An Interview with the Riccis
Over the past couple of months, Project 2713 has been getting to know the Ricci family and learn more about their adoption journey. Through a recent interview, we asked the Riccis some personal questions about their adoption, what their journey has been like and what they would want to share with other families looking to adopt.
Q: Do you feel like there is adequate information online for families looking to adopt?
A: There is enough information to get you started, but to actually understand the extent of what it all entails it really took talking to a lawyer. Each state can be very different and for doing out of state adoptions we would highly recommend talking to an attorney to fully understand the full process.
Q: What sort of experiences with adoption have you had within your family?
A: Kally has had 2 cousins who were adopted and has watched it be a blessing in their lives as well as in the lives of her Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. In my family I grew up knowing that my sisters were adopted by my dad, but it was never really a big deal. They were always just my sisters, we never made a big deal out of it.
Q: What has the adoption process looked like for you - is adopting out of state different?
A: Honestly, it has been very convoluted and complicated. It's a good thing we had a good attorney because this process has had it's fair share of challenges. We have to abide by all the rules of 2 different states and Nevada in particular has proved to be quite difficult.
Q: What major obstacles have you run into during your adoption journey?
A: Dealing with Nevada's laws. When we found out that NV would require that we use an agency, even though this was supposed to be a private adoption, it quickly became more complicated and much more expensive. We managed to find the most affordable agency, but even with that, the cost of the adoption more than doubled to pay them to do the paper work to help us with the interstate adoption. Other than that just dealing with some of the minor misunderstandings between the laws in Texas and in Nevada has been difficult.
Q: What are your feelings now that you are so close to bringing home Sadie?
A: We are very excited and are holding our breath hoping that we can get out to Nevada before the baby decides to come. It has been a whirlwind of emotions, but are ready and set to bring Sadie home.
Q: How do you think your son will adjust to having a sibling? What have you done to prepare for her in your home?
A: Tanner is pretty little still so we think he will adjust quickly. We will have a lot of family support in the beginning and we're sure he'll get spoiled with lots of attention from Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents. We have prepared our home by rearranging the rooms and getting things set up for an additional baby. We had to go buy a bigger dresser for both Tanner and Sadie's clothes. We've also been stock piling the diapers and girl clothes.
Q: You mentioned in your video that you will have to stay in Nevada for a couple weeks. Are you prepared for this? What toll will this take on you and your family?
A: We have prepared the best we can for having to stay in Nevada until everything is approved for us to leave, but it's not really going to be lots of fun living in a hotel for that long. It might be most difficult on Tanner since he likes to play outside lots and hates being cooped up, so we'll probably have to go and find some parks. We are just going to have to take it one day at a time.
Q: What advice do you have for parents considering adoption?
A: If you have an opportunity take it. Do your homework and make sure that you find a lawyer who actually specializes in adoptions.
Q: When and how will you discuss adoption with your daughter?
A: We are planning on having an open adoption so we will be discussing it from an early age. We will probably make a book with pictures detailing her birth and how she came to live in our home. We will share with her what is appropriate for her age but plan on being open and honest with her about everything.
Q: Will knowing the birth mother change how you explain your child's adoption to her?
A: No, We were always planning on having an open adoption.
Q: What sort of support or resistance have you had from family and friends during the process?
A: We really haven't had any resistance. We've had some family members who were concerned for us but it was well meaning. Mostly we have seen amazing outreach and support from friends and family. There have been people who we haven't talked to in a while who have contacted us wanting to help in some way or just simply wishing us the best. We truly appreciate all the donations, clothes, sharing of social media, time, and other support that people have shown us.
Q: Do you think there’s a misconception about adoption and birth/adoptive parents? What can we do to change that image?
A: The misconception is that the only reason you would want to adopt is if you don't want/can't have children of your own. Children can be adopted by any good and loving family and having a child already should not mean that you are ineligible to adopt. It also does not mean that we can't have anymore children. Regarding birth mothers, I think there is a misconception that they don't want the child. In reality these women are very strong, brave, and selfless women that are trying to do the absolute best for their child even if it's difficult for them. We can change that image by just being less judgmental about others situations and by changing some of the language we use in talking about adoption. Instead of saying things like "the birth mother gave you up", say things like "your birth mother loved you, so she made a plan for you."
Q: How would you encourage and promote adoptions as a positive experience?
A: Overall adoption has been a challenging but an amazing experience that we have seen so many blessings while doing.
Q: What would you like to say to the birth mother if you get the opportunity?
A: We will get to see her and are going to give her a letter expressing some of our feelings, but the content of said letter will remain private.
Q: How did you hear of Project 2713?
A: Our awesome attorney, Jody Fauley, is familiar with Project 2713 and knows the great work that you all do so he set us up to contact Project 2713.
Q: What can we do as an organization to better inform and aide families and children in need?
A: Continue to expand your network and fundraising capabilities. This is a great organization with so much potential and as the network size increases it can do so much good like it has for us.
Q: How would you describe your experience working with Project 2713?
A: It has been fantastic! We appreciate all the efforts of those involved. Project 2713 has truly been one of the miracles that we have seen with this adoption. We were praying to find a way to make this all happen and Project 2713 stepped in and really answered those prayers. Sincerest thanks!