writing our autobiographical statements ("what's a synonym for extraordinary??")

so many forms to sign!

Glenn's Home Study Post

For some reason, I had originally thought that Home Study was a series of classes we had to take, but it's actually a series of home visits made by the social worker to meet us, see our house, go over paperwork, and interview us individually. And first, we had the impression that this was some kind of test for us to pass or fail. But once we thought about it, we realized that the social worker isn't there to judge us (well, at least as long as we don't have any open sewer holes in our home, or walls covered in metal spikes... which we don't), but to help us and advocate for us. So that did change our attitude and concerns about the process. The Pathways class helped as well, especially since the people were so great and all the adoptions seemed to have twists and turns, but ultimately happy endings.

That didn't stop me from getting a little nervous and high strung when our social worker came by. But it was a very simple, matter-of-fact meeting. She went through our paperwork and listed anything we were missing. She gave us some tips on our 2-page Family Profile sheet (which is the first thing the birth mother sees of us, and thus our first "sales pitch"). Ours happened to be VERY fleshed out with details and descriptions, which she said was a bit overwhelming and might actually turn off the birth mothers. So we're going to re-write and simplify. As anyone who reads this blog knows, we have no shortage of words, so we'll have to edit.

We also found out that the autobiographical statements we wrote are really for the agency, not the mother, who will never read them. So perhaps 7 pages each was a little bit of overkill. But we are, of course, very excited and intent on letting everyone know not just how much we want to be parents, but how ready we are.

She did a quick walk-through of our home, and I was surprised that she didn't make comments like, "Oh you'll have to put a gate there," or "What are those metal spikes doing in the wall?" She was very nice and helpful, but it was a relief when she left and we could talk it over.

There's a lot for us to think about, and only a little bit more paperwork to do. The next big thing is the "Dear Birth Mother" letter, which we'll try to keep under 100 pages. ;-)

Our Home Study

This afternoon we had a visit from the social worker handling our home study. Glenn & I were really glad that we had the Pathways class (read Glenn's post about it) the day before hand. It helped us gain more insight and to know what to expect and to alleviate our nerves. Though I will admit, we still did have some right before we arrived. I wanted to make sure our home looked nice and it did. I even baked some chocolate chip cookies to offer her. (Glenn and I ate more than she did!) She was very nice and very thorough and helped us a lot.

Anyway, today was to go over all our paperwork that we had completed and to sign some more release forms. We have just about all the paper work done. Just need to make some minor adjustments and find out some more info to get to her.

She toured our home which she seemed to think will be fine for our baby. She asked what kind of baby we would like. We are open to a boy or girl and any race or mixed race. Of course, all expecting parents want a healthy child, as do we. But with adoption there are sometimes greater risks of not knowing exactly what health conditions of both birth parents are. So, we have to make very specific decisions about what we are willing to accept and able to handle. Whew! It can be a bit overwhelming. We just want a baby to love and wish we didn't have to think about things like this, but it is part of the adoption process. So will willingly go through it all. She gave us a lot of information and advised us to do more research and to let her know what we decide. So that's what we're going to do.

I tend to be a positive, open-minded kind of gal and believe that all is well no matter what, and whatever happens is meant to. But I do realize we must be fully aware of what our limitations are, and to weigh all the pros and cons to come to a conscientious decision about something that is as huge as this.

It's just odd, because when someone has a biological child they know what they are and are not putting into their own bodies so they can rest a little better knowing the changes of them having a healthy baby. When the child will come from someone else's body, it is out of your control. The desire is great to take any child because you want to love it and take care of it no matter what, but one must search deeply into their hearts and minds and their own situation to figure out what is best for the baby and for them. So that is what we are doing.

We meet again with the our home study social worker both separately. I meet her next week. Glenn will meet her the week after. Once she completes the home study we will be in the system for birth mothers to start choosing us. It takes a while to get all the results back from fingerprinting, since we're dealing with government agencies and they are backed up with work to do, and to cross all the 't's" and dot all the 'i's". So, the home study process should be done by November, maybe even sooner. We will be so happy!

We will get another social worker assigned to us that will do the matching of us with birth moms and take us through the whole actual adoption. She will be the liaison between us and the birth mom.

It's been a full weekend about taking closer to being parents. That makes me very happy!!

Angie's thoughts on our Pathways Class

I totally enjoyed the all day required class Glenn and I went to yesterday! It was so informative and we left with such great feelings. I especially loved meeting other people in the same boat as we are and hearing from them. I feel we made new friends!

Everyone was so open and honest and willing to share and asked great questions. I cried listening to some of them. I cried because I felt a connection with them. When I heard of specific adoption stories from others, I was especially emotional from hearing about their birth mothers. I feel such sensitivity for the pain they feel choosing to allow other people to parent and raise their child. It's a powerful thing and I believe a selfless thing to do. I respect them and honor them. I already feel a deep love for the stranger out there that will be the birth mother to our child. I wonder where she is now and what she is going through. My heart goes out to her. I look forward to meeting her, to hugging her, to thanking her. I especially look forward to honoring her by giving her child a loving home and wonderful life.

Those were some of the thoughts I left with yesterday after the class. I felt energized and even more excited. It all felt more real and that it will happen to us. After sitting around just filling out paper work the last couple of weeks, the connection with the other parents was a happy, healthy dose of what can happen. Even those with babies already, did go through complete ups and downs and pain and emotions, but it was all worth it once they have their beautiful children to love. That is how it will be for us.

Now I'm going to escape from reality and go watch the Emmy Awards!

Glenn's thoughts on our Pathways Class

Yesterday (Saturday), we had an all-day class called Pathways, which is the core required adoption class. We didn't know what to expect, and I kind of assumed it would be a somewhat tedious seminar.

But it turned out to be a truly fascinating daylong conversation between 10 adoptive parents and a social worker. Each adoptive couple or person was in a different situation - 2 of them already had a baby in their homes and were doing the requirements post-placement, 2 have babies on the way in a month, and ourselves and 1 other couple had just started the process.

We learned a lot about different ways open adoptions work - they can vary from extremely minimal contact like just sending photos once a year, to high levels of contact to the point of regular visits. I'll hold off for now on what we think of open adoptions and what we're comfortable with right now, since this post is more about the class we took.

During the lunch break, one of the couples invited everyone back to their place which was nearby. It was a lot of fun, and very special to bond with people in a similar situation. We really liked all of the couples we spent the day with, but lunch was the moment when we all came together as a group. We also got to meet their adopted daughter, now 5 months old, who is beautiful and healthy.

In the afternoon, a couple came by who recently completed their second adoption, to speak and share their story. It was another great illustration how every adoption, like every birth, is dramatically different. Their older son was from a 16 year-old girl who seemed very smart and mature about her decision, stays in touch with the adoptive couple, and is on her way to college now thanks to the positive choices she made. The process for their daughter, now almost a year old, was quite the opposite - high in drama and uncertainty and last minute reversals in which they almost didn't get the baby. That birth mother was older, but for some reason more immature. But it all did work out.

We came away feeling very reassured and more confident than ever about our decision, and with a better sense of how unique each adoption is. Some happen faster than people can get their paperwork done, others take years. We also got everyone's contact information, and intend to keep in touch. There's a very real need among adoptive couples for support groups and just social contact with other adoptive families, and the nonprofits don't have a lot of resources to pull those kinds of things together beyond the immense complexity of the adoption process itself. So we're thinking we might try to do it ourselves, especially since we connected so well with the other people in our Pathways class.

As a result of the day, we are all the more excited about what's to come!


Photo Winner!

Well, it looks like #1 is the #1 choice. By a landslide! We really appreciate all those who voted and sent us your comments. All your support means the world to us!!

Just in case you're curious, the runner ups are:

Second place #6 (Anniversary)
Third place #8 (Dinner Dance)
then, #7 , 5 & 3. No votes for #2 at all.

Also, got all my blood test results back and I'm perfectly healthy! Good to know!

This Saturday is our required class that we take to learn more about adoption. I'm looking forward to learning more and especially happy to meet other adopting parents who will be there too.


Help us choose a photo!

One of the most important first steps in the adoption process is the birth mother making her initial selection of possible candidates to whom she'd be willing to give her baby. The mother gets to see a 2-page overview of potential adoptive families, that includes general descriptions of our home, hobbies, careers, etc. And a single photo.

We think the choice of this photo is absolutely essential. Given that we live in a visual world, the photo will speak volumes about us, and in a sense, the written 2-page form is a supplement to the photo. Granted, there are an infinite number of reasons why someone might or might not like a family based on their picture. But that doesn't make the decision any easier.

So we've compiled a few photos, and are posting them here to get your feedback. As the people who know and love us best, you can help us choose the photo that best represents us.

Please respond by commenting and giving the number of the picture listed below, or sending us a direct email. As our first meeting with a social worker is next Sunday, we need to have a choice early this week so we can make 10 copies.

You can click on the images for a bigger, better quality version.

And now for the pix:










Love this Poem!

My cousin Leslie sent this to me after reading our blog. I'd read it before a long time ago, but had forgotten it. Clearly now I connect with it and was very moved so much that I had to share it with you too.

Thanks Leslie!

Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still,
my own.

Never forget
for a single minute,
You didn't grow
under my heart,
But in it.

Author Unknown


Choosing the Right Photo.

We are searching to find the perfect photo to show the potential birth mom. It will be her first impression of us, so we feel a great importance in choosing the exact, right one that best represents us. We love taking pictures but the thing is we don't take many with us together unless, it's the kind you hold your arm out and get just your heads in. Or they’re outside and we have sunglasses on. (Which has been suggested not to send.) We have some nice ones though. We’ve narrowed it down and have to decide. We may even take some new ones this weekend when our friends Eric & Ellie come over. She is a great photographer. Just get some casual ones in our beautiful backyard. Then they will for sure be recent. Maybe we’ll even post our top choices and get your opinions!

How she chooses us goes sort of like this. After much time and counseling with her own Social Worker she comes to the decision of adoption. In her third trimester, she is presented with information packets and a photo of potential parents that match what she is looking for what her situation is. She might have certain things she needs for her baby, looks, religions, location, qualities, living arrangements, family situation. She might want a single mom or dad, same sex couple. She might want parents with children already, or with pets, or who like singing or all sorts of things! And if she knows her baby is a girl or boy that will determine also. Adopting couples list what their particular wants are also and the best paired will be matched. Sort of like an on-line dating match up.

The birth mom will then narrow it down to 3 or 4 top choices and then from those few she is given more information. Maybe a photo album, their “Dear Birth Mom” letters (we have to write that ourselves, which will be for another post, I’m sure). A video. Anything they choose to create to best represent them and basically sell them as the best parents for her child (or children). Then a meeting or phone call would be arranged. We as adoptive parents also have a choice to agree to or deny a birth mom if for some reason we don’t feel a connection or this is the not right baby for us. We are provided extensive background history & medical records on her and her family and the birth father, if he is known.

See, like I’ve said. It’s a long process. And it will all start with the photo and our faces looking at the birth mom in order to make that first connection. That’s why we have to choose the right one! We know there are many other people out there wanting to adopt just as much as we do and they’re going through all the same steps we are. It may seem like a competition, but it’s not at all.

We trust and have faith that the perfect child who is meant for us is coming at the perfect time. We just want the photo to really represent who we are as a couple. You can’t tell what great parents we’ll be by a photo. It’s another time to just allow our hearts to be open, in order to connect to her heart.

Peace & light,


Got my physical & our Social Worker called!

It was a big day today. I got a very thorough physical exam. We found a new doctor, referred by my OB/GYN. So it was my first time meeting him and I will admit I was a little nervous wondering if I would like him or not. Well, I loved him! He is great. I felt comfortable right away, and he's all for Eastern Medicine too! Which is a relief since I also see an Acupuncturist/Oriental Medicine Doctor and a Classical Homeopath. I had to have an HIV test. Feel 100% sure I'm in the clear there. Also took a TB test and lots of blood work. EKG, blood pressure, etc. I got a clean bill of health! Though I have to go back in two days to for the TB results. Again, no worries there. Glenn sees him in two weeks.

I was so happy to get the first call from our Social Worker today! She sounds very nice. I guess not most people get all their paperwork done as fast as Glenn & I have. She said it was nice we are so eager. I assured her we do understand how the process works and that it could take a long time and that we are patient. We just feel better knowing we've done all we have to do to be ready. So we are hurrying up to wait!

There are four visits total. Each one will have a purpose:

1st visit – tour our home and go over paperwork
2nd & 3rd visits - individual visits with each of us separately
4th visit - joint visit with us together

You can bet we will make sure our house is in tip top shape! Just have to do the financial history and our biographies, then we are done with all the paper work. For now! I'm sure she will have more for us. That we will gladly also do.

It's sort of odd to have this stranger come over who will become part of such an intimate experience with us. I guess she won't be a stranger for long. She will know more about us and our lives than most people.

I was worrying a bit about what she would think of us and our home. I was thinking that her job was basically to "judge" us. Glenn eased my mind by saying "She is coming over to help us. To learn about us so she can match us with the right birth mom and baby." I said "Yes. You're right! She is going to be part of our team! She's on our side. " I felt so much better. That's one of the reasons I love him so much. I must also remember:
But this is part of the reason I wanted to do this blog. To share all my thoughts and feelings with you. The ups & downs. The good, bad & ugly, with some pretty in there too!

I'm glad to share all this with you and inform others about adoption and maybe even help someone go down the same path. But it's also really helpful for me to write it all down. A journal of sorts to help this amazing journey.

Peace & light,



We're deep in the process of filling out forms, answering questions, digging into our family and medical histories. It's quite strange that you'd have to somehow "prove yourself" when adopting a baby, since anyone with a pulse can birth a baby and no one questions it. That aside, it's been a fun and interesting process. In a sense, we're selling ourselves, and every answer feels like it means something or might have an impact on the process. Would the mom like this answer, or not? Should we spin this question to be funny, or just factual? How can we get our personalities across in a yes or no checkbox? How will they know that we're the right couple to give what is the ultimate gift, their own flesh and blood? Of course, we still have many more forms to complete, and our biographies, but in the meantime we've had some good advice on how to feel okay with this part of the process, which Angie's just written about in her post.

One thing I'd like to mention, since I haven't really weighed in on the subject, even though Angie kind of already said it... is that adoption is something that we've both always wanted to do. Even when we first started dating and those questions of children came up early on, we both discovered that we had a mutual desire to adopt and share our love with a child (or children) whose birth parents aren't able to take care of them or want a better life for them. That doesn't mean we don't still want a child who shares our DNA, or that the miscarriages weren't huge losses. But it also doesn't mean that adoption is some kind of second-best for us. It's exactly what we want, and what we've always wanted. It's not noble or a sacrifice to us, any more than having a child the natural way would be.

This is perfectly encapsulated by a touching comment just posted by a former coworker (and current friend) of mine who I never knew was herself adopted:
Adoption is no less a miracle than birth. My mom still tells the story of my "delivery" with wonder in her voice. I was blessed with the most amazing parents, who made sure I knew from the start that I was adopted, and that being adopted was something quite special and extraordinary.
We hope our child will someday write something as poignant as that.

Although, it would be nice if it weren't so darn expensive! If only all those Star Wars action figures were still mint-in-box... sigh.

The news is out.

We sent out emails today to many of our friends sharing our good news about adopting. Both Glenn & I are so touched by all the loving and supportive responses we've received. It is so comforting to know we have such wonderful people in our lives who believe that we will make great parents. We are truly blessed.

I must admit some of the questions we have to answer on the paperwork are challenging and I can't help thinking and wondering how to write "the perfect response" in order to most appeal to the birth mom to choose us. But my worries have been dispelled today by words from friends.
If you come from your heart, you will connect to their heart.

Just let this whole process be one of harmony and ease.
So that is what I'm going to do. I have faith the right baby (or babies) will come to us. The birth mom will know and we will know. Basically, whatever will be, will be. You may start singing "Que Sera, Sera" now.

My new mantra for each thing we must do to complete this process, will be for me to say:
...from our hearts, with harmony & ease.
It's working already.


Book 'em... to be parents!

It was fun getting finger printed today. It took all of about 30 minutes. It's a good feeling knowing we have a clean record. Each little thing we do as part of the process, makes me giddy. Just knowing it's a step closer to having our baby to love and hold! Now we get to sit down and get more paper work done. Writing our biographies will be interesting. They need in-depth details. But we're all ready open books.


This afternoon, we got our fingerprints taken and submitted to the Department of Justice and FBI. Apparently, because she washes her hands so much, Angie's fingerprints are difficult to read and so a couple of them had to be taken twice. Mine, on the other hand, are as clear as a bell, though I promise I wash my hands plenty. If by plenty, you mean once a week. Either way, no more robbing banks for us.


Got our Social Worker and next steps.

We just got an email with the name of the Social Worker assigned to our adoption. We now have to wait for her to contact us to set up our Home Study. Each little step gets us closer to having all the work done so we can just sit and wait for a birth mom to pick us!

My husband and I will have a busy weekend. We will start making a dent in the paper work and also get our fingerprinting done. There is much to do. We both have to get physicals and then have our doctors sign and fill out a form. We have to have our employee's do the same. Since I'm Self Employed and an Independent Contractor, I have to send in the first page of our Tax Return. We have to show a copy of our Marriage Certificate. Plus, we have to write out our own biographies. And find one perfect picture that will be shown to the birth mom. Which one to choose? Knowing it will be the first look they have of us. You know how important first impressions are.

It's a lot of work but so worth it. I'm so happy to finally be on this journey. I do each thing with joy in my heart!


It's official!

Today was a special day! Not only was it our seventh wedding anniversary but we took the first official step to adopting our baby! We put in the application and paid the first fee. After an extensive search and much research we choose to go with Vista Del Mar Adoption Agency. For many reasons I will get into later. More importantly I want to share with you how I feel. I feel like I just got news I'm pregnant and the gestation period is about a year and a half long, instead of the usual nine months. It could be less or more but it's happening! I know it may be a journey with ups and downs but I know my amazing husband Glenn and I can get through anything. We have already gotten through three devastating miscarriages, so we can handle pretty much anything now!

When I was a little girl, one of my dolls, Noel, was adopted. I got her Christmas morning. It was way before Cabbage Patch kids with the adoption papers, I just chose for her to be adopted. My other doll Candy came from my tummy. (My brother was the doctor and delivered her from under my shirt. Out she popped.) But Noel arrived from the agency. I think it might have had something to do with little Orphan Annie, maybe. But ever since then I've wanted to adopt. And now I am! Yes. We've tried to have a biological child on our own and are still trying but this does not feel like a last resort or second choice. It's something we've both always wanted to do. It is no way an inferior feeling to me than if this baby that will be ours was growing inside of me. I'm so grateful my husband feels the same. I could not have done this without him. Though I would have if I had to. But I don't. Just wanted to say that I think it's great when single people adopt also. My mom was a single mom and she loved us with all her heart.

I guess since this is my first blog, I'm so filled with all kind of emotions and thoughts, I could just keep on writing but I will save it for another day. I just wanted to get started and share the good news.

I plan on keeping you posted on the details of the process. I hope it will be a enjoyable and enlightening experience for all of us. Thanks for coming on board the journey with us.

Peace & light,