Adoption Resources

« No, I'm Not Dead | Main | A Few Big Milestones »

Apr 10, 2006



I had a feeling that was the reason, and I think I would find it difficult too if I was in your position.


That's what I thought the reason was too.

One of the most heartbreaking things I can think of is that my so wanted and loved child will feel I am lesser than because there isn't a biological tie.

Sophie D

Dont be too hard on yourself. As a fellow infertile turned adoption route, I know how you feel. The journey may be hard but I know it will be worth it in the end and we will be great mothers and have great kids. No point in thinking anything else or it will eat away at you. Manuela's blog is sometimes a tough read, but she has vaulable information to share and her heart is in the right place. Read what you can and take a break when you have to. That is what I do. Stay strong! Sophie D


hiya. i just read back n forth to manuela's blog... look... you meant no harm. i think you can choose to read or not read whatever you want. it seems clear to me that you were never about attacking her personally - it was about you not wanting to read her thoughts for a while. there is NOTHING wrong with that. it doesn't mean she should stop writing. we publish (instead of keeping a private journal) because we want readers, want a community. but that comes along with the caveat that we may not please all our readers all of the time even though our own thoughts are (sometimes too?) dear to us.

i have to be frank... there are some blogs i have stopped reading because i find them too negative, in a particular way, for my taste. i have (gently, over time) dropped real life friends for the same reason. it's not to say i need all positivity or all candy-coated. not at all. i can take pain, and i do my best to help shoulder the pain of others. it's just that all of us have the right to read or associate with people in our lives that make us feel good in the pit of our stomachs. if M isn't doing that for you right now, then that's fine.

personally i like to read M's blog because i feel i learn from her POV and i like her writing. but you see - that's it - it's a choice, and it's not necessarily personal. not always about the writer, sometimes about the reader.

you're a thoughtful, smart person. don't blow any of this out of proportion. we have enough real drama in our lives, no? hugs


I have no idea what anyone involved with adoption in any way is feeling, but I can see from the outside that its overwhelming. You have so much insight, you have the best intentions, you are coming from a loving place, and still, its overwhelming and difficult and downright scary. You might not be able to prove that you adopting one specific child is the best thing for all parts of the triad, but you will do the best you can do. And that is all we can ask of ourselves or anyone.


You have such an honest and open starting place, I think that sets you far along the path towards being a wonderful parent. I admit that I, too, was totally freaked out when I learned about this irrepairable piece of the adoption puzzle from reading some of the same blogs you've mentioned. Doesn't mean it's not valid, but it did make me seriously take a step back and know that for me, right now, adoption is not something I can do. I personally am not in the right space to make it work.

And I totally respect you needing to take some space and just Be for a while. I often do that when continuing to torture myself would be counter-productive. I applaud your healthy approach, and I respect your honesty.


I think that's perfectly understandable.


I am an adoptee. My birth mother made a choice to put me up for adoption. She was not forced, bribed or manipulated into her decision. These are her words, not mine.

Of course it's important to be prepared, to learn and to listen about the impact adoption has on everyone involved. HOWEVER, there are millions of children in this world already in orphanages, already floundering in the foster care system, desperate for the love of a family.

Yes adoption needs serious reform and God knows I love all of the birth mothers I have been blessed to meet. They teach me every single day and their pain some days just kills me. But not all children were forced from their mothers arms and the fact remains that there are still children going to bed without a kiss goodnight and someone to tuck them in, someone to say I Love YOU.

I think Manuela is awesome and I'm sure when you are ready you will drop back by because her words are important. We are ALL important but the children, they are the most important of all.

I think that adopting a child to fill a need we have cannot be our motivation, part of the equasion yes but not our motivation. Filling a need the child has should be. If this is your motivation you should proceed guilt free and rejoice that soon a child will have love where there was none!!!!!

I wish you all the best!


What?? You're a horrible person for wanting to adopt?? Have you lost your mind, woman?? Stop reading horror stories about adoption. Most adoptive families turn out just fine. If you were pregnant, would you go seeking horror stories about biological children? Of course not!

Take a break. Infertility seriously fucks with your mind. I know I had thoughts of, "well, what if I am forcing the issue and I am not really meant to have children" Then I realized that was crap. I am a loving person, ready to give a child a home and to start a family. Hopefully when you are able to squash the demons, you will see that adoption is a wonderful thing, for you AND for the child.


I kind of thought that was your reason, too. And it makes sense. And you and Manuela are fine with each other, so let us never speak of it again.

Very good luck to you both in your adoption journey. It's not for the faint of heart. :-)


First, this is a classy apology. I, in turn, apologize if I came down too hard in my defense of Manuela...I'm a bit of a mama bear.

Second, all human institutions are flawed. It doesn't mean we should stop participating in them. We all read horror stories every day about marriage...lives ruined, murders, infidelity, etc. But we still stay optimistic about marriage because those are the extreme stories. I see adoption stories the same way. Terrible things can happen and wonderful things can happen. I'm hoping that by learning about the worst of it I can be a better parent. But I understand that it can be hard to take sometimes.


We all make mistakes sometimes, not being able to see what impact our actions will have on someone else. You and Manuela have sorted this now, I hope, so I'm very glad because you are both pillars of this community and having you - at least seem to be - at odds with one another is just wrong. I guessed this was your reason, and I'm sure if things weren't so raw for Manuela, she would have done too.

Adoption is just really hard to get one's head round. I absolutely believe that what you say about you and T and the child that needs a home is right, at the same time as I have new insight into all the traumas of adoption from reading Manuela and others. I thikn it is fine to give yourself a break, much as we all do on reading pregnant infertiles from time to time. Stick to your sense of what is right for you.

Mary Scarlet

I also kind of suspected this might be the reason...glad that you and Manuela have explained and understand each other. I am on the verge of the adopt/not adopt decision and I have those dark fears in the back of my mind, but I am glad that Mia and Stephanie said what they did above.


I hope you're not beating yourself up over this- obviously it's a simple misunderstanding, and I'm glad it was cleared up so easily. I hope you don't start becoming overcautious; if people inhibit their writing to the extent that no one ever interprets anything in a way different from what you had intended, then blogs would be very stilted indeed. And I'm hoping to hear more about the other topics you listed!


I completely understand your reasons, and I'm so sorry that you are experiencing so much guilt. As you continue your adoption journey, I hope that guilt is overcome by excitement and the sheer joy of meeting and loving your beautiful child.

chee chee

I have very limited knowledge about adoption and I understand at a very basic level how complex the issues facing adoptees and their families (both adopted and biological) must be. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you.

Call me naive but I believe that the creation of a new family by whatever means is a wonderful thing. I believe that all families face obstacles and challenges (yes, I know some face more than others). And finally, I believe that you and your husband will be great parents b/c you are strong and caring people, who will give your all to raising a family.

Hang in there and do whatever you need to do to get through this.

Lut C.

I guessed something along those lines. I'm glad to see you've patched things up with Manuela.

I was never a great fan of the band "Therapy", but their song "Happy people have no stories" comes to mind here.

Before becoming miserable because of IF, I didn't dream of starting a blog. I just didn't have anything much to say.

I suspect there are a great number of adoptees that don't blog, not about being adopted anyway. And I would dare to guess it is because they're fairly content with how things turned out for them.


Oh goodnes... I am SO sorry I caused such a hubbub! I feel like such a pansy now... it was a simple misunderstanding, that's all.

Man... even *I* need a break from my own adoption ramblings... so heavens... cut yourself some SLACK, girlfriend!

And I also want to remind you, that when I write about MY experiences... I have NEVER claimed that I am the model of all adoptions everywhere. It's just... that it's only been in the last year... maybe two at the most... that I've been cognizant of the fact that I'm not alone in my experiences... and that it's such a RELIEF to vent the nasty stuff! Lastly...let's ALSO not forget... that my adoption involved lies, manipulation, coercion, and abuse. NONE of which will apply in your own situation.

As always... I wish you NOTHING but the very happiest of families... but... I think you did already know that.



Manuela and I have had this same conversation. It's tough, but as I sit here, having coffee with our potential birth mom and realize that the contractions she had all night could be the start of labor and the birth of the child she wants us to raise...well you just think about the love, not the bad part. That's what our potential birth mom tells us. But, out of respect, I still call her Potential birth mom because until she hands me that child and tells me, "here is your son" well until then she is my pregnant friend.

Erin O'


I can't improve upon what all the other commenters have said thus far -- I understand how you feel, (having insomnia for the same reasons!), and am so glad that you and Manuela worked it out, and heartened that the discourse can run (albeit with bumps)in such a loving and accepting manner.

Sorry for the run-on sentence!
Just found your blog and am enjoying it, btw.



Everyone else has said far wiser things than I ever could. I just wanted to let you know how much I was thinking about you and how much I admire you for your honesty and your writing about all of this.


I can feel the love in the room! Smooches, sweetie. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are doing the very best you can.


As a foster-to-adopt (and infertile) mom, I mirror Stephanie's thoughts above. I feel for others who had horrible adoption experiences. But as someone who already hurts from her own infertility and is trying her best to make things right in the world, I have no room for extra horror stories. We see enough of them in the foster care system as it is - and that's what the kids come FROM. My best to you - you are making the world a better place for the choices you are making.


I'm adopted and I loved it so much that I chose that way to build my own family after a few half-assed rounds of Clomid and one Pergonal go-round. I think adoption is wonderful!!! come read me!!!

tubal reversal

nice and informative blog
tubal sterilization reversal or tubal ligation reversal - is a surgical procedure that restores fertility to women after a tubal ligation

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adoption To-Do's


    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!