Faithful Readers. . .

Or, should I say checkers, as there has been nothing new to read since January. Sorry about that. There just hasn’t been anything to write about since January. I guess you could say that no news is good news, but in our case, it’s just no news. The process is still moving at a snail’s pace and nothing new or interesting has happened in a great while. Keep checking back periodically though, you never know when something might happen!

Any news on the adoption?

This is the question people have been asking us lately.  I think our friends and family are feeling as impatient as we are!  Well, not much is going on, but here’s a quick update for those inquiring minds.

We’ve shown our book to 2 expectant mothers so far, and neither one chose us to parent their child. We were officially “in the pool” in early July, that puts us at about 6 months in right now. So if we are consistent with the agency’s timeline of 3-12 months to be matched, we should find our birth mother within the next 6 months.

We are constantly feeling a strange mix of excitement, anticipation, hope, confusion, and disappointment. What a wild journey this has been so far! We are still feeling optimistic most of the time and are looking forward to meeting our mystery child. We’re also very anxious to know when it will actually happen.

I want to thank all of you who inquire about our progress and have given us support through this whole crazy thing. Here’s to good news in ’09!

Baby clothes

It’s been a while since our last post.  Sorry about that.  Nothing much has been happening in the adoption part of our lives. We are simply waiting for that perfect match to come along and change our lives.

We did, however, spend some of this time shopping for our “instant baby” bag. In the event that we get a midnight phone call that there is a baby available and we get chosen by the birthmom, we have to be ready to go and pick the baby up at a moments notice.  If this occurs, we have an emergency baby kit. Thanks to our friends Rian and Amanda, we have a great infant car seat. We also have diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, blankets, and clothes.  And of course, my favorite piece to shop for were the clothes.

I LOVE baby clothes!  It’s not just the fact that I’m in baby fever mode right now, I have always loved baby clothes, even back when I was going to be a rebel and not have kids.  It’s just that whole miniature thing. So, for your viewing enjoyment, here are the outfits we bought the baby for the emergency kit.  Those of you who know me best will understand the gray outfits, and why I actually squealed in Old Navy when I saw them. These are the first official clothes we have purchased for the baby.

Hope: not just a nifty campaign slogan

Bad Kitty!

For the last several months our cat, Gary, has been the worst cat ever. He has been jumping on counters, swatting at us, scratching on the couch, running around like an idiot, yowling at 4 am, and being overly needy and annoying. This may sound like normal cat behavior to you dog folks out there, but in reality Gary is a pretty cool kitty. He is a bit needier than the average cat, but he is extremely well behaved and mellow.  He knows what surfaces are his to jump on and which aren’t; he is quiet when we sleep, and usually only talks when he’s hungry; he never scratches the furniture, only his post. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, it was really quite disturbing to us.  Then, the behavior stopped abruptly, he was good old good Gary again. Why the sudden change? Was he sick? Was it the weather change? And then we figured it out, Gary had been reacting to his people’s stress, our adoption stress. And now we aren’t feeling that any more, and neither is he.  Why, you may ask, has our stress level gone down? We are feeling good about our baby again.

We have made the shift towards anticipating a different and mysterious little person who will soon complete our family. There are so many great things to look forward to. We get to meet this person’s biological mother, that is really cool. We’ll know what she looks like and talks like, we’ll be able to answer all of those tough “where did I come from” questions. We will potentially be at the hospital when this little creature is born! That wasn’t even a remote possibility before. We’ll be bringing home a newborn rather than a 6-9 month old, which means we’ll get to experience all those wonderful changes that happen in those first important months. And most of all, we are feeling confident for the first time that our child, whoever she or he may be, will finally be coming home to us.

Joel and I have been much happier people the last month or so. I put that all down to one word, hope. We have spent a long time without it, and now that it’s back we are ecstatic.  So, much thanks to our soon to be child, for giving your mom and dad hope again.

Capturing our essence, in 24 pages or less

We spent this weekend putting together our family book. This is a scrapbook style document which includes a letter to the birthmother and several pictures of us and our lives, this will be the first thing a potential birthmother will see of us when selecting a family for her child. It is a strange thing to try and capture a family’s essence in 21 pages of photos and a letter. Trying to show someone who has never met us that we are the right home for them to place their child has been a challenge. We know we’d be good parents, and would lavish love and affection on a child entering our home. We know that we have a wonderful family who is eagerly awaiting the newest addition and has already purchased tons of clothes and toys.  We know that our friends are excited for us to add another baby to our growing numbers. We know that a child growing up in our house, with our people, would grow to be a happy, healthy adult. How do you extend that knowledge to a perfect stranger in scrapbook format?

We started out making decisions about what the most important things in our lives were.  We settled on; our relationship, us as individuals, our families, and our close friends.  This settled, we began the great search for photographs depicting all of these things in the best light.  Most of our photos are digitized, so this wasn’t too difficult.  We also dug into our family and friends’ stashes.  The search for the best photos took about two weeks.Our biggest challenge was finding photos of Joel.  He is behind the camera 90% of the time.  We managed to get enough after much searching.  Having a photographer in the family means lots to sort through 🙂  I, as token English teacher in the house, was in charge of the birthmother letter and captions.  Joel, as token graphics designer in the house, was in charge of layout.  One might look at these qualifications and say that we had it in the bag.  Not that easy.

We wanted to make sure that everyone was similarly represented, that we had serious and crazy times, that we showed the full gamut of our lives. We spent the majority of two full days on the task.  After several versions and updates, the first draft is complete and we’ve sent it off to our social worker today.  Phew!

She gave us a little advice and her seal of approval, we’ll be ready to print up a few copies of the book and send them to the agency by the end of the week, then we’re in the pool!