Adoption Continues

Wow, one month of blogging about adoption. It seems like a long time ago when we first promised to blog for the month of November about adoption. I wanted to thank everybody who answered interview questions, who shared links, who commented in some way, who spread the word, who agreed to support us in some way. I know I’ve learned a lot about adoption this month and I hope you have too. And I hope you’re not tired of it.

Adoption isn’t something that should get focus once a year and then be forgotten. And we certainly won’t be forgetting about it. And we hope you won’t either.

Our adoption process continues. We probably won’t stop blogging about adoption just because November is over (I have a few more interviews hopefully coming in soon). We’ll have updates and eventually, hopefully, some good news to share.

We hope you’ll stick around.

Adoption Interview Stories

Yesterday I shared an adoption interview with Sheila Cina about her family’s experience adopting their daughter, Irina, from Russia. After answering my e-mail questions she shared this story:

Irina just came down and asked what I was doing on the computer. I explained what an interview is and told her it was about adoption which gave her a big smile.

I asked Irina what she would like to say about adoption:

Irina: “It’s fun not to be an orphan cuz’ you don’t get to pick your clothes cuz’ that’s very boring to have to wear them.”

Mom: “Anything else you want to say?”

Irina: “No.”

We talked after that for a while, reminiscing about the adoption process and wondering who and where she would be and trusting that God knew exactly who and where she was and that he would bring us together somehow. She wanted to hear some of her favorite stories about meeting each other and flying back to Minnesota.

Thanks for the opportunity to think through this all again.

Adoption Interviews: Sheila Cina

Sheila and Matt Cina live in Minneapolis and run an electric business. They have three children–Jack, 14, Kate, 10, and Irina, 7. Sheila and Matt adopted Irina from Russia when she was 5 years old.

1. What’s your adoption experience been like?

It’s been a great experience. It’s like getting married. You put so much thought into that special day when you will be united. It is so hard to know what life will be like after that big day that most of the thought ahead of time is trying to get yourselves to that day. And, like marriage, after the big event there were surprise difficulties that we couldn’t have imagined but so many more wonderful experiences and a new way of life that we enjoy more than ever.

2. What made you decide to adopt?

We wanted another child and had several miscarriages (9 in all). We also saw that there were so many kids out there without loving homes that we felt it would be best to provide that place for a child who wanted it.

Continue reading Adoption Interviews: Sheila Cina

Pick Your Words Honestly

I have a client that needed to cancel an event this week. But that’s not how they’re phrasing it. Instead of canceled the event was withdrawn.

What does that even mean?

I understand what they’re up against. They don’t want the negative connotation that goes along with an event being canceled. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that. The next best thing you can do is to reschedule an event. But if you have to cancel an event, just say that. The clarity and straight-forward approach will mean something to people. They’ll see you’re an organization that can admit its mistakes.

But if you have to withdraw an event, well, that’s another story. First people will pause and try to figure out what that means. Who withdraws an event? They’ll sort it out, eventually, and then they’ll wonder why you phrased it so oddly. They’ll quickly see that you’re trying to put a positive spin on the cancellation, and they’ll realize you’re trying to be a PR huckster. You just lost a notch of respect.

If you have potentially negative news to break, don’t be a spin artist. Play it straight. You’ll communicate more clearly and your audience will respect you for it.

Adoption Interviews: Erin Pratt

Just as Abby and I were getting into the adoption process a couple who used to attend our church showed up again. Andy and Erin Pratt had moved to Duluth but were now back in the Twin Cities–and they had a baby. About a year ago they adopted Henry from Guatemala when he was 5-months-old. They’ve since moved back to the Twin Cities, and just in time to share their adoption experience with us.

Andy is 29 and Erin is 32 and they’ve been married for almost five years. They’re both attorneys, though Erin is currently a full time mom. They adopted through Children’s Home Society and Family Services and the process took a little over a year (you can read about the process on their adoption blog–they don’t update it anymore, but it gives you a good insight into their journey).

1. What motivated you to adopt?

I wanted to be a parent long before Andy. And, practically, we needed to wait until he finished law school. We started trying to get pregnant soon after Andy’s graduation. Nothing happened for about seven months. Neither of us wanted to pursue fertility treatments. We knew God had planned for us to be parents and after prayer and discussion, we quickly learned that we were meant to build our family through adoption. I wish that I could write that I had always wanted to adopt ever since I was a little girl. I just never thought about it. However, once we started considering and researching adoption, we never looked back.

Continue reading Adoption Interviews: Erin Pratt

Thankful to be Home

Hendricks Family Take 5700 miles, 12 hours, 4 podcasts, 2 half-listened-to audio books, a lot of U2 and one puking incident. It’s been a long day, but we’re finally back in the Twin Cities after three days in Kansas (and two on the road). Lexi did great, except for the whole not sleeping well Saturday night and throwing up on the ride home. But what parent hasn’t had to clean vomit out of a car seat? I remember throwing up myself in a car seat in our old Ford pickup and my dad having to clean it up. What goes around comes around, so to speak.

It’s no secret that I love going to Kansas, and this trip was no different. We were able to spend a lot of time with family. My immediate family–my parents, my brother and his wife and daughter and my wife and daughter–were all together for the first time since my niece, Charlotte, was born. The girls had a blast together and when Lexi woke up on Friday and my brother and company had taken off, the first thing Lexi said was “Charlotte?” It took a few hours to convince her that Charlotte and Uncle Rick and Aunt Limor had gone home. And then to convince her that they had gone to their own house, and not our house.

Continue reading Thankful to be Home

Virtually Visiting Ethiopia

One of the fun things about the wired world we live in is that you can get a taste for travel without actually traveling. It’s only the slightest taste, but I’ve been enjoying pictures and videos from Ethiopia in anticipation of our trip.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

Death by Football

My first cousin three times removed, Andrew J. Reeves, died in a football game in 1920 at the age of 24. No further details, just “Andrew killed in football game.”

No wonder I’ve never cared to play much football.

(If you’re trying to figure out what a first cousin three times removed is, Andrew was my great-grandmother’s first cousin.)