Just over a week to go to start our Homestudy. I’m actually really excited. Initially I think everyone has some reservations or worry about the Homestudy component of the adoption process. It involves a series of meetings with a social worker to explore everything from your relationship as a couple, support systems you have in place and simply whether or not you are equipped, suitable and ready to become a parent to a child.
Leading up to our Homestudy we had a number of questionnaires to complete, and had to finish writing our Dear Birthmom letter and four pages of photos that depict who we are and our life. I think out of the entire process, the Dear Birthmom letters and photos were the most difficult. I must have rewritten the letter and reread it about 700 times. Too clinical? Too boring? Too much like a resume? Too funny? These were all things I asked myself as I was writing. I finally decided to just talk. Throw ourselves on the page.
If we keep on trend in the process, we should begin to be presented to birthmoms by the beginning of September. Then the waiting begins. The most common question that I am asked about this process is “how long will it take?”. The short answer is “who knows?”.. it can be a matter of weeks or it can be years. It is all about the match and being selected by a birthmother.
Lately I have been running in preparation for a half marathon at the end of the month. It is taking motivation, pushing through the discomfort and the finding the will to keep going even when it is raining or you just want to quit. I see this being a parable of our adoption journey. It is about the long-term goals.
Participation medals are cool too
It requires stamina, determination and when it rains or you just want to quit.. you have to dig deep and push through. In the end you will find the finish line.
We are in the midst of writing our Dear Birth Mom letter, sorting through photos and all of the other things you do to create the “right package”. While doing so, I have come to realize that this letter.. this package.. these photos are going to be the most important part of this process. It is the piece that tells the birth mothers that we are the parents they are looking for.
I’ve been drafting outlines for the information to include in our letter. The most difficult task has been determining “what is important?”. We have heard of parents being picked because they had a dog.. I’ve got 4 (but do we include that or do we sound like animal hoarders).
Do we communicate that I know every word to nearly every Disney song? Can recite The Sound of Music from beginning to end? Or how about that I successfully completed the babysitting course at the age of 12 1/2 and had a lucrative career as a babysitter through my teens? That shows I’m responsible right, and that I know what I’m doing? 🙂
Knowing that you are developing a letter that can change your life forever, and result in the family you have always wanted… is daunting to say the least!
My approach is going to be to just be us. Communicate that our house is full of laughter and love every day. We will support our child to make sound decisions, and turn missteps into learning opportunities. Encourage exploration, to be bold and for our child to know each and every day that they are special and loved more than anything.
The positive thing about the letter, is that it causes you to evaluate yourself. It encourages you to reflect on what is important for a child, and think about your experiences as a kid. But most importantly it makes you excited to become a parent! I can’t wait to be part of the parent club and in the wise words of Ariel…
“When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love, love to explore that shore up above?…
Wish I could be
Part of that world”