busy and a different kind of lost

As if life isn’t hectic enough with simply going to work and feeding ourselves daily, I’ve been keeping quite busy with the many steps we need to take before we are likely to be “matched” with an expectant mother.

First, we survived the frenzy of the home study paperwork and visits (and here). I’m happy to report that our home study was finally forwarded to our agency by our case worker (who is an independent contractor). She had hoped to finish it a week earlier, but could not. Now, we wait for the agency to review the report and send it to us before it is finalized. We expect the home study to be complete within the next couple of weeks, which will mark just over three months since we first applied in June. 

Next, we focus on our adoption profile and materials. I think I mentioned that we opted out of our agency’s outreach program (with its 70 waiting families), and signed with a private consultant who specializes in open adoption (with maybe 20 waiting families). The catch is we are responsible for much of our own outreach. So we will re-direct a significant chunk of funds that would have otherwise gone to our agency, which has about a two-year wait. Undertaking our own outreach is both daunting and empowering, for anyone wondering. 

I’ve already alluded to how unique our consultant is. So we have to do things a little differently than other would-be adoptive parents, and every detailed step takes time… 

We’ve also been trying to educate ourselves as much as possible about this process and about forming healthy relationships through open adoption. We want to be as prepared as possible, though we realize that nothing can truly prepare us, short of real life experience. So we’re doing what we can — attending meetings and workshops, reading a lot of books, articles and blogs, and talking to as many people as possible about their experience with open adoption. 

Aside from documenting our busywork, I thought some of you might appreciate hearing about some recent activities to give you a sense of what we’ve been up to lately…

  • attended the first of four agency workshops in a series on “preparing for adoption” 
  • attended a support group meeting for “waiting” families at what used to be the Resolve office (but missed the second one because we were so tired from the late workshop the night before)
  • attended monthly support meetings with our consultant and her past and present clients; heard from and talked with waiting and adoptive families and birth parents
  • read 5 books on open adoption; future post on this coming soon…
  • drafted our initial one page letter and selected photos
  • drafted our more detailed profile and selected photos
  • now editing the text for our website, the length of which is in between the two letters above (and much harder for some reason)
  • compiled our photo album (with i-photo) which will be shared when we are “matched” (this was actually really fun!)
  • hired a graphic designer to help with our profile materials (because as I said we have to do things differently); consulting about the design should begin in about a week
  • hired a web designer to help our website look professional and to optimize linkages (because the version I did with i-web just won’t cut it); consulting about design will begin once the letters are done
  • got an 800# and domain name for the website
  • got my haircut and made a date with M to take some good photos this weekend for The One that will lead in our materials; we have a ton of pix of us, but not The One…
  • collected some more books for the baby bookshelf!
  • and finally, successfully distracted ourselves by watching every single episode of this show  four seasons in two months (is that a record?), or 82 episodes of 42 minutes each, for a total of 57.4 hours (plus extras!), in about 90-minute late night increments. I know it sounds crazy, but we really got sucked in after avoiding the show for years, and now we have to wait for January for the new season to begin but we will definitely not be able to watch with commercials and week-long breaks in between… this was real “TV crack” — anyone else addicted? 
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~ by luna on September 19, 2008.

17 Responses to “busy and a different kind of lost”

  1. Wow. I am just now beginning to appreciate how truly busy you have been. I’m sure this process is a mixture of excitement and torture (waiting). I am most interested in hearing about doing your own outreach vs. going through the agency (with the horrendous 2 year wait). What is involved in this? Obviously a web site, but how does the birth Mother come to find your page and profile? Clearly I’m a complete newbie, but am so interested in the process as I’ve always felt that whether we have a bio kid of our own or not, I’d like to pursue adoption. My hubby is a programmer (mostly web development), so we’d have that piece covered, but I’m wondering what more is involved.

    I wish you luck in the coming months!

  2. Phew!!! You are indeed very busy! It sounds like things are really under way! I enjoyed reading the list of things you’ve done in preparation – I wish some of those things were available to us during our wait, or even now. (I’m sure some of them must be, but I just don’t know about it.)

    If at any point you’d like to hear more about our experience, bounce ideas around for profiles, what we’ve found helpful and not (or in general hear me blather on and on about open adoption :), don’t ever hesitate to be in touch. You’ve got my email.

  3. Ah! And I forgot to add…. my husband and I totally had a Lost addiction a few years ago (got the first season on DVD as a Xmas present). We are very backlogged, though, I think we’ve left off somewhere in the second season so we are nowhere near catching up to watching in on actual TV.

  4. I bet your hair is way cute! And did you get yourself a nice fuchsia outfit? Bright, sunshiny yellow?

    Each step gets you closer. XO to you both.

  5. Wow, that’s amazing.

  6. We did that with Lost too. We didn’t start until the second season and basically did a massive watching marathon at home – it was great. Totally hooked.

  7. Just catching up and wow, I’m amazed at how much has happened the past month or more…you and M are ON it. So good to see how well you’re both doing and how far you’ve come.

  8. I am totally and completely addicted to Lost too, and did something similar where we watched the first two seasons on DVD in maybe a week? This season’s making me iffy though, I’m worried with where they’re going. It’s been so good, I don’t want them to ruin it.

  9. It’s got to be a good feeling to be moving towards this and, jeez, I had no idea how much goes into this. (Did you?) What I do know is that some child or some soon to be child out there is a very, very lucky little human to have you guys as parents.

  10. It sounds insanely intense. Good luck with it all. I think it would do my head in.

  11. Good luck with all the adoption preparation. Lost isn’t my crack TV…24 is. We Tivo it and watch it immediately after so we don’t have to sit through the commercials.

  12. I’m exhausted just reading this, Luna! I feel daunted by all that you have to go through, and yet excited that you and M are getting closer and closer to becoming parents… and I’m sure that this isn’t anywhere close to the range of emotions that you must be experiencing.

    And yes, you’ve found another Lost addict – although each season starts a couple of weeks later over here than in the US… so please, no spoilers once the new season starts!

  13. Whew! Next time I get one of those “just” adopt comments from someone, I should refer someone to this post.

    It took us forever to discover Lost, too. But once we did and caught up with them all, I swear I’ve been shaking with withdrawal symptoms as we wait for more. Six Feet Under, MadMen and Nip/Tuck are others I came to late but have been hooked on as well. Yay for good TV shows!

  14. You guys are rocking and rolling! That is a tremendous amount to get done so quickly. We missed you guys the other night. I’ll have to fill you in but it was us and one other couple from before. I don’t think anyone wants to shell out for a more expensive option (when there are so many other things to shell out for these days). I’d love to see your photo book. That’s still on my to-do list.

  15. Incredible what you need to go through. Friends of ours went through the same, private consultant w/open adoption, and they found the process deeply personal but ultimately in a good way. It’s so much work, and the ups/downs, close calls are eerily familiar. You’re so incredibly prepared and grounded — I’m still in awe of you, and thinking of you constantly.

    And I missed Lost from the get go. At some point I guess someone will convince me it’s worth renting from square one.

  16. Sounds like you are doing a good job of getting through the “to do list”. You have such a great attitude about it!

    My husband and I have just started the Home Study paperwork. I never thought I would say “paperwork” is bringing me peace, but in some strange way it makes me feel like I am “doing” something and we are for the first time moving forward.

    I would love to hear if there are any books on adoption you recommend. I have read several, and gotten something valuable from each book; however, no book has really grabbed me or has been something I would highly recommend (except maybe for “Adoption after Infertility).

    Good luck and I look forward to reading as your story unfolds!

  17. […] food right next to “Jin” and his family. Having just watched the entire series in a marathon to divert us from our adoption busy-work (82 episodes in 2 months, over 57 hours in mostly […]

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