..that my two month old is already causing me to lose sleep, even though she isn't home yet. But it's true -- my digestive system is completely shot and I can't seem to sleep more than 4 hours at a time... I feel like a zombie.
No complaints though -- I'll take a crazy fast how-the-hell-did-that-happen journey to mommahood over a long when-the-hell-is-this-going-to-happen journey anyday. I'm well aware that in both my adoption and lesbo fertility circles, my friends' happiness for me doesn't erase the sting they feel seeing both of our baby-makin' journeys be so swift. And I still worry that there has got to be a big fat shoe dropping sometime soon... as everyone has repeated increduously: Adoptions just *don't* happen so quickly, especially twice.
Anyway, I do realize how blessed we've been, and if I can ever be helpful to anyone at the start-gate of an adoption, I'd be thrilled to.
I've also been really vague about our agency, but now that things are more final with TMB's adoption, I'm so happy to recommend Spence Chapin's ASAP program to anyone and everyone. Our contact at SC has been the most fantabulous human being ever -- she calls us immediately with updates, even from home at 10 PM if necessary, and has been kind, empathetic, thoughtful and very respectful of TMB's birthfamily. SC's ASAP program is their 'special needs' program, though many of the babies placed through ASAP are on the lower end of the special needs spectrum (for example may have been substance exposed in utero, may have a birthfamily history of mental health, MR or medical issues, may have limited or 'undesirable' birthfamily medical/social history one one/both sides or may have certain more 'minor' medical conditions). They do place children with more profound needs too.
Their fee structure is based on a sliding scale by the adoptive family's income, and overall fees are incredibly reasonable. They cover all eparent/bparent expenses without increasing their agency fee, their legal fees (if you finalize in NY) are based on a sliding scale too. Our total fees will be about 15% of an average domestic adoption, for everything: travel, homestudy, agency fee to include all expenses, medical costs, etc and legal fees. Also, fellow queers in shitty states -- finalizing in NY means you both are legal parents in a joint adoption.
SC has been very supportive of us having an open adoption with TMB's birthfamily and encouraged them to consider us as her parents, even when TMB's birthmom had TPRed and given rights to the agency over a month ago. Had TMB's birthfamily not approved of us as her parents, they would kept looking until a suitable family had been found. (SC was incredibly queer-friendly, though.)
SC has interim care to allow new moms considering adoption time to really decide if they want to continue with an adoption plan. And TMB's mom was given a lot of support to choose parenting... and over 65% of the women who initially come to SC do indeed parent instead of place.
Simply put, I LOOOOVE SC, and highly recommend their ASAP program to adoptive parents open to any of the risk factors/special needs I mentioned above.. they're very good at letting you dictate your comfort zone and will only present you with situations where you've already outlined that you'd be prepared for that child's specific needs.
Meanwhile, TMB also does have a name beyond "TMB". :) She was named Arianna by her mom at birth, which we are keeping. We've nicknamed her Anna (rhymes with Banana, not Ahhhhnna). :) Her middle name is Lorraine, after my nana.
We meet and take home Anna next weekend. (!!!!!) We can't wait to see this face:
...in person and snuggle her close.
If you have any questions about SC or want our contact's name, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll shoot you a response.