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Designforadoption is pleased to announce that one of our paintings has been selected for an exhibit at Philadelphia City Hall featuring local artists.

The exhibit theme is “Follow the Line” and features work that explores the “Line” in art. One of the new pieces which we will soon make available for sale has been selected.

The new work is based on explorations featured in our book “Lines+Circles”.

The exhibit starts on October 10th and will be on display until December 2nd, at Philadelphia City Hall. There will be an opening reception on October 19th 5-7pm.

Image from Nurseryworks.net

Everyone knows, as soon as you have a baby, one of the major items to purchase is a crib, therefore it is one of the items you’ll probably spend the most time researching. This is typically a costly purchase, plus you have to make sure all the safety standards are met, so it makes sense to do your homework before you shop. When it comes to cribs we have heard all kinds of arguments for or against different kinds of cribs but for us this is an important issue, since this is where the baby will be spending a lot of time sleeping. We were struggling to decide if we wanted to invest in a more expensive crib or buy something less expensive from Ikea or Walmart. However, we soon found out that all the cribs at Ikea were recalled because of faulty mattress supports collapsing. This quickly eliminated Ikea cribs off our list. Our next option was Walmart but we were weary of similar quality issues and the cribs we liked, Baby Mod (sold at Walmart only, elsewhere it’s the exact same crib named Babyletto for $100 more) had nice modern lines but most of the reviews complained that the wood was too soft and was easily dented or worse could be chewed by the baby. Therefore one of our main goals was to try and find a good crib that was not made in China especially with all the safety issues for recalled products.

We set a few goals to help narrow our search: non-toxic crib, eco-friendly (if in the budget), made in the USA and if that wasn’t possible then simply not made in China, and finally a modern crib. We set a budget for $300-600, which made it pretty tough to find a crib that met our goals and is still within our budget, but we were convinced we could find a good deal online.

Oeuf cribs are marketed as eco-friendly cribs that are made in Europe and their most economical crib, the Robin crib, is within the upper tier of our price range. However, we were not entirely thrilled with the design of the crib, particularly the open slots on the side panels and the exposed hardware.

Nurseryworks cribs, a competitor to Oeuf, has the Loom Crib that meets our outlined goals and has a unique personal design. The Loom Crib is non-toxic, made of catalpa wood, which is a fast growing wood, is made in the US (after speaking to the manufacturer we were informed that we received misleading information from some of the online suppliers and the Loom crib is in fact made in China) just squeezes into our upper tier budget level. But, as architects, what really appealed to us was the design of the crib. With typical crib designs, we dislike the rigidity of the repetitive vertical slats that seem to recall prison bars. What we loved with the loom crib is how the designers took the government required minimum spacing of the vertical slats and had some fun with it! Instead of equally spaced slats, they are varied to create visual interest. If you select the natural or dark finish the slats and wrapping trim contrast with the white side panels and frame. The hardware is neatly hidden and it’s a convertible crib with 3 mattress positions. The best part we found was that you do not need to spend the hefty price for the toddler conversion kit since the crib does not require it (whereas most do to keep the crib stable) to remain functional if the front side remains open. You could then buy an inexpensive guard and put it under the mattress and once your toddler is ready for a twin bed, the crib could be used as a day bed and still look great. Additionally, Nurseryworks has been very responsive to any questions via email. We are excited for our find and wanted to share it with everyone.

Learn more about Loom Crib

We are excited to announce the sample prints have just arrived and they look fantastic! We have 8×10’s, 12×12’s, and 9×20’s. Available soon online! Please look back to see what is available within the next couple of days! There will also be some new work available!

Plus we also have the ability to print larger sizes on canvas. First one has already been sold!

After our heart break with not being matched with the twins, we decided to look through our parameters to see if there was anything we wanted to change to increase our options for adoption. One area that our adoption agency said would be worth considering was how stringent we wanted to be with Exposure During Pregnancy.

If you are going through a domestic adoption, a major factor you have to deal with is a birthmother’s exposure to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Our agency told us that 70% of the birthmothers they work with have some sort of exposure during their pregnancy. We’ve researched other agencies around the country and we’ve found this to be fairly common. This does not necessarily mean the birthmothers are taking hard drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc), however, it is common for them to be smoking tobacco or marijuana, and/or drinking alcohol. Typically once the birthmothers realize they are pregnant, which is around 12 weeks into the pregnancy since they typically aren’t tracking their cycles, they will stop doing any kind of drugs. However, a majority will not stop smoking since it is so addictive and a few will continue doing marijuana as well. Some birthmothers will stop binge drinking but will have a few beers or wine coolers a week throughout the pregnancy.

Our agency has found that children who have been exposed tend to do well; however, it depends on the severity of the exposure and you can never be sure whether the birthmother is upfront with her addiction problems. There are birthmothers who are not exposed to drugs, alcohol and tobacco, however, they are not the majority.

We’ve found the March of Dimes website to be a great resource to understand the health risks associated with exposure during pregnancy.

March of Dimes

Typically the lives of birthmothers aren’t perfect which is why they are considering to put their child up for adoption. They may have a few children already and cannot afford to keep another, they may be single mothers finding it hard to make ends meet or they may not find the time for prenatal care. These are the risks you have to understand and expect if you adopt. However, on the flip side, the birthmother could be a high school or college student who is healthy throughout the pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby and is giving their child up since they are not ready yet to be a parent. The agency will not force you into a situation you are not comfortable with, therefore, you must understand the risks and decide what is the best option for you.

People are naturally curious and like to ask questions. Therefore, since we understand that most people have never been exposed to the complexities of the adoption process, we have compiled a list of questions which we are frequently asked, along with our attempt at answering them based on our own research and experience.

How long does it take to adopt?

This is a very common question, yet the answer to this question is quite complicated. Depending on the type of adoption you select and how many specific requirements you indicate, will vary the time frame for a placement. This is the part of the process that can take the longest amount of time. Completing the paperwork, application, and home study can be done fairly quickly compared to the wait time for a match and placement. Our agency told us it could take 6-12 months for a newborn placement and if you opt for an international adoption, it could take 1-2 years.

Can you pick gender?

Yes, but it can lengthen your wait time and some birth mothers don’t like that since they feel as though either gender is a blessing. Additionally the agency does not perform ultrasounds to determine gender, therefore you may just have to wait until a baby of your preferred gender becomes available.

How old is the baby when you get placed?

If you choose private domestic adoption, in many cases you can pick up the newborn from the hospital (2-3 days old). If you choose foster to adopt, the children are typically toddler age or older. With international adoption, the babies can typically be 6 months or older.

Who chooses the adoptive parents?

In the old days, the adoption agency would match the adoptive parents and the baby based on the home study assessment and interview, however most private agencies today, provide semi-open or open adoption which gives the birth mother more rights and gives her the final decision in choosing the adoptive family. Typically a few (3 or 4) families are presented to the birth mother and the profile books for those families are shown to her. She will then make her decision based on these items and sometimes an initial meeting with the prospective parents. Before the mother is shown any potential parents, the adoptive parents have the option to show their profile book once they review the birth mother’s profile and medical history.

Can you choose where to adopt from?

Yes, you can adopt from any country that allows adoption and abides by the Hague Convention or from an orphanage recognized by the US. Otherwise our government is rightfully weary of child trafficking. In the US, you can adopt from any state, not just your home state. We decided to adopt out of state since the wait times in our state were much longer and we wanted to adopt from a state that terminated the birth mother’s rights very quickly, in order to lessen the risk of a disruption. You can also work with agencies that place children from multiple states, in which case your child could come from any number of states that the agency works with. The thing to keep in mind is that every state has different adoption laws and requirements and therefore you will need to comply with the laws of both the adoptive state and your home state, or whichever law is more strict.

When do you get matched with a child?

Typically the agency will match you when the birthmother is around 7 months pregnant. Once the baby is born, you can often go to the hospital to meet the child for the first time and bring them home. However, sometimes a birthmother will decide in the hospital after the birth to place her child up for adoption in which case, the adoptive parents must go immediately to the hospital to pick up their child. So it’s typically best to be somewhat prepared mentally/financially for the child to come home at any moment. Some people recommend not to put together a nursery though, since it could become a constant reminder of the wait and cause anxiety. You should though consider buying a few items like diapers, sheets, and non gender clothes to be ready for the call. Plus, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that your friends and family will definitely help you gather things if the baby comes as a surprise. Also, you can always buy items for your child once you get there. The only thing you will be required to have to leave the hospital is a car seat. Don’t buy formula though, since you may want wait and use the same formula the hospital was giving the baby.

What about your work?

Since adoption is unlike a typical pregnancy, with regards to timing, and the placement could basically happen at any moment, your office should be notified, so that they are aware that you may suddenly need to leave. They should be flexible with your schedule. It is also important to speak to your human resources department and notify them that you will need to add a baby to your healthcare plan as soon as the baby is under your custody. Also take inventory of your paid time off and sick time. If your office does not provide maternity or paternity leave and you are adopting out of state or international, you will need to take time off to wait for state or national clearances as well as travel time.

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