August is virtually booked and it hasn’t even begun. And I thought I was busy already. Meetings, appointments, deadlines. That doesn’t even include work-related things. This is proving to be quite a busy month. So much for the summer lull.
The adoption paperwork threatens to overtake my desktop and datebook. My to-do list is a full two pages long. That’s a lot of things to do in a very short time.
In the past few days, I scheduled five appointments over the next three weeks, completed and submitted an application for our consultant/facilitator, gathered forms to distribute and compiled documents for review, rallied our first reference, worked with M to find a new doctor and get him in for a physical, had a TB test, found us a counselor, finished an excellent book on open adoption, completed a first draft of a letter for our “profile,” and updated a spreadsheet of estimated expenses, which are growing by the day, by the way.
Our home study is finally moving ahead. Thank you all so much for your support and comments about our initial home visit next week (on 08/08/08, very auspicious!). M and I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement. We’ve already scheduled our individual visits for mid-August, because that’s how we roll. (Actually, with everyone’s summer vacations, they would have had to wait until September if we didn’t schedule them now.) After that, we’ll have one last meeting with the caseworker to clarify any outstanding questions, probably in September.
Our task by the end of the month — or by the time we leave town for a few days before labor day — is to gather the last of the documents we’ll need to complete our home study, continue to educate ourselves about the open adoption process (by reading a lot to overcome misconceptions and fears), and do everything we can to prepare for the next phase: outreach.
In a few weeks we’ll also have a four-hour intake meeting with our consultant, at which time we will be given yet an additional set of tasks to do, after reviewing such important issues as: why we want an open adoption, what level of openness we’re comfortable with, what are our fears about the process, how we cope with difficulty, etc. We must survive this phase before we even get to the outreach phase. To prepare for this meeting, we each have to write one last set of essays (our third and final set of questions, we hope).
Once we sign with our consultant and survive the intake, she and her associate will help us develop a fine looking set of materials for our “profile.” Then we’ll have to decide how much we’ll spend to design, print, web host, mail, market and outreach our profile. But we can’t do any of those things until we develop compelling content and images to convey how wonderful we are. From what we’ve heard, this process will take much longer than we think and can get very expensive. But we’ll save that for September…
I should point out that we’re opting out of our agency’s outreach program and choosing instead to use those funds to do our own outreach with the consultant’s guidance. Our agency has nearly 70 waiting families and we would fall to the bottom of that long list. Two years is not an uncommon wait with our agency. Our facilitator has maybe 20 waiting families at different stages, and we are more confident that we’d be “matched” through her or our own efforts, hopefully sooner than later.
Oh, and speaking of waiting, we’re also signed up for a support meeting for waiting families through our Resolve spin-off in August, as well as a workshop series on preparing for domestic adoption in the fall.
It seems every step we take is a reminder of how many steps still await. Some days are for checking things off the list, but today the list just got longer. One day at a time…