(I’m converting our domain, rmcsquared.net, into our professional web site and moving all personal content to this blog. Eventually, I’ll have to figure out what to do with it and how to organize it. Until then, I’m just creating a series of posts with the .net content.)
Robyn has always known that she wanted to build a family through adoption. When she was 13, news programs revealed the massive neglect in the Romanian orphanages. Those images, plus hundreds of stories about the difficulty that some children have in finding forever families, made Robyn determined to adopt. While at first perplexed, Max came to understand Robyn’s way of thinking. In addition, Robyn has a disability known as CRPS. She cannot be pregnant and continue the medications she needs.
We wanted to be parents. We began researching adoption in September 2003, when we believed we would be living in NH for the foreseeable future. We had decided to pursue international adoption from Russia. As Robyn’s health did not improve, and the NH job market was not plentiful, we chose to move to California in August 2004. At about that time, we knew that the travel requirements for Russia were not compatible with Robyn’s health, so we looked into a country that could escort babies, and found Ethiopia. Then Max asked, “If we’re going to adopt a black baby, can’t we do that here?”. So we looked into private domestic adoption. We chose an agency (which was actually a facilitator, we later learned), completed our home study, and matched with an expectant mom in October 2005.
Jackson’s adoption was through the Adoption Network Law Center (ANLC).
Jackson was born on Tuesday, January 17, 2006. We were in Missouri for his birth. Custody was transferred to us the following Friday, when he was 3 days old. We were required to stay in MO until the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC, the thing that allowed us take the baby from Missouri to California) paperwork was complete, which took about 8 days. We returned in the summer to finalize with the court. The birthparents had already terminated their rights. We were required to prove to the state of Missouri that we are good, loving, safe parents for Jack. Jack’s adoption was finalized on August 25, 2006.
Jackson knows that he was adopted, and likes that he gets both a birthday and an adoption day. He knows who his birth family is. We’re trying to make sure that his adoption is always a positive part of his life. There are many books for small children, and even infants, regarding adoption and how families are created. No matter what, Jackson will always know that his birth family and his parents all love him very much.
- We signed with ANLC in May 2005.
- We completed the ANLC paperwork and went live on their web site in August.
- We received a call about an expectant mother who wanted to talk with us in September; however, our home study wasn’t yet finished.
- We received another call in late September, about an expectant mother due at the end of October. We arranged to have our home study expedited. She went into labor on September 30, far too soon for us to have our home study finished.
- The first week of October, we found out that an expectant mother had marked us as her second choice. She decided to go with her first choice couple.
- On October 5, we had some of our final home study interviews.
- Our home study home visit (the last part) was done on October 17.
- Soon afterward, we received a call about an expectant mother who wanted to meet with us. We had a match meeting on October 18. It went well. We were impressed by her attitude and beliefs.
- On October 19, we confirmed that the match is really real!
- On January 10, we arrived in Missouri to meet S and her family.
- On January 12, we met with our attorney in Missouri.
- On January 16, we arrived at the hospital at 5am so that S’s labor could be induced.
- At 1:02am on January 17, Jackson was born.
- On January 19, S signed the paperwork terminating her parental rights. Jackson’s birthfather also signed paperwork terminating his rights.
- On January 20, we arrived at the courtroom at 8:30am, and about an hour later, we were given custody of Jackson. At this time his last name was changed to Chittister.
- We left Missouri on January 28, happy to be home.
- We returned to Missouri to finalize the adoption on August 25.