Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Hi Everyone! We just wanted to share with you a great new holiday fundraiser! I know that no one really wants to think about Christmas yet, but I was informed today that we only have 8 weeks until Christmas so I guess we need to start thinking about it. So, in honor of the holiday season, we are going to be taking orders for poinsettias until Nov. 16th. They come in pink, white or red and they are about 16" high and 16" across. They come in 6 1/2 inch pots and cost $12 apiece. We have a picture on a sales flyer that we were sent, but I haven't been able to copy it to here. The poinsettias will be delivered to us on Nov. 27th and then we will distribute them accordingly. We have to have all orders and money to us by the 16th to give the greenhouse time to process everything. If you live anywhere between Utica and Lowville we can make it work. Poinsettias are not only a great decoration around the holiday season, but they also make great gifts. If you are interested in ordering a poinsettia you can email us at: eliaslovesjess@gmail.com, we will then provide you with further instructions regarding payment and delivery. We can also email you a copy of our flyer that has a picture of the three poinsettias that are offered. Thanks and I hope that everyone is well and safe after the storm!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Some facts about foster care

I wanted to write a post about foster care and how it functions. I have this tendency to obsessively research things that matter to me to feel like I'm actually doing something. I recently realized while talking to a friend that not everyone has researched adoption and foster care as obsessively as I have. I know, this is quite the revelation. Thus the reason for this post.

We have received many loving suggestions to try adopting from foster care to keep costs low and I have replied that we don't feel like this is right for us as this time, without any real explanation as to why we don't feel that foster care is necessarily right for us. As I have said in other posts, we are currently taking foster care classes and my heart has definitely been opened to these children, however the emotional cost of trying to adopt from foster care may be more than we can handle at this time. This does not mean that we won't consider this route in the future or that we won't accept a placement if it feels right for us at this time.

The first and most important part about foster care is that the goal of foster care is reunification with with the child's birth parents. Very few children enter foster care already free for adoption. Yes, children do become free for adoption while in foster care, but this is not the case with all children. All children enter foster care with a plan. The primary goal is usually reunite the child with his/her birth parent(s). There may even be a set time frame, such as 3 months, that they would like to try to aim for. For some children, they enter foster care with only one plan, which is reunification. Other children enter care with what is called a concurrent plan. In this case the foster parents have to work with the birth parents on making reunification possible, but if reunification is not possible the foster parents most likely are in agreement that they would be willing to adopt the child, or children in a case where there is sibling group. This means that we could have a child come into our home that has a high chance of being freed for adoption, but for a certain period of time we will have to work toward reunification and there is no guarantee that the child will actually become free for adoption.

Another part of foster care is that if a child has been in care for 15 of the most recent 22 months a petition has to be filled to terminate parental rights. This does not mean that this petition has to be granted. The situation, the birth parents, the judge and a number of other factors determine whether or not the petition will be granted.

So let's say that we had a newborn come to us that stays in our care for 15 consecutive months, a petition is then filed, but let's pretend like it's not granted. Maybe the birth parents have been trying really hard to get their child back and it's looking like that may be possible. But let's also say that it takes a long time time for that to happen, and the child is in our care for another year or more. Now this child has been in our care for 2-3 years, since he/she was a newborn. We are attached to the child and the child is attached to us, but we are not his/her birth parents and the birth parents are doing everything they need to do to have their child come back into their home. We have heard stories of situations like this happening and frankly they scare us. Yes, you have given a child a wonderful start to his/her life, but if the birth parents don't want a continued relationship with you once that child goes home, you may never see that child again. That is a huge loss!

The effects that our failed embryo transfers have had on us are pretty big. Foster care class has showed me that I have had to go through the five stages of grief with these failed transfers. To experience intense grief for months at a time several times over has been really difficult. To parent a child and then have that child go home and possibly never see him/her again sounds so overwhelming and almost more than we can handle. It would be different if we already had one or two children, it would still be painful, but it would be a little easier to accept. But to have that child be our first child and possibly only child, and to risk losing that child just doesn't sound like something we can take lightly. Like I said, we may have a situation that is presented to us that just feels right, but for our own emotional health at this point we have to be selective even if it sounds selfish. Thank you for caring enough to suggest adopting from foster care and please do not be offended if/when we say this isn't right for us as this time. We just have to protect our hearts at this time so that we can be fully ready to welcome a child into our home that is right for us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The next steps

Many of you have probably been wondering how our meeting with our attorney went last week and I apologize that I haven't updated you more quickly. The rest of the week was busy and then Elias and I went away over the weekend for an overdue anniversary getaway (our anniversary was in August). We had a wonderful time and it was so nice to have some quality time with each other! But now that I have some free time, I figured that I would catch all of you up to date.

Last Wednesday we travelled to Albany, NY to finally meet with our attorney face to face. I had talked with her a couple of times over the phone and via email, but there was still A LOT to discuss. I have say that she is a wonderful woman and I am so glad that we will be working with her. I had no idea how much more we still need to do and that we still had a few decisions to make regarding which direction we would go. Because we had our homestudy done by a social worker apart from an agency we didn't get any of our clearances done for the adoption. We have all of these in for foster care, but of course we would have to have them done again since agencies are not allowed to share this information. We basically had two options, do our clearances through the state and be allowed to adopt from any state, or see if an agency will review our home study and perform our clearances for less money than the state. In this case we would not be able to adopt outside of NY, but since we are trying to keep costs low, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you adopt from out of state, you are required to stay in that state until parental rights are revoked which means that you not only have travel costs, but you also have hotel costs for the time being and there would be court fees as well. Ultimately adopting from another state usually adds on a few thousand dollars unless you have family or friends to stay with, which we have decided may not be the best option for us. So we have decided to utilize our attorney in conjunction with an agency that she has worked with before. This will allow us to get our clearances done as well as having a more concrete idea of how much total costs with be rather than going private route where costs can vary greatly. Birth mothers can request assistance for living costs, medical costs and counseling. With an agency, depending on the agency, you may have the advantage of having a set fee so that you don't face a bunch of expenses that you may or may not be able to afford. This would be the case with the agency that we are working with.

So now our attorney will send a copy of our homestudy to the agency to be reviewed and we are officially waiting. We could be waiting for 2 weeks or 2 years, it will ultimately depend on whether an expectant parent(s) chooses us or not. We are currently working on putting together our adoption profile so that if we were to be contacted we will have something to provide the expectant parent(s) something that tells about who we are and why we want to adopt. We have also submitted two grant applications that will be awarded in December, so please pray that if we are meant to receive a grant that God will bless us in this way.

While all of this is going on, we are also still taking foster care classes. We are halfway through and they have been very interesting. We have still not made any decisions regarding whether or not we want to pursue fostering right now or not, but the education aspect has been great and there is always a chance that we will be presented with a situation that just feels right. Right now we are just taking it one day at a time and praying for wisdom as we walk this road. The fact that we are making progress and that adoption feels more tangible has definitely lessened the sting of infertility. I feel as though we are really working toward becoming parents and that this is the right path for us at this point. I can't say that it never feels overwhelming or that I don't wish that we could just get pregnant for free and without being fingerprinted or cleared for child abuse like most couples, but I know that this is right and that in the end we will be providing a child with a good home while also receiving the biggest blessing that we could ever imagine. Please keep praying for us as we continue to move forward on this journey. Please pray that we will have wisdom when making decisions about situation that may come up and whether or not they are right for our family. Please pray that God will continue to open doors to make our dream a reality. Thank you again for your love and support and feel free to contact us at any time with questions!