Today we printed out the final draft of our family profile book for one last edit before we submit it on Monday. This is what birth parents and social workers will look at to determine if we are a good match for their child. They don’t get to meet us or talk to us. Just. This. One. Book. Can you say nerve-wracking?
I seriously spent about 5 hours deciding on fonts. Don’t even get me started on pictures. And the words??
Honest, but not too honest. Selling ourselves, but not fake. Greenies but not too hippie (nah who are we kidding, we could never cover that up). I mean should we tell them that one time we composted a goat? Probably not.
And now its done. All 40+ pages of it. All 150+ pictures. I can’t post all of it because they ask some pretty darn personal questions (fair enough). But I’ll post a few pages so you can get a feel for it.
Text is based on a list of about 50 questions we were given by the social worker. It was very difficult trying to pare down everything we wanted to say to birth parents into concise paragraphs. Because really what we wanted to say was “We will love this child so much, and are so appreciative, and look how cool we are, and we are really nice people.” But we felt like that wasn’t quite grown up enough.
In the end this step in the process, like every other step so far, was a blessing. Allowing us a chance to reflect and learn as a family, that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. I mean how many times do you, as a couple, get to sit down and really think about the fibers that make up the fabric of your marriage? How many opportunities do you get to articulate your parenting philosophy? Or the goals you have for your children and family? To sit and really define what your important events and traditions are? To pinpoint who you are as a family?
So, if you have about 100 free hours on your hands, I highly recommend sitting and making a family profile book for yourself. It won’t disappoint.
PS- for all you font-ophiles – in the end I went with KG Secondchance Sketch for the Headings, That’s All Folks for the Subheadings, and Tin Birdhouse for the text.
We took the first step our adoption journey on May 7, 2013 with a phone call and then a visit to Child Youth and Family Services NZ. 249 days later and although we have taken many steps towards our goal, it feels like we are still 1,000 miles away.
Why does the Tao Te Ching have to be so gosh darn right all the time?
For us adoption has always been something we have thought about, for reasons I may explore in another post. But when our daughter turned 6 months old we (I) decided it was time to take some concrete steps towards making it happen. So then we (I) did some calling around and signed us up for an upcoming information session about adopting in New Zealand. Maybe it was infant-induced sleep deprivation, the appeal of talking to other grown ups about something other than poop, or the lure of free cookies but we (yes, we!) were actually really excited about it.
Mother’s Day Hike May 2014
So on the actual night of the presentation we may have been a few minutes late. And we may have forgot to mention that we’d be bringing a 6 month old with us. And Eco-Thrifty Hubs may have had to pee like 15 times during the 90 minute presentation. And then he may have had to leave to entertain and soothe our screaming infant. Nothing like making a good first impression on the people who are going to scrutinize EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of your life to determine whether or not they will assist you to make you dream come true.
But they must have thought we had potential because we walked away with an application form and the dates of the two mandatory parenting seminars that all prospective adopting and fostering families must complete. The social worker did offer a bit of advice on our way out the door – “You might want to find a babysitter for the next session”.
We left that first session with so many questions, but I couldn’t stop smiling. The following Sunday, on Mother’s day, I wrote a note to our child. “I have so many questions right now, but mostly I am just so happy. Happy that we have so much love in our family. Happy that we have a beautiful daughter. Happy that somewhere, somehow, out in the world, things are starting to happen that will bring you to us”.
That was 249 days ago. The first step of thousands. I’ve been dealt a reality check over the past 7 months about the excruciatingly slow pace of this process. I am still happy. I am still optimistic. But it is hard to stay patient and positive through a process filled with so many unknowns.
Happy New Year!
2014 looks like it will be a big year for us, because….We’re adopting!
We are so excited to grow our family, to become parents again, to give Verti a sibling (or two?!?). We invite you to follow along our journey as navigate the adoption process. Adoption posts will be in Eco Thrifty Baby with the label “adoption”.
Much love and happiness for your new year.