Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Barbara is out of the office again until Thursday! She must have had this job a long time and has lots of vacation stored up, but it's frustrating to me not to have things moving along. For a couple of weeks now, she's been trying to get in contact with two case workers to talk with them about us and their kids that we've expressed interest in. With her never in the office, this just isn't happening and that's annoying to me. It's hard when it's just a job for her, but it affects our lives for my family.

Less than a week to go for Alexis' committee. I'm just counting days and trying to wait without a preconceived notion of how it'll go.

Meanwhile....Davan and I got a little bit of yard work in this morning, including planting a tomato start that we got from our CSA on Monday. We'll see how it does. I tent to not do well with gardening, but...

And now we're off to the library.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bike Tour Report

We're home from our first bike tour! We did make a change due to the inclement weather.

We were supposed to do a three day loop and had originally picked a loop around Mt Hood which involved three 25-30 mile days. However, we had to change that plan when Anthony checked with the ranger and discovered that one road was still snow-bound! We then chose a loop of three 33 or so miles days which went down part of the coast. However, the weather sucked on Saturday - cold and rainy with some wind thrown in for good measure.

We considered canceling altogether, but Davan was pretty disappointed, as were we, so we picked a last minute two day trip. We drove down to Salem and rode up to Champoeg State Park. The trip was a partial loop and partial there and back for a total of 65 miles (at least the way we did it). Sunday was still cloudy, cool and occasionally very light rain. We ran into some bad rain on the way to Salem in the truck (borrowed from Tadku, thanks!) and had our doubts, but the weather wasn't too shabby.

The trip was a success, except we got the hairy eye ball from another camper at the hiker/biker campground because we'd driven down to Salem and then gone up to Champoeg, as opposed to just going down to Champoeg from Portland. However, we figured what we could at the last minute. Maybe next time we'll make it from home.

Also, I had some knee trouble. For some reason, my left knee occasionally gives me trouble when I bike ride. It feels like a repetitive movement injury to me - some sort of tendon thing, but I don't know for sure. I've had it checked out and was given some exercises to do by a physical therapist. I do them regularly, but it still started hurting about 2/3 of the way through the first day. The second day, then was pain with every leg rotation. :( When I first got on the bike, I doubted my ability to gut it out for the whole ride, but I made it. I was even cheery about it.

But, as I said, the trip was mostly good and we want to bike tour again. We averaged about 10.5 miles per hour both days over quite flat terrain. Davan and dh were faster on their tandem than I was on my mountain bike, but they rode just behind me so as to not out pace me. We found a very nice spot to stop for lunch yesterday and ended up stopping there again today. It was an iris farm with a picnic area, restrooms/outhouses and a flower garden for viewing.

Davan, who did not get enough physical activity in during the bike ride, talked us into racing, playing sardines, and other active games at camp. We also got in a nice stroll around the campground.

We came home late this afternoon to unpack, shower, throw dinner together and make our first run up to our CSA farm - Dancing Roots - to pick up our share this evening. It's a smallish haul, but only the first. There were even a few precious strawberries and they were so yummy that Davan and I finished them off in less than 5 minutes on the way home. Lucky for us, dh doesn't care for strawberries.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Bit of a Surprise

I was surprised to see these two show up on the Oregon Waiting Children site.

Zach and Kohl

It also might be a surprise to most of you that we've put in for these two boys. The rest of our kids are all individual. However, we decided to look at the sibling book and just see what there was to see. We ended up inquiring about 3 different sets of two brother groups. One was already adopted, one had already had their three families chosen for committee and then Zach and Kohl.

Of course, with Alexis's committee coming up in just a little over a week, I've got mixed feelings about other kids. I want to keep looking because what if we're not chosen for Alexis? However, I also feel nervous about feeling like I'll have some grieving to do to let go of the idea of any other kids if we are chosen. I feel like I'm walking a tightrope with my feelings regarding the committee and the feeling is becoming more pronounced as it gets closer.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Elijah, but in a different spot

Well, Elijah is on the Oregon Waiting Kids site, but for some reason chronologically earlier than Savanna. This is odd because their bulletins showed up at the same time at our office.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another Listing

Yet another of "our" kids is up on the Oregon Waiting Children site.


The fact that she showed up there doesn't surprise me. In fact, I expected Elijah to show up, also, as they are both in a harder to place age (being older than 10). Also, Savanna had a distrupted adoption, which actually kind of chaps my hide. When we were first looking at adoption (before we were paper ready), we saw Savanna on the site and were very interested in her. However, we weren't able to put in for her. I can't help but think that if we had been able to, her distrupted placement might not have happened.

I saw Barbara today and gave her our family book. She seemed pleased by it, so that's good. Also, she gave me more paperwork to do. It turns out that sense it's been a year sense our criminal background check, we have to do one again. If they'd just move faster, they'd save themselves a lot of paperwork! If we have to wait much longer, there are more things that we'll have to redo, as well.

Less than two weeks till Alexis' committee...Anthony's decided that he wants to be home to get the news, so he's coming home at lunch time on that Tuesday. I feel very up in the air about it, with not wanting to get too excited, but also not wanting to be totally unprepared mentally if the placement does happen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Out Again

I called Barbara this morning to let her know that I finished our family book last night, but she's out of the office until Thursday. I'm sure she must have some normal amount of vacation time, but it seems like she's out of the office a whole heck of a lot. Sense December, I can think of two full weeks and many, many days here and there. It's possible that some of it is work related. I don't know where she might have to go for various committee meetings. Although, I do know that Alexis' committee meeting is here in Portland, even though she lives about 3 hours from here.

To finish the family book, Davan and I did go out yesterday evening after her play date left. We hopped on our bikes, as I wasn't sure how far we'd have to go. However, I thought that I remembered a camera store quite near here and, sure enough, it was there. So, that was great because not only did we not get into the car again, but we supported a local business. Not to mention that it was quick, as well. I won't be developing pictures at Target again!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekend in a Blur

Our weekend passed in a blur of mostly small things to do. We got the last few pictures taken for the family book (expect for swimming, which just might not make it in).

We preped the bikes for our up-incoming three day bike tour. This included a trip to the bike store to purchase necessities such as new tires for the tandem, a couple of new water bottles and a handlebar extender so that Davan doesn't have to reach so far to get to the handlebars. It's seems like everything costs money, even a supposedly cheap bike/camping trip. Ah well. We should more or less be set up for a summer of bicycling now.

Davan also went on a flight with the Young Eagles program. This is really cool and if you have a kid, you should check it out for your area. Kids can go up in a personal plane (usually a 2-4 seater) with a pilot. Depending on age, the child is usually given control of the plane for a short period of time while in the air, as well.

Anthony took Davan to that on Saturday while I went to a book group meeting. Sunday found Davan and I spending 4 hours, incongruously, in a Catholic girls' school. Davan was in a Peter Pan play and her class was invited to perform select scenes from their show at a student dance showcase. The facility where it was held was at St Mary's Academy in downtown Portland. What with getting there early for multiple run throughs and staying through the end to watch others and to take a bow, we were there quite a long time. It was fun, though, for the kids to get up on stage again and we enjoyed the other dances. We both particularly liked a troop of boys - about 25 or so - who did a group dance.

Over the course of the weekend, we did manage to get the bikes almost ready (the tandem still needs a new tube in the front) and to do a trail packing. As we haven't done multi-day bike tours before, we weren't sure how the packing would go. Anthony was particularly worried about not having enough space. However, all the bulky stuff (tent, sleeping bags, therma rests) plus his and Davan's stuff sack of clothes fit on the trailer he and Davan will pull with the tandem.

I got almost all of the food ready (we aren't going to buy our bagels until the day before we go so they're fresh) and packed it up. It fit neatly into my trunk and one panier with room left over for most of the kitchen (stove, dishes, ect). My second panier will hold my own clothes and a few more kitchen items (water filter and pot). So, it all fits and we're excited about the trip!

My goal for today was to get four pictures printed out (not at home) for the family book. Barbara wants to see it before the committee. I assume so she can make suggestions if she doesn't approve or thinks we should add something. So, I'd wanted to get it done today. However, I had a very annoying time of it at Target. First, there was a couple who were trying to use the machine, but having trouble with it. So, they needed help from a store employee. Davan and I had stopped off on the way to her Girl Scout meeting just to put the pictures in for developing, but ended up not having time to finish. So, I took Davan to Girl Scouts and came back.

Sadly, when I came back, a lady was using the machine to make copies of 10 photographs. For some reason, she was having to start the whole process over at the beginning of each picture and, at the end, needing an employee to come over and punch in a code. Also, if a picture wasn't right, the process had to be started over again. I left when she had 3 remaining pictures to copy.
Luckily, the library is close by, so I went over to pick out some books for Davan, as she's just flying through books right now. 2-3 chapter books a day! When I got back, she was just finishing up. I finally get to the machine. It doesn't have an USB port. Grr. I know that Walmart has a machine with a USB port, but I really don't like Walmart and I was getting fed up with the process by then. I gave up and joined Davan at the Girl Scout meeting.

So, this afternoon, when Davan's friend (who came home with us from Girl Scouts) is picked up, she and I will have to venture out to get these pictures developed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Water Bottle!?!?!

A strange thing happened to me yesterday. Someone stole the water bottle off of my bike. I didn't notice at first because I often (accidentally) leave the water bottle on my bike after a ride. However, yesterday evening, after riding Davan to her friend's house for a play date, riding to the library, riding to Barbara's office and coming back home, I was preparing to ride over to Mt Hood Community College to play racquetball.

Now, before you get all excited about how far I'm riding, you should know that the library is only a mile and half away and both Laurel's house (Davan's play mate yesterday afternoon) and Barbara's office are more or less between here and the library. Mt Hood Community College is maybe a mile and a half away as well. So, all that riding totaled maybe 6.5 miles.

Back to the story. So, I realize my water bottle isn't sitting on the counter. I check my bike in the garage. Not there. I expected it to be, as I didn't remember bringing it in. However, I also checked my backpack and various other potential locations. Gone. The only thing I can figure is that it was stolen either at the library or at Barbara's office. Both high foot traffic areas. I remember it being on my bike when I went into the library, as I debated bringing it in, but just took a drink instead.

Anthony's answer to all of this is, of course, that I shouldn't be leaving my water bottle on the bike in the first place. That's just inviting crime. My thoughts were, "Who'd steal my waterbottle anyway?" But, I guess someone would. Sigh.

Anthony and I did talk about the kids I got bulletin's for yesterday. We decided against one little girl because she's less than 9 months younger than Davan, which seems too close in age. However, we are putting in for the other three, which include 3 year old Chase, 10 year old Elijah and 12 year old Savanna.

Savanna, interestingly enough, was a child on the Oregon Waiting Kids page back when we were first contemplating adoption and I liked her at the time. However, she was placed for adoption. The adoption disrupted and she is being recruited for again. Maybe it's meant to be. Savanna has also said that she wants a sister of any age. Davan, while open to a lot of different possibilities, says she'd be absolutely the most excited about an older sister.

Anthony says I just want a big kid to help me peddle my tandem. We're planning on having two tandems when we have two kids - with a parent captaining each - so we can do longer bike rides as a family. That was the purpose for our purchase of the sadly stolen Black Bomber.

In regards to Elijah, we feel that he'd be a good match personality-wise. He's a little close in age to Davan, but with him being a boy rather than a girl, we feel it might work out. We had said we wanted an older child to be three years older and, for another girl, we'd stick with that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Somewhat Disappointing News from Barbara

I went to look at new bulletins today and had a conversation with Barbara. It turns out that we were the 4th family Hunter's case worker wanted for Hunter and all three of her first choices wanted to go to committee. Sigh. It's the same thing that happened with Ashlee.

We are still on for Alexis. I need to finish our family book for that committee. I have a couple more pictures I want to take. Then one more print making session and I'll put them in the book. We also made a 5 minute video of ourselves. These items will be presented at committee, but are really for Alexis (or whoever we adopt). It's to introduce the child to us.

I found out that we were not chosen for Jacob, who was one of the kids listed on the Oregon Waiting Children's site, but is no longer there. His case worker stated that she was looking for a different situation for him, but that she wanted to keep our homestudy at the office for other case workers to see.

I picked out four new kids to inquire about. Although, two of them are in the 10-13 age range we were originally considering, so Anthony and I need to talk about it before we pursue those kids.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yet Another NWAE Showing

We've had another of "our" kids show up on the Oregon Waiting Children's site.


I have yet to talk to Barbara this week, but I am planning on calling her tomorrow (as that'll be one week from my last call). I'm sure there'll be updates then, as usual.

Meanwhile, we're having a hot week here in the Portland area - quite unseasonable. I don't mind low 80's, but the 90+ days are too hot for me. DH came home hot, sweaty, tired and windblown from his 15 mile ride home from work yesterday. Wind and heat do not make a good combination for bike riding.

We're Survivor watchers, but did not watch the finale on Sunday because we were playing D&D. We recorded it, though, and watched tonight complete with a TV watching sort of meal. Big salads for everyone followed by cheesy bread (pizza with a drizzle of olive oil, Italian seasonings and a sprinkle of motz cheese) and/or pesto pizza (pesto sauce, thinly sliced garlic, toasted pine nuts, red onions, olives and a sprinkle of motz cheese). Then, as when I'd told Davan we were going to have a Survivor party she'd suggested cupcakes, vegan lemon cupcakes. Everything was too yummy and I over did it a bit. :/

I did manage to get out for a walk after the TV marathon.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. I hope you've having a good one!

It's a funny thing, but Mother's Days really only started being good for me when Davan was about 5. Prior to that, it was a day of wondering if I'd really made the right decision being a mom. Most days I was happy, but on Mother's Day, I always felt very introspective about being a parent at all. It was a day to be doted on, but Davan still just needed me all the time and couldn't set it aside at all at that time.

Anyway, these days I like Mother's Day, although, if I don't want to be disappointed, I have to spell out exactly what I want. Davan will always make me a card or two or ten. Anthony's willing, but doesn't ever do any planning. Last year I just asked for him to take over the kitchen all day - make all the meals and do all the clean up. I still did the meal planning and shopping, though.

This year, we have Dungeons and Dragons this afternoon, so Anthony made breakfast - pancakes and "sausage" - and then we went to Saturday Market where I picked myself out a shirt. We were going to have lunch there, as well, but no one was very hungry yet after our big breakfast. Except Davan. She had an elephant ear. We opted to just head home instead and skip the eating out. We'll have a big dinner with our D&D potluck, so we'll just have something small for lunch.

I'm making bread for D&D, but Anthony's doing all the dishes for me.

We had a disappointing thing happen yesterday afternoon, when we went to volunteer for the post office food drive. We were checking in and they said that Davan couldn't help because she was too young! I thought that was just silly, as they were loosing not only her help, but mine as well. Anthony chose to go ahead and volunteer, although, later he said he wished he'd just left with us. We were not close to come (about 40 minutes away), so Davan and I needed some entertainment. We found a Goodwill, where I'd been wanting to go to look at shirts and pants anyway, and spent some time there. I found a shirt I really liked, too. There was a school with a great playground right next to the Goodwill, and we spent the rest of our time there, playing. So, it was a nice afternoon, but not what we'd planned.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lovely Weather Weekend

We had a nice start to our weekend with a picnic dinner at the park yesterday evening. I packed us some BBQ sauce marinated fried tofu, biscuits, corn on the cob and pb chocolate bars (recipe from Vive Le Vegan). It was a yummy dinner, but I still couldn't convince Davan that tofu is a good thing.

Although, the other night, Davan did like the Vegan French Toast I made, which did involve tofu, just not blocks of it.

The weather was sunny and mild, as it is again today. Although, this morning was whiled away in a non outdoorsy activity. Davan had never watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, even though she's a die hard Harry Potter fan (who's listened to all the books innumerable times and is now working through reading them herself). She found the previews for Goblet of Fire too scary. However, she recently announced that she wanted to watch it after all. A friend lent us the DVD for the weekend and it was decided that we should watch it as far away from bed time as possible. So, it was a breakfast event for us.

She watched the whole thing, snuggled up with her dad for safety. I, meanwhile, couldn't get myself to watch it again, so I cleaned up the kitchen from breakfast, folded and put away laundry and did some yoga with my new Rodney Lee Yoga Card Deck.

It was my first work out from that deck, and it was okay. I've used two other decks which belong to friends of mine and I haven't decided which I like best.

This afternoon, we're off to volunteer sorting food for the post office food drive that happens today.

Maybe we can fit in a bike ride, as well.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Latest From Barbara

I spoke with Barbara this afternoon. We have a date for Alexis' committee! It's June 6th in the morning, which is less than a month away. I'm trying not to get too excited, as it's still a one in three chance, but I can't help but have a little excitement.

We still don't have a date for Hunter's committee....

I found out that two kids we inquired about are spoken for - one's adopted already and the other has had his three families picked out for committee already. The second is fine - there's only so much updating you can do - but it annoys me when the child is already placed and their bulletin is still hanging around.

I also found out that three other kid's case workers are having some discussions with Barbara about us. I hope that's a positive thing - at least it means that their somewhat interested. So, we'll see where that leads.

So far there's been no word about any of the three that showed up on the web site, but the wheels do seem to turn slowly.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I don't have anything new to share on the adoption front. We're still waiting to hear the committee dates for Alexis and Hunter. I'll have to call Barbara tomorrow and check in. It seems like most of the time when I "check in" she has something to tell me. However, it's rare that I get a call from her with new information, so I just keep "checking in".

Davan and I had a very nice afternoon at homeschool park day today. We had lovely weather for it - sunny and warm, but not overly hot. We got in a lot of running and playing. Davan and I also spent some time drawing pictographs on the large rocks at the park with sidewalk chalk.

We were inspired by both Kaya and the River Girl (an American Girl Short Story) and our tour from this weekend.

Davan decided about a month ago that she wanted to be vegetarian. She's been vegetarian before for about a 10 month period, but slipped back into eating meat because she missed some foods that her dad and I were still eating. Well, after I shared a story about eating cats and dogs from the Shmoo Blog (I couldn't find the actual story, but this is a link to the blog), she decided she wanted to be vegetarian again. This time, I decided that I'd join her, mostly. We've both decided that we'll eat some seafood (so, yes, I understand that this isn't truly vegetarian) and I'll eat meat if it's served at another person's house.

DH, meanwhile, is fine with being vegetarian at home, even vegan, but will look forward to having his meat when eating out.

I also decided, however, that I wanted to lean more toward being vegan because I think it's unhealthy to eat a ton of cheese, which is what seems to happen when we cut meat around here. Thus, I've been experimenting with some new recipes. We've never been huge meat eaters, but cutting the dairy is harder for us. Tonight I made vegan French toast. I had my doubts as I was making it, but it turned out really yummy. I got the recipe from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan! which is my favorite vegan cookbook to date. The link is to Dreena's blog.

I've eaten vegan all day both today and yesterday, so I'm pretty happy about that. I'm not ready to take the plunge entirely, but we'll see.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another one of "our" kids showed up on the Northwest Adoption Exchange web site.

We returned today from a two night camping trip up on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge at Maryhill State Park. It was a nice trip, but very, very windy.

Actually, Friday was nice, weather wise - sunny and not too windy. We got into Maryhill State Park around 1pm, had a bite to eat and then went off to look at some property. We've been thinking about trying to buy some property where we can build a small rustic cabin for weekend/vacation get-a-ways. We were disappointed by what was available in our price range (very low).

With that done, we spent the rest of the time site seeing and hanging out. The best part was probably the tour we did at Horsethief Lake of the pictographs and petroglyphs. They only do two tours a week, on Friday and Saturday mornings at 10:00 which you must register for.

We were glad to come home again, as always, but spent the evening planning a three day bike tour/camping trip that we're going to do later this month.

Our big adoption related news is that we're going to committee for another child! His name is Hunter and he is 5 1/2. We don't have a date yet for either Hunter or Alexis, so we don't know which will come first. The way it works in this situation is that you are scheduled for both committees, but if the committee you are scheduled to go to first picks you, you drop out of the second committee.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Barbara called this morning to let me know that Ashlee, whom I was supposed to pick up some additional paperwork on this morning, already has three families for committee. Apparently, we were on the B team. If one of those families doesn't end up going to committee, then axle's case worker would like to take us. It seems that two of these other families have other up-in-coming committees, so it was possible that they'd already have placements by the time Ashlee's committee came up. Now, however, Ashlee has a committee date and it looks like all the A families will be going.

We are still on for going to committee with Alexis, though. And Barbara said that we now have an adoption child summary (the first of any additional paperwork when a case worker is interested in your family) on a little boy named Hunter. Davan and I will be off to pick that up after we finish up our morning routine of reading, chores, breakfast, showers, dressing and such (not necessarily all in that order).

We're also hopeful about getting an adoption child summary on Austin, another little boy, soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Two of the kids we've inquired about have just shown up on the Northwest Adoption Exchange web site. Usually, this site shows harder to place kids, but I'm not sure why these two are harder to place. Sometimes the call doesn't seem to make sense to me.



Tamia is African American and that may be the reason why she made the site. It's a sad thing, but race does matter. As a family, our idea is to just ignore coloring of any sort and look at the person, but when adopting a child of an obviously different race, you are taking on an extra challenge. You are not seen immediately as a family, for example. Will an AA child feel like we've taken away their culture when she gets older? Color blindness would be ideal in my opinion, but we aren't, as a society, so it is something to keep in mind.

Meanwhile, I don't know why Jacob made the web site. Maybe just because he's a boy over the age of 4? Although we've seen lots of other boys around his same age who haven't made the site. Jacob seems like a good fit for us, so it surprises me to see him there.

As you can see, even though we're going to committee for Alexis, we are still keeping up with "our kids". As the committee isn't a guarantee, you are encouraged to keep making progress with other kids just in case. I spoke with Barbara today and it looks like we'll be getting adoption child summaries for two other kids - Austin and Ashlee - tomorrow or soon there after. She already has Ashlee's and just needs to prepare it for us. So, there are two more hopefuls. Austin has had a special place in my heart sense we first got his bulletin months ago, so I'm excited to get more information about him.

Nothing is for sure in this whole process and it's difficult to be on pins and needles the whole time!

Meanwhile, we go on with our lives. Today, Davan and I read together, cleaned her mouse cage, played with the cats, made oatmeal bars for breakfast, engaged in separate activities for a while (Home Education Magazine and a book I needed to finish for tonight's family book group reading for me and a long photo session plus journal writing for Davan), ate lunch together, walked (me) or Wheelied (her) to the library (1.5 miles), read/choose/put on hold books there, saw friends and visited with them there, stopped at Goodwill on the way back (the best place to buy games at $1.99 a pop), went over some bulletins (at Davan's request), made dinner (me), played in the back yard (her), had my father in law over for dinner, welcomed dh back from his overnight business trip, had our family book group (this week we discussed "The Gifts of Wally Dad", which we all liked), played outside until twilight and bed time, got ready for bed (her), played around on the computer (me), read in bed plus had Daddy read (her). It'll be bed and reading for me when I'm done playing on the computer. A day in the life.

I had a scary thing happen in the middle of that last long paragraph. My computer locked up on me and than gave me a strange and new to me error message saying that Windows had to shut down. I rebooted and logged back on, worried about my post, but thanks to the "recover post" button here in the editor, almost all of it was saved. Nice function! Whew!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Grrr. I just spent a long time writing an entry all about what happens with adoption here in Oregon after a family gets paper ready, but it won't post! I keep getting errors. Very annoying. So, here's a test post.
So, more on adoption. We had gotten up to looking at kids and what happens next, I believe.

Back in early November, we were paper ready and started looking at available kids. This is done by going into the office (or, as we've mostly done sense then, bringing the book home) and looking at a three ring binder filled with bulletins on available kids. The kids each have a picture, a birth date, first name and last initial, race, ethnicity, if they are legally free and the date of the release of the bulletin on the first page. Then, there is a page or 3 with descriptions of the child - interests, strengths, issues, basic reasons for being in foster care and such.

Mostly, the ethnicity is in regards to if the child is Hispanic or not. African American heritage is indicated under race. We're open to any race or mix, so, although we look at this out of interest, it's not a decisive issue for us.

The birth date is decisive, however. Originally, we'd thought that we would adopt a child younger than Davan but 3 or older. At the time, Davan was 7, so we were thinking 3-7 year olds. Then we decided that we wanted to consider older kids. It's highly recommended that you not disrupt birth order, but Davan was interested in an older sibling and DH and I like older kids, so it seemed like a good idea. However, we wanted to make sure the child was 3 years older than Davan so as to minimize issues with rivalry. So, we decided 10-13 year olds were our main focus, but we'd be open to 3-7 year olds as well.

When we finally looked at the bulletins, though, we were surprised to discover that very few 10-13 year olds were available for adoption here in Oregon - at least as individual children and not as part of a sibling group. In fact, in the whole book of hundreds, we only found 5 kids in this age range. We decided to put in for 3 of these 5. Meanwhile, though, there were lots of kids in the 3-7 range we'd originally thought about, so we put in for 4 of these kids, as well.

I went over the bulletins with Davan when we got home, sharing with her the pictures and the appropriate parts of the bulletins. She surprised us by being most excited about the younger kids! After mulling this over for a while, we decided to go back to focusing on younger kids. Thus, we were sticking with the birth order advice and going for the group that seemed to have more need, as well.

Now, Davan is 8 and we're still mostly looking at 3-7 year olds. Although, we've actually put in for a couple of 2 year olds, as well. This was a surprise to us - how many kids under 3 are available. We'd been told that if we wanted to adopt 0-3 year old individual kids that we shouldn't bother to try to go through the process with the state, as these kids were gold and there was a 3 year plus waiting list. This was fine with us, as we were looking at older kids anyway. However, the book is full of young kids! Most of them have some sort of medical issue, which I guess makes them less appealing. Most, though, seem to only suffer from the possibility that prenatal exposure to drugs/alcohol will have future repercussions. Thus, we opted to put in for a couple of 2 year olds, as well.

By now, we've put in for well over 20 kids and haven't made it to committee yet. What happens after we express interest is that our case worker contacts the child's case worker. Barbara (our case worker) tells them a little about us and asks if they are still accepting homestudies. While they try to keep the books up to date, we've had it happen frequently that we've inquired about a child only to learn that either they'd already been adopted, already had their committee meeting or already had the three families picked for committee. If the child's case worker is interested in us, Barbara sends them a copy of our homestudy. The child's case worker reviews all the homestudies that are sent and decides which are good matches.

Once the case worker thinks that we're a good match, we're sent more information about the child. If we are still interested after all the information has been divulged and we're still interested, the child's case worker is informed of our interest. At this point, we may become one of the families that goes to committee.

In Oregon, an effort is made to find three potential families for each child or sibling group. A committee is convened to decide which family is the best match. The families are represented by their case workers and the child by his/her case worker. 5 case workers who are unbiased (no special contact with child or families) hear the information and decide on the best match. Actually, the 5th case worker, who presides over the meeting only votes if there is a tie amongst the other 4.

The families are all informed after the meeting and a one week waiting period ensues. During this week, anyone who was involved in the process can appeal. This is, apparently, a rare occurrence, but it can happen. Once the week is over, the child's case worker lets the child know that there is a family who wants to adopt them and shows the child a family book that the adoptive parents have made. The family book has pictures of mom and dad primarily, but also siblings, pets, home, regular activities and such. This is the beginning of the transition period.

Over the course of the next (usually) three or so weeks, the child is transitioned from the foster family to the adoptive family. The adoptive parents go to meet the child for a short time one day. Then they spend more time with the child another day. Then they have the child overnight, then for the weekend and finally the child moves in. Or something similar. The child's case worker is the primary planner for the transition. As different kids have different needs and as some adoptive families live further away from the child than others, it's a flexible process.

Whew - that's a lot of writing for this session. One parting though, first. We just discovered last week that one of the kids we put in for - a 5 year old little girl - had 70!!!! families inquire about her. And here we thought adoptive families were in short supply. Perhaps that goes to show why it hasn't happened for us yet. There are just so many people out there willing to adopt the same sort of kids that we are. While we need to do what is right for our family, it does make me wonder if we're doing the right thing by adopting one of these kids that so many people seem to want.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting to hear about a committee date for Alexis.