Entries from September 2009 ↓

in the mail!

i successfully sent the 10 copies of our profile to texas today!  we’re now only waiting on one more thing, but that’s out of our hands.  there will be a big party on this blog when that piece is complete.  until then, i’m practicing my patience skills.  gonna need a lot of that.


thanks for the profile love, everyone!  (and thanks to j’s sister who caught a typo before we got all of our copying done!)

i took them into the “big box” print shop today and was lucky enough to work with a very friendly employee.  i don’t think she even charged me the full price.  maybe because she saw what the purpose of my document was and she was trying to be nice?  i didn’t ask questions, just smiled and handed her the money.  i’m having some problems with the big picture on the first page.  every time i print it, we either look red as beets (what were we thinking, taking a photo at sunset?!) or as green as aliens.  i think i’ve found a good compromise version, so cross your fingers that we’ll get page one done tomorrow so i can mail this packet in!

another big hurdle–cleared!

Since we are pursuing domestic infant adoption, the way that our process works is that we put together an “adoption profile” or “adoption resume” (i.e. scrapbook-type thing) that a potential birthmother can look at when she’s trying to choose the family for her child.  The agency will give her all of the profiles that meet her requests (whether those are location, religion, marital status, race, whatever) and she looks through them to find the one that she feels is the right family.  Our agency gives us the choice of a 4 page or a 6 page profile, designed pretty much however we want.  The idea is that the design and the words and the photos, since they come directly from us, will be the best way to give her an idea of who we are and what we’re like.  As you can imagine, this is a somewhat daunting task, but I think we’re finally done.  I still need to take this to a copy shop to get 10 copies made to send off to Texas, but …. it’s complete!  The first page is what you see above.  If you want to see the whole thing, you can click on the first page and it will send you to a .pdf of all six pages.  Be warned that it is a large file and may take awhile to open.  The original design inspiration was from the designaglow folks, but then I put my own spin on it and created the whole thing in Microsoft Word.  Probably not the best program to do this type of work in, but it’s my most familiar and comfortable design tool, so that’s what I used.  I’m pretty happy with it.  J’s pretty happy with it.  We’re both very happy to be done with this part of the process.  As soon as I get this copied and sent off, there’s only one more hurdle (final approval of our homestudy report) and then we’re in the pool.  Woo hoo!

another tiny little thing that trips me up

So I’m a pretty active member of the crafting community.  I enjoy learning new craft skills and i loooove the sense of pride in a successfully completed project.  lately, in blog-land, I’ve noticed a few new mothers cutely referring to their new babies as “look at what I made!”  Is it weird that those comments make me feel sad that I won’t be “making” my baby?  This sort of reminds me of the whole bookplate conundrum from earlier, just a new incarnation.

for a status update, we’re at the point where we’re waiting for our texas agency to do final editorial comments on all of our papers and when they’re done, we’ll have to make copies of our profile and then…. we’ll be “in the pool”!  but…. this part of the process could still take a few weeks, so don’t get too excited.  in the meantime, i’m just enjoying having my family visit for the week from far away.

the truth

have I ever told you that I once failed an “honesty test” that was part of a job interview i had during my high school years?  it was a written exam with multiple choice answers that a computer graded and it asked things (usually referring to previous jobs you’d held…. which I hadn’t had any of yet) like, “How much, in dollar amounts, have you stolen from previous employers?” and “If you were the manager of a department store, how much would you allow an employee to steal before you would refuse to give them a second chance?”  The people administering the test had warned me not to overthink the answers, but that just made me second-guess myself even more.  For that first sample question, I thought about it for awhile and decided that in my previous “job” as a library assistant in my high school, I had probably accidentally taken some paperclips or a pen at some point or another, and so I marked the circle that said, “less than $1.”  rather than just putting “zero.”  My other answers were equally “honest.”  They regretfully informed me, a week later, that although they would have really liked to hire me, my computer scores on the honesty test were too low and they couldn’t.

We got our first draft homestudy report back tonight and I found myself struggling with more of these questions of honesty vs. over-thinking.  For instance, when I read a sentence that says, “C & J have had a great deal of experience caring for children” I think, “well, sort of.  I mean, we babysit occasionally.  And we’re around kids a lot.  But nothing like the amount of time we’d have to spend with a kid that was our own.”  and then I worry that the statement that we have a “great deal of experience caring for children” is a misrepresentation of our true experience and skills.  And then I get really mad when I’m once again struck by the realization that biological parents never have to go through this process to prove themselves to outside entities.  They might secretly worry, “Can I really take care of a child?  I have no idea what I’m doing!”  and we worry about these things too, but I feel like we have to hide those worries (which are perfectly NORMAL worries, I realize that) for fear that someone will think that we’re unfit parents.

It’s interesting to me how throughout this process, I can get angry about things being “unfair” for us, and then come around and find peace about it–or just get over it–and then some little thing will trigger my frustration again.  I wonder if this will happen for the rest of my life.

Book Review: The Adoption Reader

I read The Adoption Reader, edited by Susan Wadia-Ells.  It’s a collection of essays written by birth mothers, adoptive mothers and adopted daughters.  I found many of the stories very touching, but I was disappointed that the essays by the adopted daughters barely mentioned their adoptive parents–except in one essay when she talked rather disparagingly about her adoptive mother.  Instead, pretty much all of the birth mother and adopted daughter essays were about finding each other or not finding each other and the pain/joy/disappointment surrounding that event.  The adoptive mother essays sort of sat between the two other collections, dividing them.  what a poignant representation of why open adoption is a better way to go.  Then, no one has to spend so much of their life energy wondering and searching.  Instead, they know.  Or at least have some idea.  And can spend their life energy working on some kind of a relationship.  Or not.  But not wondering, wishing, pining, and regretting.

another big hurdle….. cleared!

we had our homestudy home visit tonight!  This is the part of the process that everyone thinks of when you say you have to do a “homestudy” in order to adopt. In popular myth, this is where she comes to our house with white gloves to make sure that we’ve made the house spotless and if our home doesn’t pass her inspection then we don’t get approved for a baby.

In fact, we tidied the house up, but it was by no means CLEAN (last week was a heckuva week for both of us) but I resigned myself to feeling good about showing her that our house is “lived in.”  And then I thought about baking banana bread or cookies or something, but I ran out of time, so I just put together a tray with tea and mugs …. and then I ended up being the only one to drink the tea because J doesn’t drink tea and our social worker said something about not being able to do two things at once, so maybe it was best that I didn’t make munchies too.

but what actually happened during our home visit was that she arrived and sat down with us, made sure we had all of our paperwork in order, then read a list of things that we had to agree to (we’re aware that children are not perfect, we’re willing to create a “life book” to share our child’s story with them, etc., etc…..) and amiably chatted with us about our lives (not even sure if that was officially part of the visit, or just her being interested in who we are).  Then, we gave her a quick tour of the house (she loved it) and said she’d e-mail us any other questions as she came across them, and that she’ll probably have the report written by the end of next week.  that’s it!

So now we can focus on finishing the last few details on our profile/resume/thing they show to birthmothers to tell a little bit about ourselves, and as soon as the report’s written, we mail the whole thing off to Texas and then, I THINK… we’ll be in the pool.  wow.

these wonderful flowers were a very thoughtful and timely gift from one of my favorite five-year-olds (and his mom) who delivered them to me a few hours before the homestudy.  They came as one big bouquet, but you know I can never leave anything alone, and I ended up splitting the flowers into three “arrangements” to decorate the entire main floor of our house.  I had really hoped to have fresh flowers for our home visit, but hadn’t had time to get them–what a perfect gift.  Thank you!

oh, and yes, this means that we both finally finished our autobiographies and our physicals and pretty much most of the pre-matching paperwork.  Maybe this post should be more accurately titled “THREE big hurdles, cleared!”  woo hoooooooo!

slightly new scenery

i originally designed this blog when i was in a very atypically withdrawn, quiet place, emotionally.  i chose a design for the blog that was also very quiet and subtle.  but lately, i’m feeling like i’m much more back to my old self (not particularly withdrawn or quiet) and i wanted to re-design the blog to reflect my new outlook on this journey we’re on.  unfortunately, i have learned this evening, that because of the very quick-and-easy route we chose to use to start this blog, i am limited to choosing one of the pre-made themes that wordpress offers.  i can’t even change the header image or the color scheme or…. anything!  so here is a slightly different theme.  i’m not sure i like it yet (i certainly don’t LOVE it) but it would allow me to post much larger photos as well as a subtitle to the blog, which are two nice features.  plus, this particular theme lets me choose my favorite of 9 basic fonts to use (woooo!  nine!  gettin’ fancy!  hmmm…..do I want “Arial” or “Lucida Sans Unicode”?).  i even had this new header created:

which isn’t even ALL that fancy, but at least it’s relevant to the blog topic.  oh well.  maybe most of you read my post through your rss feed and don’t even see the blog itself.  or maybe someday, when we’re less pressed for time, i’ll be able to talk J into helping me change this whole thing over to a more malleable format (apparently, it’s a bit of a big project to migrate over).  In the big scheme of adoption issues this is sooooooo bottom-rung, last-priority.   but it’s just one more little thing that i’m not in control of.  and we all know how much i like to be in control.  oh well.  happy long weekend, everyone!