Monday, June 30, 2014

The Adoption Blues

I haven't written in awhile. Mostly because I don't want to share when I feel down about our adoption journey and a little because my character and ethics were questioned from previous posts. Thank you to those that quickly rose to my defense. Private adoption is very different to navigate versus one with an agency. I am doing my best to share our personal experience and learning along the way.

It's a hard time of year for those longing for a child. Mother's Day and Father's Day are especially hard to lump. Marlon was a dad last year and now he's not. It's been a year since we first thought we were going to be parents. I keep comparing last summer to this summer. We would be celebrating Ian and Ada's first birthday. I try to push those thoughts down, but it's hard to do. We bonded with them. They'll never remember us, but we'll never forget them.

I keep telling myself that we were there when they needed us and to move forward. We have, but I still think about them and what happened.  What have I learned from going through this loss? Sometimes I feel embarrassed for being so naive, for wanting something so badly that I didn't question why it wasn't right from the beginning. I relied on what we were told versus finding out for myself.  I didn't know and now I do. I get down in the dumps because it's been three years of waiting and we still don't have a child. I think, what's wrong with us? Last year we weren't really waiting, we were matched twice and then we had to take some time off.  My logical self understands this, but emotional self is weary. It's like holding your breath for years. Waiting for something to happen. The few times we've talked to expectant mothers recently, it hasn't resulted in anything. We've heard of situations, but it's out of our budget and we can't be considered. We're still paying off the disruption. I am trying to find a balance between hope and disappointment.

In meantime, we fill our time with keeping busy visiting family, camping and summer activities. If you are busy, your mind doesn't have a chance to drift to that negative space. My normal optimistic self pushes hard to overcome the adoption blues. Each day we put ourselves out there, letting anyone who will listen that we are hoping to adopt. Every adoption story is different.  Ours has had a few more twists and turns. I keep reminding myself that the last experience won't be the next experience and not to compare. We're still hanging in there waiting for our kid.

Comments or Questions? Email me -

If you or someone that you know is thinking about making an adoption plan. Please feel free to contact us or share our story. Thank you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Iggy and Sid

For my birthday (in February), my boss gave me this really cool AquaFarm. How did she know I had been thinking about getting a fish?  Anyway, we had a busy few months, but I kept telling Marlon we needed to go and get our fish.

Well, we finally did it! We now have a male halfmoon betta named Iggy and a zebra snail named Sid. They are so happy in their AquaFarm tank! Edie and Twiggy are fascinated and jealous at the same time of the fish and snail. Every time we go to feed Iggy, Edie and Twiggy have to be right there twitching their tails. I feel bad, so I give them a treat after I finish feeding the fish. Like those girls don't get plenty of love.

Iggy the Male Halfmoon Betta

Can you find Sid the Snail?

Now, do I change the blog name to Two Cats, a Fish, a Snail and a Cradle????

Twiggy is curious.

Edie just wants to be in the picture.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate

We've had an amazing outpouring of love and support since we started this adoption journey (again). Putting yourself out there can be challenging and humbling. With an agency, they are doing a lot of the behind the scenes work for you and they are in contact with organizations that work with expectant parents thinking about adoption. When you pursue private adoption, you're trying to connect with someone yourself. Which in turn, puts you in contact with those that are anti-adoption or have strong opinions about what you are doing. I am not even going to mention scammers at this point because we haven't encountered that yet. We were warned by adoption professionals that these people will seek you out. Even though we received more well wishes than I can count, those handful of hateful messages really hurt.

The Internet allows people to make comments to anyone without any repercussion. I can see why cyber-bullying is out of control. It removes the filter of social etiquette and allows people to say things that they would never say face-to-face. Cowards can leave ugly comments from the safety of their locked down accounts. You can't respond or even see what this person looks like. In about a week, we received comments like 'disrespectful', 'disgusting', 'whores', that we want to 'buy' a baby, that we are trying to 'steal' someone's baby, we can't afford to give a baby a good life since we have fundraising on our site and on and on. After the first couple of days, I broke down and cried. It's not in my character to want to publicly shame and defame anyone. Who are these hateful people? Their comments rattle me. I am not sure if their point is to convince us not to adopt or if they just enjoy making us feel bad. I think if they wanted to make a difference, they could channel that energy by doing something more productive.

My first instinct is to defend myself. To say in no way shape or form, do we want to buy or steal anyone's baby. In fact, I am in total agreement that adoption procedures need a major overhaul. There are some dishonest tactics being used and money is being made off of people's desperate desire to have a family. There are good eggs out there as well and we try to align ourselves with those professionals.  Yes, we have placed ads and set-up social media accounts. If we aren't with an agency, you have to put yourself out there. If you don't, there are hundreds of other families out there that will. If we meet someone that is thinking about adoption, I want to get to know them. I want them to get to know us. I want them to feel confident placing their child with us. We need to be a good fit with each other because we will share a bond and a relationship for the rest of our lives.  It's about making a connection. I can't really respond to these unkind comments though. Either these people have their accounts locked down or I'll expend a lot of negative energy having a Twitter war with a faceless stranger. So, I just absorb the negativity,  delete the comment, and block the person.

I reached out to my adoption support community for help on how to deal with this. They had some good advice and I felt better. There are so many raw emotions associated with adoption, you could easily unintentionally offend someone by simply not knowing. They reassured me that what we are doing isn't wrong. They helped me look at this with compassion. Maybe these people were hurt by adoption, had a bad experience or have some unresolved feelings. This is the only way they can express those feelings. I am sending out a big hug to those that are hurting. My perspective on adoption has evolved since we began this journey. I am still learning everyday. One thing that hasn't changed is that we are a nice couple who want to have a child to love.

If you or someone that you know is thinking about making an adoption plan. Please feel free to contact us or share our story. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Phase One

We rolled out phase one of our networking efforts this week. Since we are forgoing working with an agency this time, we have to actively look for an adoption situation ourselves. That means getting the word out by any means necessary.

We created a Facebook page for our adoption. Go LIKE and SHARE it. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. If you share it with your friends and they share it with their friends, we could potentially reach 1,000s or even 10,000s people in a short amount of time. You never know who will know someone thinking about adoption and then think of us.

Please Like and Share our Facebook page:

We also placed targeted ads on Facebook. You can set a budget and perimeters for the ads. You can use up to six different photos for the ad and we directed the click through to our personal website, It's interesting to see that one photo of us is more popular than another. That's really useful information.

Next, we went old-school and placed newspaper ads. One ad ran in our hometown newspaper in Virginia and the other two ads ran in small local papers in New York, but outside the NYC area. We'll run them for a week or two and see if we get any response.

We can't leave out Twitter! Introducing our new Twitter account, @MarlonJennAdopt. You know the deal, go follow us. I am not sure how I am going to keep up with three Facebook and Twitter accounts. I need to get a social media system or an intern.

We've been listed on the Adoptimist website for awhile. We switched to a Featured account (which you pay for) to see if we get more looks this way. We need to freshen this page up with some new pictures. Soon...

I feel like we are starting over, yet we've been doing this for almost three years. Waiting and (not)adopting has been such an emotional roller coaster. We want to be a regular family, gushing about first steps, snapping photos on the first day of school, going to dance recitals, soccer games or whatever they are into. You know, sharing laughs at the dinner table or tucking them in at night. As each day passes, I start to doubt if it will ever happen for us. Maybe expectant parents won't like us because we live in NYC or that we aren't super rich. I see other people's ads "promising" that the child will have a happy life and will go to the best schools. I don't think anyone can really make those kinds of promises. We can promise that we'll always parent the best we can, love them with all of our hearts and honor their adoption story. The rest is the surprise of life.

I am excited about the possibility of another match, but really nervous too. The disappointment and heartbreak of losing the twins was almost too much for us to bear. I keep thinking about the advice we got from an adoption conference that we attended - the next situation isn't the last situation, so keep an open mind and open heart. So with that, we move forward.

Look out for phase two!

If you or someone that you know is considering adoption, please don't hesitate to share our information or contact us. Click here for more information about building our family through adoption. Thank you for thinking of us.

Monday, March 31, 2014

We Are Ready!

It's been a busy year and so far I haven't had a lot of time to blog. I thought I would catch you up on our adoption plans. After a rough year, we took some time off from the adoption roller coaster to heal our hearts and figure out what we want in life. We still want to have a family, we still want to adopt. So we are gearing up for the next ride. 

This time, we pursuing an adoption with an attorney versus with an agency. What this basically means is that we will look for a match on our own and do a lot of the leg work ourselves. If you hear of a situation, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. After this past year, we think the best advocate for us is us. We have a great attorney and she'll hold our hand throughout this process.

Since we moved, left the agency and another year has passed, we had to do another homestudy. Ay yi yi. Please enter homestudy #3. We were able to use the information from the previous ones and just have this one updated. It was definitely less paperwork and hoops. Third time's a charm, right? We got this. The social worker came and visited our new apartment four days after we moved. Nothing was unpacked, boxes were under sheets because the painters were coming and it was my 40th birthday. Those of you sweating about the home visit, please don't. I cleaned up, bought some pastries and that was it. We chatted around the kitchen table for an hour, gave her a quick tour pointing out the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the fire extinguisher and briefly told her about our decorating plans. The painters rang the bell and she was gone. We spent the rest of the afternoon in City Island celebrating my birthday with renewed hope for the future.

Our homestudy was submitted to family court by our attorney to be approved by a judge. We had to be fingerprinted again for another background check. I've been fingerprinted quite a few times now to have never been in trouble with the law. I thought I was going to get into some trouble when I got a little huffy with an officer after waiting 1 1/2 hours to get through courthouse security only to be told he was the only one who could fingerprint us and didn't have someone to cover his post until all of the people got in the building. Really? I waited just like everyone else, everyone else who got through were off to take care of their business and we had to wait. I asked him if he thought he could call and get someone to cover his post for the 5 minutes it took to fingerprint us. It didn't seem hardly fair. He said, no and told us to wait against the wall. I was really trying to be patient. After about 15 minutes, someone did come to cover his post and the officer fingerprinted us. I thanked him for calling someone. We now have to wait for a judge to review our file and approve us. Again. At this point, we can start "advertising".

The other important piece to us being able to adopt again was filing for the adoption tax credit on our taxes this year. We spent ALL of our adoption savings on the attorney fees for the disrupted adoption. We didn't have the babies and we lost all of our money. Talk about a sock in the gut. I spoke to a tax attorney for advice and then decided to file our taxes claiming the credit using TurboTax. TurboTax was fairly easy to use. For a failed adoption, you skip the part where you enter the child's name and social security number. That part wasn't really clear, but we figured it out. I didn't need to submit any receipts, but I have them. I also have a letter from the adoption agency stating that it was a disrupted adoption. I also splurged for the audit protection just in case. We received a large refund within a month. We didn't get everything that we spent back, but our monetary loss is significantly less.

We're refreshed, armed with life experience and we are ready to be parents. WE ARE SO READY!

If you know someone interested in making an adoption plan, please share our website,

BREAKING NEWS! We were certified by family court and are officially approved to adopt!

Friday, March 7, 2014

I'm Back!

Hello friends! I'm back from my blogging break. It has been a hectic six weeks.

We moved. 

I turned 40. 

We had our homestudy updated. 

We filed our taxes with the adoption tax credit and I did them myself!

We are leaving soon on our dream vacation to Scotland and Iceland to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

So I have lots to share with you. I'll resume my regular posting schedule next week, so stay tuned! I've missed you all!

Monday, January 27, 2014

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

I am taking a little break from blogging, I just don't have the time right now.

We are moving to Brooklyn in less than a week, so that involves packing, cleaning, tossing, scheduling and every moment of my spare time. 

Well, not every moment, we are also getting our homestudy updated. I just scheduled the social worker to come 4 DAYS after we move. I'll be serving her coffee out of a cardboard box. Good thing this is our third home visit,  I am not even worried about it.

Homestudy day also happens to be the day that I turn 4-0. I am starting this decade with big plans.

Sing it with me, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn"...

The Beastie Boys are so awesome.

I'll talk to you guys again when I am on the other side. My hubby refers to this move everyday as "the other side." The other side of what? I don't know. I'll let you know when I find out.