Friday, February 25, 2011

Status Updates

Attorney: I emailed questions to the paralegal who talked with Scott yesterday. I have about 10 billion questions, but (I promise)I kept my email short. I heard back from her pretty quick (I like that customer service). Let's call her Ruth for her privacy. Ruth said that she has mailed our profile letter along with others for this mother to review. She does not anticipate it taking long for the mother to make a decision since she is due in April. Ruth said that she would not normally let us know that she is sending out our profile. People tend to get prematurely excited if they know every step along the way, but had to contact us to determine if we were willing to consider the yearly visitations requested by the mother. I am glad to know that Ruth has us on her mind and is actively showing our profile. She sounded like she was rooting for us.

Finding a Pediatrician: I have asked around and have the name of a female doctor who was recommended by several trusted people in different spheres of my life. The office said for adopted babies it is best to wait until the baby is here to do an interview with the doctor. One of my pregnant friends is going to interview this doctor next month for her daughter and will let me send questions with her.

Room Preparation: We have chosen a color for the one wall that we are going to paint. It is called "Chocolate Sundae" and looks like fudge. Also I allowed myself to look at cribs and found one that I am very happy with. Maybe the Easter bunny will get it for me!

Needed: I am looking for a book on raising an adopted child that covers topics like bonding, talking about adoption and where babies come from. Also I would love to find any children's books from infant to school age that help kids learn about adoption.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Possible Nibble

Got a call from the attorney's office today. There is a mother who is due in April who is looking to put her child up for adoption. We don't know a lot about her. We know she's going to be having a girl and that she's coming from a biracial relationship. The biological mother hails (originally) from Kentucky but now lives here in Tennessee. The mother is interested in being able to visit her child once a year. The attorney's office called to ask if we were comfortable with that.

I never realized how strong the word "comfortable" is. Because to describe the idea of getting together, once a year, with a woman we don't know but gave birth to the child we now call "daughter" is just about the furthest thing from comfortable that I can think of. As soon as the question was asked, fears of the mother falling back in love with her child sprang to mind.

"There's no guarantee that the mother will follow up on this request," our attorney said, as if reading my mind.

"Comfortable is such a strong word," I said and she laughed.

But this process has never been about comfort. It's uncomfortable to admit to your spouse that you don't know why you're not getting pregnant. The word infertility is an awful, awful word to ever say out loud (maybe only trumped by hearing it). It's not comfortable telling your friends and family that you're considering adoption. It's not comfortable browsing for books on adoption. The only part of this process that is comforting is knowing that we are opening our hearts and our home to a child that needs us. And that thought leads to the comfort of knowing that God is with us on this and He has a long history of adoption and will help us through this -- including leading the right child into our home.

"Do it," I said. "Send her our letter."

She might not like us. She might take one look at our book and say, "they're not raising my child!" She might choose someone else -- someone who reminds her of her family or someone with slightly similar ideals and aspirations or someone richer. Or she might meet us and go, "those two people are the most opinionated people I have ever met. No. Way."

But that's her choice to make. I'm not going to take that choice away from her because of one uncomfortable detail. Many of these uncomfortable things have already gone away and many more of them will go away once we're on the other side of this. Either way, I haven't seen my comfort zone in about two years and I'm not making any plans to ever return there.

So that's where we're at right now. It's not quite a nibble, but it's a potential nibble. We'll see if she bites and then we'll go from there.

Don't pray that she chooses us. Pray that she makes the right decision and that her child winds up in the right home. Pray that the right child finds our home. I would love it if this was the one, because that would make this process so much quicker and easier than any of the books led us to believe it would be. But I'm more concerned for the child. I want her to find the right fit more than I want her placed in my home. But, if you're not, please pray for us. We'd really appreciate it. And if you already are, thank-you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bookity Book-Book-Books

Kelly has this weakness. And I know what it is. And like any loving husband, I exploit that weakness like I'm Lex Luthor with a treasure trove of Kryptonite every single chance I get. If you haven't guessed what it is yet, then you probably didn't read the title to this particular post.

She loves the books. She cannot turn a good-looking book down. So tonight, while she was shoe-shopping, I was browsing Books-A-Million because, despite working in a used book store, anything is better than shoe shopping*. After she was done, she came to pick me up. And before we could leave, she had to take a field trip into children's book section. Mind you, we haven't a child. We haven't even a lead. But that didn't stop us from spending over fifty dollars on childrens' books tonight.

I love illustrated books and will pay top dollar for a book with gorgeous art. So I kept adding to the pile in her arms (maybe too rambunctiously, as Kelly went on to elbow the entire contents of a shelf onto the floor). While she would read the books I handed her, I would hand her more books. We had to sort through them in the end and eventually settled on three: Cloudette, by Tom Lichtenheld; I Love You Through and Through, by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak; and The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn.

I love that Kelly is a comparison-shopper. She's not afraid to rummage through bins at Ross or wait until that jacket at that store in the mall goes on sale. But when it comes to books . . . she can't say no.

* I say that, but the last time we went shoe-shopping, it was I, not her, who found her the perfect pair of shoes. I went to art school. I know good craftsmanship when I see it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Babies, They are a comin'

Some of our best friends had a baby this week. We have been so blessed to be allowed to be part of their pregnancy and the birth of their little baby boy. I feel so honored to be invited to come see the baby when he was only hours old. It is really neat (that is an understatement) to be so close to people that you have seen them meet, fall in love, get married, buy a house, and now have a baby. What a joy to have that kind of continuity in our lives.

Our rather large group of friends gathered at the hospital to wish the proud mom and dad congratulations the night he was born. There was a very cool excitement and energy in that room. I can’t articulate how moved I was to just be able to be a part of it. If I feel this way, no wonder they are just glowing.

I got to hold baby boy for 2 glorious hours yesterday. He was just 4 days old. He curled up in a little ball and nestled down into my arms, making little baby noises. Baby’s perfect, mama’s proud, and daddy is just smitten. He was smitten from the first moment, but it is adorable to see him cooing over this little 7 pounder. I can’t wait to see my other two friends with their babies soon.

All I can really say is “I want that.” And “I can’t wait to see Scott as a Papa.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

the waiting game

There is an old episode of The Simpsons in which Homer buys a plow. He christens himself "Mister Plow," and puts together a commercial telling all of Springfield that he'll plow their driveways and their roads when they get snowed in. The family watches the commercial on television and afterwards, Homer says, "Well, John Q Driveway has our number. Now we play the waiting game. Ah, the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!"

Me and Homer are of like minds*. I do not like the waiting game. The calm before the storm makes me nervous. The night before a film shoot is a restless one. I do not like waiting; I like doing. I do not like guessing; I like making informed decisions. While I appreciate surprises and enjoy spontaneity, I generally like to have a plan laid out before me.

I dropped two copies of our "Dear Birth Mother" books off at the attorney's yesterday and now we . . . wait? Wait for good news? Wait for the attorney to find someone for us to meet? All we really can do is get the word out there that we're looking to adopt. Beyond that, it's just . . . waiting. Waiting for a friend to run into someone. Waiting to overhear a conversation. Waiting for a social worker to contact our attorney. Waiting to make the right connection with the right person who'll put us in touch with our baby.

Kelly is much better at turning restless energy into productive energy (as you can see from her previous posts). I find myself playing more video games and watching more movies (and as I already have an unhealthy obsession with sitting on my butt, I need to find a new way to distract myself). Perhaps I'll go for a walk. Or a hike. Or a swim.

But tonight, after I've walked, hiked, swam or whatevered . . . I'll still be playing the waiting game. And the waiting game sucks.

* A sentence that will send shivers down my English major wife's back.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Awesome Things Our Kid Needs.

So as I search the internet for all the things that a child must have, I have found some pretty cool things like the Boon Bendable Spoon. You bend it to fit your munchkin's needs as they learn to feed themselves. Even better? The bendable SPORK!

Then I think back to my childhood. I loved bath time. I had this awesome Tupperware Noah's Ark. I wonder if I could find one now? I only had the ark, Mr and Mrs. Noah and the pairs of animals. Not the extra people. Are those the sons or the sinners? hmmmm?

Then there is Brio and Lego. I had Legos for only a short time before they were sucked up into the vaccuum. Sad times. I wish I had had Brio trains. Thankfully Scott has a stash of these and Legos at his mom's house. I hope he will let me play with them unlike his action figures that I am not allowed to touch.

I realize that none of this would be useful for some time, but fun to look at and bind the time well while we wait.

Next step is to get a pediatrician lined up. I don't really know where to start on that one. I guess with my insurance. What does one look for in a pediatrician? Location? Availability? Size of practice? More on that search later.

Off to cuddle a friend's baby!


Monday, February 14, 2011

And now we wait....

We have finally finished our Dear Birth Mother letter (profile book) and received the printed copies back from They are just lovely (safely wrapped in plastic too!). Scott did a fantastic layout job and Blurb did a nice job with the printing and binding. Only found one typo post printing, but that was our fault. Sigh.

We wrote the letter to the attorney tonight to accompany the two profile books that he will keep on file to share with potential birth mothers. The letter to the attorney included a list of what kind of child we are looking for including age, race, gender and any disabilities we would potentially consider.

It is disconcerting to so definitively rule out a child who may have a physical or mental handicap. To think that with a few key strokes were are effectively turning our backs on a child who definitely needs a home hurts the heart. We've said that we don't want to take the gamble of doing IVF, but it seems even a normal, biological pregnancy is a gamble in some sense. Biological parents pray for a healthy child, but don't really know what they are going to get. Boy or girl, tall or short, healthy or not. Adoptive parents get the opportunity to rule out or accept the responsibilities associated with a special needs child, biological parents don't really get that option. Is that option the trade off for raising a child that might not look like you? Is it ethical to say no to child based on a list of fears? Is it wrong to say, "This is our first child. We don't know how to be parents yet. Infertility and adoption are hard enough as it is. Please just let us start with a healthy infant."? It must be okay to acknowledge our own weaknesses enough to say "This may be too much," or "I'm not sure we can handle that." Thoughts to ponder.

We finally decided, for now, a healthy infant under 12 months old, either boy or girl, any race is okay with us. We will leave everything else to God. He will bring us the child who needs us and who we need. We have two more copies of the profile book to share with anyone we may meet. So as soon as that packet is delivered to the attorney we have done really all we can do, except wait. And try not to fret.

So what do we do in the mean time? I vote for:
  1. Pray for the birth mother and our baby wherever they may be.
  2. Continue to collect children's books and necessary baby items. I have already finished refurbishing a high chair. Maybe Baby Micah will test it out to make sure it is nice and comfy. There is a pack of diapers, wipes, and powder ready to go. And a few sleep outfits are hanging in the closet.
  3. Paint the guest room a.k.a. future nursery.
  4. Cuddle all of my friends' sweet, sweet babies.
So now our job is to tell everyone we know that we are looking for a baby and encourage them to tell everyone they know too. It could be next month or it could be a long wait. Sigh.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Profile Letter, part 7: Our Promise To You

Part 7: Our Promise To You

This little one will be brought up in a warm and nurturing home. They will be cuddled and loved and cherished and cuddled some more. They will have friends to play with; aunts, uncles and cousins to inspire them; and grandparents who will spoil them rotten.

We will do everything to see to it that this little one has everything they need. We can’t guarantee that she will have everything she wants, but she will have everything she needs. No sacrifice is too great if it ensures the best we can provide for our baby.

We promise to read to him.

We promise to take her on walks.

We promise a bedtime story every single night.

We promise to teach him how to ride a bike.

We promise to answer all her questions -- if we don't know the answers,
we'll look them up and learn with her.

We promise the best education we can find.

We promise softball, piano lessons, football, basketball, dance class
or whatever else he might be interested in.

We promise patience and kindness.

We promise unlimited, unconditional love.

We might not know who you are, but know we are already praying for you. We can't pretend to know what you're going through, but we want to thank you for carrying this baby and doing the best you can for it.
We really can't thank you enough for sharing this child with us. You're making our dreams come true and we'll do everything we can to make this little one's dreams come true, too.

Thank you for considering us.

- Scott & Kelly

Monday, February 7, 2011

Profile Letter, part 6: Our Friends

Part 6: Our Friends

Our wonderful friends are a huge part of our lives. We are part of a group of eight couples who get together most Friday nights for food and fellowship. Many weekends are spent playing games or camping with this big group. There are currently three couples who will soon be parents; all within three months of each other! Some of these friends are new, but some have been close since high school. It is a wonderful group that supports and prays for each other.

And tomorrow: Our Promise To You

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Profile Letter, part 5: Our Family

Part 5: Our Family

We are lucky to live close to a large portion of our family. Both sets of our parents live in Chattanooga and are actually only about two miles away from each other.
Kelly’s mom (Carol) and stepfather (Jim) have been married for 15 years. Carol, who wants to be called Mimi, is a stay-at-home mom and can’t wait to cuddle her first grandbaby. Grandpa Jim works in a hospital and tries to spend as much time as he can snowboarding. Kelly’s stepsister (Heather) now lives in Jackson, Tennessee, after spending three years working as teacher in Taiwan.

Kelly has a large network of aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby. Each summer, fall, and Christmas they get together in the north Georgia mountains for a big pitch-in meal. It's always a boisterous event with lots of food and laughter.

Scott has a large extended family as well, but they're scattered all across the the US. Scott’s parents (Tom and Lauree) have been married for 33 years. Tom is the principal of a small elementary school and Lauree works at a nearby university. Their house is a cozy one surrounded by a big yard with lots of flowers and charming little nooks -- perfect for hiding away in and reading a good book. There is a big swing in the backyard ready for the first grandchild to swing on.

Scott is the oldest and his younger brother (Marshall) is 20. Marshall is in school right now taking psychology. Scott and Marshall like to play video games and go to movies together.

And tomorrow: Our Friends

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BOOK REPORT: Two Little Girls

Just finished reading Theresa Reid’s Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption. I’ve read this in a matter of 2 days, partly because I spent a day in an airplane traveling across our country and partly because it was so good.

Reid tells the story of her and her husband’s journey to adopt two little girls, one from Russia and one from Ukraine. The first adoption goes without a hitch and the Reids adopt a lovely girl who was “the princess of the orphanage” in Russia. In their quest to adopt a sister for little Natalie they go through horrible false-starts and spend a ridiculous amount of money. They change agencies halfway through the process, then change back and then change again. They have to cancel their trip and their commitment to a girl in Kazakhstan right after September 11, 2001 makes it unsafe for them to get to her. They finally, many years later, and after weeks spent in Ukraine, bring home, not the girl they traveled to retrieve, but an entirely different little girl with questionable medical problems.

Reid’s tale ends well with a happy, well adjusting family. But along the way you see the trauma and vulnerability her family suffers. This is not a story for the faint of heart. There is a lot of pain, doubt, and tough decisions that are made. There is an emotional depth to this book that comes only from living through the journey.

Reid is an excellent writer who is able to capture both the excitement and fear of the adoption journey. She unabashedly exposes her egocentric fears and insecurities. Which we all have, but rarely deign to admit. She addresses the dissonance involved in specifying what kind of child you want and can parent while wanting to do good for “the needy children in the world.” She shows families who are willing to overcome all odds to grow their family, and she shows families who make the heart wrenching decision to walk away from a child they have committed to. I’m not sure how many families have the resources or funds to go through such an exhaustive search for their child. She not only details her own experience in the tone of a dramatic saga, but integrates her personal research. She confronts our societal biases towards adoption and families created by adoption. You can tell she is a very well educated woman, and her candidness is refreshing in a genre of books that can sometimes be a little touchy-feely or a little too superficial to provide comfort through a difficult journey.

She includes a lengthy and annotated “Adoption Resources” section at the back of the book which looks to be a trove of thoughtful and intelligent books and organizations.

I would recommend this book to someone already committed and determined to adopt, no matter what the odds. It might scare you off if you were not convinced of the way ahead. It makes me glad that we have decided to do a domestic adoption rather than search the world over for our baby. While I’m sure domestic adoption has the same potential for agony, at least I will be able to go through it with my support system a phone call away and with the conveniences of the American hospitality industry at my disposal.


Profile Letter, part 4: Our Home

Part 4: Our Home

We moved into our house in 2007. It is a one-story, yellow house that sits in a quiet neighborhood. We are situated about 15 minutes from downtown and about 15 minutes from the country. Our house has three bedrooms; one is Scott's office and one is waiting for our baby. We already have a small library of children’s books waiting.

Our friends call our house "the ark" because of all of our animals. Somehow we have collected a group of animals that loves to cuddle. It's not uncommon to find all six of us on the couch watching a TV show. Our cats are Desmond and Scarlett and our dogs are Gwen and Mister Tumnus.

And tomorrow: Our Family

Friday, February 4, 2011

Profile Letter, part 3: Why Kelly Will Be A Great Mama

Part 3: "Why Kelly Will Be A Great Mama," by Scott

Kelly is the most amazing person I've ever met – I know I’m supposed to say that, I’m her husband. But I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. And before I tell you what kind of mama she’s going to be, I need you to understand what kind of woman Kelly is.

She has somehow figured out how to be ever-optimistic and ever-hopeful while remaining completely realistic. I honestly don’t know how she does it. She’s down to earth and heaven-
minded. Most people I know live in one extreme or the other.
Most people say “moderation in all things.” Kelly lives it – which
is why it was no surprise to me that Kelly was such a fantastic camp counselor.

For an entire summer, she was responsible for fourteen girls. Every week it was a new group, and every week, the group was a little older. But it didn’t matter if her campers were six years old or 16 years old. She corralled them. She taught them. She laughed with them, and when the boys were mean to them, Kelly cried with them. When they misbehaved or broke the rules, Kelly saw to it that the punishment fit the crime. Kelly’s campers never considered her strict, but they knew where she stood. They knew that she wouldn’t let them get away with things, but they also knew she was willing to have a lot of fun with them.

Kelly loves teaching. She’s not a teacher, but she loves to see that sparkle in a child’s eye when they've just discovered something new. She loves explaining things to them, especially if it means having to find a creative way to explain it. And as all my favorite teachers were, Kelly is patient. She wants to help children learn but also wants them to learn it for themselves. So she’ll patiently guide them, holding their hand, but letting them discover what new lesson life has for them.

Kelly’s a hard worker. I’ve never seen someone more determined to get something done and to get it done right. She always has a project she’s working on. When she volunteers to do something, she’s often the first person there and the last one to leave. I don’t think she knows how to cut corners. When it comes time to raise a child, she is going to do whatever it takes to give that child everything he or she needs – whatever that might be.

I could write a book about Kelly, but all I really want you to know is that Kelly has been the best part of my life for the past 10 years, and when I imagine what the best mother in the world looks like, I see her.

And tomorrow: Our Home

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Profile Letter, part 2: Why Scott will be a Great Papa

Part 2: "Why Scott Will Be A Great Papa," by Kelly

The first time I ever saw Scott, it was across the cafeteria, and it was love at first sight.
He was standing in a group of friends talking and laughing. It was his laugh that was so attractive, even from across the room. When I think of Scott the first thing that comes to mind is laughter. He gets these crinkles around his eyes when he laughs that light up his blue eyes. He loves to make jokes and tease people to make them laugh. He is ultimately a flirt, but he doesn’t know it. He just relishes bringing a smile to someone’s day.

Scott has never-ending creativity. Every day, and I mean every day, he comes to me saying, “I had an idea today.” Scott writes something every day. Sometimes it is a blog and sometimes it is a movie. The days he is most excited about are the days he can shoot a film.

Scott is a strong man. He knows when to stand up for his beliefs or defend his family. He has the capacity to see both sides of an issue and is willing to call someone out when they need it. Scott is also a sensitive man. As we have dreamed of growing our family, I have seen a strength and depth of emotion that has touched my heart. Scott is a man who wants a family and who will live his life to ensure his children are nurtured.

Scott will be a wonderful father because he is such a kindhearted man, because he makes life so fun, and because he is such a genuine person. Scott is the same dorky, funny guy no matter where you meet him. He might not be a morning person, but if he gets any chance to make a pun, (even if it is 7 A.M.) he will take it! I love Scott for the energy and joy that he brings to our lives. He also brings a steady peace to our home. He keeps me grounded and makes me laugh, every day. He reminds me when to thank God for the blessings we have and celebrate life.

And tomorrow: "Why Kelly Will Be A Great Mama," by Scott

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Profile Letter, part 1: Dear Birth Mother

We wanted our letter to the birth mother to impress her on all levels. Not only did we want the contents of the letter to accurately reflect who we are and what kinds of parents we would be, but we wanted the presentation of the letter to reflect our high standards and be an expression of our artistic creativity. So we decided to put together a book. Using Blurb's BookSmart builder, we put together a 20-page book for our attorney to give the birth mother.

It's a seven "part" book, and over the course of the next seven days, we'll share a part a day.

Part 1: Dear Birth Mother

A family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit. -Marge Kennedy

Dear Birth Mother,

Our names are Scott and Kelly.

First of all, thank you for considering us to be your baby’s Papa and Mama. Of all the things we are, the one thing we want most is to be parents. We have been unable to get pregnant and look
forward to the time when we will have a little one in our arms. We believe that the home and family we have been blessed with would be a great place to raise a family.

We have given it careful consideration and know that fertility treatments are not for us; not when we can open our home to a child who needs us. Adoption is something that we have always known we would do. We are excited and just a bit scared as we walk this path. Thank you for going on this journey with us and for being an answer to our prayers.

We look forward to cuddling with our baby and watching him or her grow. We can’t wait to help her learn about the world. We are excited to teach him how to read and ride a bike and take a picture.

We are creative, artistic people. Scott is a writer who works as the Video Game Director at a local store, but his real passion is writing and movie making. Kelly works at an insurance company but has created a second job for herself as a wedding and portrait photographer. Photography started as a hobby, but has transformed into a small business. Many nights and weekends are spent working on small craft projects or rehearsing for Scott's next short film.

We first met working at Christian youth summer camp in Georgia. We started dating that summer and have been together ever since. We were married in December 2005. Considering the time we dated and the 5 years we have been married, we have been together nearly 10 years now.

As Christians we strive to live a life of acceptance, tolerance and love. We do our best to live balanced lives according to Biblical teachings. We love to debate politics, religion, economics and philosophies with each other. We seek out creative art and media that speaks to the truth of human life. We like to travel and meet new people and try new foods.

Our home is warm and welcoming. We have two cats and two dogs who provide a never-ending parade of laughter.

Each Friday night we gather with friends for food and fellowship. On Saturdays we go to church and spend the rest of the day resting and relaxing with family. We both work full-time during the week and still find lots of time to spend with our family and friends.

And tomorrow: "Why Scott will be a Great Papa," by Kelly

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BOOK REPORT: Successful Adoption

I had the last two days off work due to a gout flare up (something I'm thankful to not be passing on) and took hours of immobility as an opportunity to do some reading. While I have a stack of graphic novels calling my name, I was a little surprised to find myself reaching over that stack for Successful Adoption: A Guide for Christian Families, by Natalie Nichols Gillespie.

If I were to review the book in one sentence, I would say, "this is a great book for any Christian who is considering adoption." But I am not a man of few words.

The book strives to serve many purposes and chief amongst them convincing the reader that "yes, you can do this!" The early chapters dispel myths and rumors, and help the reader believe that adoption really can be for anybody with an open heart. While I appreciate the sentiment, it was the early chapters I found myself skimming through the most.

Kelly and I have already had the conversations detailed in the first two chapters of this book. When I sat down to read this, we were already in the proofreading stages of our letter to the prospective birth mother. We've already decided that we want to go with a domestic adoption. We've already spoken to an attorney. We've already started putting money aside for a home study. So the first two chapters (collected into Part 1 of the book) never felt like there were talking to me. They were talking to someone else, who was still on the fence on whether or not they wanted to adopt.

Part 2 of the book (there are six parts, total) became more interesting, but it wasn't until Part 3/Chapter 7 that I really started to receive answers to the questions I had -- or, as it was also, I was given the questions I should have. But even then, I found myself skimming sections of the book that were clearly not intended for me, which leads me to my biggest gripe about the book.

While there are large portions devoted to domestic adoption, the author seems to believe the reader was going to be involved in an international adoption. Far more time was spent addressing concerns and issues an adoptive family will run into adopting a child from another country than than concerns a family might have adopting locally.

For example: I'm not worried about learning my child's birth language, as I'm assuming we'll be adopting from somewhere in Tennessee or Georgia (and we generally speak the same language). I am, however, concerned about living within driving distance of the birth parents. What if we run into them? Or what if, by some strange occurrence, we go to the same church?

So that was a little off-putting, as were typos. I didn't notice any in the early chapters, but as the book went on, I found more and more typos. Sometimes words were missing from sentences, sometimes sentences had extra words and once I even found the wrong "here" being used.

But those nit-picks and gripes aside, it's a good book. I appreciated the author's concern and challenge to not only prepare your home and your bank account, but prepare your heart. Every chapter ends with a checklist of questions you're going to want to address and a testimony from someone who has adopted or has been adopted. It was written to be read beforehand (so you'll know what potholes are in the road before you), so now that I've read it, I don't feel particularly compelled to keep it on hand. It's not really a go-to book.

Overall, I'm glad I read it. It gave me some things to think about and consider. I would recommend it to anyone who's ever considered adoption but isn't actively pursuing it.