It's Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts, quite possibly my favorite random statewide holiday (aka, freebie day off). Happy start of the American Revolution! It's also the running of the Boston Marathon. I can totally see a relevant metaphor between marathons and adoption, but seeing as I know next to nothing about running culture, I'll just let that metaphor pass me by...
Anywho, we've dived deep into adoption literature and websites, talking more with our families this weekend. Ari needed an eye checkup (his father is an eye doctor), so we spent the weekend with our families; I had the chance to do some serious baby shower shopping for my sister. Our parents are so excited for us. It's wonderful to have their support, and I feel constantly blessed with the amount of support we have in our lives. And I wasn't a blubbering mess picking out shower decorations- in fact, I am freakin' PUMPED to be an aunt in just a couple of months. I think now that since we're solid on our decision to adopt, so much of the uncertainty and doubt about having kids has been washed away. I've moved from pain to excitement.
You may have noticed the large new column of adoption-themed blogs to the left. Thanks to everyone and their suggestions in my last post : I found so many great resources and stories out there. With this influx of information, Ari and I are trying to stay afloat, treading uncertain and overwhelming waters. We have so many questions. Just when we think we have an answer... more questions! It's a lot to digest at once. We've been doing so much of our own soul searching, asking questions of each other and having conversations we never thought we'd have.
Here's just a small snippet of what's running through our heads
Race. Wow, this has been an amazing, confusing, refreshing conversation at any given point. It gets interesting because I'm half-Japanese, half-Irish(ish), so I have perhaps a more open attitude toward race. At the end of the day, our preferences are our business, but it's a mind-blowing conversation to be having just the same.
Religion. Not knocking any Christian organizations out there, but there's a TON of support for Christian couples... haven't seen so much for Jewish couples. Obviously, we'd need to disclose our religion and in what faith our adopted child would be raised. I worry that this is actually going to limit the kind of reception we'll get from birthparents.
Cost. Sweet jiminy crickets. Since IF treatment is mandated in Massachusetts, the cost of treating our infertility was a lot more doable than the cost of coping with childlessness (an important distinction). Thankfully, Ari's new job is allowing us to save for the first time in a year, but we still have a lot more to go. I've been researching grants, and sadly, neither of our employers provide any adoption assistance benefits. I've also been toying with the idea of setting up an Etsy shop for some of my crafts, and of course, monetizing this blog. Our parents have also volunteered to help... I wonder is it tacky to ask our friends and family fundraiser-style? Is a PayPal "Donate Here" button on this blog too far? This arena of etiquette is completely foreign to me.
How open? "Open" adoption can mean a lot of things. Are we a "Come over for lunch on Tuesdays" kind of family or pictures every birthday or are we just "please let us know about any medical issues as they arise for you and your family" when it comes to openness? How open is too open? How will this limit our chances to be picked by birthparents?
Blogging. Don't worry, I'm not planning on closing this blog any time soon, but as I've browsed other adoption blogs, there are pictures of the adoptive couple, full names, contact information, detailed personal profiles with sidebar badges like "Considering adoption? Consider us!" I wonder if I'm ready to do that when the time comes, or perhaps I just create a separate blog entirely. Do I really want to share all of this with our future agency, birthparents, or even future child? I also wonder if a sidebar request like that isn't also in violation of Massachusetts law (no private advertising may be done by the couple, as independent adoptions are illegal in the state).
Stuff. Um, do adoptive parents get baby showers? Do we need to buy a crib before we have a home study? How does one- better yet, WHEN does one get the future child all the stuff they need?
Cost. Did I mention we're still scrambling to figure out how we're going to afford this?
We're trying not to get too overwhelmed, but all these questions just keep coming. I'm hoping to tread water just long enough to get us to the RESOLVE of the Bay State's Adoption Conference in June. Until then, anyone have some answers or thoughts to our questions?