as much as he wants to be involved.  I also know that the second he meets his future grandkid- he will be a total mush and that kid will have him wrapped around his/her little pinky in seconds.  I also really want to mention that my stepmom has been wonderfully supportive and has helped by my dad and I stay connected through this process. I got goose bumps when she showed me the bag of baby toys she brought from Michigan to Las Vegas (where they live for the winter).  

When we told Andy’s parents we were adopting there reaction was “about freaking time- we have just been waiting for it”.  Andy parents (like Andy) are the most unflappable people on the planet.  They had a feeling that we were going to adopt and really have been just waiting for us to announce it. Andy’s brother has 3 kids so our kid gets even more cousins! The oldest being 14 (yes, you are that old Michael).

So our kid will come to our family with 5 wonderful and very different grandparents (and a GREAT GRANDMOTHER to boot), 8 aunts and uncles and 7 first cousins (holy crap)!  Lucky kid I say, lucky kid!!!

I started this post talking about my grandfather. I made a deal with my dear husband that our kid can be a Beach (his last name) if we get to use some derivative of my grandfathers name in his/her first name.  It’s Jewish tradition to name your child after a deceased relative.  Our kid will also come with his/her Ethiopian name as well. My grandfather’s name was David Weisman. His Hebrew name was Dovid Ben Shmuel (translates to David son of Samuel).  This kid is going to be raise in a house that will honor his/her Ethiopian culture and my Jewish culture and Andy’s  non-religious but Southern culture. We aren’t’ religious people- but do love our little corners of the world- and have made it work (really really well for the 10 years of our marriage).

 Right now the plan is (if boy) Dovid (insert Ethiopian name) Beach. Or if it’s a girl Davy  or Dov (insert Ethiopian name) Beach. I know if it’s a boy he will spend the rest of his life saying “It’s DOVid with an O, not DAVid with an A”.  And Dov Beach sounds like a short descriptive sentence- but hey- it’s the price our kid will pay for having hippy parents. Coulda been MUCH worse…..

A Few Books:

The first one – I have mentioned before is called There is No Me Without You- by Melissa Faye Green. It is about Ethiopian AIDS orphans and was an amazingly moving book and provides a good picture of Ethiopian culture.

he first one is The second one is The Complete Book of International Adoption by Dawn Davenport- which was actually the first book I picked up when we started the process. She also has a great nonprofit organization that helps people with issues around infertility and adoption. It’s called Creating a Family.She is an amazing resource. I highly recommend you check it out. Dawn and I are BFFS (well not really- she is just incredibly accessible on Facebook and Twitter). She also recommended a book called Adoption is a Family Affair– which I picked up on Amazon,  If it’s any good (it got mixed reviews)- EVERYONE is going to get a copy! Hurrah

Finally- the May 10th issues of the New Yorker had a really large article on adopting Haitian earthquake orphans.  The writer and his wife were adopting a baby from Haiti when the earthquake happened and they were using the same adoption agency as us-Holt International.  The article talks a lot about the process and reasons behind international adoption. I thought it was GREAT.

Home Study is Scheduled!

 

Our first interview is scheduled for May 18th and our second is on June 6!  The June one is when the social worker actually comes to our house!  We are so excited!  I have heard really wonderful things about our social worker so I am psyched to work with her. So far she has been really great about answering my many many questions! I can tell she is going to have a calming affect. After the interviews Andy and I have to take a class called Parents in Process. We can actually take it in May but we are both traveling and I am working- so it’s pushed off until June.  I am excited and happy to take parenting classes. I think it’  to bad that all parents don’t have the opportunity to take parenting classes (if they want to).  

 Also- we don’t have to babyproof our house. I was totally wrong. Just uh, clean it up a little and show that we have room for our future baby! Our house is a three bedroom but one of the bedrooms we use as an kind of ruckus/ guest room. It is attached to the door that goes to the back yard- s0 it gets a lot of traffic.  Right now the we have a general plan that the baby is going  to sleep upstairs with us and then we will use the third bedroom as a play room. This is all contingent on if mom finds work and a place over the next year (which she should by then). If she does- the baby can just have her room.

We are now starting to get organized for our Dossier. This is the list of the legal stuff that has to go to the Ethiopian embassy. The main part of the dossier is the report from our home study. A lot of it is super redundant. We need to get another letter from our doctor saying that we are healthy enough to be parents. We have to get two more letters of recommendation – these ones signed and notarized. We also need bank records, marriage licenses, birth certificates and another letter from Andy’s employer stating that we have health insurance etc.

I have already started working on it. I am temping this week. It’s the first time I have been in an office in a while- it feels really weird. My job is really to babysit the front door- which is fine and kind of funny. Very very dull- and I kind of forgot how much I hate working in an office. We have to line up to punch our card out exactly at 4:30 other wise we will be docked pay if we leave early. The clock is 2 minutes slow so we have to stand there and wait. Truly- it makes me feel a little bit like a prisoner.  I AM excited about putting more money in the baby fund though- and it’s kind of nice to get out of the house for a while. Andy they are decent enough to let me read knit and update my blog while I am here. So I got to really stop my whining. The world is a very different place when you don’t sleep until 8 a.m. For example, did you know New Seasons (our fancy grocery chain) doesn’t open until 8 a.m? I found out when I was banging on their door begging for coffee and a bagel- calling them lazy gits under my breath!

Okay enough of this- since I only have 6 more hours to kill for this temp job- I am going to update my Raverly site and my knitting blog. Thank you generic company in Beaverton for giving me this opportunity…..