It's becoming apparent that we will be parents.

First off, Happy New Year! I'm feeling so excited about 2009. This will be the year we become parents. So much has happened already. I felt so proud of my country as we welcomed our new president into office. It was such a thrilling day to see all the people who weathered the cold to be there in person on the mall in Washington D.C. I'm so grateful that our child will come into the world with a man like Barack Obama as our leader. It was a day that I will not soon forget. It was a spectacular moment in history! One that instilled me with so much hope. Hope for the future.

We got final approval for adoption and are officially in "the book" for birth mothers to choose from. We met with our new social worker who we just clicked with and are so glad she will be on this journey with us. I will admit that I was a little nervous on our way to meet her, not knowing what she would be like and feeling such an importance in her role in our life. But I felt so comfortable with her right away. She told us that we got our home study completed in record time. That some people take a year just to get all their paper work done. We were too eager for any fooling around and got to action fast. She also said that our Family Profile was exceptional too. It's good to hear because we worked so hard on all the details and shared so openly about ourselves. She also told us there are things we can do to connect with potential birth moms by putting the word out to all we know. Because you never know if you will know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone and so on who may know a woman investigating the option of adoption. I already called my OB/GYN about it and will make more calls to all our doctors.

I wrote our "Dear Birth Mom" letter recently and that was very emotional. Such an odd, yet amazing process it was. Here I was writing to a total stranger that could potentially venture into such an intimate and unique relationship with us. When I wrote about what kind of parents we would be, it just felt so real and exciting. When Glenn read the letter he got emotional also. I was a little worried about writing it and even thought I should just have Glenn do it since he's the better writer between us, but I just felt the inspiration one night and wrote it in one sitting. It came from my heart and I felt very proud of it. Of course, Glenn proofread it.

I know it will be full of challenges but I also know that we will make such wonderful parents. It's something we were both born to be! No doubt about it. And now as it could happen any time between now and 6 months, so many of our thoughts and conversations are geared towards our future as parents.

We want everything to be ready for him or her when they arrive, so we are starting that process. We are also discussing what to say and do when it comes to how we want to handle telling the details of the birth mom and the actual adoption story to others. Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog was to share the process with family and friends and anyone else interested in the amazing journey of adoption. But now as it grows nearer, our parental protective instincts are kicking in. We want to do the very best thing for our child. So that is why we are doing much research and reading all we can from other adoptive parents and children and also from experts in the field. We feel it's best to not share intimate details about the birth mom's situation or history or how the process may unfold with anyone other than our child. It should remain their story to decide to tell when they are older. We know how much those that love us will understand and support this decision because it is best for our child. So, even though we normally are very open people, there comes a time when some things are just better left in the "it's personal" file. This is one of them. It will remain between us, our baby, the birth mom and our social worker. We are still going to blog and share more information about our journey, we just felt best to put that out there now.

Knowing that our baby may come at anytime, I've decided to make a change for the better by getting in better shape so I will have more energy when the baby comes. Especially in my upper body, since I'll be doing a lot of holding and cuddling the wee one. I'll be slinging him or her around with me where ever I go. I won't want want to let them go! I can't wait! I'm also reading books on how to better train and prepare our dogs for when the baby arrives. I'll post more on that another time.

Until next time.

some progress!

The new year has already started quite well with regards to our adoption journey.

We received notice that our home study was officially completed and approved, and we're now "in the system." This was on the first Friday of the new year.

Then we found out who our social worker for the placement process will be. This past week, we met with her. She said most parents don't ask to meet with her, so it was a bit unusual to have an in-person meeting. But she took an hour and a half with us, answered all our questions and then some, and made us feel even more excited and hopeful about our adventure. She's the perfect match to help us - very friendly, open, talkative. And she loves Coffee Bean. We think she'll be a great ally in this next phase.

So a lot of folks have been asking, what is the next phase? Do we just sit and wait for someone to "pick" us?

The answer is yes and no. We're not auditioning for the role of parents (even though it feels like it sometimes), and the prospective birth mothers don't get a giant encyclopedia of waiting parents to weed through. The social worker meets with the birth parents, learns what they feel comfortable with, and then determines which adoptive parents from her roster of clients most closely fit the bill. Sometimes it's a specific attribute, like religion or family life - and sometimes it's a gut feeling, something intangible. Then the social worker gets the adoptive parents involved, and they all work together to make sure the situation is right for everyone - especially the child. These matches can happen very quickly or take months, and sometimes matches that look promising don't happen at all even late into the process.

So there is an element of waiting - a very large element. But we can also do some outreach ourselves. We are considering some advertising options, but more likely will be looking to friends, family, and the larger community to see if we can find a birth mother on our own. Our social worker encouraged us to put it out there - so if you reading this can think of someone who might know someone who might be a birth mother considering adoption... please get in touch with us. We'll be looking to some of the people we know who are involved in social work, or volunteering, or health care.

We're both getting more excited every day, and are talking about how to really transform the guest bedroom into the baby's room (which will require making changes to the office and our bedroom as well). We spent some time at the library today and got some more books on adoption, parenting adoptive kids, etc. The reality is sinking in that sooner, rather than later, we will be bringing a new child into our hearts and lives forever. I even told my coworkers, so they wouldn't be surprised if suddenly one day I had to take some time off for a new baby.

Which brings me to my next point. We're generally very open people, tend to not keep secrets, wear our hearts on our sleeves, and often give out more information than is really necessary. But with respect to our adoption, we must for the sake of our child, set some informational boundaries. Our child's birth story, whatever the details, belong to him or her alone. We, as parents, are merely the keepers of that story. But what we cannot do is be cavalier about it, for a million different reasons. So the reality is, for our friends and family, we are planning to keep that story to ourselves. It's not because we don't trust you, it's because it's simply not our decision to make. We just ask that you be understanding and respectful of that.

All of which is to say that it feels more real than ever now, and all the more exciting.