Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adoption Update

Hello there, Wow, it's been quite a long time since my last post and I felt the need to share how things have been going with the process. It's been a crazy roller coaster of a ride, and I'm not much of a roller coaster fan! I've had two matches since my file was approved this summer. About two months ago, my case worker called me with information on a 9 month old baby girl. Nothing ever prepares you for that call. It's excitement, thrilling, scary, unknown, etc. But overall, I was very excited! My case worker gave me some basic info over the phone and said that there was one family ahead of me to decide whether or not they wanted the baby. I had a week to think about if I wanted to go for a full disclosure if the family ahead of me were to say no. I had quite a lot to think about. When I first started this process, I said that I would be open to a Caucasian, or Caucasian-Hispanic mixed child. But after going through the process and knowing that my limitation in race could keep me waiting for a long time, I decided to open up my choice in child to any race. This little baby girl happened to be African-American. She was 9 months old and had been taken by CPS at the time of birth. So she had been in wonderful care, with the same foster family since day one. Born drug free (which is very uncommon), healthy and had reached all her developmental stages for her age. Parental rights were very surely to be severed. So she was everything I had wanted. Low risk, meaning the chance of her being given back to her birth family was very low. But I had quite a bit to think about. Mainly what it would be like to raise a black child in a white family. I took the week to think about it, and initially I was very excited and thinking that this may be something I could do. But after really thinking about it, doing some research, and talking to friends and family, I felt that adopting a black child as a white mother may not be the best choice for the baby. Adopted children, at some point in there lives, will eventually question their identity and heritage. They may struggle with finding their identity, just like most children do. But I felt that raising a black child in a white family could possibly affect her more so than other adopted children. After some very difficult decision making, I decided not to take this little baby. It wasn't an easy decision by any means. It was very emotional and heart-wrenching, but I ultimately felt it would be the best decision for her. They warned us in our 11 weeks of classes that this would be one of the most emotional and difficult things you'll ever go through. They were right, and I had no idea how difficult it would be, or has been. I will talk more about the 2nd match in my next post. But before I do I'll tell you this about it. The call for this baby came on Tuesday, yes this past Tuesday, Election Day. While I was in the middle of getting ready to leave work at 2pm to go and start preparing for my dad's Election night party, my case worker calls with the match. Really? Of all days! It couldn't have been a more stressful day. Murphy's Law! Gives me the basics on her and tells me that she needs an answer from me by 8:30 the next morning. An answer meaning that I want to go ahead with a full disclosure. Full Disclosure is when you meet with your case worker and the baby's case worker. They provide you with all the information that they have on her. The process can last up to 3 hours and is extremely draining and overwhelming, because you're hearing why this child was taken away. It's very unpleasant. But when you agree to go for a full disclosure, which is what I did with the first baby, it's a big deal. They're pretty much offering you this child and are hoping you'll decide to take her. I wasn't sure I was wanting to go ahead with a full disclosure with this 2nd baby or not, but I needed to have the answer first thing the next morning. As you can imagine, I was pretty much a nervous wreck Tuesday night. With the numbers coming in and not looking good for my dad and worrying about him, I had this decision weighing heavily on my mind. I'll leave it at that for now. I promise to post about this 2nd match later tonight or tomorrow. Writing about this is cathartic, but also a little draining.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shutting Down Blog

Hello friends!

I wanted to let you all know that I'm getting much closer to the end of my classes and that means closer to being matched with my baby! I've learned several things throughout the classes, but one very important one is that we maintain complete privacy of the baby/child being placed in our homes. Since the baby will more than likely still be considered a foster child when placed with me and not legally my child, I need to protect their privacy as much as possible. Obviously there are several reasons, one being that the birth parents could be an issue. Either way, it's just best for everyone involved that i remain as private as I can be with this adoption. Once the adoption is final, it's a different story. But until then, I will not be continuing my blog, posting any pictures of the child, and not discussing any news publicly. That does not mean that I cannot speak about it privately though. So please, if you want to know how things are going, do not hesitate to email or call!

Thank you all so much for your wonderful words of support and encouragement! They've meant so much to me!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Court System

Here is a sort of breakdown of how a child is brought to CPS.

1. Report is received, ER (Emergency Response)responds and the child is removed. A detention hearing is set. At the detention hearing, the child will either go home (with Family Maintenance) or be detained. If the child is detained, relative placements are the preference. The child remains in shelter (30 days) or foster care until relatives are approved if available. At this time, a child may be placed in a concurrent planning home. What that is is a foster home where the family prefers to just be a foster family and supports parent reunification, but is open to adopting if reunification is not possible.

2. So if the child is detained after the detention hearing, CDU (Court Dependency Unit) investigates. A Juris/Dispo Hearing is set for 30 days. At the J/D hearing, the child will either go home with Family Maintenance (FM), or be removed by the court and become a dependent. If the child is removed, most likely there there will be Family Reunification (FR) services provided and another court date will be set for 6 months to determine how services are going. FR services are for the birth parents/parent, and they could be anything from parenting classes or drug rehab. Services also include parent/child visits, and services for the child.

3. At the end of six months, the court will determine one of two things: a) additional services are not ordered and adoption becomes an immediate plan. b) if FR services are going well, the parents are offered six more months of services and a review hearing is set in another six months. But if the child is 3 yrs and younger, the parents are only given the
first 6 months, not an additional 6 months.

4. So if services are terminated, a 366.26 Hearing (Selection and Implementation Hearing) is set to terminate parental rights in 120 days. Parental rights must be severed to ALL parents, including unknown fathers (which is typically the case). The child must be in an adoptive home for parental rights to be severed.

As you can see, it's a lot of information to digest and figure out. It's extremely overwhelming and stressful at times, and very emotional. But I want this more than anything and am in for the long haul. There is a sort of spectrum of High Risk to Low Risk in regard to the place a child can be in the court system. Of course I want to be matched with a child that is Low Risk, meaning that Family Reunification is very low. But even with that, there will be some risk. My child will more than likely be placed with me before parental rights have been severed, and that scares me more than anything. But I trust my social workers and know that they not only have the child's best interest, but mine as well. And my social worker is not the child's social worker. The child will have their own SW.

So there ya go! It's a lot I know. And so much more to learn. I will try and update you all as much as I can. But honestly, it's tough keeping up with my blog! But I love all of your comments and words of support and encouragement! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Thank you!!!


Class Update


I apologize for not blogging sooner. I know some of you have been anxious to hear how my classes are going, and so far they've been good, just a little overwhelming at times. There is so much to learn about the system and how everything works. At times, the information is just mind-boggling.

I am halfway done with the classes; April 5th is my last class. Here is some of what I have learned so far. 95% of all children in CPS have been exposed to drugs, whether in-utero or in their environment. Right now, and this changes frequently, most of the children that need homes are between the ages of 6-14. If you are willing to adopt a child in this age bracket, a child with special needs, or sibling sets, then your chances of adopting sooner are much higher. If you want an infant, your wait could be much longer. When I heard this I felt so deflated. Most people adopting, want a baby. But I've come to terms with that I'll be waiting awhile. I've waited 42 yrs to be a mommy. I can wait a few more.

I will explain the whole court process in my next post. It's quite extensive!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting Started!!!

Well, the day is almost here! My first adoption class is Thursday and I can hardly wait. My classes will be every Thursday night for 11 weeks, with the last class ending April 5th. Once that is complete, I think it's just a waiting game. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what happens and when, but I'm sure I'll learn much more Thursday night. And once I do, I'll post on what I've learned!

Thank you to all of you that have supported, encouraged, and shared in my excitement! It means the world to me!

Love, Heidi

Monday, December 5, 2011


Hello Friends!

I wanted to share this newsletter from GOOP that happens to be on  the topic Judgement.  I shared this a few weeks ago on FB, but I'm not sure if any of you saw it.  But I thought it was worth passing on again.  We've all been guilty of judging other people, or even victims of someone else's judgement.  It may be human nature for us to judge, but that doesn't make it right, or healthy.  Judging other people is just a reflection on how we feel about ourselves, and as I get older, I have a strong desire to change bad habits and try to be the best possible person I can be to my family, friends, coworkers, and hopefully my child.  I know that with myself, whenever I have judged someone for the choices they make, or the lifestyle that they lead, or even the outfit they are wearing, I tend to feel pretty awful about myself afterwards.  I'm not saying that it's easy to stop judging, and it's very easy to get wrapped up in it too.  It's definitely a concerted effort to change bad habits, but it's an effort that I think is worth it.  I hope you guys will find the article as enlightening as I did!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hi Friends and Family,

I've gone ahead and made my blog private and added all of your emails to the blog list.  However, I'm not sure all of you that I've added can view it.  So I'm sending a test post.  If you wouldn't mind responding to this post that you're able to view it, that would be great! 

Thank you!

Love, HT