Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

It is hard to believe one year ago this week we were in Taiwan meeting our youngest son. Where does the time go? The last year has been full of a sweet memories, new challenges and adventures as a family of six. I have to say our littlest guy is the most active of our four children. When we met him at the orphanage, at 9 1/2 months of age, he could not sit up for more than a few seconds before toppling over. It was not long before he tackled the sitting “milestone”. Then he was crawling and climbing…yikes! He was climbing everything a few months before he started walking, including the kitchen table and stairs. Obstacles are no trouble; baby gates a necessity but not always effective. He is always watching and learning. He can open some baby gates and is strong enough to push doors open (even doors you would think are too heavy for a guy his size). It is amazing to think how far he has come in the last year. He makes friends wherever we go. He recently learned to blow kisses and by doing so, charms everyone around him. His “dimply” smile and toothy grin can brighten anyone’s day. We are just beginning to see his personality emerge. I look forward to seeing all that God is going to do in his life. Our youngest son has a unique determination I know is a gift from God.

Here are a few photos from our day in Taiwan a year ago….clockwise from top left: feeding him his first bottle; our boy asleep in the hotel crib the first night; our first moments with him at St. Lucy’s Center (orphanage) in Tainan; proud daddy holding his son; happy boy playing in hotel room; as we left the orphanage in a cab, our little guy fell fast asleep in my arms; and sitting on the plaza in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.

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I have advocated on this blog in the past for the extension of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. The tax credit made a huge difference in both of our adoptions and I want to see it continue for many, many more years. US Representative Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) has introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act in Congress:

“Deciding to adopt a child is one of the most compassionate decisions a couple can make,” Braley said.  “Unfortunately, it also carries with it significant financial costs.

“Renewing and expanding the adoption tax credit will help remove a barrier to more families deciding to adopt.  It’s a small investment that provides a big return: getting more children into loving homes and out of the costly foster care system.” – said Rep. Bruce Braley. To read his full press release, visit his website here.

This is the first legislation introduced in Congress that would accomplish all the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s goals (a credit that is inclusive, permanent, refundable, and flat for special needs adoptions), according to the Joint Council on International Children’s Services. The working group consists of several adoptive organizations that understand how important this tax credit is for adoptive families.

Please consider doing a few simple things to help keep the Federal Adoption Tax Credit:

First, if you are on Facebook, go to Save the Adoption Tax Credit Facebook page and “like” it. This will keep you up to date on the legislation. This is a page that has been created by the working group of adoptive organizations who support the tax credit. After you “like” the page, please share the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Facebook page with your friends and ask them to support this legislation.

Then contact your Member of Congress and let them know you support extending and making permanent the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. You can find out who your representative is by clicking on this link to connect you to the US House of Representatives contact page.

We celebrated Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Sunday as a family of six. Last year at Easter, we were still waiting to bring our youngest son home. This weekend marked two significant anniversaries for our family. In 2009, on April 8, we received the referral for our first son adopted from Taiwan. He joined our family a few months later. And last year, on April 7, 2011, we learned a court in Taiwan had just issued the final decree for our youngest, making him our third son (and fourth child). This Easter was extra special because all of our children were home with us to celebrate together. I love my sweeties and think they look pretty cute in their Easter attire.

Somehow I have managed to get on the mailing lists for several women’s apparel catalogs. I have started receiving one called Title Nine and another one by Athleta. I have *not* bought anything from the catalogs yet so I cannot speak for the quality of the clothing. But that may change soon – I am very tempted by a few of the items in the spring catalogs. While the companies’ main focus is on athletic wear for women, the Athleta catalog has an entire spread devoted to clothes that travel well, and the Title Nine website has a category devoted to travel. You may be wondering how (or if) this is adoption-related. Well, if you recall from our trips to Taiwan, we packed very light. We took only carry-on bags with us, and clothes that washed quickly and easily, and were comfortable for traveling. I mentioned some of my favorite clothes for traveling in this blog post here. If you are traveling and want to pack light, I would suggest checking out these websites. I always look for quick or fast drying in the description, and from what I have learned, it seems spandex, nylon and/or polyester blends are better travel companions than 100% cotton. And for Taiwan, I always looked for clothes that were lightweight, since the climate was so hot during the times we traveled. If you have bought any clothing from either of these companies, I would love to hear your opinion on the clothing.

I really wanted to file our son’s paperwork with the court this morning, to begin the re-adoption process. But as with all the best-laid plans, our morning schedule had to be rearranged to fit in a last-minute trip to the pediatrician’s office for an ear infection diagnosis. As we were leaving the doctor’s office, it started to rain and I really didn’t want to have to unload all of the kids at the courthouse and trudge everyone through the rain (and possibly get our paperwork all wet, too).  I decided to go on to the courthouse, despite the pouring rain and hoping there would be a break in the showers. I told the kids if it was still pouring when we got there, we would just come back another day. As I got closer to the government center, the rain tapered off to a light drizzle. And when I pulled in the parking lot, there was a spot right at the front, across from the main entrance. How cool is that! God works out even the smallest details. Thank you, God!

Some of you may be wondering why we need to re-adopt our son. His adoption was final in Taiwan and we are his parents. The Commonwealth of Virginia did change its laws last year, allowing some families to obtain a birth certificate for an adopted child without the need to re-adopt. However our son’s immigration visa requires re-adoption in our home state. The re-adoption step is relatively simple and will ensure our son does not run into immigration issues later in life. He will have access to a birth certificate here in our state, rather than relying on a copy of his birth certificate from Taiwan. And his adoption will be recognized in our home state as well. Once this step is complete, we will have his Certificate of Foreign Birth in his American name, and we will request his Certificate of Citizenship from the US Government. The paperwork never seems to end but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter…