Saturday, March 20, 2010

And so the journey begins....

Hi everyone,

It’s funny – most of the time, I have words to express how I’m feeling. My deeply ingrained Philadelphia “way of thinking” is never too far away from the surface. I really believed my parents when they said, “there is nothing you cannot achieve.” Yet lately, I find my voice is right below the surface. It’s almost as if I’m waiting for the “right moment” to sing out loud. Yes, these two mommies are hoping and praying for a healthy child; and today is the day to sing! LaLaLaLa!  Gerry and I have begun the adoption process and we wanted to share our experiences with each of you.

I’ve been holding my breath as some people express their well wishes and others remind me that “those kind of families” aren’t good for a child’s well being. Again, my Philly attitude comes to the service with a few choice words. I’d share them with you here, but I’m hoping our child will read our blog some day with pride, knowing that “doing the right thing” sometimes means restraint! For us, it’s important that we live by the clarity of our example. With this being said, if you have come across this blog and feel the need to express your religious opinions, please consider retraining and moving on. We do not wish to enter into debate or encourage your insane “need” to be right. Enough said.

Gerry and I have always wanted to have a family. After ten (10) years of being together we finally found an adoption agency that will work with us.  At the moment, most adoption agencies require a single person adoption; whereas, the person’s partner would have to lie about their relationship. In my opinion, the United States seems to be behind in social conscience.  Other counties such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Mexico City, to name a few, have supported gay adoption. We were very fortunate to begin working with the Independent Adoption Centers. They are a license “open adoption” agency where the birth mother chooses you to adopt their child. This means that the child will know that they were always loved and wanted.  The whole process can take any where from 1 to 1 ½ years. We are thinking positive and have the love, resources and family support along the way.

For those wanting more information, here is the time line: (taking place in Arizona)

(1) Home Study – 2 to 4 months. This includes the court providing a docket number, the completion of the home study and the Judge approval. Again, not all home study companies will work with the LGBT community. There are some Social Workers that feel more comfortable then others. We are working with the Adoption Specialists of Arizona. 602-248-8284. 

(2) Weekend intensive with the Independent Adoption Centers in San Francisco. (woohoo – We love that city) This includes writing the birth mother letter, (please choose us) setting up the website and signing a contract. The total cost is projected at “around” 25k – 30k. Worth EVERY penny for our little bubba. 

(3) Finally, the matching takes place. This is where the birth mother will consider us to adopt her child. As you can imagine, giving up her child for adoption is a very difficult decision. We are hopeful that she will choose us as her “family of choice.” Together, we can choose to meet in person and/or talk with the birth mother over the phone. The three of us will agree on monthly and/or yearly photos and updates. Gerry and I are hopeful we will be there to support the birth mother and see our child being born. 

(4) We wait and wait! The birth mother could be 3 months to 9 months pregnant. It’s important to mention here that if our child is born in California (or any other non discriminatory state) we can both be placed on the birth certificate. Federal adoption laws require all states to adhere to the birth certificate. Hence, if we choose to stay in Arizona, (unlikely) Arizona must give us duel-parenting rights. If we are not both on the birth certificate, one of us must file a co-parenting agreement to the Arizona courts every six (6) months.

I’m sure I’m missing some detail of information. I will update our blog every month or so. Perhaps even more frequently as the clock ticks down!

Before ending, we wanted to say a couple things to our family and family of choice that are actively involved in the adoption.

Anita & Dad - Thank you for always loving us unconditionally. Your continued support, encouragement, friendship and guidance has been incredibly powerful in our lives. You have always been my inner “voice” and reminded Gerry and I that we are never alone. We love you always.

Steven & Rhona – From day one, you have never waivered in your support. And, that unconditional love has deeply touched our lives. Thank you for always caring enough to call and involving us with the kids. We deeply cherish each of you.

Roger, Michele & Brandon – There was never a moment that you didn’t include Gerry in our family. You have always loved us without conditions and without expectations. We are incredibly grateful for kindness, love and support throughout the years. Our love always!

Gemma & Conal – Distance never kept us apart. Thank you for loving us through our journey and providing us the gift of sisterhood and friendship. Our family is richer with you both in our lives. And, it’s very important to us to continue to connect without boundaries. All our love!

Denis & Marie – (Daddy & Mammy) The love and support you have given throughout the years have been immeasurable.  There are no words that can express our deep gratitude for the unconditional love, tears of joy, laughter and hopefulness you have give us.  Our lives are whole because you are in it.  You are our Ireland.

Family of Choice & Other family members – Thank you for always unconditionally loving us. We’ve created so many wonderful stories and memories, with many more yet to create!  Special shout out to: Abby & Cheri, Gillian & PJ, Mary & Peter, Ann, Chris & Donna, Jill & Jimmy, Stephanie, Gloria, Bobby & Gregg, Barb & Mel, Jessie, Karen, Sly & Denis, Jason & Arlene, Tammy, Dean, Mike & Arlene, Larry & Vic, Sheila & John AND everyone else that matters! (just because you aren’t listed here doesn’t mean that you aren’t in our hearts)

Until the next update – send us positive thoughts and wish us luck!

Love, Kim & Gerry