We attended a "waiting parents" meeting at our Maryland agency this month. The topic was "cradle care" and it was really informative. Cradle care is when a vetted foster family takes care of a child after birth but before the revocation period passes. As a reminder, every state has a different revocation period - this is the time after the birthmother (and possibly the birthfather) sign papers to have the child adopted, but before those consents are final. During the revocation period, the birthparents can change their minds and decide to parent, no questions asked. It's a sensitive but hugely important time period for such a big decision. In Maryland this period is 30 days; in Georgia it's 10; other states are as short as 72 hours. Cradle care families provide a safe, loving home for the child to be while his/her birthparents confirm their decision for adoption - and it also helps provide some emotional distance for the prospective adoptive parents, in case the placement does not happen.
At the meeting, we met some of the cradle care families who work with our Barker agency. They were wonderful! Even though we wouldn't be working with them, since we are 99% likely going to adopt out-of-state (Open Door has its own cradle care program), it was reassuring to see how warm-hearted these families were. They provide SUCH a beautiful service, to take in a child in need, knowing that it is going to be temporary - to give a little one a good start of love knowing that he or she will be leaving in a week or month. The families talked about how much they enjoyed being with the babies, even for just a short time. It was really inspiring.
Other stuff we did:
- Family time around New Year's! Bethany's parents and Dan's mom visited for New Year's and it was really fun all being together. We taught them a new board game (Puerto Rico) that Dan's mom won twice in a row! And we made cookies together and ate a LOT - balanced out with taking the dog for a walk.
|Penny wins the festive attire award|
|Making "bellybuttons" - yum|
- Bethany supported friends of ours who are adopting from Colombia by attending a "painting party." It was really fun, and we both thought the painting turned out well!
|some serious art is happening here|
- We marched for life! It was cold, cold, cold but really wonderful to show our support for life at all stages. There was a great turnout and it was fun (as always) running into friends from near and far. If you can't read them, our signs say: "Adoption is a Loving Choice" and "Birthmoms are Heroes for Choosing Life." We wanted to send a message of support for adoption. It actually was mentioned a lot in speeches at the rally, which was great. And we had a few people who wanted to take pictures of our signs. Dan even met a birthmother who shared with him a website - http://www.talkaboutadoption.org/ - which is by birthparents, for birthparents, with information about adoption, dispelling misconceptions and that sort of thing. Really great to see!
|before the rally|
- We celebrated Dan's birthday! This year we took a little two-day trip to the Eastern Shore (the part of Maryland on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay, for you non-locals). It was really relaxing. January is the off-season but the weather cooperated for some nice walks. We enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at Limoncello in St. Michaels.
|we both had our first limoncello martinis - wow is all we have to say|
|on Kent Island, in the Chesapeake Bay - the Bay Bridge is in the background|
|about to enjoy a flight of beer|
- Finally, we had some nice surprise visits from out-of-town friends this month: one from a couple Bethany knew in college who now live in Kansas and were in town for a wedding - we had brunch together one Sunday; and one from a college roommate of Dan's who is now a Dominican priest, in town for the March for Life.
We hope 2017 is off to a good start for you! Please continue to keep us in your prayers - we are SO grateful!