moving right along

Remember I said this month was going to be busy? Well it has been. Some good news for a change. For one thing, M and I have been cruising through our home study — or so we think — and it could be complete by mid-September!  

We finally completed all of our home-study paperwork, except for one last reference which is out of our hands. We submitted all of the agency forms (and there were many), criminal statements and fingerprints, medical, financial and housing forms, marriage certificate, 2006 and 2007 tax returns, employment verification, and two of three references. Moving this mountain of paper required many little details and time, but we worked together to get it done. How I love checking stuff off the list. Yay us!

Even our landlords wrote a great letter to vouch for our stability and responsibility, noting that they raised their kids here and how they look forward to watching ours grow up here too. Sweet.  

It’s been one thing at a time (sort of, because we’re also juggling). First, we were happy to finally get our application in the mail in June, after talking about it and working on it for so many hours. Then we were so relieved to meet our nice caseworker and survive the home visit, even though she didn’t even use the bathroom I scrubbed (twice) or eat the food I put out. 

We each survived our individual interviews with our case worker (mine was last week, M’s was this week), without any especially tough or annoying questions. She thinks we might not even need a fourth visit since she already has everything she needs to know. Initially, she said she usually requires a fourth visit about three-quarters of the time. If she doesn’t need it, that tells me she has no reservations and she’s ready to go forth and write the study. (We kept the time open just in case she has any last minute questions.) 

After the agency reviews the draft home study, we will have a chance to review and edit, then it will be finalized and we will be official! (Question: how much editing can you really do here? I assume it’s just for accuracy, rather than a chance to make us sound even more wonderful.)

In the meantime, we’ve been continuing to educate ourselves about open adoption. I just finished my third book and I’ve got two or three more on the shelf. (Maybe I’ll start a list somewhere here?) It seems the more we learn, the more we talk about it, the better we feel. Yet there is still much to do before The Wait. And there is no way to know how long it will be before we can bring a little one home. The truth is, I get a little sick to my stomach thinking about how long it could be, still…

For now, we need to keep the forward motion. Since I like to stay a step ahead, I’ve been busy moving onto the next phase: outreach. This past weekend we finished a first draft of our “profile” letter and selected some photos. We still need that one stellar cover shot — one in which I’m not wearing black, which is kind of tough — but the rest of the photos are lined up ready to go. Eventually we’ll have to put together a full photo album to share, so we scanned in some old pictures for that too. 

Last weekend I also started building our website, by customizing a free template on my new computer (anyone use i-web?). We’re really happy with the way it looks so far — playful and colorful but not too slick or outrageous. But (big but) we’re not sure whether it will work well with other browsers or whether some annoying glitches will require professional help. While we could save about $1000 by building it ourselves, sometimes you get what you pay for…

Oh, and last night we actually registered a domain name for the site too. Cool. 

These are the things within our control. The things we can feel a sense of accomplishment as we complete them. The things we can check off the box. So much in infertility and adoption is beyond our control. No matter what we do, we can’t control the outcome. So we are trying to savor what we can do for ourselves now, because we’ve seen enough people go through this to know that once we’re done with this, it could take a long time before anything happens. And that will be much harder.

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~ by luna on August 21, 2008.

18 Responses to “moving right along”

  1. I am so happy to hear that things are moving along for you guys! Possibly getting by with 3 rather than 4 home studies is wonderful. Like you, I like to stay a step ahead. I haven’t even gotten to IVF, but already I’ve explored what home studies are like and have agonized over the fact that in every picture of us we have a drink in our hand (not a good message to send, but hey, we have a tendency to be camera shy without one!). Good luck and keep us informed!

  2. Doesn’t it feel great to be able to control things and get some stuff accomplished towards the positive? Honestly, this is the best part. By the time you finish the profile letter you will feel so good about yourself. You get to accentuate all that is good in your life and about you and yours. Congrats on each step of the way!

  3. They way you share your updates, and let us into this part of your life is so wonderful, and I feel so thankful that you let me in.

    I’m glad things are going so well – you deserve every bit of it.

  4. I knew you’d knock her socks off.

  5. I’ll never be able to tell you enough how grateful I am that you are sharing the process with us. I am learning so much about the internal adoption journey.

    Thanks for the kind words you said about me on Bridges. 🙂

  6. I am so glad all your energy is being channelized into the outreach part. I really appreciate your diligent updates – I think you will have a kickass profile! What amazes me is the photo content. You mentioned about compiling some without you dressed in black, shelby above mentioned her pictures with a drink in hand. Is it so easy for people to jump to conclusions on parenting potential? It still amazes me that people who want to pursue adoption have to sell themselves as supermoms/superdads. Arrgh, life is unfair.

  7. Your sense of energy and of positivity really shines through in this post, Luna! I am so pleased that things are moving forward for you, and will be hoping as hard as I possibly can that you do not have to wait too long before bringing your child home.

  8. It must be so satisfying to make a list and check things off. I so wish we could do that with fertility treatment, to know that each item we spend money on, and each step we take, is actually bringing us closer to our goal, rather than taking a shot at something then going crashing back down to earth when it fails.

    I suspect it’s going to be a lot harder for you once the paperwork is in and you can’t be so proactive. But I’m sure your books talk about that as well.

    I’m so excited for you!!! If I had a baby to give away, you would be on the top of my list. 🙂

  9. Isn’t it nice to have something that you can control in this process? I feel the same way. The list is long, but I can DO it. We are on the same track… homestudy should be finished by September. I’m glad things are moving forward for you. -Dot

  10. Checking things off the list has been unbelievable great. Our profiles are out the door, so now we just wait for the next 17 days until we are paper pregnant. Lots of reading going on here too – and home improvement. That’s what’ll keep us warm this winter, methinks.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this difficult and complicated process with the rest of us out here. I think you seem to be on the right path!

  12. It sounds like y’all are really trucking along! I remember when we were working on our application and home study paperwork. Our agency gave it all to us in a big notebook. I kept that notebook close to me at all times. When we finally sent everything in, it was weird to not need the notebook. It was my surrogate baby in a way. Then it was on to the next project – the profile. I really enjoyed working on that. When that was finished, we were left to wait, with not much more we could do for ourselves. That was a little hard to adjust to. As long as you feel like you are making progress, you feel good, but once you just have to wait, it’s a little tough for a while. Of course, you can prepare other things and continue to educate yourselves. It sounds like things are going great so far!

  13. Our agency must operate in reverse order. We had to have everyhting in, meaning all the paperwork and the profile, before we could even get on the books for our homestudy. We got our paper work in about a week ago, and now that we’ve had our visit (we need on more, but our SW said it will be very quick and can be done at the office) we are officially done and waiting. It’s amazing. I am so psyched and cannot wait for you both to be done with this part as well!! Here’s to getting to the waiting :).

  14. You’re so right to focus on what you can do, and to try and enjoy the process, if that’s the right way to put it. It’s so important to know you’ve put your heart and soul into an endeavor like this one.

    I hope the wait is short!

  15. Oh, how I LOVE to check something off a list!! I really enjoyed that part of the adoption process, exactly because it was so in our control and we had milestones to reach. The wait of course, is so undefined, and definitely didn’t look forward to it. I would love it if you made a list of the books you’ve been reading. In fact, I think I’ll do one on my blog as well!!

  16. Hopefully I’m not misinterpreting things, but you seem to be in a really good place right now, focusing on the things you can control rather than those you can’t. I know that I like lists so yea, ticking stuff off, feels very very good.

  17. Things really are moving along for you guys! I hope that forward motion continues. I’d love to see your website sometime (and would love to get feedback on ours).

    It’s so nice to have a least a few things we can control, isn’t it?

    Have a great vacation. I’m jealous of your lunch plans.

  18. Luna, I hope you have a wonderful time. Glad you had fun at the party.

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