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It’s been awhile since our last post. We have been super duper busy with the baby and work. But that does not mean we have forgotten about designforadotion. We have started to compile a list of sites where you can shop and help others, or donate to help others, or simply read about those helping others. As we gather more sites, we will be updating the list. Also if you have any recommendations please forward. We are looking for design related people or companies helping other people.

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This January brought us the best phone call ever: we got placed with our son!!!! The year started off poorly since there was a death in the family, not to mention that we were feeling dishearten by the lengthy adoption process. However, at the end of the month, our lives would change forever!!

With adoption, you typically have 2 scenarios: you are either matched with a birth mom who is in her 7th month of pregnancy, or a birth mom decides after delivery to make an adoption plan. You never really know which one will happen for you so you should be prepared for both. As would happen with us, we got an email for a potential match with a baby (our son!) who was born 4 days earlier! This had been our second potential match of a baby already born (the first being the day before this one). We had received several potential matches over the course of 8 months, but this was the first time for us in the span of 2 days that we got matches with babies already born! I have to say that this scenario is very exciting since you get to see pictures of the baby!! The flip side is everything happens in lightening speed and you just have to do things quickly. This is why it pays to think ahead! We were so happy that we bought all the items for the nursery ahead of time since we had 2 weeks to prepare for our baby!! Of course, most things could be assembled after we brought our son home, but we wanted to paint the nursery before he came.

Since we were out of state, things got a bit more complicated than matching in state. We couldn’t just go pick him up and bring him home since there are a lot of clearances  & protocols that must be followed before exiting the state your baby is born and entering your home state. So potentially, you could wait for over a month if either state bureaucracy lengthened the process. That could get very costly if you have to stay in a hotel for a month or so. Luckily, our son was born healthy, just slightly under weight, but he was discharged from the hospital in a few days. Our agency then placed him in foster care with a loving couple that was taking care of our son and a baby girl as well (the couple had also adopted years back from our agency). They were amazing and made waiting a lot easier since we knew he was loved!

The first thing on our mind was to meet our baby!! We got plane tickets for the following weekend and both sets of grandparents came to meet him as well. We were very fortunate to have close friends in the city where our son was staying and they graciously offered for us to stay at their house with the baby. That made a world of a difference since we felt at home and didn’t have to worry about anything, just take care of our precious little one! We then had to fly back home without our son since we didn’t know how long the clearances would take. That was very painful and tearful for the both of us but we had such wonderful foster parents which made it a lot easier to handle. However, as luck would have it, as soon as we flew back home we’d have to turn right back around to take possession of our son!

In order to start processing the interstate compact clearance, the state requires the hospital records of the baby’s birth be released to the agency. The city in which our baby was born is notorious in taking weeks to release the medical records, which meant we’d be waiting for awhile. Luckily our agency called numerous times to find out the status which helped to expedite the process. This part of the process took 2 weeks and once the records were released we flew in to take possession of our son and start the waiting game with the interstate compact clearances. The state we were adopting from has a very quick turn around for approvals, however, our home state was not known for it’s promptness. We, again, were able to expedite the process by contacting our governor’s office to see if they could help us bring our baby home soon. We could not leave the birth state of our son until the interstate was approved. Part of our family lives in that state so we took this opportunity to introduce our baby to his great grandparents, and numerous loving relatives. This was a wonderful bonding experience for our family, and our baby had his first of three welcome parties! After over a week, we finally got our clearances and were able to fly home. I have to say, that even though our state took awhile, they were actually quite thorough and made sure all the documents were in order.

Our total wait period from the time we got matched to our state clearances was a little over 3 weeks. So if you are adopting out of state and don’t have friends or family to stay with, be sure to budget a lengthy hotel stay if you want to be there the whole time or try to split up your time like we did. Be sure to enjoy this time, even though all you want to do is come home with your baby. The hardest part is getting matched, the clearances will take their course and it will get done. All you need to think about is the love you’ll be showering on your baby forever!!!

Design for Adoption has been offline for a few months, but not with out good reason. Our family and close friends may already know, the news, but we finally have a moment to breath and share the news with everyone! A few months ago we were matched with a baby boy! We are super excited but tired at the same time. All I can say is that  parenthood thus  far has been amazing. The baby was already born before we were matched, so everything happened super fast. With a few trips out of state and a quick makeover of our study into a baby room, and a baby waiting to be welcomed into our family, we entered the world of parenthood. We never thought this day would come, but it is finally here and we are doing everything we can to cherish every moment with our little boy. For all of you out there waiting to adopt, we know the wait is painful, but hang in there, in the end all the pain will go away. Thanks to all our readers for your support along this incredible journey. We will continue updating our blog and sharing our adventures along with more information on our journey to parenthood, great product finds, and much more!

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Designforadoption would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2012! We would also like to take this moment to thank all of you for your continued support in 2011. Your support has provided so much encouragement for us along this long winding journey to adoption and your generous donations have helped to remove many of the financial hurdles along the way. This adoption journey has opened our eyes to a world of experiences we would have never experienced otherwise. We are praying that in 2012 we will finally be matched with a child and we look forward to the day when we can finally announce with much enthusiasm that we have been matched! This past year has seen its ups and downs. In 2011, we were presented 6 different potential birth families, three of them did not select us, one selected us then changed her mind about adoption, one disappeared without selecting anyone, and we had to decline one, because of too much drug exposure. It has been heartbreaking at times, but with the support of family and friends, we have been able to move forward and remain hopeful.

We wish everyone a New Year full of hope and new and exciting adventures. We look forward to sharing our journey in the new year and meeting as many exciting people as we did this year.

Our sincerest Thanks for being a part of our journey in 2011.

Today I would like to take a pause from our normal adoption blogs, to take a moment and remember my Mom. Seven years ago today she took her last breath in a room surrounded by her loving family. That was a day that will forever be a part of my memory just as my Mom will forever live on in all of our memories. Every year on this day I take a moment to remember all that she meant to me and to our family and I ask God to take care of her in her final resting place. We all miss her and we will always carry her memory with us in our hearts for the rest of our lives. That year was a very difficult year for us, filled with joy from our engagement and sorrow from the loss of a beloved parent. This year has also definitely seen its ups and downs, not just for us with our bumpy adoption journey, but for many of our family members and close friends. Many of our friends have lost a beloved parent this year and several of our family members and close friends are either battling cancer themselves or helping a loved one through their difficult battle, or even coping with the loss of a loved one while battling cancer.

Therefore this year along with remembering my Mom, I also wanted to take this time to stop and say a prayer for our family and friends. These are the times in life when we all need to stop and reflect on the little things in life that we tend to overlook. The things that add richness to your life, the laugh of a loved one, the smell of your favorite food, or simply the warmth of the sun on your skin. The things that enrich our life and add beauty even during difficult times. We should all find a few seconds in our day to stop and just experience life. For everyone experiencing a difficult time, be strong, hang in there, take a moment to find the hidden beauty that life has to offer, focus your grief and anger towards something productive and fight the battle, laugh, cry, and make new memories with loved ones and most of all experience all that life has to offer.

Dear Family and Friends,
November is National Adoption Month, a month dedicated to celebrating adoption and raising awareness of adoption issues. designforadoption would like to recognize all the families that have opened their hearts and homes to care for a child and welcome them into their family. To those that are still in the long tedious process of adoption, we are there with you. Although at times we feel like giving up and moving on, lets all hang in there and come together to help make sure that a child in need of a home has a loving family to come home to.

Read The White House Presidential Proclamation on National Adoption Month 2011.

If you have any adoption stories you would love to share with us this month, please do so, those of us waiting could all use a few words of encouragement.

Last week we attended the opening of our second gallery exhibit this month, at the AIA Center for Architecture. Much to our surprise 4 out of the 5 pieces submitted sold within the first hour of the show! We are extremely excited about the positive response. The week before, we also attended the opening of the exhibit at City Hall entitled “Following the Line”. One of our paintings was selected for this exhibit which is being held throughout the corridors of the Philadelphia City Hall. Proceeds from the sales of all our work, will be going towards our adoption fundraising efforts. Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback and continued support.

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