Nesting and other fun stuff

targetSo far we have been slightly slow on the “getting the baby room ready” department, this is mostly because of the fact that we have been on the waiting list to be on the waiting list, and then on another official waiting list. We didn’t want to get too excited about buying baby things, assembling furniture and preparing the room because we figured “it’s going to be a while”.

That is until now of course! If you scroll down to our previous blog post (as in this one right here), you will remember that we FINALLY got taken off the official waiting list and are now ready to be moved to being an active family for potential birth parents to view our profile. We have been careful with not setting up the baby room and getting too much baby stuff until this point. We’ve been given a few things like a crib, bassinet, high chair and a few necessities. Today we bought a few other things to set up “the room” and feels great to be nesting.

The time is coming close for us…well at least we would like to think it is close. Yesterday we got to fill out some paperwork (some of it hard to do, more on that in a later post) and our home study is just about finalized. We are about to officially become a “listed” family with our agency, Adoption Assistance Agency. The Agency we are working with only works with 10 families at a time and we are getting moved up to being one of those active families that they work with. This means once everything is set to go we could get a call in a matter of weeks or it could be months (or longer) that either a birth parent is interested in our profile or they could call us telling us a baby has been born that fits our profile. We are being proactive and trying to be as ready as we can for when the baby comes because as we have said before, when you’re adopting there really isn’t a specific time frame to wait, it could be from one moment to another that we could be parents.

We want to be ready for you!

Love,

Future Mom and Dad!

 

More on the home study

Smile-thumbs-up-clip-art-clipart-image-0Things are finally moving along, and a lot sooner than we expected too! Today we spoke with the social worker and we scheduled our home study, which will take place soon. There are some things we need to start working on before we get started, but we have all the confidence that we will get it all done and take care of.

For those of you who are not familiar with the adoption process, the home study is the first real step towards adoption, this is basically a study done on our home (that is where the name comes from), our lives, and basically how we would do as parents raising a child. This to many may sound intrusive or even unnecessary, but it is something all families adopting have to do as it is a requirement across the board for any type of adoption.

We’ll keep you posted as we actively get to the process, home studies typically are a 90 day process so we will be doing a lot through out the next few months but once that is completed we should be good to go for the agency to show our album to birth moms and be one step much closer to being parents!

 

Guerrero summer and upcoming things

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Hi everyone! We fully acknowledge that we have not been very good at keeping you posted on what has been going on in our journey this summer (so far, of course!). This is in part because things have been a little busy here at the home front, Danielle is full gear back in school pursuing her Masters in Social Work and I (Luis) have been very busy with work and being a full supporter of my wife and her education.

We have been meaning to update the blog for some time now but the lack of news and other things made it difficult to sit down and do it, but we have some great news moving forward with our adoption that we have been holding on to for a few days as we decided what to do exactly.

So early this week we got an email from our adoption agency asking for an update on how our fundraiser is going and letting us know they have been considering moving things a little bit faster and asked us if we would be interested in starting our home study early through a contracted Social Worker that they work with here in Las Cruces. They told us to discuss it and think about it as this would definitely save us time because then we could get listed sooner and they could start showing our album to birth mothers a lot sooner if we do it now as we are so close from being off the waiting list and becoming an active family. Doing this could potentially save us around 3 months as the home study is a 90 day process and they can’t start doing it until we have completely been taken off the waiting list, which is why they recommended we contacted this social worker that they have done a lot of work with and is based here locally (remember, our agency is in Albuquerque, which is about 3-4 hrs from here).

After talking about it we decided that yes, we would like to move forward with it so hopefully we can start working on our home study soon. This is a crucial part of the adoption process as it gives the agency, the state and birth mothers a bigger picture of who we are as individuals. Our agency works directly with birth mothers and some of them get to pick who they would want raising their child (in some cases they prefer the agency choose for them), so making sure we get all of our ducks in a row is very important.

The agency gave us the contact information for this social worker, although we will probably still hold off on calling her for a couple weeks as there are some things we need to prepare for around the house that we weren’t expecting to have to do for another 2 or 3 months at least, but we will soon!

We will keep you posted on how this goes soon, again sorry for the lack of posting and updating lately.

Love,

The Guerreros

Birthmoms and what they mean to us

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(In order to protect the privacy of these brave women, we are omitting names or even stories we have heard, as those are not ours to tell).

One of the things we loved the most about the training we attended was the panel towards the end where we were introduced to adopted parents, adoptees and birthmothers who had placed their children for adoption. We really enjoyed hearing all of the stories and experiences, but what we got the most out of was the stories we heard from the birth mothers and their experience.

Before going to this training, one of the things that we had conversations about was the subject of open vs closed adoptions. We had talked with our friends that have adopted, and got a wide variety of feedback about their personal experiences. At first, the term “open adoption” seemed a bit daunting, and it was hard for us to visualize what that would look like. Based on our research, personal experience, and the guidance from others, we felt that a semi open adoption was something that we were interested in. Throughout the weekend, we felt our hearts be moved so deeply for the birthmoms that we met. We felt a confirmation in our hearts that having the option to contact the birth mom, and keep her or her family updated on the life of our child, is not only something that we are open to, but something that we are excited for. It is easy to get caught up in differences and worries. It is easy to worry about the things that make an open adoption sound scary. We have learned that although we may be very different in many ways, there is one thing that is the same. We both love this child. We both will make life changing sacrifices for this child. We both will see The Lord in new and amazing ways through the gift of adoption. We both are different pieces of the puzzle of who our child is, and we would not be complete without each other.

Birth mothers make a huge sacrifice when they decide to place their child for adoption, sometimes they decide on their own, sometimes the birth father or their parents are involved in their decision. Regardless of what moved them to make that decision, there is still grief, there is a loss and there is the need for healing. One of the things we loved the most about our agency is the fact that they continue to offer support and counseling to the birth families as well, as some agencies kind of just match and then it is the end of the story. They are often forgotten or just seen as a means to an end to a family who is adopting and then they are just left to deal with it on their own. We talked at length with the case worker during our consultation about the process of healing and what that looks like for them, which is why they encourage that even if a closed adoption is what the birth mom wants to still write letter and maybe send pictures to the agency as they have seen before that in some cases they will come or contact them just wanting to know how the child is doing and this also helps them heal and be reassured that they made the right choice.

We know nothing about our birth mother, if she will want an open or a closed adoption, if she will want to get pictures and letters or not. We don’t know what she likes, what her background is or anything. We don’t know if the birth father will be involved in the decision, or won’t care. There is so much we don’t know, but we are excited to get to that place, even if that is still a while away. Birth mothers are strong.

Adoption Training Recap

13265889_10101091827551121_5528441057411522763_nWe just got back from Albuquerque, where we got to attend a training with our adoption agency (find out more about them here) and we were very impressed with the agency we chose and very glad we chose who we did to go through for this adoption. There were so many things that we enjoyed about this training about the process, the agency itself and more.

So let’s start from the beginning: We first of all got to meet the staff and 3 other families that are in various stages of the adoption process and really clicked from the start with them, had some fun ice breakers and got to learn random facts about each other. Then we moved on to being introduced to the Director and her staff and loved getting to know them and hear their connection with adoption and why they do what they do. At that agency they do great work, not just placing children with loving families, but they minister to the birth parents and continue that relationship with them, adoptees and adoptive parents for years to come. We were very impressed by that and hearing some stories of the relationships they have built over the years.

After that we got into some of the more nitty gritty stuff and talked about the actual legal process and when to expect to pay adoption fees (which to us have always made sense as adoption is a complicated legal process and there are many pieces that need to come in place for this miracle to happen). It was re-assuring to know and understand more of when to expect certain things to come, when things were due and the process and procedures that occur with an adoption.

The next morning we got to hear from both of the Case Workers that work for the agency, one works primarily with the birth parents and the other with the adoptive families and conducts their home studies. Both sessions were very informative and full of stories and anecdotes of some of the things they have seen through out the years. We took a lot from the case worker who works with birth families as far as what they process is on the other end of the spectrum.

The last part was a mix of Q&A, as well as a panel made up of a combination of birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents and we loved every second of it, specially the part with the birth mothers (more on that in a later post). It was awesome to learn about their stories and experiences and what the process was from them. Overall this was a great weekend and a very refreshing weekend that confirmed to us why we picked the agency we picked and look forward to work with them as we proceed with adopting.

The next step for us will take place once we officially move off the waiting list (we are #2, and we met #1 and they were great people that we hope get bumped up soon!). We are guesstimating maybe another month and a half or so where we will go back to Albuquerque and visit the agency so we can do our orientation/pre-home study paperwork and go over paper work.

Family and friends, we thank you for all your support and prayers and we are excited that we are moving on with this process. This weekend was a very refreshing, encouraging and emotional weekend for us and very good in so many ways. We loved the staff and getting to know them and can’t wait to continue to be in contact with them during the adoption process.

 

Things are getting real now…very real!

shutterstock_152604476-337x251We leave to Albuquerque, NM in just a few days to attend a mandatory CYFD adoption training through the adoption agency we are working with as stated in our previous blog post. This training serves a dual purposed, the first being of course a state required training in order to proceed with the adoption process and the second purpose to be introduced to the agency staff as well as officially begin the process of adoption. We are still a long ways away from actually having our child placed in our home and in our lives, but it is actually starting. This is actually happening.

The adoption process is officially starting.

For what has been about a year we have been getting our finances in order, praying, preparing and getting excited for one of the biggest adventures in our lives. This year has been very trying as we have been faced with our fears and have learned to overcome them (like for example, how in the world are we going to afford this?), but we have also grown closer and have been in the process of being molded into the parents that we are going to be.

But now things are getting real. It is no longer “hey, we are planning on adopting!”, it is shifting and transitioning into “we are starting the process of adoption”. This is the moment we have been waiting for, and some time in the future that will end in us being parents.

We are amazed at how things have progressed and there is still a long process to go, but we are excited that things are finally moving along and can’t wait to tell you all about the training and what our next steps will be.

Love,

The Guerreros

Adoption training in a couple weeks

Hi Family and Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last month, we have been a little busy and also not too much has happened other than the yard sale. As we said in previous posts, we kind of entered this weird stage of nothing happening with our adoption and just stagnant waiting, but this is taking a change…

IMG_0741We are going to our adoption training in a couple weeks!

A couple weeks ago we got our official invitation from the agency inviting us to attend their training, which is the official beginning of the adoption process with them. Of course, we are still months (maybe even up to another year) away from actually have a child in our arms, but this is the very beginning as we have so far mostly been fundraising and have moved from waiting list to waiting list.

After this training (which is a state mandated training) for adoption we will hopefully soon schedule our home study so that after that long process is completed (it can take up to 90 days to complete), our profile can be shown to birth mothers that the agency works with and hopefully we get the call that a woman has chosen to give us her baby for adoption. Again, this all could easily still be several months or even up to a year, but we are hopeful that it will happen.

The training is a state mandated training but will also have some great activities like learning about the agency, meeting the staff in person, testimonials from families that have adopted, adoptees and even birth moms that have given their babies for adoption. We have a lot to look forward to with this training, it will be an encouraging, but also an emotional few days, but totally worth it in the end.

 

 

We call that a success!

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This weekend we had our adoption yard sale fundraiser, and boy did we not know what we were signing up for! It was a lot of work but definitely the hard work paid off.

From family and friends gathering stuff and spring cleaning their homes, to volunteers that showed up to help set up and clean up as well as friends that so graciously let us borrow their home and space to have our yard sale, this became another clear example to us of the community that loves us and supports us and that we are so grateful to be a part of and that we also can’t wait until we have this child placed in our home and lives to share this joy with some day.

As we got a chance to rest and debrief about it, we are so grateful for all the help. We started the morning around 4:30 to get ready and set up and had some early birds waiting already to go over our stuff. We also were amazed at what seems to be this yard sale sub-culture we did not know much about, as we folks came and went looking for what they needed, it was awesome to know that every dollar is going towards the adoption fund we have working so hard to increase.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Love,

The Guerreros

 

Online Auction Fundraiser

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It is time for another very awesome fundraiser! We know that the Holidays are quickly approaching and it will be Christmas in the blink of an eye. This is why we are setting up an online auction to raise funds for our adoption.

Rules and procedures:

The auction launches on Friday, November 27 at 11 AM. All bids that are placed before that time will not count. The auction closes on Monday, December 7 at 6:00. The last and highest bid for any item as time stamped by Facebook for 6PM MST will be the winner. We will message each person that wins each auction item. All payments can be made via PayPal, or in person. We will set up a meeting time and place to revive items. Some items may be shipped while others cannot be.

For safety reasons, unless we can figure out a non-Facebook way to post the link on this blog we won’t be sharing the link here because we don’t want the world having our social media information. We will every now and then be posting items from the auction on this blog as well.

Love,

The Guerreros

Some things we’ve learned

Adoption Awareness Month is in full gear! As future adoptive parents, we love hearing and reading stories about families made and formed by the bonds of adoption. We believe that adoption is our gift from God and something we always wanted to do, yet it was meant to be His plan from the very beginning.

Here are some things that we would like to share about what this journey is like:

What is some advice you can give to others who want to adopt?

Adopting is a long road! We’ve had many conversations with friends and family lately where we have been asked about updates on our adoption and how the progress is going. We’ve also talked with others who are in the same path or may think about adopting. One thing you should be prepared is that it is a long road and it definitely takes a lot of energy and it takes a toll emotionally as well, there are ups and downs and sacrifices you need to make. It is not a road for everyone and you have to be prepared for unexpected happening. You also need to be sure this is what you want to do, if you want to adopt a child because it’s “trendy” or you “want to save all the needy children Angelina Jolie style”, then it is probably not for you, realize that you will be bringing a child to your home, to your life, to your family and this is not like when you adopt a pet, it is a commitment for a life time. Make sure you are 100% sure that adoption is what you want to do.

Do your research!

There are many different roads you can take when you are adopting, and really there is no way better than others. You can go through the state, you can go private domestic and international, each way has its pros and cons. Before you decide, make sure you have looked into each option before you make a decision as far as which route you are going to take.

Trust in your support system

Family and friends are extremely important partners when it comes to adoption and just like anything else in life, you shouldn’t do it alone. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of love from our families and friends and we are so excited to continue sharing this journey with them. It also helps talking to others who have been through adoption. When you talk to people about the fact that you are adopting, people love the idea but for most it is a foreign concept. We have been lucky enough to know others who have gone through the process that we can call and talk to and come with questions about the process or if we just need a voice to vent. Our parents and siblings have also been the biggest supporters we’ve had and we couldn’t do it without them. So whoever your support group is (your family, friends, church, co-workers, etc) please know that you can rely on them, they are placed in your life for a reason.

And lastly, your spouse…

Just like in any marriage and in parenting, your spouse is your #1 partner in the adventure of adoption. This year has been challenging for us as we decided to begin the adoption process and we have learned to rely on each other more than ever before, not that we didn’t before, but we have really grown even closer than ever before and have really taken that extra step to solidify our marriage and our roles in each other’s lives. Men and women react to certain situations differently and it has been awesome to get to learn how to comfort each other in this journey.

Adoption is definitely a blessing and we wouldn’t want it any other way, not now and not ever, it is definitely what we feel our calling is to be as parents.