The Adoption Bloggers Interview Project was created and coordinated by Heather. Two adoption bloggers are randomly paired. We read one another’s blogs. We ask one another questions. We answer those questions.
This year, I was paired with another adoptive mom, Rain of Weathering Storms. Rain has been blogging since 2009, and I actually took the time to read (well, sometimes I skimmed) her adoption-related posts. She and her husband came to adoption through infertility. They started out as foster parents, and then pursued private domestic adoption. In fact, they were matched with their son, who was already born, only one month after going active with their agency, in September 2011.
Weathering Storms has been added to my blog roll. I especially recommend it to people just starting out in adoption, and those considering adoption from foster care in California. (Yes, Rain lives in the Golden State, just like me!)
And, now on to the interview! (Rain liked my questions, and I liked hers. Go read her interview with me!)
What are the top 3-5 blog posts that you would recommend to new readers to learn more about you and your story? I know you have the Timelines page, but that doesn’t really give the full impact of all that you’ve handled in the past 3 years.
- http://rainsthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/weathering-the-storm/ (A post about why I love rain and storms…and why I chose the name I did for my blog)
- http://rainsthoughts.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/iclw-meme/ (10 random facts about myself…interesting reading, I would hope)
- http://rainsthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/niaw-bust-a-myth-im-less-of-a-man-because-i-cant-get-my-wife-pregnant/ (McRuger’s take on dealing with infertility)
- http://rainsthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/not-a-phone-call-i-was-expecting/ (The phone call that started us down the adoption road)
- http://rainsthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/cadet-update-3/ (One of our first days with Cadet and some nice interactions with Ms J, his birth mom)
When I was reading about your adventures in foster care. I read that social workers placed children “ethnically.” I was under the impression that MEPA stopped that. Are social workers allowed to consider race and ethnicity? Are you told that this is common practice when you foster?
For adoptive placements, we were told (on more than one occasion) that the matching committee preferred to have the child and adoptive parents be of the same race. The infant, Lime, who we were told we could possibly adopt was not placed in our care because he was not Caucasian. He was placed with a family who was Hispanic and spoke Spanish.
For foster care, I don’t believe that there are any such preferences. Red, Yellow, and Amber were all of a different racial background than us. Only Fern was Caucasian.
At one point, you and McRuger decided to open yourself up as a foster home again. What prompted that decision? Are you still keeping your foster license up to date?
Amber leaving our house was very painful for me. It was our first “hope” of adoption, and I felt like I really connected with Amber. I had a ton of fun with her, and when she left, I fell apart a little.
With Fern, there was some stuff that happened that I can’t talk about here. Stuff with her biological parents and the foster care workers which pissed me off and disappointed me. Once it became clear that her care was becoming more specialized, we felt it was time for her to move to a new home. This time, it was McRuger who felt her leaving deeply. He connected with Fern in a way that I had not.
I think that both of those heart breaks meant we needed a little break, and a few more stabs at IF treatments.
When it became clear that we wouldn’t be getting pregnant through IUIs, we decided to open up our adoption file with the county again. We also started looking into other avenues of adoption.
We no longer have an active license. We canceled it as soon as we got the call for Cadet. Our case worker was very upset with us, and called us dishonest for not telling him about Cadet sooner (but we didn’t know about Cadet until he was born). The day we got the call for Cadet, I was supposed to meet with our foster care liaison to talk about re-opening our case.
Due to how poorly the county handled the news of us adopting domestically, we have NO plans on going back to foster care.
Speaking of fostering, do you have any idea what has happened to any of the children you’ve fostered?
Red and Yellow: still living with grandma and they finally had some counseling. Last I heard, their biological father is currently working on gaining custody with his girlfriend.
Amber: She’s bounced in and out of foster care, along with her siblings. Her biological mother still struggles with addiction and stability. I believe she’s currently back in foster care
Fern: Was reunited with her biological parents, but I don’t know anything further.
What made you decide on domestic adoption, as opposed to international?
When we first made the choice to adopt, I had a lot of misinformation about domestic adoption from friends and family. I was told that it would cost between 40-50k and take at least 3 years, and that was from someone I knew who had adopted. From my mom and MIL, I heard horror stories of paperwork gone wrong and birthparents coming to take their child back 2-3 years after the child was born. I honestly didn’t know what adoption was, even though I had been doing a little reading of blogs… I still didn’t fully understand the concrete numbers involved. It all seemed really scary.
At first, we (I) looked into international adoption, especially Russia and Ukraine. I was drawn to the relatively quick adoption times, and the adventure of it all. I gathered a lot of in a few weeks. I called numerous adoption agencies, reached out to bloggy friends, and even joined a few forums. Then, I started putting the numbers down in a logical way and they were adding up. Travel costs alone were insane. And, after a lot of talking with McRuger, I started looking into domestic adoption.
Once I started really looking into it, I discovered that domestic adoption was much less scary than I realized. It actually looked quite do-able financially, and the travel was much less taxing.
Have you had the chance to work on starting the adoption meetup group in your area? If so, how’s it going?
I’ve started it, and have had a few people join up. So far, we haven’t gotten together yet, but I am hopeful.
I always ask one completely random question, and here’s yours: You said you enjoyed musical theatre. What’s your favorite musical?
Oh, yeah, I do love musical theatre. Probably my two favorites are Return to the Forbidden Planet and Fiddler on the Roof. Both of these I stage managed and had a great time doing it. Fiddler was my first experience stage managing and I was definitely in over my head. But, at the end of the run, I was in love with musicals and stage managing. Return was probably my most challenging stage manager run. There were a zillion light and sound cues, we had a live band on stage, and some pyrotechnics. Actually, I met my best friend on Forbidden, she was my assistant SM. AE (my best friend) said that if she could handle “Hell Week” for the show with me, then we could make it through anything together. She was right!
Which blogs do you read? You can just list your favorite 5 or so, if there are a lot of them.
I regularly have about 75 blogs that I keep up with on a regular/semi-regular basis. These are some that I particularly enjoy.
- Lulu at http://thewildrumpus12.wordpress.com
- Kelly at http://uninterruptedprosperity.wordpress.com
- Jess at http://itsjustaboxofrain.wordpress.com
- Mrs. Gamgee at http://missusgamgee.blogspot.com
- Fran at http://everyoneelsebutme.blogspot.com
You have a very loyal audience of commenters. Where did you “meet” them? Are any of them friends in “real life”?
When I first started my blog, I joined several infertility blog rolls, including Stirrup Queen’s. And almost immediately several women found my blog and started being my cheerleaders. It was amazing. Over the years, I’ve picked up bloggy friends along the way.
I’ve met three bloggers in real life. One of them, who prefers to remain anonymous, has become an amazing friend. She and I see (or talk) to each other once a week. She and I met right before we adopted Cadet. And despite her own struggles with IF, she has been a great support to our family. Cadet loves her, and she has become one of his honorary “aunts.”
The other two, Fran and Jem, are the others I’ve met. Jem and I met once, and plan to meet up again soon. Fran lives in Ireland, and we just met this last summer. I’ve promised her that my family will visit hers at some point in the future. Both Jem and Fran were some of my first commenters on my blog.
I love meeting fellow bloggers. I just wish more of them lived in my area!