Too Cute Tuesday: Baby Anna

Happy Too Cute Tuesday! Baby Anna is going to be 4 months old on July 20, and she is already stealing the hearts of everyone who meets her.

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Anna was born on March 20, 2018 and was placed directly into the care of her adoptive parents, Eva and Jeff. This bundle of joy is thriving in the care of her parents and loves sleeping through the night, which her mom and dad are lucky enough to say!

Eva and Jeff have an open adoption with Anna's birth mother and feel that this is in the best interest of Anna and everyone else involved. They have enjoyed getting to know her birth mother and spend time with her when they get the chance. Eva and Jeff both celebrated their first Mother's and Father's Day as parents to Anna, and their sweet baby girl showed off her love for her dad in a photo shoot!

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Anna loves exploring and is starting to roll over on her sides. She always dances and laughs when music is playing and she likes pulling at her toys that hang above her on her play mat. Her parents are getting excited to finalize her adoption in the near future! Stay tuned for an adoption day story.

Too Cute Tuesday: Clark

Time flies when you're having fun- Clark is almost 4 months old already! Adoptive parents, Katie and Jake, love being parents to this little guy. Katie and Jake opened up about their adoption journey to a local photographer and blogger, Karly Jo Photography. These adorable photos were taken by her and posted on her website on March 22, 2018.

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Katie and Jake's bundle of joy was born on December 18, 2017. He is rapidly growing and starting to move around a lot more lately! AOW has observed Katie and Jake as attentive, loving and brilliant parents to Clark since his arrival into their care in early January.

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For Katie and Jake, it was love at first sight when they met their son, Clark. They knew that he was meant to be their son and they were meant to be his parents. We're very excited that another family was created through adoption and we know that Clark will only grow in the love he's surrounded with from his parents.

Too Cute Tuesday: Welcome Baby Matthew!

It was a Christmas miracle when baby Matthew was born and placed with his adoptive parents, Bethany and Jeff, a few days before Christmas. Matthew came into this world on December 18, 2017, to a birth mother who wasn't expecting to give birth so soon. Matthew's birth mother and father decided that adoption would be the best option for them, and they contacted Adoptions of Wisconsin from the hospital. AOW Social Worker, Claire, traveled to meet Matthew and his birth mother the same day of his birth. Claire brought profiles of prospective adoptive parents and Matthew's birth mother selected Bethany and Jeff.

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Due to the quick turn around from hospital to discharge, Matthew was discharged into the care of one of AOW's licensed foster families. He spent three days with the foster family, and on December, 22, 2017, he was placed with his forever parents, Bethany and Jeff. Below is a photo of their first meeting together.

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After settling in, Bethany and Jeff said this about their son, Matthew- "Matthew was an unexpected surprise. After hoping to expand our family through adoption for nearly three years we were almost ready to give up when we got the news that Matthew was born and that his birth parents want us to be his family. We welcomed him home on December 22nd and he was just the perfect Christmas miracle. Big Brother Marcus was very excited to have a little brother. Matthew is a super chill baby which certainly makes mom and dad happy. He has already met lots of relatives and friends and has been warmly welcomed by all. 2017 was a hard year for us but we were constantly supported by the wonderful staff at Adoptions of Wisconsin and so it was fitting that our year ended with our perfect baby boy thanks to AOW. We are excited to see Matthew grow and change, and are excited to see where life takes us next."

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Marcus is ecstatic to be a big brother to baby Matthew, and they've been having fun reading books together, playing with toys and getting to know each other. We are so thankful to Bethany and Jeff for sharing their journey with us and we're excited to document the next six months of Matthew's life in post placement!

Too Cute Tuesday: Welcome Baby Clark!

Welcome to the world, Clark! Katie and Jake met their son 2 weeks after his birth at an AOW bridge care provider's home, where Clark had been staying since his discharge from the hospital. Clark's birth mother wanted to choose the perfect parents for her son, so she took time to look over profiles and meet families before selecting Katie and Jake. The sweet photo below captures the moment that Katie and Jake held their son for the first time.

Clark was born on December 18, 2017. His birth mother and father were interested in having an open adoption for their son, but hadn't contacted an agency before delivery. AOW social worker, Megan, traveled to meet Clark and his birth mother on December 22, 2017 to discuss discharge from the hospital and provide support to Clark's birth mother . With the meeting being short notice, Megan contacted AOW's licensed bridge care providers, Deniece and James, to pick up the new baby boy for discharge.

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After looking over profiles, Clark's birth mother and father decided to meet Katie and Jake. There was an instant connection between them, and Katie and Jake soon found out that they were going to be Clark's parents. Two weeks after Clark's birth, Katie and Jake brought him to his forever home.

We asked Katie and Jake for some insight into their first weeks with Clark- "Clark's first few days home have been wonderful. He's been a super eater and we're very happy with how fast he's growing! He loves to lie in his bouncy chair and listen to records. Our dogs are so happy to have a baby brother and have been spending as much time cuddling next to Clark as possible, whether it's on the couch or next to his bassinet.

Clark has been so alert and special around the house. It's so amazing when he makes eye contact with us when we're feeding him and he's even starting to crack a few smiles here and there.

None of this would been possible without the trust and love of Clark's birth parents who will we always cherish."

We're so excited for Katie and Jake to begin their journey into parenthood! We can't wait to see how Clark grows over the next six months of post placement visits. Check for future updates about the newest AOW baby!

Too Cute Tuesday: Baby O's Birthday

Happy 1st Birthday to Baby O!

Today we are celebrating Tuesday's cutest baby and reflecting on the first year of her life with her forever family.

Baby O was born on November 15, 2016, and she celebrated her first birthday this past Wednesday. She loved her yellow cake with sprinkles so much that she couldn't wait for mom and dad to cut her a piece, but had to dig in with her hands!

Baby O has grown into a wonderful one-year-old and her parents are so ecstatic to have their baby girl. Her adoption was finalized on June 27, 2017.

Too Cute Tuesday: Emmons

Happy Too Cute Tuesday! Emmons is already almost a 2-year-old and it seems as though time goes faster with each passing year.

Emmons was born on December 1, 2015, and his adoption was finalized on June 7, 2016. He is now a healthy boy of 23 months and is looking forward to celebrating his second birthday in a few weeks! Enjoy this update photo of Emmons at the pumpkin patch with his parents this past fall season.

Too Cute Tuesday: Welcome Baby Harlow

Haley and Noah brought home their newest family member on the last day of September. They had been waiting for the perfect match and after meeting with their daughter's birth parents, they knew that the situation was the right one for all of them.

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Harlow was born on September 10, 2017, and she has been thriving in the care of Haley, Noah and her big brother, Jason since placement. The family of three grew to four just over a month ago, and the time spent together has been precious. AOW Social Worker and Executive Director, Claire, could tell that there was an emotional connection between the adoptive parents and the birth parents at their first meeting. Haley and Noah have an open relationship with Harlow's birth mother and father and are hoping to continue communication with both of them in the future.

The family of four is spending quality time together following placement of Harlow in their home. When we asked for an update, Haley gushed about their newborn daughter. "The first few weeks after bringing Harlow home have been everything we had hoped for. She is happy, healthy and strong, and has just started to give big smiles. Harlow's five-year-old brother, Jason, is completely smitten with "his baby", as he calls her. We are already seeing her growing and changing in this short time and we cannot wait to see what comes next for our beautiful baby girl!"

AOW Social Worker, Megan, is completing post placement visits with the family and will continue to get photo updates as the months to finalization approach. We feel humbled to have been a small part of the adoption journey that brought Haley, Noah, Jason and Harlow together as a family.

Too Cute Tuesday: Sweet Ella

Sweet baby Ella is already 5 months old! Today's Too Cute Tuesday feature is Ella. She was previously celebrated on our website and Facebook for her Adoption Day!

Ella's birth situation was unique, as it was an interstate-independent adoption. Her birth mother had previously placed her first baby with adoptive parents, Nicole and Dan. After she learned she was pregnant again, she decided that she would love for Ella to be placed with her brother and be raised by Nicole and Dan in the same environment. The adoptive parents decided to match with her, and Ella's future unfolded quickly. After a whirlwind couple of weeks dealing with paperwork and ICPC processes (the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children), Ella and her family left Wisconsin and returned home. Although the ICPC process is long, it is necessary and provides the same protections and rights to children who are entering and leaving Wisconsin, as those who live in our state.

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Today, Ella is doing more wonderful than ever! She just turned five months old on October 16th and her family is cherishing every moment they spend with her. Her mother, Nicole, commented that Ella's smile lights up her whole face. She is just now sleeping through the night (Nicole and Dan are so glad!) and is learning how to roll over. She's close to being able to sit up on her own, wobbling just a bit. Her favorite person to see is her big brother. She loves to watch his every move and they are sure to be best friends.

Ella is getting in the spirit of Halloween, ready to celebrate her first of this sweet holiday! We are glad to see Ella's development as she gets cuter with every passing day.

Ella is getting in the spirit of Halloween, ready to celebrate her first of this sweet holiday! We are glad to see Ella's development as she gets cuter with every passing day.

Too Cute Tuesday: Neiko

Happy Too Cute Tuesday! Today we are featuring the almost one-year-old, Nicholas, who is a couple short weeks away from his first birthday! Affectionately nicknamed "Neiko" by his family, he is a preciously handsome 11-month-old baby who has had many new experiences and felt much love during his first year. His parents, Jim and Michelle, are beyond joyful to have Neiko in their lives and they love sharing his milestones with all their friends and family.

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Neiko was born on November 7, 2016. His parents were so excited to learn about his birth and worked with Adoptions of Wisconsin for home study and post placement services. AOW Social Worker and Executive Director, Claire, worked with the family of three during post placement and she adored getting updates from smiling Neiko and his parents. Always smiling and having great things to say about their son, Claire was impressed by the level of care that Jim and Michelle have consistently shown Neiko.

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Neiko has grown into an adventurous young toddler who loves to play and listen to songs. He is constantly crawling around the house, climbing on things and getting into trouble, and Jim and Michelle think he's very close to beginning to walk! He stands himself up on furniture and other objects, but just won't take that first step. Neiko is also a talker- Michelle says that he says "Dada" reliably and "Mama" if he's in a cooperative mood.

Neiko's favorite thing to eat is raspberries! He also loves going for walks outside, playing with his cousins and clapping and singing along to some tunes. Michelle can't help herself from sharing photos of Neiko and gushes that she can talk about her son all day. Above all, Michelle says, Neiko's most favorite activity is bath time!

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This big guy is turning 1-year-old early next month and we can't wait to celebrate his birthday.

Too Cute Tuesday: Four-Month-Old Ben

It has been too long since we featured the perfect, adorable baby Ben on our AOW Blog and Family Gallery. Ben is now four-months-old and is loving all the camera time his mom and dad give him!

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The above photo is Ben celebrating his three-month birthday with a "fist bump" to growing older! His mom loves posing him in his daily outfits and Ben loves to show off. He likes going on trips to Costco because he gets to look at all the pretty lights. Below is Ben with his dad in Costco.

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Ben was born on June 7, 2017 and has been a joy in his parent's lives in the four months that they have been raising him. AOW Social Worker, Megan, has been completing the post placement visits with Heather, Steve and Ben. When asked about the family of three, Megan gushed about their openness, honesty and genuine natures, "Heather and Steve are completely in love with Ben and are always excited to talk to me about his new skills and changes. I always observe Ben to be a laid-back, easy-going baby who fits in perfectly with his parents. I feel lucky to have worked both with Ben's birth mother and Ben's adoptive parents. I know Ben's birth mom is grateful to Heather and Steve for how open they've been with her."  Heather and Steve have always expressed interest in getting to know Ben's birth mother and they continue to be open to communication in the future in whatever capacity makes her feel comfortable.

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Ben's mother, Heather, loves talking about her son. When we asked for an update about their lives together, she said, "Ben has brought so much joy to our lives. Our hearts are so full now. I love the simplest moments with him throughout the day: talking, singing, exploring his toys, seeing him grow and develop new skills every day. Steve loves early morning rockings and snuggles with him before work. Ben is truly perfect in every way and we feel so lucky that we were chosen to be his parents."

Too Cute Tuesday: Baby S

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On October's first Too Cute Tuesday, we happily introduce Baby S! This remarkably adorable infant was born on May 19, 2017, and she just celebrated her four-month-old birthday in September. Baby S has had many experiences early in her life. After birth, AOW received a call from a local hospital stating that a baby had been born and she was to be placed for adoption. Soon after, Baby S was discharged from the hospital into the home of foster parents who are licensed through Adoptions of Wisconsin. She spent a few weeks with the foster couple while our Social Workers contacted the prospective adoptive family and prepared to place Baby S in their home. After a whirlwind first few weeks in this world, she was placed with her forever family.

Baby S has since been thriving in the care of her adoptive parents. She is even blessed to have an older brother who dotes on her daily! She has brought so much laughter and joy into the lives of her adoptive family. A few of her favorite things are going for walks around their neighborhood, playing and interacting with her big brother and being read to by her parents.

When we asked about Baby S, her parents gushed about her. "She just turned four months old and her personality just keeps getting more defined with every passing day. She is such a little sweetheart. She is quite easy going, but is also opinionated and adept at letting us know what she needs and wants. She has the most adorable smile and her giggle is irresistible."

AOW Social Worker, Claire, is performing the monthly post placement visits with the family of four, and we cannot wait to see Baby S grow and develop into an even cuter infant and toddler. We are so happy to be a part of your adoption journey!

Too Cute Tuesday: Kai at Two Months

It's hardly a surprise that sweet baby Kai has only gotten ten times cuter over the past two months of his life. His parents are deeply in love and continue to nurture his development month to month and advocate for Kai as he grows older.

Kai was born on July 19, 2017,  and was lovingly placed by both his birth mother and birth father into the care of Andy and Sarah, prospective adoptive parents through Adoptions of Wisconsin. They have enjoyed every second that they've spent with their son and have appreciated the deep strength of his birth parents to place him for adoption. Andy and Sarah spent time in the months prior to Kai's birth getting to know his birth parents and continue to have an open relationship with them today.

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Too Cute Tuesday: Adorable Zoe

Happy Too Cute Tuesday! This week we are featuring the adorable baby Zoe!

 

Zoe was born on May 4, 2017, and has brought so much joy into the lives of her adoptive parents. Zoe left the hospital with her parents two days later and has been in their care since then. Zoe's parents are absolutely in love with their four-month-old daughter. Zoe is not a shy baby - her parents say that she loves to talk to everyone she meets and always greets you with a big and beautiful smile!

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Some of Zoe's favorite things to do are play with her toys, talk to new people and go camping with her Mommy and Daddy. She has been a light and joy in her parents lives, and they cannot wait to watch her grow older and become more adorable (if it's even possible!).

As we all know through experience and by reading stories, each adoption journey is different. Although open adoption is becoming more and more common as time goes on, Zoe's adoption was closed. Zoe's birth mother made the decision for herself that she wanted to have a private, confidential adoption plan. Zoe's birth mother and adoptive parents solidified a closed adoption plan through Adoptions of Wisconsin, each respecting each other's wishes. Zoe's adoptive parents have been and continue to be open to connecting with her birth mother in the future, if that is something she would like to do. Ultimately, the degree of openness of the adoption plan falls with the birth mother and father. Closed adoptions are beginning to become rare in adoption, but Zoe's story provides a glimpse at what a closed plan could still look like.

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Zoe really is "too cute". Zoe's adoption will be finalized in a few short months. Stay tuned for her Adoption Day story in the near future!

Too Cute Tuesday: Eli's Life After Finalization

This week's Too Cute Tuesday baby couldn't possibly get any cuter! Eli is a few short weeks away from his first birthday and his parents have many wonderful experiences to share from his first year of life.

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Elijah was born on October 4, 2016 and was surrounded with love immediately upon his arrival. Eli's birth mother shared an open relationship with his adoptive parents, who met with her in person prior to Eli's birth. On March 10, 2017, Eli's adoption was finalized.

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Eli's parents have been enjoying every second of life after finalization with their almost one-year-old. Here's what Elijah's parents had to say about their life as a family of three-

"Life after finalization has been an amazing adventure watching Eli grow and discover new things.  We can’t believe how fast this past year has gone by.  Thinking back to this time last year, we had just met Eli’s birth mother and were getting to know her while anxiously waiting and preparing for his arrival.  Fast forward to now, in a few short weeks we will be celebrating his big 1st birthday already.  We have been beyond blessed to share in many of his firsts together.  From first giggles, to crawling, to walking along the furniture and the first time he said Mama and Dada.  He is even getting brave and standing by himself.  It won’t be long before he takes his first steps.

Eli has been hard at work growing the 8 teeth he currently has and more to come.  He loves to eat and just learned to drink from a straw.  He likes to listen for and watch cars, trucks and motorcycles drive by and planes up in the sky.  He loves to climb/crawl on, over and under his toys.  The newest was a big cardboard box with windows and doors cut out to climb through.  His favorite stuffed animal is Mr. Hedgehog and loves story time with Dad, especially his favorite book, The Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark.  He went to his first county fair this past weekend and enjoyed seeing all the animals.  Next month, he will have his first plane ride to South Carolina to visit his Great Grandparents and other extended family who can’t wait to meet him.

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Eli has brought so much joy to our lives and to our family and friends as well.  He has so much personality already and loves to smile and giggle.  We can’t wait to see the person he becomes and are honored to be his parents."

Too Cute Tuesday: Leo's First Summer

This summer has been busy for AOW and it's been that way for baby Leo, too! As August winds down, we want to share a little about Leo's first summer with his moms for our Too Cute Tuesday feature.

Leo was born on February 5, 2017 and spent some time in NICU at the hospital after delivery. His adoptive moms were at his side since birth, even staying in an unfamiliar city hours away from home to be with him. Over the months, Leo has gained strength, developed age appropriately and has met every milestone. Leo and his family completed the six months of post placement visits with AOW and his adoption was finalized on July 14, 2017.

Leo has been keeping his moms busy over the past few months of his first summer. He visited the family lake house and spent time there hiking, swimming, boating and fishing. He has had several "firsts" throughout the summer, and his adoptive moms can not believe how fast the time is going! Leo experienced his first parade, ate his first avocado and enjoyed being in a swing for the first time. He even had his first plane ride to the northeast this past July! He flew with his moms to meet over fifty of his extended family members in one whirlwind week. Some of his favorite things to do are giggling, eating peas, hearing his moms sing "Wheels on the Bus", reading books, playing outside and watching his three cats play.

Leo's moms are so excited for his future. When we asked for an update on Leo, they said, "He's growing so fast, rolling over and even sitting on his own! He is an exceptionally happy little guy who is always smiling, hardly ever complains and loves interacting with people. We couldn't be happier and are so grateful to his birth mom for bringing us together."

Too Cute Tuesday: Devin

This week's Too Cute Tuesday feature is all about Devin!

 

Shortly after completing their home study with Adoptions of Wisconsin, adoptive parents Erin and Tim were introduced to Devin's birth mom through mutual friends. After an emotional first meeting, the match was confirmed and they were able to join Devin's birth mom for the final prenatal appointments and be present at the hospital for her birth. Devin was born on January 31, 2017 and has been home with Erin and Tim since her discharge from the hospital.

Devin is now 6 months old and continuing to grow and change every day.  She is rolling over, learning to sit up on her own and just beginning to eat solid food (though, at this point she prefers playing with the food instead of eating it!).

Erin and Tim had fun this summer with introducing Devin to their favorite Madison activities like the farmer's market, UW Terrace and the zoo.  They also made a couple of trips to Milwaukee and Minnesota for Devin to play with her cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and meet her 99 year old great grandma!

AOW Executive Director and Social Worker, Claire, has been working with their family to complete post placement.  The monthly visits have taken place in their home, where Claire is able to see Erin and Tim interact with Devin in a comfortable environment. Erin and Tim have an open adoption relationship with Devin's birth family, which is becoming more common in the adoption realm. Erin and Tim continue to share regular photos and updates on Devin's growth and communicate with her birth family via a private Facebook page.  Devin's adoption is very close to being finalized and we will share another update once it is complete!

Too Cute Tuesday: Clea's Favorite Things

It’s Tuesday again, and even the gloomy clouds and rain in the forecast won’t make these cute photos any less adorable! Our feature this week is on Clea, and we hope she brightens your day!

Clea loves sitting up on the couch!

Clea loves sitting up on the couch!

Clea was born on April 10, 2017 as a beautiful, healthy baby. Clea’s birth mother thoughtfully considered her options when she found out she was expecting a child and contacted Adoptions of Wisconsin to create an adoption plan. Ultimately, she decided adoption was the best choice, hoping for an open adoption plan with the adoptive family she chose, Keith and Johannes. Clea was placed with her adoptive parents directly after a successful birth and discharge from the hospital.

Today, Clea is a lively, chatty four-month-old who cannot wait to start moving around. She loves doing anything that makes her feel like a “big girl” – standing up tall with help from her dads, chattering away in baby language (Keith and Johannes think she is itching to tell some good jokes!) and sitting up on her own with a little help from the sofa cushions. Clea is always refreshed and in a wonderful mood in the mornings and after her naps. She enjoys her naps so much that she even allows for some dreaded “tummy time” when she wakes up! Another one of her favorite activities is playing in her Exersaucer. It has several fun toys in different colors and shapes that Clea can explore. She spends time playing independently, but loves it most when her dads are cheering her on. Clea’s dad, Keith, gave her her first piggy back ride at a recent family outing and she was absolutely thrilled!

Clea’s adoption will be finalized next month and we will, of course, be documenting the special day. Stay tuned for her Adoption Day story in the future!

She explores the exciting toys on the Exersaucer

She explores the exciting toys on the Exersaucer

She even enjoys tummy time on occasion

She even enjoys tummy time on occasion

One of Clea's dads gives her a piggy back ride!

One of Clea's dads gives her a piggy back ride!

Always smiling

Always smiling

Too Cute Tuesday: Branson

Finalization is on the horizon for this little bundle of joy. This week's "Too Cute Tuesday" feature is on the handsome, smiley baby Branson!

Branson was born on January 31, 2017 to a birth mother who had contacted AOW mere days prior to his birth about creating an adoption plan. Branson's birth mother looked at AOW's waiting families online and chose the perfect family for him to become a part of. Later that week, he was wholeheartedly welcomed into the lives of Jen and Brian, his adoptive parents. Branson is lucky enough to have an older sister, too!

AOW Social Worker, Megan, has been working with the family to complete post placement and check on the growth and development of the family of four. In one of his most recent photo shoots, Branson showed off his toothless grin. But he won't be tooth-free for long- his first two teeth have started poking through! As he's entering into the teething stage, the six-month-old is drooling everywhere! According to his parents, Branson saves his biggest smiles for his sister when she greets him every morning. Besides the busy work of growing teeth, Branson has also been spending his time growing in some blonde, fuzzy hair! His parents and sister love to rub the peach fuzz on his head.

After six months of post placement visits, Branson's adoption is very close to being finalized in court. Later this month, he and his parents will celebrate the adoption journey that brought them all together through his adoption finalization. Although waiting for placement can be hard, the final result is worth every second. Each situation is unique, and some are harder than others. In Branson's case, everything happened quickly and without much warning - but it's certain that Jen and Brian wouldn't have it any other way.

Stay tuned for a finalization day post about Branson in the near future!

Too Cute Tuesday: Post Placement Visits

Adoptions of Wisconsin knows that our visitors love seeing photos of our cute newborns that are in post placement, and we love to show them off! "Too Cute Tuesday" is our newest blog inspiration that we would love to continue weekly.

Featured on today's "Too Cute Tuesday" is one of the newest bundles of joy, baby Kai!

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Kai was born on July 19 and has been home with his adoptive parents since his discharge from the hospital. The family is adjusting well to becoming a family of three, and are settling into a normal routine. Kai is being showered with love and has been embraced by all family members and friends.

AOW Social Worker, Claire, is performing the monthly post placement visits with Kai and his family. Many people wonder, what does a post placement visit look like? In the state of Wisconsin, 6 months of post placement visits are required prior to the finalization of the adoption. More often than not, these visits will take place in the comfort of the adoptive parent's home, but the AOW Family Room is also an option with comfortable couches and fun toys for siblings. A post placement visit typically lasts about 1 hour, during which the family updates the agency about the health of the baby, any milestones he or she has reached and the general adjustment of the adoptive parents to their new situation. AOW provides counseling and support to our adoptive parents during these first months, and offers suggestions for any hesitant moments. Post placement may seem like just another adoption requirement, but it can also be a time to reflect, adjust and receive support from an agency that is invested in your journey.