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PlayaDelWes
06-30-2009, 08:25 AM
I’d like to share some exciting news from the Playa family.

Yesterday, Stephanie (wife) and I completed the last step in the process to adopt two children.

It was nearly a year ago when the thought of adoption first came up between us. Each of us liked the idea, felt like if we had children we didn’t need the genetic attachment, and we both thought it’d be a good idea to help children in the world who needed parents like us.

So last September, we started down the international route (because that’s all we knew at the time). In fact, almost every time we broke this news to our friends and family, the first question was “From what country?” We worked with an international adoption agency who contracted with a social worker local to Ventura county to complete our “home study”, which is like a social review of our relationship with each other, family, and friends.

During our very first “home study” session, the social worker inquired why we weren’t adopting domestically. We were like “What are you talking about?” and had no answer because like most people, we didn’t even know domestic adoptions even existed anymore beyond what we’ve learned from Juno. Later, our online research at home showed that there are in-deed many local children who need homes just as much as anywhere else – and there were plenty of resources online to assist from the State of California to the Dave Thomas Foundation.

We then dropped our international plans (and got sued by the international agency for doing so), and immediately started the process with a not-for-profit agency in Ventura. Working with them was a breath of fresh air. They provided training classes, mentoring sessions, and a network of qualified family planners to help us through the process. Unlike the international agency whose primary concern was speed and money, the local agency cared about placing children with quality families.

We started with the local agency in December, and have had to do all of the following and more to become certified to adopt:

• 4 full-days of training
• Other monthly training
• Certification in Adult and Infant CPR
• First Aid Training
• Water Safety Class (because we have a pool)
• Cooking, Archery, and Astronomy classes (JK)
• Identify doctors and dentists
• A 3-part home study (Stephanie & I together, just Stephanie, and just me)
• Child proofing our homes
• Install a mesh-fence around the swimming pool
• Furnished two separate children’s bedrooms and one playroom
• References from family and friends

Imagine if everyone had to go through this stuff in order to have children.

What type of children are we likely to receive?
We don’t know the exact children, but we’ve expressed the following to our agency, so as new children need placement, they know what we’d be open to:

• 2 siblings
• At least 1 girl and the other can be a boy or a girl
• Preferably between the ages of 1 and 5 years old
• Any race (although they will likely be white or Hispanic)

So that’s where we stand. Any day now, we can pick up the phone and in hours have two children. I’ll be taking ~ 3 months off work, and my boss is supportive of me coming in one day and saying “this is it; see you in a few months”. My wife has only been with her job for 6 months, so she’ll only be able to take off a couple weeks when this all goes down. So it looks like I’ll be Daddy day-care for a bit.

Wish us luck. I’ll certainly keep you posted on things to come.

bug on your lip
06-30-2009, 09:06 AM
http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/71375/thumbs/s-MADONNA-large.jpg

PotVsKtl
06-30-2009, 09:08 AM
Nobody gives a shit about you or your fake family. Seriously.

JustSteve
06-30-2009, 09:12 AM
i do the stay at home dad thing and it is incredible how rewarding it is...good luck!

edit: fuck Mr. Predictable above me.

TomAz
06-30-2009, 09:15 AM
playa -- congrats. I have two friends who have adopted siblings (both sets from Russia) and they are very happy to have done it. good luck.

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
06-30-2009, 09:16 AM
I think this is incredible. Good luck! Your entire life as you know it is about to change

cansei de ser sexme
06-30-2009, 09:17 AM
• 4 full-days of training
• Other monthly training
• Certification in Adult and Infant CPR
• First Aid Training
• Water Safety Class (because we have a pool)
• Cooking, Archery, and Astronomy classes (JK)
• Identify doctors and dentists
• A 3-part home study (Stephanie & I together, just Stephanie, and just me)
• Child proofing our homes
• Install a mesh-fence around the swimming pool
• Furnished two separate children’s bedrooms and one playroom
• References from family and friends



Sounds like you will be starting off better than most families.

i knew a family that adopted internationally and got a korean baby and it was crazy as fuck. would never stop fighting.

PlayaDelWes
06-30-2009, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the support. It is scary how quickly life is going to change. It's not like we're easing into this. But certainly looking forward to it.

Suffacated
07-02-2009, 08:19 PM
Sounds like you will be starting off better than most families.




Agreed 100%

Hats off to ya.
What you are doing is amazing... especially in today's crazy society.
Please, do keep us posted.
BD and I wish you the best.....

PlayaDelWes
07-02-2009, 09:24 PM
So, we just told our next door neighbors who have a 3 y/o girl and 5 y/o boy and they are very excited not just for us, but for them. We’re on a cul-de-sac and they are the only children here at the moment. It’s going to be so confusing for their kids, don’t you think that after living together for almost two years, all the sudden two kids their age show up?

bmack86
07-02-2009, 09:29 PM
Just don't get your wife pregnant next week

PlayaDelWes
07-02-2009, 09:31 PM
One of us is getting cut, the question is who.

amyzzz
07-03-2009, 05:17 AM
That's a wonderful thing you're doing. Good luck!

JustSteve
07-03-2009, 09:07 AM
One of us is getting cut, the question is who.

man up and do it yourself. far less invasive, in and out of a dr.'s office in a matter of minutes. just make sure not to get hit in the nuts for a bit after(they have your wear an athletic supporter for a bit to keep things snug, haha).

also put away some of your boys just in case the urge comes for more children down the line.

marooko
07-03-2009, 09:15 AM
man up and do it yourself. far less invasive, in and out of a dr.'s office in a matter of minutes. just make sure not to get hit in the nuts for a bit after(they have your wear an athletic supporter for a bit to keep things snug, haha).

also put away some of your boys just in case the urge comes for more children down the line.

this guys thinking with the right head. sound advice.

PlayaDelWes
07-03-2009, 10:21 AM
I'm readin what you're writin

Sleepingrock
07-03-2009, 10:41 AM
playa -- congrats. I have two friends who have adopted siblings (both sets from Russia) and they are very happy to have done it. good luck.

I'm ordering my wife from Russia....do you know if they are good atall?

Sleepingrock
07-03-2009, 10:42 AM
So, we just told our next door neighbors who have a 3 y/o girl and 5 y/o boy and they are very excited not just for us, but for them. We’re on a cul-de-sac and they are the only children here at the moment. It’s going to be so confusing for their kids, don’t you think that after living together for almost two years, all the sudden two kids their age show up?

Just let their kids watch lots of Angelina Jolie and listen to Madonna then they will understand thats its the hip thing to do

Principal Onyx Blackman
07-03-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm ordering my wife from Russia....do you know if they are good atall?

My Russian wife is ex-KGB. So she's pretty kewl.

PlayaDelWes
12-10-2009, 06:29 PM
Just a general update.

After several months of calls with available siblings who were either too old or too many, 4 weeks ago, the perfect pair of girls (3 and 7) came up and a social worker from Santa Maria referred them to our social worker in Ventura. They were staying with an Aunt and already had a parental termination hearing set up for December. The Santa Maria social worker invited us to meet them so we made the drive up and spent an hour or so with them at a local playground after school. Going into it, we were both excited and nervous.

As soon as the girls arrived, any nervousness I had quickly diminished. When their car pulled up next to ours, they were waving at us (although they had no idea why we were there). We introduced ourselves to the Social Worker and immediately the girls introduced themselves to us. They were so friendly, talkative, playful, and cute in every way. Spending time with them was the most awesome feeling ever knowing that someday they may be part of our family. After, they told us 'nice meeting you'.

While we were at the playground, the social work mentioned to us that the Aunt was now interested in adopting them (after she learned they were meeting a potential adoptive family). Later that week, a separate adoptive social worker in Santa Maria gave the go-ahead for the Aunt to adopt them and the case was closed for us. The four days between meeting them at the playground and learning they wouldn’t be ours was one of the hardest four days ever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fast-forward four weeks to this afternoon. Our social worker calls me to say the Aunt has come to her senses and agrees that the best placement for these two girls would be outside of their family and that they would like to place the two girls with us!!! We are so excited. We will be picking them up tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty emotional day for everyone involved. They’ll be spending 3 days this weekend and 3 days next weekend with us, Christmas with their Aunt, and they will be placed permanently with us right after that.

I can’t think of a better Christmas present.

Pixiessp
12-10-2009, 06:34 PM
This is magnificent. Congratulations!!

djandrews25
12-10-2009, 06:40 PM
Congrats, good luck with the new family.

gaypalmsprings
12-10-2009, 06:43 PM
Congratulations. I guess you won't have as much time to spend with us. Will you bring them to Coachella 2010?

PlayaDelWes
12-10-2009, 07:06 PM
Thanks guys. after meeting them, I think 7 may be a little too early to bring out, even for part of one day.

JustSteve
12-10-2009, 07:50 PM
Just a general update.

After several months of calls with available siblings who were either too old or too many, 4 weeks ago, the perfect pair of girls (3 and 7) came up and a social worker from Santa Maria referred them to our social worker in Ventura. They were staying with an Aunt and already had a parental termination hearing set up for December. The Santa Maria social worker invited us to meet them so we made the drive up and spent an hour or so with them at a local playground after school. Going into it, we were both excited and nervous.

As soon as the girls arrived, any nervousness I had quickly diminished. When their car pulled up next to ours, they were waving at us (although they had no idea why we were there). We introduced ourselves to the Social Worker and immediately the girls introduced themselves to us. They were so friendly, talkative, playful, and cute in every way. Spending time with them was the most awesome feeling ever knowing that someday they may be part of our family. After, they told us 'nice meeting you'.

While we were at the playground, the social work mentioned to us that the Aunt was now interested in adopting them (after she learned they were meeting a potential adoptive family). Later that week, a separate adoptive social worker in Santa Maria gave the go-ahead for the Aunt to adopt them and the case was closed for us. The four days between meeting them at the playground and learning they wouldn’t be ours was one of the hardest four days ever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fast-forward four weeks to this afternoon. Our social worker calls me to say the Aunt has come to her senses and agrees that the best placement for these two girls would be outside of their family and that they would like to place the two girls with us!!! We are so excited. We will be picking them up tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty emotional day for everyone involved. They’ll be spending 3 days this weekend and 3 days next weekend with us, Christmas with their Aunt, and they will be placed permanently with us right after that.

I can’t think of a better Christmas present.

man, hopefully the kids are being shielded from all that back and forth from the aunt. good luck!

BlackSwan
12-10-2009, 10:54 PM
Will you bring them to Coachella 2010?

...

boarderwoozel3
12-10-2009, 11:38 PM
Wow, I can't help but smile after reading that. Thanks for sharing. All the best to you and your soon-to-be expanded family.

captncrzy
12-11-2009, 07:31 AM
That's seriously awesome.

There are so many kids in this world (even in this country) that need good loving homes. I guess it's because I don't have a problem conceiving, but I'll never understand why people will spend their life savings, mortgage their homes, and take out loans just to go through fertility treatments to have a genetic reproduction of themselves (I realize there are people with medical histories that disqualify them from being able to adopt, but let's face it, they're in the minority). Personally, I think it's more of an ego thing than a desire to raise, love, and guide a child.

It seems daunting to have children, but all they really need is love. Thank God there are people like you in this world that are selfless enough to open your home up to two children that desperately need some.

JustSteve
12-11-2009, 08:39 AM
99.6% of men with my lung disease can't have children naturally...so imagine my surprise when my doc called me and said i could(of course, my girlfriend got pregnant a week later, haha)! i was prepared my whole life to not have any kids, accepting the fact that i was not meant to. i would not have gone through any treatments or procedures to collect the sperm or anything. nature has a plan and if that was the card i was dealt i would accept it. guess i WAS meant to have kids, though. but yeah, i'm not into the whole artificial conception shit, either. most of the time there is a good medical reason you can't have kids, and by doing so you are passing on those negative traits so they continue to spread.

Young blood
12-11-2009, 08:53 AM
Congrats. I hope they don't end up killing you in your sleep.

amyzzz
12-11-2009, 09:38 AM
Congratulations, that's so exciting!

BROKENDOLL
12-11-2009, 11:56 AM
Congrats. I hope they don't end up killing you in your sleep.

Youngblood, you are truly a fine example of why some people shouldn't breed, and obviously, since it's too late, all we can really hope for is that you yourself, have no plans to reproduce and pass your shitty traits along.

PlayaDelWes, I got tears in my eyes reading about your good news! Congratulations to you and your wife on the upcoming family additions!:thu:pulse

I know I had chosen not to have children by the time I was 18, but I could never really give a reason why. I've learned over the years though, that it's probably due to the fact that my parents weren't exactly a shining example of the love and time spent nurturing a child into adulthood, and I wasn't going to make the same mistake. All the disciplining, the roof over my head, and the food in my tummy, wasn't going to matter if there wasn't any love and caring to balance it out. Somewhere out there, there may be a child sitting there wondering why noone loves them, or what they did wrong to be unloved and cared about. And because I can relate to that, I know I'd be able to provide and help guide them to their potential with what I didn't have to help me reach mine...The love and supportive upbringing.

It's funny that when I see a new baby, I'll almost cringe before feeling any of that maternal stuff they talk about. Yet, when I see an older, unloved child, or a kid headed in the wrong direction with no one to really guide them, I suddenly get that maternal urge and want to be the person that fills that void.

Your two little girls are so lucky to have the both of you who want to provide them with that love, care, and guidance! I wish you the very best and am sure both you and your wife, as well as theose girls, will be provided with so many rewarding moments as you grow together!

PlayaDelWes
12-12-2009, 12:32 PM
Thanks all for the wonderful wishes. 18 hours into it, this is awesome. It's exhausting, but awesome. Best way to describe it so far is like a being in a feel-good Christmas movie.

Devin the Dude
12-12-2009, 01:36 PM
this is a truly selfless act you are committing to. i hope all goes well and that you and your children have a happy & healthy life. :]

gaypalmsprings
12-12-2009, 03:50 PM
One of us is getting cut, the question is who.
Have her use a knife with a sharp edge to cut yours. Do no let her use a dull edge.

BROKENDOLL
12-12-2009, 04:07 PM
Thanks all for the wonderful wishes. 18 hours into it, this is awesome. It's exhausting, but awesome. Best way to describe it so far is like a being in a feel-good Christmas movie.
:thu
I imagine being surrounded by 3 beautiful and loving women would be exhausting! *giggles*

(Now, if more people got excited about the 18 years, as you have about 18 hours, can you imagine what a difference it would make?)

JustSteve
12-12-2009, 07:24 PM
Thanks all for the wonderful wishes. 18 hours into it, this is awesome. It's exhausting, but awesome. Best way to describe it so far is like a being in a feel-good Christmas movie.

you will learn to laugh like you never have before...and love as well.

PlayaDelWes
12-12-2009, 07:26 PM
you will learn to laugh like you never have before...and love as well.

That's already started. I think I will also learn to love the time after 8pm each night.

captncrzy
12-12-2009, 07:33 PM
Are they doing ok? I'm wondering if they're scared/excited/etc.

PlayaDelWes
12-12-2009, 07:44 PM
So far so good. When we picked them up, the aunt was very welcoming and you can tell she's a generous and open person. The girls were packed and were ready to go. Putting the 3 y/o in the car seat, she said “Hurry up Wes” and on the way home told me my driving was too slow.

Dinner went something like this:
Wes: “What do you guys like to eat?”
Steph: “Do you guys like pizza?”
7 y/o: “Yea, let’s see….there are 3 of those here…Straw Hat, Round Table, and Chuck E Cheese”
Wes: “You like Round Table?”
7y/o “Yea, um….I’m pretty sure Chuck E Cheese is the best”
3y/o “YEEEEEAAAAHHH Chuck E Cheese”

Today we put up the Christmas tree, almost destroyed the oven by baking icing mix instead of cupcake mix, watched a movie, and all sorts of other fun things. They have a ton of energy, love to talk, are very polite, clean up after themselves, are very funny, and are genuinely sweet girls.

captncrzy
12-12-2009, 08:09 PM
Haaahaaa!

PlayaDelWes
01-11-2010, 01:58 PM
We picked the girls up on Friday (for what we all hope is for good) and I'm exhausted.

And oh hai! A blog.

http://casademorgan.wordpress.com/

captncrzy
01-11-2010, 02:00 PM
That's cute. I'm glad it's working out.

LOL at THB. What a craphole.

BROKENDOLL
01-11-2010, 02:16 PM
Sounds like the Wolf Pack is off to a good start! Love the blog and hope to maybe see some mention of how much fun Coachella was since there are Ins and Outs...*hint,hint*

TomAz
01-11-2010, 02:42 PM
We picked the girls up on Friday (for what we all hope is for good) and I'm exhausted.

And oh hai! A blog.

http://casademorgan.wordpress.com/

This is great. Congratulations.

HowToDisappear
01-11-2010, 03:15 PM
Congratulations and the best of luck to you and your lovely new family!

PlayaDelWes
03-04-2011, 10:26 AM
GREAT NEWS!!!

15 months after welcoming our two daughters into our home as Foster children, yesterday we appeared in front of a judge who ordered our adoption as FINAL! Now they are part of a family forever. No more uncertainly and we can commit to them complete permanency.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5219/5496134820_5cf098823d_z.jpg

It took longer than we anticipated, but we were patient. Although parental rights were removed from the birth parents last January, they had 60 days to appeal that decision. We always knew that with a restraining order between the parents, mother in jail, and continued drug use, it’d be just a matter of process, but you never know.

Last March, the county-appointed attorney filed an appeal on behalf of the birth parents. The basis of the appeal was that social services did not provide due diligence to validate whether the girls were part of any Native American tribe (which there are dozens of in the Santa Maria area). Our social worker explained to us that since our girls are Hispanic it’s common to try the ‘Native American appeal’ because of an entirely different set of laws regarding the adoption of Native Americans, including approval of tribal council. It’s almost like a hail-marry option. Well, by October we got word that the appellate court upheld the prior decision. We’ve been waiting since for the paperwork to be completed.

The last year has been heartwarming. They have come so far. Yasmine, who is now 8 and in second grade couldn’t read when she joined our family. We are still not even sure if she ever attended Kindergarten or had to repeat first grade. Seeing her progress has been amazing. She’s still behind, but catching up fast with all the extra time we give her and reminded confidence that she can learn. Seeing her progress socially has been just as incredible. As a 7 year-old, she didn’t really have social skills. She didn’t know how to do basic things like use eating utensils and was completely awkward around other children in social situations, but always had a good heart. Luckily, the support of the county has been able to provide weekly counseling that has helped her progress. She’s still the ham and class-clown, but the other kids now receive her well.

Her sister Mariah, who turns 5 in a week, joined us when she was 3 and wasn’t exposed to as much negativity and therefore has had less socially to adjust to. It’s clear though that both had neglect. We hear stories about sleeping in closets, cops coming over, living in cars, bong-type objects, and open ended stories that just confuse the heck out of us. Previously, 'Love' meant being taken to McDonalds. These memories are slowly fading away for them.

They have connected well with the families of my wife and I. We thought the introduction to new friends, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles would be confusing for them, but it’s been just the opposite. They really are family at this point and we are extremely lucky with the support and love that we’ve received.

Between the County of Santa Barbara and the private agency contracted to work with us by the County of Ventura, we have many thanks and praise. We are so lucky that services like this exist to help foster and adoptive families. We will miss the relationships we’ve had with them. To give back, Steph and I have started volunteering and fundraising for Casa Pacifica, an organization in Camarillo who serves children who cannot or have not been placed in homes. Although the state of CA does not legally allow for ‘orphans’, the reality is that permanency is not always available, especially for older foster kids.

For those planning families, and are impartial to birth-children, please remember this option is always out there.

So, that’s that. It’s official!

amyzzz
03-04-2011, 10:46 AM
Wes, you have your wife are very special people to take in these children and love them. I wish you all the best, and I'm so happy that you can finally adopt them. God bless you.

HowToDisappear
03-04-2011, 11:10 AM
This is wonderful. Much happiness to you all.

chairmenmeow47
03-04-2011, 11:14 AM
congratulations! that is exciting :)

and so many joke opportunities were lost from this post :p :


99.6% of men with my lung disease can't have children naturally...so imagine my surprise when my doc called me and said i could(of course, my girlfriend got pregnant a week later, haha)!

Stickjohn
03-04-2011, 11:37 AM
Previously, 'Love' meant being taken to McDonalds.

Previously.

captncrzy
03-04-2011, 11:42 AM
1) That's the coolest thing I've read in a long-ass time.

2) I really hope you are bringing your girls to Coachella. I'd like to buy them some lemonade and churros.

3) If Wes put on 75lbs, he could have a serious Tony Soprano thing going.

Lynn163
03-04-2011, 11:52 AM
This is the most heartwarming story I've read in a long time! Congratulations on your beautiful family!

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
03-04-2011, 11:57 AM
Goddamn, that story made me tear up a little bit.

rskapcat
03-04-2011, 12:02 PM
Wonderful stuff, Wes. :)

NoneForMeThanks
03-04-2011, 12:05 PM
Having three adopted siblings, I can say that that day in court when the judge makes it final is amazing.

My sisters all have second birthdays; the day they came to live with us.

PlayaDelWes
03-04-2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks everyone! You are making me teary eyed as well. Now they are normal kids in a normal family and it's life as usual.
and so many joke opportunities were lost from this post :p ::nono pleae do not jinx
2) I really hope you are bringing your girls to Coachella. I'd like to buy them some lemonade and churros.Bringing them to La Quinta, but I think we're a couple years away from having any mutual fun on the Polo Fields, especially with the commitment of a 3 day pass. So in the meantime, I’ll keep your frozen lemonades in our locker and that way they can enjoy it when we get home.
If Wes put on 75lbs, he could have a serious Tony Soprano thing going.You are not the first to note this.

PotVsKtl
03-04-2011, 02:07 PM
lol, penal code

miscorrections
03-04-2011, 02:10 PM
Congrats, Wes! What a great thing for everyone.

Kyliediscope
03-04-2011, 02:19 PM
What a beautiful family, Wes. This story was fantastic to read. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.