Adoption Process Continues

Onward, ho!

I let you all know last Monday that our home study report was typed and done and ready for our review. Well, on Saturday we got the official hard copy of things along with a letter from our agency that read like a college acceptance letter:

“It is our pleasure to tell you that you have completed all of the requirements of both the state of Texas and our agency in order to become an adoptive family. Welcome to the Connecting Hearts Adoption Program! You may proceed forward in completing your family profile mini scrapbook and ‘Dear Birthmother’ letters. We look forward to working with you and your family in this exciting journey!”

I should frame it.

There were some funny things in the final draft. The home study isn’t going to be flawless. When it’s all typed up, it can be anywhere from 10 to 30 pages. It is a report typed by your social worker that reflects and summarizes your face to face interview. Some of the details may be a little off.

My favorite “off” detail involved a tradition between me and my mom. When asked for a favorite memory or family tradition, I told the social worker about how everything Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, my mom bakes cinnamon rolls and we watch the Macy’s parade together while she (or we) finished cooking for Thanksgiving lunch. Then I told her that now that I’m grown with my own family, my mother still comes early in the morning on that Thursday to have cinnamon rolls with me and to watch the parade. Now that I’m in charge of the cooking, she helps me in the kitchen. It’s a sweet anecdote.

Here’s how it read in our home study:

“The particular memory that stood out in the mind of the potential adoptive mother involved a special tradition she shared with her mother. She stated that her mother would make cinnamon rolls every Thanksgiving Day and wake her up to watch the Macy’s Parade. Her mother still drives to her home on Thanksgiving morning to wake her up with a pan of cinnamon rolls.”

Travis and I read the paragraph and silently glanced at each other, then burst out laughing. The image of my mother standing over our bed as we slept in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning holding a hot pan of sweet rolls was just too hilarious  to ignore. The details certainly don’t have to be exact. They simply want to know that we do hold cherished memories of our own childhoods growing up. Apparently the retelling of those cherished memories by those who do not know it firsthand can come across as … well, creepy. Lol. Oh well. So we had a good laugh anyway.

So this means we’re accepted into the agency’s adoption placement program. Often an agency will not officially accept you into their adoption program until you provide them with a completed and approved home study. Makes sense to me.

What’s next?

We finish our family mini scrapbook profile, make 20 {yes, TWENTY} color copies of it, and turn that in to the agency. Then we write “Dear Birthmother” letters to the woman who will be viewing our profile and considering us to parent her baby. They want a personal letter from each of us explaining who we are, how we live, what we do, and how we view adoption.

I’ll be writing a separate entry about the “Dear Birthmother” letter, but let me say this: It’s intimidating. The mini scrapbook is easy peasy compared to the letter. We have adorable family photos from Halloween, Christmas, and our multiple vacations to aid us in the mini scrapbook. But the letters? It’s just you and a blank sheet of paper. You want to sound genuine but not reveal too many flaws. Appear light and fun but not silly or flippant about adoption. Appear kind and sincere but not condescending. It’s overwhelming.

I’ve written two drafts so far, and I guess with each version they get better, but I’m not really sure. I’ll be running them past our closest friends and parents before I send it in. It feels so weird saying, “I’m a 25 year old Caucasian woman….petite, light brunette…” It feels strange. I don’t know why.

How do you convey to this woman how much you want her to choose adoption for her baby without coming across as though you think this is some kind of favor for you? Because really, it’s not. No birthmother chooses adoption because she knows there are families out there wanting babies. They choose it because it’s either best for them and their baby, or their lifestyle is in such a mess that the decision is forced. Either way, we don’t play into the part of the journey where she decides to place.

I feel weird saying anything that hints at a thanks for choosing adoption for her baby. She hasn’t completely chosen anything yet. She’s considering adoption. Until she’s signed away her parental rights, the baby is hers. I wouldn’t want to place any pressure on an unseen expectant woman by thanking her prematurely for her decision to place her child for adoption when no such decision has been made yet.

Like I said before, it’s complicated. So I’ll be working on that all week.

And then there’s this recent bit of news:

The agency worker who we fell in love with announced last week that she’s leaving our agency! Her last day was Friday, and I was reeling. I felt lost! I’m a little scared that things will change, or the worker we get next won’t be as compassionate and helpful as our former worker was. I hope she is. I called our home study social worker the other day and talked to her about it. She reassured me that she’s certain the new lady will be just as wonderful. I trust her, so we’re still moving forward.

Hopefully within a week or two, we’ll be a waiting family! I heard from our paperwork lady {the one who held our hand as we collected all of our documents for our home study} today, and she said they had 2 birthmothers place their babies on the same day this past week! So things ARE happening at this little agency with or without the former adoption coordinator. Made me feel good to hear that. Perhaps it will be us soon!

I’ll keep you updated on any other adoption developments! Have a good evening,

 

Kat

 

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Adoption Agencies, Adoption General, Homestudy

7 responses to “Adoption Process Continues

  1. Mom

    I am so going to wake you up this year by tossing cinnamon rolls at your head. Make sure my dear son-in-law doesn’t go to bed in a birthday suit the night before!

    Mom

    • LOL doesn’t that description conjure a creepy image? Haha. I had to laugh. Travis said, “I just picture your mom creepily standing over us, completely silent, holding her cinnamon rolls and waiting for us to get up.” For what it’s worth, that’s NOT how I described it. LOL

  2. Kat,
    I think your letter to your baby’s birthmother will be beautiful. I know how tender you feel toward her already. Remember…this isn’t a test. You can’t fail. You are already intimately acquainted with her. That’s what happens when you pray for someone.

    • Thank you as always, Dawn. You’re so right. Travis and I pray for her every single night before we go to bed, that God would put a protective hedge around her and just guard her choices, health, actions, and protect her from those around her who might be trying to talk her into other decisions {such as abortion.} My heart goes out to her, and we’ll always be connected.

  3. To Kat’s Mom…you had me at “Cinnamon Roll”.

  4. Congratulations on the completion of your home study. This is an exciting time. My wife and I are currently also on a wait list for our adoption. We understand it can me nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. We wish you all the best in your adoption! I cannot believe you have to make 20 books! We only had to make 3.

    • Thank you so much, and congratulations on your own journey! Luckily they said that the 20 books can be color copied, so we’ll be paying a visit {and a hearty fee} to Kinko’s next week!

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