Saturday, March 27, 2010

Adoption Party

We attended our first DHS adoption party today. It was about 2 hours away, so we headed out the door this morning about 8am. Adam's parents watched the kiddos all day as we didn't plan on being home until about 5pm. They were excited about having a grandparents day. They ended up visiting their great-grandparents, seeing the animals at Atwoods and having Ol' McDonalds for lunch. And lucky us, they were in bed by 7:15, hence- getting to stay up and blog!

We arrived at the host church and to our delight, the parking lot was packed. There ended up being 100 families in attendance (families looking to adopt) and 140 kids (all available for adoption) ready to have a fun filled meet-and-greet afternoon.
As we walked in the door, I was impressed by the staff's organization of the party. Nothing makes a great idea go bad quicker than lack of organizing an event. And in this case with SO many people there, it went really smooth. (I realize this is not DHS's first adoption party, but for many of these kids and families it was their first party and not too many people seemed to have to wonder around aimlessly.)

We checked in, were handed name tags and given a big book with the children's profiles inside. We were led to a banquet room with Hollywood themed decor ("Every Child Is A Star" was the theme) to sit and review each child's profile. There were about 50 single placements (only children w/ no siblings) and about 40 sibling groups, amounting to 100 child/sibling profiles. There were a few sets of two kiddos, tons of siblings of three, several groups of four and a couple sets of five sibling groups.

Our social worker showed us how to fill out a separate page for those children you thought would be a possible match for your family. You listed the age of the child, their name and case worker. After this you entered the carnival area. They did a great job of setting up lots of activities for the children. There was face-painting, a girly nail area, an inflatable, making jewelry, a dress-up area where they took pictures of the kids, basketball, football and TONS of other carnival type games.

At first we just walked around and like most to-be-parents there, just took it all in. We watched kids play and even though we had just read a little lifestory on these kids, a bio and a pic just did not do justice to a LIVE PERSON, you know? It was like, oh so sweet thing, let me go back and read about you... so we did a lot of that, watching a kiddo, then looking him/her up in the book and reading if we/they would be a right fit.
Many times we did not have to decide this. If they needed to be the only child in the home, obviously, we did not qualify. Some were Native American and you had to be an Indian family to request placement. Some were acting out with aggression or sexually and those were the only two things we said 'no' too in our homestudy. So not a right fit for us, but for someone- most definitely. As for age, we were open to 5 years old and up. As for race, any. As for sibling groups, 1-3 children.

Then we narrowed down to making sure we met each child we wrote on our sheet and introduced ourselves to their case worker. We enjoyed this part and could tell that some kids we clicked with and others, not so much. But it was hard not to fall in love and hope to be CHOSEN as their forever parent. And I did daydream about many of them fitting into our family even on the drive home.

So... how are we chosen?
Each family (us) turns in their sheet to their case worker. Our case worker then tells the child's worker that we are truly interested. The child's case worker reviews our homestudy. They decide if we are the best fit for those kiddos. I say "the best" because many of these children could have 100+ families interested in adopting them. The last sibling group we were a candidate for, we were in fact, in a group with 99 other homestudies being reviewed. Great odd's for the kids though, they deserve the best possible placement.

Power to the case worker...
Yes, it seems that the child's case workers has the final decision for who these children are placed with for adoption. Is this scary? No. I can say this confidently because I have walked through this twice before. How did our adoption agency and our case workers there see pictures of two babies in orphanages on the other side of the world and know that they were our children and offer for us to adopt them forever?
Here we are meeting the kids first, praying for the right child and I have to believe that these case workers (whether they believe in God or not) are placed by God in this position to make life-changing decisions for those children who are placed under their care.

And now what-
We wait. We wait until we are chosen. We could attend 15 more adoption parties, meet children who are precious and still not be chosen as the best placement for that child. Do we want to settle for a child who is not meant to be in our home? Does that child deserve to be placed with parents that are not a right fit for them? These are factors that other adoption placements do not have to consider, but in a case of an older child adoption, everyone involved desires God's best. We want that for these kids. We want that for ourselves.
All that being said, we do hope to be the best placement for a child/ren, sooner than later : )
We will keep everyone in the loop!
P.S. The adoption parties are 3 times a year. Our case worker tries to make matches for us once a month. And yes, we are still open to international adoption if we are lead in that direction in the future. But right now, we are in the right place!

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." Micah 7:7

The Perryman Family

Sunday, March 21, 2010


We started doing school one day a week with Avi Joy. For Christmas she got a preschool workbook and literally craves doing her workbook. It's basically matching, tracing, what doesn't belong, sorting and such. I really like it too. We plan on doing one day a week until August then we will start 2 days a week. I am a sllllooowww to start kind-of-mom with school.
Daily we do crafts, read books and trust me- TALK a LOT, this girl can talk and ask questions, so it kinda feels like school daily, but this is sit down actual "school" time. She loves learning. I am so thankful for this part of her- oh and she remembers E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!- like it or not.
She also loves to take make silly faces and take pictures.
Roaring at mama.
She took a ton of me as well. I really think she likes this game because she gets to use the camera. I don't blame her, I like to use the camera too.
I love that my daughter now has 4 moles and that when each one popped up, I noticed. Is there anyone else in your world that you would notice this kind of thing?
I love her crafts from bible school. This one has Jesus walking on the water and she can actually make him walk. He is glued on a craft stick and the water is only glued on each side, therefore you can move Him up and down next to the boat. Very crafty!
Nehemiah doing the Vietnamese squat. Even first thing in the morning, he is so handsome! Vanessa these p.j.'s are from your boys : )
Getting ready to go outside and play!
This picture is a riot. I love it. They are just too funny. They were just at the sink, perfectly still, looking at each other. He is in the phase of wanting to do everything his sissy does.
Playdate with the Homan crew. They are performing on stage! Love our days together. We recently got to hang out with the Sweet family as well, that was a treat to have all our Ninh Thuan kiddos together.
Avi Joy *climbing her first tree. *More like she asked me to put her up there, but still it was her idea and considering she is almost 4 and has never had interest in climbing anything, it was exciting for me. She is doing "no hands".
Even though this pic is blurry, this is my boy. He woke up, went straight to the fridge asking for juice- which really means milk. He stood like this saying it over and over. His personality is so extreme I tell you. So sweet yet so strong-willed. And I love this tender captured moment.
Avi Joy is on a roll with being funny- don't want to forget them...
- Brother is playing with pots in the kitchen. She put one on his head and said, "Do you want to be a pot head?" Ummm, NO.
- She told me the other day, "Sorry, up yours." Ummm, again, what? Sorry for inter'up'ting you.
- I asked her if she napped or rested during her alone time. She said she played with her imaginary friends. I asked them their names. She said, "Mama, they don't have names, their astamoids." Apparently, non-human imaginary friends.
See, now that I am trying to remember them, I am forgetting them. I try to write them down, but then I lose the paper. Wrote some in my journal, but can't find them! I mean, come on, I'm trying here!

We are attending a DHS adoption party this Saturday. This is where many children throughout the state who are available for adoption come together for a huge carnival. The families interested in adoption are sent an invitation to come and play with the children. All the social workers will be there and if you are interested in a child/ren then you can talk to their social worker and asked to be contacted with further info on this child in hopes of being a match for the child. Good news for the children, the adoption parties are 80% successful and end in adoption.

Our prayer is that God opens our Spiritual Eyes and we can SEE who would be a good match for our family. We are open. We are praying for a child 5 and up, multi-cultural and open to siblings. We shall see. It may not happen, but we might meet our forever child!

"In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3

Thank you for following our family journey,
Adam, Natasha, Avi Joy and Nehemiah

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I wear my sunglasses at night

We have been working on her baby quilt and something fun we have discovered is cutting off the sleeves of her baby clothes and wearing them as leg and arm warmers. I will let the next four pictures speak for themselves. Melt my heart!

The best kind of sharing!
Hanging with Kerrie at a Vietnam Camp meeting. He is talking on her cell phone and taking notes. Good thing she is used to an active boy.
Watching Cops with daddy. I am still not sure how I feel about Cops at such a young age. This is the only real adult show she has seen, although she has seen some American Idol singing and to compare the two, AI actually has more language! She adores her Cops with daddy time and I have to admit its pretty darn cute. She does want to be a cop (along with the typical other 100 things toddlers want to be when they grow up) and she tries to arrest her brother. She also wants to know why drugs are bad and all the details about breaking the law.
We had a surprise visit from the Woods family. They are long time friends that moved to San Antonio recently. Last week she called and said, "What are you doing? Can I come by?" She had an impromptu visit to see her family and was a little early to see her grandma who lives nearby so she/kids hung out for a bit. What a treat! Thank you!
Watching daddy leave for work. Love his little skinny Vietnamese body. He does have quite a round tummy though, could it be because he never.stops.eating?! He eats more than I do for sure, oh those teenage years...
Favorite thing- the sunglasses. I love that I can walk around the corner and he will have them on: at the table, in the tub, while he is singing or in the car.
We also started potty (#2) training Nehemiah. Its wild to think that by his age Avi Joy was saying, "Diapers are like so 2006." Not as quick as her, but he is doing awesome, only a couple accidents a week. We (with a push from my mama who trained me crazy early) potty trained Avi Joy starting at 16 months and by 18 months she was good to go. (But by the way, she just learned this week to wipe herself and is still in night diapers.) We started with him at 19 months, just focused on "poo-poo on the potty" about 4 times a day. Sister is SO sweet and always rewards him with stickers and kisses. I know, I know, every parent differs in their theories of potty training- wait until their ready, etc. That is not us. We constantly expose our kiddos to potty use and it works for us. Now when the shoot and aim arrives shortly this might be a different story!

Come visit the Oregon Trail!

Praise be to the Lord. Psalm 41.

The Perryman Family