Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Letter Rip!

We finished our Birthmother letter last night! After revising the wording and layout a couple times, we're finally finished. Tonight I'm going to go print off a billion copies and then scatter them across this fair nation of ours. Here is what the cover looks like:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Roller Coaster

*Sweet Baby Cheeses, I'm sorry if anyone clicked on the "horrible parents" link before 3pm today. I uploaded a picture the way I normally do it, but I think the link was corrupted and/or hijacked. Anyway, it's fixed now. Back to scheduled programing.*

We are in the midst of a 5 week "Preparing For Domestic Adoption" workshop. There have been two sessions so far and boy is it ever a roller coaster. I went from excitement talking with other adopters, to insecurity thinking we are going to be horrible parents, to questioning how much I even want to do this, back all the way around to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and thinking it is all going to be worth it.The first session we just got to know everyone and talked about what brought people to choose adoption to start their family. It made for a very serious time since most of the people are there because of some kind of infertility or loss. Not all of us though... The interesting thing about our group is that out of 9 couples, 4 of them are gay men. Looks like we chose the right agency!All of us are at different stages of the process so it was great to hear stories about how people's experiences have been while also being glad that some parts are already over for us. Most everyone had an easy time with the homestudy and are struggling writing their "Dear Birthmother Letter". I wouldn't say we're struggling with our letter but it certainly does take a lot of editing. The second session we were offered a rare treat to meet two couples who have gone through the rigors of the adoption process and came out the other side with a gleaming brand spanking new baby to show for it. They had extremely different stories in how they got their babies. One had been waiting for a year and a half and then got a call for an Immediate Hospital Placement. That means a birthmother decides to place the baby for adoption at the very last minute and has no chance to meet the adoptive parents during her pregnancy.

The other couple had a pretty normal domestic adoption experience. They waited 6 months, got matched, spent 2 months getting to know the birth mother, and then took the baby home. The only thing about their case that was out of the ordinary was that they are 2 men. And maybe that's not so out of the ordinary anymore...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Reach Out

Lots to update! Well, not really anything tangible, but we had a lot of information thrown at us yesterday. It was a one-two punch at the ol' adoption center. First we had a meeting with Leah, our outreach coordinator. Followed by the first night of a 5 week Preparing for Adoption Workshop. Eyes were opened, and then glazed over.
Leah laid down the law for what we will need to do to let pregnant moms know we exist. This includes, but is not limited to, editing our birthmother letter, making 20 physical copies of it, linking our website, and telling everyone we know about our adoption plan.After all that's done, she does a whole bunch of magic and then we start the waiting game. She says the average wait time right now is 14 months. And here I thought we'd be welcoming a baby into our home by March. Oh well, that gives us more time to horse around while we still can.

We've actually already written the first draft of our birthmother letter. We showed it to Leah and she suggested (told us) what to change. It's important to get the wording just right as you don't who is going to be reading it. I think that's why many of the letters I've read sound similar. Or at least seemingly watered down. Anywho, I'm pumped to get the letter finished. After that we are to design a profile book which is actually just a couple pages of pictures and the text of our letter laid out in an attractive and easy to follow display. Kind of like a page from US Weekly. The book will be presented to pregnant women whose preferences match our own.
I'll post later about the workshop. It's going to be a doozy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We Bought Our First Onesie

It was kind of spur-of-the-moment. We were at a store with a gift card and didn't know what to spend it on. There has been a big question on my mind as to when we should start getting equipment for baby cakes. I guess a onesie (or as the British say, "Babygro") is a relatively innocuous way to start. Not too much pressure, and doesn't take up any space.

We were a little bit shaken up by the whole gravity of the situation but managed to pull through even when the lady at the checkout looked at the two of us and said, "do you want a gift box?"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dear Mom

Over the winter break, we started working on our "Dear Birthmother Letter". It is essentially an advertisement to try and get a pregnant woman to pick us to be the parents of her child. In doing my research of other birthmother letters, I noticed one thing they all had in common. One oppressive, overpowering message everyone was trying to convey: Perfection. Everyone's family is basically the same with their lovely homes, and idyllic neighborhoods filled with the sounds of children laughing and candy cane trees on a hill overlooking a smog-free city that's not-too-big and not-too-small with dozens of family members who live just down the street that are excited to babysit at the drop of a hat and so much disposable income that they can't decide which color jet to buy this year.
On one hand, I suppose it makes it easier for the mother to choose since every choice is exactly the same. On the other hand, I wonder if standing out from the pack makes a difference in a pregnant woman's eyes. I understand accentuating the positive, but I wonder if the mom can smell a rat from a mile away.

(best reviewed film of the year)

My intention is to make our letter sound semi utopian, but include enough of our quirks that make us seem like real people. we'll see if that flies. If not, we can just copy and paste someone else's letter and change the names.