Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Dance... Miracles DO happen!

OMG.. thinking about the title of this very short post I have come with more than a thousand!

My mom just received my background check and she already shipped it to us! It should be arriving to Austin very soon. What about that? Miracles do happen :-)
With this document, our home study will be ready!

On the other hand… Talley and I talked about where to apply for our child, in a casa privada or at ICBF. With the suggestion of our placement agency, we decided to submit a preliminary application to the casa privada (they only need the official home study and the report from the psychologist). If we do not get in their wait list in six months, we will apply with ICBF.

At the same time that we apply for the casa privada (Los Pisingos), we will request permission to the government of US to bring an orphan home, and that could take up to 90 days to get. So our decision may only delay the process three months.

So we may be submitting paperwork to Colombia in the next couple of weeks!!! HAPPY DANCE!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Any news?

News Pictures, Images and Photos

I wish I have better news to post, but we are kind of stuck. Our homestudy report is almost ready. We already got the draft from our fabulous social worker Charlotte. We reviewed and sent it back to her. So, it should be ready, right?
Nope, our home study cannot be completed until all our clearances have been received by the agency. The government of US wants to make sure that we have not commited a crime or abuse any child in any place in the world (or at least on the places where we have lived) since we were 18 years old. What does it mean? That we need to wait for a background check back from Venezuela for me (Nancy). Any problem with that? Think about any burocracy possible in a country and you will find it in Venezuela.
Neither of our agencies have the power to request this document there. So we ‘hired’ somebody to request it in my behalf. I had up and downs with this person, but it looks like finally he will send the documents to our house next Monday 10/27. If this really happen, we may have the background check here at the end of the week! If not, well, plan B. I will have my cousin to find them. If the documents show up at the end of the week, it will be a miracle!

On the other hand, we are changing the age of the child we want to adopt. Talley was listening a show in NPR and he understood how important is the influence of the parents in the first years of age. Well, the same guy who wanted a potty trained child at the beginning of the process is now more inclined to get a younger child. Amazing! Talley surprises me everyday! Thank you NPR!

Also, we are getting close to decide which way to adopt in Colombia. There are two posibilities. One with the government (ICBF, free) and the second is with a private house (kind of orphanages: casa privada, donations highly welcome). The casas privadas provide very good care of their children, ICBF place children in foster care. We don’t doubt that either way the child will be taken care of. But with casas privadas we have a bigger chance to get a younger child (almost newborn!), but it is more expensive. Also, with ICBF we understand that our wait could be between 24 and 30 months. With the private organization, we don’t know the length of the wait. We are requesting counseling from our placement agency, but at the end we have the last word. Lets pray we make the right decision!

BTW, Halloween is coming up and we will dress up!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How much can a test say about you?

I had my psychological test done yesterday. A full four hours with the psychologist! It even included an IQ test! I have to draw a couple of pictures, form figures with blocks, say the meaning of words! (that was difficult considering that English is my second language!).  

The best part was the questionnaire (True/false) with more than five hundred questions!!!!  that was the Minnesota Multiphasic personality Inventory-2. These were some of the questions:
  1. I like mechanics magazines
  2. I have a good appetite
  3. I wake up fresh & rested most mornings
  4. I think I would like the work of a librarian
  5. I am easily awakened by noise
  6. I like to read newspaper articles on crime
  7. My hands and feet are usually warm enough
  8. My daily life is full of things that keep me interested
  9. I am about as able to work as I ever was
  10. There seems to be a lump in my throat much of the time
  11. A person should try to understand his dreams and be guided by or take warning from them
  12. I enjoy detective or mystery stories
  13. I work under a great deal of tension
  14. I have diarrhea once a month or more
  15. Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about
  16. I am sure I get a raw deal from life
  17. My father was a good man
  18. I am very seldom troubled by constipation
  19. When I take a new, I like to be tipped off on whom should be gotten next to
  20. My sex life is satisfactory
So yes, they ask about EVERYTHING!!!  And not only once but like 10 times in different words!!!  Recommendation:  stick to the true during the entire test, after question #200 you will not remember what you reply previously!  

Why do we have to have all these done?  Simple, they want to make sure we are smart and sane enough to have a kid!  How many people who has biological children will pass this test?  Who knows... I'm not even sure that we will pass it!!!!     

On the other hand, I'm having some issues getting my background check in Venezuela.  The person who was doing it is asking me for an outrageous amount of money!  I wish we were rich, but we are not!  Anyway, lets see what happen next. 

That is it!  These are all the new news about adoption... stay tune!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not too much to report

Past Thursday we received our training certificate. We are officially trained to become international adoptive parents! Still, I bought a book that arrived yesterday called "Adoption Parenting, Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections" that contains more information that will help us be good parents.

On the other hand, one thing that may hold a little bit the Home Study is the background check! The government of US requires to check for all criminal records from age of 18. So... Talley's record is clean as it can be... but mine can be an issue innocent smileys. The home study agency needs to request to the government of Venezuela for my criminal records. Do you know what that mean? That it can take forever and ever to have them! The good news is that there is a way around!!! animal smileys I contacted somebody in Venezuela to request them personally... so they should be here in two weeks! Isn't that wonderful?

I just hope that those records are accepted by USCIS mad smileys

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Adoption letter

This is the letter that we are sending our family and friends to let them know about our adoption process.

October 3, 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
Please forgive us for not telling you this in person, but it is time to announce the big news for us and we want to share it as soon as possible with everyone: We are expanding our family! Some of you may know already that we have been thinking about this for some time. For those who don’t know, we are following the path of adoption. This is something we always planned to do, and we are certain that our current situation will allow us to bring a child to our lives.
Since last July we have been reading about it, asking question in several places and to several people. After extensive research, we decided to find the next Spiller in a foreign country: Colombia. Everything in our investigation leads us towards there. We have researched domestic and every country that allows international adoption, but there has been a constant "pull" towards Colombia.
1. Colombia shares a lot of history with Venezuela, so it will be easy to introduce our child to his or her culture.
2. Colombia allows adoption of children as young as four months old. We would like to have a child that young and up to four years old.
3. The cost is much less than other countries.
We started our paperwork early September. We are almost done with our home study. When the final report is done, we need to get approval from the government of the United States to bring an orphan to the country. Then we will need to put together a dossier to send to the authorities in Colombia. After they approve us, they will assign a region where our child will come from. Finally we will get a referral for a child and we can travel to get our kid! Our expectation is to bring our little Spiller home in around two years! It may look like a lot of time, but we feel that this will give us time to get ready.
We have a lot of love to give, and there will be a child that could thrive in our home. So, there's our big news! Please keep us in your prayers that God will give us patience!!! Please pray for our son or daughter that is or will be born in Colombia. Our child will be so lucky to have all of you in his life.
If you want to stay up to date with the process, please check out our website:

With love,
Talley and Nancy

Lessons from the training

Talley and I went to a training class past weekend. It was so informative! I can not believe how much information we got in just 10 hours. I wish it was even longer!
A few things we learned:
1. We need to be the only caretakers of our child for the first six to eight weeks we have him/her. That will help with the attachment and bonding between us.
2. We need to be prepare to deal with the grief that our child may experience for the separation his/her environment.
3. Our child may have some development issues, but there are tools out there that could help us.
4. It is important to keep the identity of our child, therefore Colombian culture will be preserve in our house.
5. We are not alone in this process. There are many other couples who are walking the path of adoption, and there are many tools that can help us to do the transicion as smooth as possible.

Our biggest lesson: more than ever, we are sure that we want to expand our family through adoption. I’m sure we will be good parents!