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#1 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are in process to foster-adopt. We have requested a child under 2 (any sex, any race). My SIL and a friend are throwing a shower for us to get a few things together for CCL. In CA we have to have a bed(crib), drawers (a dresser), etc.

Since we don't know what sex or exact age of the child I am not sure where to start with supplies. We have no bio children so we are starting from scratch.

Any experience with this? Making a registry and/or what basic things to have on hand? We realize a lot of stuff we will just buy once we have a placement (like clothes, age appropriate items).

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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#2 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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Hmmm. I don't know. My son was two when he came home and my STBAD was nine months. I don't think I used any of the same things with them (because of age, not gender.) Other than the booster seat that attaches to a kitchen chair (used as a booster with DS and as a high chair for DD.)

Zero to two is a really big age range when you are looking at supplies and toys. I guess I would have them stick to the furniture that you mentioned and maybe some toiletry related things (California Baby is one of my favorites.) But if it was me, I'd probably get the furniture myself (so I could have what I wanted) and have a shower when a placement is offered. Even with something as basic as a stroller, I'd wait. I know that I preferred a more lightweight, and smaller folding, stroller with my DS than I did with my DD.
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#3 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I was in a similar situation. look for items that convert. Our carseat went from 5 pounds to 85 so it could accommodate a wide age range. Stroller had lots of options too. Stick to neutrals for clothes and room decor: yellow, green, brown, red, orange. Get two items in each size, one that works as pjs and one daytime outfit. For toys, try to stick to things that are 0+ for now. Books are good. After you get to know the kid you'll get a better idea of what is safe for them and suits their personality.

The good news is that the basics work for any gender and most infants: crib, rocking chair, carseat, changing table, outlet covers...

Also, you'll probably have some time between the phone call "will you accept placement of a 9 month old girl" and when you go pick her up. So you can shop more then.
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#4 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I am not familiar with foster-adopt- is this a guaranteed placement? Like, you get a placement and adoption is pretty likely? Or is it kids with some legal risk, or kids who are not TPRed yet?

If it's the first situation, I think a showeror registry is lovely. If it's the second or third, I would not do it.

In terms of supplies, I'd get a booster seat that goes from infant to toddler, a good carseat that lasts 0-65 lbs, basic clothing in a few sizes (like 2-3 sleeper type outfits in a couple sizes), crib, crib bedding, potty, stroller, carriers, etc.

good luck!

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#5 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I am not familiar with foster-adopt- is this a guaranteed placement? Like, you get a placement and adoption is pretty likely? Or is it kids with some legal risk, or kids who are not TPRed yet?

If it's the first situation, I think a showeror registry is lovely. If it's the second or third, I would not do it.
Personally, I think it is totally fine to have a shower, even if there is a question of the placelment being permanent. As the mom of a child who was adopted from the state, I think that our society does not know how to honor these adoptions and a shower is a nice idea.

To the OP, are you comfortable (or are your friend and SIL comfortable) with a list instead of a registry. I think gifts like gift cards to join zoos/musuems or indoor play grounds or other activities would be more appropriate than clothes and furniture in this situation.
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#6 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Personally, I think it is totally fine to have a shower, even if there is a question of the placelment being permanent. As the mom of a child who was adopted from the state, I think that our society does not know how to honor these adoptions and a shower is a nice idea.

To the OP, are you comfortable (or are your friend and SIL comfortable) with a list instead of a registry. I think gifts like gift cards to join zoos/musuems or indoor play grounds or other activities would be more appropriate than clothes and furniture in this situation.
I don't mean that it's not okay, just that it can be painful and awkward if the child does not stay. I know most foster parents go through many children before one is adopted. How many showers/registries can one have? And if the goal of the child is reunification, I feel that a registry or shower is inappropriate, because you shouldn't think of it as your child, but as a foster child. If you have a shower for the first child and assume you'll adopt, your heart may be broken. Of course this doesn't apply if it's an adoption without much legal risk.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#7 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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If you have a shower for the first child and assume you'll adopt, your heart may be broken. Of course this doesn't apply if it's an adoption without much legal risk.
I do think you have to think about the shower differently. The gifts are for the parents to set up their home, not the child. This mom is still waiting for a placement. If the gifts were for the child, then the gifts would go if the child was sent to another home.
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#8 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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I agree with pumpkingirl, the gifts are for the home and the parents mostly, to help them take care of a child. But this brings up an issue, which is why we chose not to have a shower: people who are unfamiliar with foster parenting can get very confused and it can be awkward.

People have all these ideas about children. And they really seriously refrain from getting involved or attaching to kids whose lives are uncertain. It's sad how much people try to spare themselves pain by closing off their hearts.
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#9 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I agree with the gift cards, then you can use them for anything you may need- when you need it (no out of season or wrong sizes)

I also would suggest (as PP did) convertable items. A crib that can convert to a toddler bed and twin- that way you have all three, so whatever you need.

Books, simple games (young child could grow into), Music CDs, maybe classes (Mommy and me , Kindermusik) that could be from 6 weeks to 5 years, a zoo pass, furniture (book case, rocker, toy shelf, decor), supplies (diaper cream, lotion, kid shampoo, etc), memory book, photo books, blankets, feeding supplies (toddler silverware, bowls, bibs,etc), booster seat for feeding, a wagon, a swing or small playset....

Anything that is too 'old' could be put away for a year or two.

Enjoy! I think it is a great idea! My SIL had a shower before the child was placed and got gender neutral items (she did a private domestic adoption) for any gender infant. They had to have a room ready BEFORE a baby was placed to show they had the items for the homestudy.
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#10 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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I guess I'm just not a stuff person. I didn't buy a lot of that stuff when I started fostering, or since then. And I don't like stuff just sitting around unused. I got the basics that I needed to get licensed and then got what I needed when each child was placed with me.
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#11 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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"I don't mean that it's not okay, just that it can be painful and awkward if the child does not stay. I know most foster parents go through many children before one is adopted."

In my state, foster-to-adopt has a goal of permanency from Day One. Not all kids in the program are TPRed at placement, but their cases are not switched over to the adoption unit until reunification has been formally rejected as an option by social services. For sure, there is no expectation that a typical foster-to-adopt family will "go through" more than the one placement.

If things are similar in the OP's state, then a shower is a lovely idea. I don't expect a shower as our foster-to-adopt placement will be older and we have 3 biokids already - but the idea of somebody wanting to throw a party to celebrate our new arrival instead of acting uncomfortable and scared when they hear that we're "expecting" - it sounds great to me!!!! OP is lucky.
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#12 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Have you considered waiting to have the shower until after the child is in your home? A friend of mine did that.

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#13 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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In my state, foster-to-adopt has a goal of permanency from Day One. Not all kids in the program are TPRed at placement, but their cases are not switched over to the adoption unit until reunification has been formally rejected as an option by social services. For sure, there is no expectation that a typical foster-to-adopt family will "go through" more than the one placement.
I have three friends who were in similar situations. Social services recommended termination. The judge had other thoughts and the children ended up either reunified with their birth parents or remaining in foster care for quite a while before TPR actually occurred. There are no guarantees. No matter what an agency might say.
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#14 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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I would wait to have a shower. We almost got a 4 year old boy. Then we almost got 9 month old twins. Finally we were placed with a 4 month old girl. Totally different needs. We had a shower 2 weeks after we got our daughter.
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#15 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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I would wait. We requested a baby 0-5 boy or girl. We had a full size bed and plain dresser in the room.
When we found out we were getting DD, we bought a crib that week and sold the full-size bed and replaced the knobs on the dresser with some cute pink glass ones.

Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
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#16 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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"There are no guarantees. No matter what an agency might say."

No certainty about anything, this side of the grave. But we don't intend to take a placement where we don't intend and hope for permanency, and OP may feel the same way and it's nice that that feeling is acknowledged by her support network. We don't forgo biobaby showers because - god forbid - something may be fatally wrong with the fetus, and I'm not sure we should forgo similar celebrations for expectant adoptive families because disruption may - god forbid - occur. Sometimes you need to take the hope and run with it. It doesn't mean that there's a denial of all possible realities.
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#17 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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Have you considered waiting to have the shower until after the child is in your home? A friend of mine did that.
That's what we've done in my family and it's worked out well, registry and all. Certainly the parents had a much better idea of what they would actually need.

Best wishes to you, OP!
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#18 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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"There are no guarantees. No matter what an agency might say."

No certainty about anything, this side of the grave. But we don't intend to take a placement where we don't intend and hope for permanency, and OP may feel the same way and it's nice that that feeling is acknowledged by her support network. We don't forgo biobaby showers because - god forbid - something may be fatally wrong with the fetus, and I'm not sure we should forgo similar celebrations for expectant adoptive families because disruption may - god forbid - occur. Sometimes you need to take the hope and run with it. It doesn't mean that there's a denial of all possible realities.
I don't think the two situations are remotely comparable. Taking a child pre-TPR brings a real possibility that the child might not stay. The judge might deny it, a relative or family friend might come forward (which happened in my STBAD's case,) etc. In this case, the biological parents still have rights. Just because social services has closed the door doesn't mean that the door can't be opened again. And in some religions and cultures, baby showers aren't held before a baby is safely born. For the reasons you gave (and others.) For me, the issue isn't really whether or not a specific child stays or not. I was just responding to your post. But, you won't really know what you NEED or WANT until you get the placement. And you'll have to have the needed items whether or not the child ends up staying. And you might end up getting stuff that you will never use and will just be a waste.

My personal opinion is to keep purchases general before a child is placed and save additional purchases for when a child is placed. There are things that are general necessities (like cribs and car seats,) but other things are really variable and more specific to an individual child (particularly formula and bottle/nipple types.)
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#19 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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I have to say, I disagree with those who say wait. I do think there are benefits of waiting. But if you wait, then the child ends up in the middle of all of this. We had a party when my daughter came home and looking back, it was waaaay to much for her to handle.
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#20 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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I have to say, I disagree with those who say wait. I do think there are benefits of waiting. But if you wait, then the child ends up in the middle of all of this. We had a party when my daughter came home and looking back, it was waaaay to much for her to handle.
The child doesn't have to be at the shower.
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#21 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I would say that a child older than an infant should definitely NOT be at any kind of placement celebration that happens in close proximity to their arrival, TPR or no TPR, because it would be too emotionally demanding. A child in a new foster-to-adopt placement shouldn't be expected to celebrate the fact that they've been placed. Another good reason to make a nice generic list and hang the party lights ASAP

Which brings us back to the OP's original question: what to register for?

Some thoughts, given the birth-2 age range:

1. Nursery furniture - convertible crib, dresser, toy box, hamper, lamp, little table and chairs - whatever you'd like to see in your house for the next several years. I would not get a changing table - massive waste of space at all stages IMO!

2. Gender neutral "toddler bedding" - this fits a crib sized mattress. At least two sets of sheets. Again, pick something that YOU think is lovely, as you may be looking at it for the next 5 years!

3. "Binkies" and other special objects, selected by your friends to resemble security items that they or their kids had as children. Blankets, stuffed toys, etc.

4. BOOKS. You cannot start too soon building a high quality collection of children's books.

5. Gift cards - Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, etc. You will need a whole bunch of plastic crap for awhile there, even if you and your spouse never use such stuff. Sippy cups, diapers, wipes, etc. etc. etc.
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#22 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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What is foster-adopt like where you live? Are you likely to get a child soon? Where I am, you may have to wait YEARS for a placement 0-2 years old.
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#23 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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I'd suggest a good-quality umbrella stroller that reclines fully rather than the bulky ones that carseats snap into. I was really happy with the Maclaren Techno XT - you can recline a non-newborn baby and also use it with an older toddler up to about four, although we mostly babywear this is great on a hot day and folds up small

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#24 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Washclothes, bedding, ride on toys, nice wooden blocks/toys, open ended/ages stuff.

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#25 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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I agree with pumpkingirl, the gifts are for the home and the parents mostly, to help them take care of a child. But this brings up an issue, which is why we chose not to have a shower: people who are unfamiliar with foster parenting can get very confused and it can be awkward.

People have all these ideas about children. And they really seriously refrain from getting involved or attaching to kids whose lives are uncertain. It's sad how much people try to spare themselves pain by closing off their hearts.
I think you are perhaps misunderstanding what I meant. I don't mean that you should close off your heart. I am a foster parent. I know you cannot and should not do that. I simply mean that the whole idea of a registry or a shower can get awkward. IME, it's a little weird for someone to have a shower/registry when fostering, just because it's a whole different way of growing your family, and having a shower always seemed to me to be setting up an expectation of adopting or keeping the child. You don't have to close off your heart when fostering, but maintaining realistic expectations is good. I know a lot of FPs who have gone into it thinking they would adopt their first placement, lost the kid, and then been heartbroken and quit doing foster care.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#26 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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I'm not sure we should forgo similar celebrations for expectant adoptive families because disruption may - god forbid - occur.
I think the obvious difference here is that the "god forbid" is complicated in FC. I certainly agree with you WRT domestic infant adoption, or even international. But in the case of foster care, the other option is reunification, which is a GOOD thing. We should not go into foster care wanting to adopt kids who have not been TPRed, because the goal for those families is reunification. I could not in good faith say "God forbid I can't adopt this child!" because the child has a mother and every reasonable effort should be made at RU before TPR happens.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#27 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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But the OP is doing a foster-to-adopt program, not a straight-foster program. I keep running into this confusion online and maybe it's because things differ so much state-to-state, but in the program I'm working with, children placed in a F2A home are TOLD, by their adoption worker in the process of evaluating them for placement, that they are going to their "forever family." I'm not sure I agree with that approach (what if the placement disrupts for any number of reasons? What if the F2A parents can't parent the child effectively? What about that eleventh-hour relative?), but no kid gets into this program unless reunification is a god-forbid and all attempts at reconciliation have ceased. In my state, newborns are frequently put directly into this program if the mom has abandoned them at the hospital or is a multiple prior TPR, and older kids are frequently moved into this program when visitation attempts end and their TPR starts going through the courts. The OP's state may have a similar program, which is separate from the straight-foster program.

People DO adopt in my state out of straight-fostering, but that is a different process, involves getting a government check, involves facilitating reunification attempts, and deals with a different set of kids. Adoptions happen in that program if reunification fails and the case plan gets changed. If the case plan gets changed and the foster family does not wish to adopt or is not considered a good permanent placement, THEN the transfer to the other program takes place.

What you're doubtless getting from this, OP, is that public adoption is incredibly complicated and circumstances vary. It's definitely a good idea for you to connect with local F2A families and learn about their experiences with their placements. You may learn that there are some placement circumstances you should say yes to, and some placement circumstances that you should probably take a pass on. Around here, "TPRed mom John Doe dad" would be a placement that most F2A families would be happy to say yes to for a child age 0-2, where as "TPRed mom Dad has been noncompliant for a year but is still fighting" would be a very risky situation.
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#28 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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But until TPR is over with and any appeals are either denied or not accepted, it doesn't matter what a social worker tells a child. The judges make the final determination, not social workers, GALs, therapists, etc. Abandoned newborns are different or in cases where multiple TPRs have happened and the courts have said enough is enough (which happens but not often enough.) I don't think you can put older children (or children with big special needs) in the same category.
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#29 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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"...until TPR is over with and any appeals are either denied or not accepted, it doesn't matter what a social worker tells a child."

It matters a whole heck of a lot. I know what you're saying WRT legal status, but if I am going to accept a child into my home who has been through one or more temporary placements and is now being told he is going to his forever family, then I am right there in that emotional boat with him. He might be taken from us, he might have problems we cannot handle and be removed from our care during the mandatory 6-month preadoptive placement - and my other son might be hit by a car tomorrow. For me, that's the way I need to look at it in order to keep my head on straight. If OP is involved with a similar state F2A program, she might have a similar stance.
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#30 of 32 Old 10-03-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally forgot that I posted this haha!

I should have clarified a lot of things before starting this thread. Mainly: myself, my husband, all of our close family and friends all COMPLETELY understand that we are getting into a foster-adopt situation. In CA we are voluntarily getting put into the concurrent planning pool, and will very likely foster a few children before we adopt. Since we are willing to be in this pool, we will likely have a placement pretty quickly (there is an overwhelming amount of children in our system: the Coachella Valley of Riverside County). We also realize we could have a wait ahead of us.

For CCL we are required to have a few items for certification: a crib (and we'll get the kind that converts to a toddler bed), 3 drawers, a few changes of linens/clothes, Tot loks on everything, etc. We are starting from scratch so we at least need these things. Along with a car seat I'm guessing (so yes, we put a convertible one: up to 65 lbs). So our family/friends want to give us a shower to get these basic things together. We will wait to get age/sex specific items until placement, and these we will buy on our own instead of having repeated showers as we may have repeated placements.

I think I am pretty happy with my registry right now. Most everyone will be going in on the group gift of the furniture set and car seat anyways. Oh, and I agree about building our library soon as well =).

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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