After a few too many days of fun looking at paint swatches, cribs, and reading "Baby Bargains," I finally got back around to work on our photo book and "Dear Birth Parent" letter. Without those, I won't really be needing that pretty little nursery I'm getting all excited about...
For those that don't know, domestic adoption is done through a matching process. The birth parent(s) have the opportunity to choose who they want to raise the baby. So while we don't have lengthy dossier paperwork as is required in an international adoption, we do have the task of putting together a photo book about our lives along with a letter about us, our families, our values, and how we will raise our child. For me, this has been the hardest part of the process so far.
First, the letter. We want to show our appreciation for the birth parent(s) who is/are selflessly choosing what is best for their child, which is to be raised by another set of parents. As someone who has desperately wanted kids for years, I can't imagine being pregnant and realizing that you aren't in a position to be a parent to that child. And at the same time, my heart is full of compassion and empathy for someone faced with that decision, and incredible appreciation that that decision will lead to us fulfilling our dream of becoming parents. Then, we want to share in this letter that we're pretty fabulous people -- well-rounded, good families, lots of support, fun and responsible. And finally, we need to share how we will raise this child. What will life be like in our home? What are our hopes and dreams for this child, who we do not yet know? How will the birth parents be incorporated into our lives? All this in under two pages that have to be woven into the context of our photo book.
So the photo book has the letter woven throughout, with lots of photos illustrating things the letter talks about. Lots of pictures of us together, us with family, us as babies, us with friends, us on trips. All I can say is, thank goodness we live in the digital age and we could create the whole thing on shutterfly, because I am SO not the scrapbooking type. Can you picture me with all those fancy scissors and stickers and scrapbooking pages and shit?! Yeah, me neither.
So after about 6-7 hours of work, the draft of our photo book and letter have been emailed off to the agency and our fabulous social worker for their feedback. With luck, they'll love it and we can get several copies from shutterfly. Once they are in-hand at the agency, AWAY WE GO! We will start being "shown" to birth families whose criteria are a match with ours. And then it's back to painting, furniture shopping, and all that fun stuff!