I was so thrilled about doing Noah’s One year Photos and getting our family photos in too. It was a beautiful Fall day in Knoxville when we had these done and I can’t thank Sissy Sullivan enough for doing such a wonderful job.
I’m a little late posting the update from our Adoption Day but wanted to share a few pictures from our special day!
August 6th started with our whole family loading up and heading to downtown to the courthouse in Nashville. Noah was in a great mood and good thing because it was a long day.
Everyone in Davidson county doing an adoption for the month of August is told to be there that day. There were about 12 cases on the docket. Because adoptions aren’t public each family has to go in one at a time and they don’t post the order you will be going. So you really have no idea when you’ll be called. So we did our best to entertain Noah and keep him happy.
We were lucky enough to have one amazing attorney! Her name was Erica Johnson and she happens to be one of our closest friends. We were her first official adoption case. So this was a BIG day for her too. We have been close friends with her and her partner Jen for years. It made it so special for us to be able to have her represent us during this process. She did an amazing job and we can’t say thank you enough!
After almost a 2 hour wait we were finally called! It was our turn. We all filed into the courtroom. We stood in front of the judge and Erica took turns asking Leslie and I a few questions. Then the judge said the words that we had been waiting to hear…”I find that it is in the best interest of this child, Noah Harrison, to be adopted by these two.” It was such an amazing feeling! Then he asked if we would like to take a few pictures! We all gathered around his desk for a little photo opp!
He was such a nice guy. Even asked for us to send copies of the pictures we took to his office. Noah received his first sucker from the judge and was more fascinated with that than anything else.
It was a long day and you could tell that Noah was exhausted when we were leaving but I was so proud of how he acted. No crying or screaming. It was a perfect day. Oh and not to forget it was also Leslie’s birthday!
We celebrated Leslie’s Birthday that night with a few of our closest friends. I successfully surprised her for the first time! Told her none of our friends were available to hang out. Told her I forgot to get a cake. And didn’t have time to get her a gift. But little did she know…I was able to get everyone together to surprise her and topped it off with a strawberry cake with buttercream icing for her. : ) I was so happy that she was surprised! Such a great day!
Last week we finished up our Home Study and our attorney filed our petition for adoption with the courts. We were really hoping that it would be in time for us to get on the July 9th docket but unfortunately that didn’t happen. There is only one judge that does the adoptions in our county and he was out of the office so he did not get the documents signed in time for us to make it happen for the month of July. It was disappointing that we have to wait another month to finish the adoption but the upside is that our adoption is now scheduled to be finalized on August 6th, which just happens to be Leslie’s Birthday! What an amazing birthday present for her! I am so excited to have this complete! Such a huge weight lifted. Noah will finally have both Les and I legally recognized as his moms. It will be a great day for us as a family. I’m going to have to plan a huge celebration for Adoption Day to celebrate Les and the fact that this process is finally over!
We are still actively working on our second parent adoption. The home study has been the most time-consuming part of the adoption. We have completed the majority of the paper work that needs to be turned in. We’ve had our fingerprints done for a TBI/FBI background check and had our criminal records pulled from the Metro Police Department. We’ve had letters of reference sent from family and friends. Letters from the boys physicians sent saying they are in good health and up to date on immunizations. Given her our work and tax information. Had to prove that we have health insurance and life insurance. I feel like we’ve done everything except give her a sample of our own blood.
The biggest burden was her coming to our home for the home visit and evaluating where we live. And now Thank Goodness that day has come and gone. We spent days and weeks worrying about her visit. I spent hours cleaning and organizing. This rental house is just an older home that has many wonderful features but also many features that we were worried would cause us trouble when she visited. For example the stairs to the basement dont have a rail and there is an old fireplace in the livingroom. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent worrying that she was going to think the fireplace was unsafe. So we added bumper pads to it, placed a painting in front of it, then moved that and tried puttin plants in front of it… Lord, I did everything possible to make sure she would find that fireplace acceptable. And when she came she barely glanced at it. She did ask to see our fire extinguisher and smoke detectors which we proudly showed her. We also showed her that we had no cleaning supplies below the sinks or down low in the home (another state requirement). She did a quick tour of the house only peeking into each room. I think she didn’t even spend more than 15 mins actually looking at our house. All that worrying we did for that quick tour. I guess I had it in my head that she was going to be inspecting our house with a fine tooth comb but that wasn’t the case at all. Seems like her main goal is to view your home to see that there is adequate room for everyone and that there aren’t any major hazards.
The majority of her time at our house she spent talking to us. She met Nate for the first time and asked if she could ask him a few questions…well that was the only part that didn’t go so well. He was super nervous and when she asked him if he knew why she was there he answered with, “to make sure our house is safe for Noah.” Well that’s what we had told him and honestly I think that it was a good answer. But she wanted him to understand more about the home study I guess because the day after the study she asked if we could explain the adoption situation to him more and could she meet with him again. At first we were a little frustrated with the situation. The reason we hadn’t talked about the home study and adoption very much with Nate is because in his eyes we are already a family, Leslie is already Noah’s mom and we don’t like to continually highlight the fact that the states denies us basic rights. But I agreed to bring him in. I talked to him at length about the adoption process and the home study and when we went to see her this past week she seemed very satisfied with his responses and understanding about everything.
Now with that behind us I feel like a weight has been lifted. We are literally weeks away from having our adoption official. We are thrilled to be this close to finishing. Our adoption date will either be July 9th or Aug 6th. Yippee!
I came across a post on the Curve Magazine Facebook page of a young couple holding a fundraiser to help them pay for their baby making process. This is a young couple that lives in Denver, CO and from what I gathered they are photographers. They are offering “perks” for donations and are trying to raise $6,500. I smiled when I saw this thinking to myself…”This is pretty clever. We should have thought of a fundraiser!” Then I started slowly scrolling through the comments and was shocked and saddened by what I read… “If they want a baby shouldn’t they be able to afford one on their own? Just my opinion”, “Wait till you have to pay childcare, ladies. If you can’t afford a baby now, the cost of raising one is really going to shock you.”, “If you can’t afford to make it you probably can’t afford to support it.”, “I find this to be an odd way to have a child….children are expensive if you can’t afford to produce one how can you afford to raise one?”, “even though I already commented I just had to come back to say that NO ONE should give money to this..stop the madness!!!”… Now, I remind you that these are all other lesbians. So just because this couple decided to seek help in raising the money for their attempts we should assume that they can’t afford to raise a child or deserve one?!? Wow! What is wrong with our community AND When did we become so hateful to each other? Is it just me or do you not feel that we as lesbians need to be supportive of each other in our efforts to start families. Now of course I don’t expect everyone to donate money to their cause but at least support the fact that a loving couple is excited to start their own family and wish them well. These people with the negative comments are acting like because they are holding this fundraiser that they are saying they can’t afford a child. They’re NOT asking for help in raising their child, they’re simply creating a fundraiser to help with their attempts to get pregnant. I’ve known more than one straight couple that has held a fundraiser to help with the expenses of adoption and no one throws stones at them. No one assumes that they don’t have the money to pay for the child once its theirs. Why are we throwing stones at our own?
Raising a baby is not ALL about money. Yes, children cost money (I know. I have two of them.) but they aren’t as crazy expensive as everyone’s comments are making them out to be. You can find ways to save money and afford the essentials. Most of all a baby needs love, attention, stability and I’m sure this couple can handle that.
We have a whole new generation of LGBT who see that we deserve to have families just like straight couples! Twenty years ago most gay and lesbian couples never even thought of trying to have children…now its 2013 and we live in a whole new world of access and availability to try to start families. Straight couples can get pregnant without a penny spent. They have an unlimited supply of sperm and can try whenever they want to. And I would dare say that many of them aren’t financially prepared. I would like to see how many capable straight couples would be getting pregnant if they had to come up with $1000 a month to try!
I am so disappointed in the reactions that these girls received. Most of you know how costly it is to make a baby in our world. Most of you saved up for months and maybe years to do so. I know Les and I had to stop trying at one point because we ran out of money. What is so wrong with this couple just asking for help?!? If a stranger wants and can afford to donate to their cause then good for them! Some may think it’s odd or weird but who cares! Don’t give if you don’t want to give. Scroll past if you don’t support them but why send out these nasty messages to them. What ever happened to…”If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” ?
We live in a world with so much hate directed at the LGBT community. We are battling daily for equality. We long for the day that our marriages are recognized and we are seen as equal. We want to put a stop to the hate that we face but yet we are turning on our own people!
“You must BE the change that you want to see in the World!”- Gandhi
Here is a link to Jennie and Heather’s Fundraiser if you’d like to take a peek… http://igg.me/at/babycrate/x/2660086
When we decided we wanted to have a baby we agreed that we both wanted to both be legally Noah’s parents. We live in a state where we can do a 2nd Parent Adoption. This will allow Les’s name to be put on Noah’s birth certificate and she would legally be just as much his mother as I am. So we met with our attorney a few weeks before Noah was born to talk about what we needed to do to get the ball rolling. We found that this process was not going to be as easy as we had hoped. This was going to be not only expensive but time-consuming. We are required to go through a home study just as if we were adopting a child from China. It feels weird going through the motions to essentially adopt your own child. The home study is costly and you are handed a stack of paper work that needs to be completed. We were told that were couldn’t even meet with the social worker until he was a few months old and that we can’t apply for the adoption until he is 6 months old. In the meeting with the social worker we were handed a list of things that had to be done. The list of things required is long…background checks, finger prints by the TBI, police background reports, letters from friends, family and our doctors, family medical history, proof of employment, all of our financial information, a lengthy self evaluation, two visits to our home, at least one individual interview with her and I’m sure more that has slipped my mind at the moment. We have so much on our plates right now but we don’t want this to be pushed onto a back burner. It is very important for us to do this to protect us and Noah.
One part of me wants to be angry with the process. One part of me wants to point out that there are hundreds of thousands of unfit parents in the world that do not have to jump through the hoops that we do. But the wiser part of me says NO…be thankful. Be thankful that we are able to have her adopt him. Just be thankful that we will be protected. Be thankful because we are blessed to be the mommies of one precious little boy. So I’m Thankful.
I was asked to answer two sets of Questions so here we go….
These are the questions I’ve been given to answer by http://lovelytransitions.wordpress.com/ …
1. What is your all-time favorite food? Mexican!!! I could eat Mexican food everyday! I love taquitos, salsa, chimichangas, queso dip, oh I could go on forever!
2. If you went to college, what was your major? My major in college was Cardiopulmonary Science.
3. If you could change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be? I would make myself have smaller tatas! I know some women pay thousands and thousands of dollars to have them this size but I didn’t ask for it : )
4. Beach or mountains? Beach. Ahhhh! I love the sand, the sun, the ocean, etc.
5. What is your favorite color? Yellow.
6. How tall are you? 5’4″ and would love to be taller!
7. If you could go any one place in the world (money is not a factor) where would you choose to go? If I could go any one place in the world I would go to Fiji.
8. Who is the biggest role model in your life? My grandfather. He was the most inspiring amazing person I’ve ever known. I wish more than anything he was alive today.
9. When you die, how do you want to be remembered? I want people to remember me as positive person who loved to make people laugh and enjoyed helping others. I also would want people to remember that I treated people with respect and that’s the way I wished to be treated.
10. Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it? “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”~Mahatma Gandhi
11. Make up your own question! Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself being a busy wife and mother. I’ll have a wife who is finished with Med School but busy with a Residency. And I’ll have a 17 year old, a 4 year old and hopefully another baby in the mix. I see myself being in the prime of life and being happier than ever living life with my family.
And I was also asked by my friend Roxx from http://lesroxxbangkok.wordpress.com/ to answer 11 more…
1) Choose 3 things that are important to you apart from starting a family. #1 would be my wife and family #2 my friends #3 Staying healthy and being active.
2) Do you believe in ghosts /paranormal stuff? Yes. I believe in ghosts after watching one too many reality haunting shows. Ha! Scares me to death!
3) Have you had a particular life-changing event? Yes when I became a mom at the age of 17 my life was forever changed. I had to grow up insanely fast. I missed out on many life experiences that other girls my age experienced but in the end it was all worth it to be mom to one amazing little boy.
4) What is your all time favourite film/movie? Pride & Prejudice. The 4 hour film produced by A&E. I swear it goes along with the book word for word. Love it!
5) What was your favourite holiday of all time? My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July! My birthday happens to be 2 days before it and growing up I used to think all the fireworks on the Fourth were for my birthday. I love getting together for a cookout with family and friends. So the Fourth of July is 100% my favorite holiday.
6) What annoys you the most about your country? Lack of Gay Rights.
7) What is the last book you read for fun and what did you think of it? Oh this is awful…I haven’t read a book in a long time. I think the last one I read was… The Other Boleyn Girl. AMazing book. Much better than the movie.
8) Have you had /would you ever have any kind of plastic surgery? I have not but Yes I would! I would love to reduce the size of my tatas. Just to a C….nothing to drastic one cup size down would make me a happy lady!
9) Do you have any allergies? Nope but my son has awful seasonal allergies and sneezes non-stop when the pollen comes around.
10) What things do you like about yourself? I like my sense of humor and my honesty.
11) Do you have any pets? I have a morbidly obese cat named Phoenix. He was a birthday present for Les the first year we were together. He is a Flamepoint Siamese. I will admit he is the most beautiful cat I have ever owned but defiantly the craziest. I also have 2 dogs. Paige is our 6 year old Great Dane mix. She has no idea how big she is and thinks she’s my baby and then her little sister Maddie is 4.5 year old Pit Bull. Maddie and Paige do everything together. They are my sweet girls and I love them to death!
22 Questions Answered….I bet you feel like you know me a little bit better now : )