Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Be Prepared"

One of the steps of the adoption that made me the most nervous was the homestudy. I have heard so many horror stories about how homestudies can last anywhere from 2-8 months and how the Social Workers are so intimidating. "Be Prepared" is what I heard many people say. Prepare yourself for the never ending list of personal question and a very thorough inspection of your home. Prepare to feel vulnerable and intimidated and just remember it's their job.....
Who wouldn't be nervous.
Well, yesterday I received a call from Mr. Saunders, our Social Worker. "I'll be there at 4pm, if that's ok." he says. Trying to hold in my excitement and nervousness I hung up the phone and let Dustin know we had a big day ahead of us. The next couple of hours I ran around the house cleaning up any little messes and checking and rechecking all our baby proofed outlets and door knobs. I couldn't hold still.
Mr. Saunders was right on time and we sat in our living room talking for over 2 hours. He wanted to know all about us, including the girls. What our hobbies are, what we did for work, do we enjoy our work, how was Kaiya doing in school, how do the girls get along, what schools Dustin and I went to, what did we do after High School, How long did we date before getting married, what are our finances like, how do we feel about our communication with one another, what was it like growing up in our homes, and so on.. and on and on......
After we answered every question he asked, he asked to see our home. We showed him every room, including closets. Once in our room Kaiya wanted to show him her favorite game. She took both her socks off and stood on mine and Dustin's bed. She throws her socks how ever many times are required until each sock in on a different blade of the ceiling fan. She squeals with excitement and jumps off the bed and yells "Watch this!" She turns the van on and watches as the fan picks up speed. The socks fly off one by one, the second hitting Dustin. He plays his usual role in the game and falls to the ground. Kaiya and Ryan laugh so hard that the social worker starts laughing hysterically. We should have played this game at the beginning of the visit :) Would've been a killer ice breaker.
After he sees the rest of our home, including Vika's future bedroom, he tells us that our home is great. Nothing to change. He says that we have a wonderful spirit in our home and he is very happy he gets to work with us. He told us that if we can get all of our documents in within the next week, our homestudy will be complete in 2 weeks!! 2 WEEKS!!!
I told him that he is not nearly as scary as I thought he'd be. Another round of laughter :)
So, here we go. One more step in this journey down. This week we will be working on getting together all our documents which include Birth Certificates, Letter from Doctors, financial statements, to name just a few.
Let's do this!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Additions

Well Hello Fellow Bloggers,
First let me apologize. I am new to the world of blogging and am afraid I'm not very good at it. Like many other things, I will learn and improve through patience and practice. I am finally doing this because I feel that I am embarking on a journey that deserves more attention than my daily Facebook status update.
Let's start with introductions.
My name is Shalee Booker. I live in Farmington Utah with my Husband, Dustin, and our two beautiful daughters, Kaiya (7) and Ryan (20 months). Kaiya has Down Syndrome. If you have never heard the Down Syndrome saying "Angels are made of 47 pieces" you can take my word for it when I tell you it is a very true statement. She is an Angel. A very beautiful, loving and stubborn Angel :) We are involved with the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation and participate in the Buddy Walk every year. The Buddy Walk is a one mile walk and a day full of festivities to raise awareness for DS and funds for the foundation. This year, September 10th to be exact, our lives changed in a very significant way. We discovered we were missing a member of our family.
Let me back up...
At the Buddy Walk I noticed an Easy Up tent covered in balloons and full of tables that were covered in photographs. After this tent caught my eye for the hundredth time, I wondered over with my daughters to see what was so exciting. I met some of the most amazing and inspiring people. The tent was for Reece's Rainbow, an adoption ministry for children with Down Syndrome and other special needs. We met several families that had adopted from RR and heard all their stories. I was learning about how in other countries, when a child is born with special needs, most are placed in over populated orphanages. They are not always properly cared for and very rarely have anything (toys, clothes, etc.) that belong to them. Their heads are shaved and they are sometimes left in bed, often by force, when an orphanage is understaffed. These few things are the most minor problems these children face in this situation. When they reach a certain age, typically 5-7, they are removed from the orphanages and placed in adult metal institutions where 90% die within the first year of their transfer. After hearing all of this and looking over the dozens and dozens of photographs of "available" children, my husband and I decided right then and there that we needed and wanted to help. We talked about it so much and were so heart broken about how many children's faces we saw on that table. How does anyone just choose one? I got emotional at the thought of not being able to save them all. After some time to think about it and coming back to reality, I excepted the fact that... No, I can't save them all... But Dustin and I can and will save one.
We have begun the process of adopting a beautiful little 6 year old girl who has Down Syndrome. She is currently living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. We have sent in our first fee to Global Adoption Agency and I am mailing off another round of paperwork and fees tomorrow. We know this will be a long and emotional journey, but it will all be worth it to see our sweet Daughter take her first step on American soil as a Booker.
I will keep posting throughout each step.
Thank You :)