1) After interviewing all of our references (THANK YOU, DEAR FRIENDS!) our fabulous social worker submitted her draft of our home study report to the agency a few weeks ago. She is awaiting (or perhaps has received) comments and edits from the agency's director of domestic adoption so they can finalize the home study. I am hopeful that we'll get to see a copy when it's all done!
2) Unfortunately, I seem to have illegible fingerprints. After submitting a second set and having them also come up unreadable, the agency is going to discontinue that process and have the Commonwealth of Virginia do their search on my by name instead. The agency thinks that we should have all of our state clearances soon, despite this hiccup.
3) We are in the process of writing our "Dear Birth Parent" letter and putting together our photo book. The letter and photos will be given to parents to give them more of a sense of who we are and will be how we will be chosen by a birth family to be the child's adoptive family. So far, the letter has been the hardest part of the process. As you can imagine, it's full of emotion -- heartache for the decision the birth parents are making, incredible appreciation for their selflessness in choosing what they feel is best for their child, excitement in sharing how we will parent our child, and hope that this letter will compel someone to choose us to become parents. So not a simple thing to write... I hope we can have drafts of both done within another week or so to show the agency.
In short, I think we're 3-4 weeks away from being Parents-In-Waiting. It's amazing that we've moved through this process so quickly and to be almost to this stage...
Which means that we are also starting in on the fun stuff -- researching cribs, picking colors for the nursery, etc. I can't tell you how amazing it was to go looking at Babies R Us recently, after years of shopping there for friends. And after sometimes not going near any baby stores because it was just too painful. This is really going to happen!