Sunday, January 30, 2011

Home Visit- Follow up

Our social worker just left our house. About two hours after she got here.
I stressed about nothing. Just as I expected.
She came into the house, sat down, opened her computer and we got started.
She began by warning us that some of the questions are really weird. Like: Have you experienced the death of someone within the past year you are trying to replace by adopting? Um... no.  Do people do that?
She also was required to make sure we understood that the baby we adopt won't stay a baby forever. It will eventually become an older child, a teenager, then an adult. Well, I would certainly hope so!
She also asked us pretty much the same questions that we were asked in our office interview. Our parents names, ages, occupations, if we like them. How did they discipline us? Did we find their discipline to be age appropriate? (yes.)
What are some childhood memories we each had, what activities were we involved in during high school, did we go to public school, what values did our parents pass on.... etc.

It was pretty easy. Since we had already answered all of these questions in the office visit, the answers were easier to remember/think of.

When she finished typing everything she took a quick "tour" of the house. She leaned forward to see into the kitchen and bath. We walked upstairs and she glanced into our bedroom and the bathroom, and glanced into the baby room. That was it. Definably not worthy of deep cleaning. Oh well.

She did not eat any cupcakes or drink anything. So Sparky and I are now enjoying some cupcakes and coffee. :o)

Now we wait for 4-6 weeks for our official home study document to come in the mail for us to check over. Once we sign it and send it back we will be officially "waiting" for someone to choose us!

Home Visit

We have our home visit today. In 30 minutes. I am trying to remain calm, but the thought that some woman is going to come into my house to write up a home study to enable us to become eligible for adoption is rather nerve racking.
I know that her job isn't to disqualify us. They want to help us become parents, but my nerves aren't listening to my common sense.
Sparky and I rented a steam cleaner yesterday to clean all of our carpets, we moved all of the furniture to clean. Now, everywhere I look I see something I missed cleaning. A speck on the mirror here, a little piece of fuzz there, a piece of hair floating in the air. AUGH!!! I need to let it all go so I am here typing.
Deep Breath.
My mom made red velvet and marble (chocolate and white) cupcakes yesterday for me to put our for our social worker. I also have a Keurig machine so I put out an assortment of teas, coffee, and hot chocolate K-cups for her to choose from. And I have water, coke and Dr. Pepper, apple juice, V8, and milk available.

I will be back to update later today after she leaves so I can let you all know that I overreacted and she didn't even look toward the mirror with the little smudge on it. :o)

Kelly's Korner

I think I can probably credit Kelly from Kelly's Korner as my inspiration for creating a personal blog. At the time I began following her blog she was pregnant with her first child, Harper. She had struggled with infertility and was finally pregnant. She is just so sweet and easy to relate to.
At that time, I was still in the mindset that someday I would go through infertility treatments and really struggle with infertility. I didn't know that God was working in my life to encourage me toward adoption instead.
I linked up with Kelly's "Show Us Your Life" for the first time this week. I have never felt that I had anything worthy of sharing with everyone, but this one is right up my ally!! The theme is Tell us Your Adoption Story! That is pretty much my entire blog. Sorry folks, I don't have a nice neat little story because it is still in progress. Welcome to our story as it unfolds!

Monday, January 17, 2011


On Saturday I went over to my friend's house and helped her organize all of her baby's clothing. He went from wearing newborn size to wearing 6-9month in a matter of a few weeks! She was totally unprepared for this huge growth spurt. All of the clothing in his new size was in boxes and she had a closet full of clothing that is too small.
To make it even more complicated, she has a toddler who loves to move piles around. (Who can blame him, really?) AND some of the small clothing needs to go back to her aunt, so she can't just shove it all into a box and store it.
First we took all of the clothing that was too small out of the closet and sorted it into "give away" or "give back to aunt" piles. Then we labeled all of the new clothing that is going to go back to her aunt and hung all of the new correct sized clothing in the closet, along with the next two sizes.
It really didn't take that long... if you subtract the breaks we took to play with the toddler!
He was just so darn cute, and we felt bad for ignoring him. I cannot believe how smart he is! He turned the fan on and I asked him if he could feel the breeze. I reached up to feel the breeze and pretended that his hand got hit by the fan.
I followed his lead and pretended that my hand got hit by the fan, too. Except my finger got cut off! I bent my finger down to make it look like it was chopped off (sounds really gross typing it out like this). Instead of thinking I really lost my finger, like most two-almost-three year old children, he looked around my hand and told me the end of my finger was just hiding.
Even though he figured out the trick really quickly, he still enjoyed the game. After a few minutes he was even able to bend his own fingers down to make them look like they were chopped off, too! What a smart child.

My friend surprised me and let me take the baby clothes that are too small for her baby. With her first child she didn't find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, so most of her little clothes are gender neutral. The really "boy" stuff I put in a box at the top of the closet.
Check out how prepared my new future baby is:
The Luvs box is STUFFED with infant boy clothes and the clear tub is STUFFED with girl stuff (but not really infant). Everything hanging up is sized Newborn and 0-3 months. The swaddling blankets are in the first polka dotted container. White Newborn sized onesies are in the second polka dotted container, 0-3 month sized white onsies are in the third polka dotted container. The fourth container has some 3-6 month sized clothing. And I realized that I don't really have any pants smaller than 3 months. So either I will need to get some, or my child will be pant-less... we will see!

Home study Class

It is over! Yay! It was a very loooooooooooong day.
Sparky woke up with a migraine. He took one for the team and went up anyway. He slept in the backseat of the car while I drove up to Broad Ripple.
Once we got there we sat in a large-ish room with 7 other couples. Well, 6 other couples and one single lady who is adopting by herself. We were stuffed into a large circle.
I got to pick a favorite paper for the front of our biography that they will send to potential birth moms. Then the lady started her talk.
We were told that we needed to have all of our blue paperwork turned in, our biography questions answered, pictures submitted, and Dear Birth Mother/Couple letter turned in at this meeting. Of course I did this. I was rather annoyed when four of the eight couples there didn't have their stuff to turn in.
Also, she passed around a binder with some example biographies. That would have been helpful before I answered the questions and got all of my pictures together. I want to go back now and add to what I wrote so she can make a good biography for us!
We were there from 9:00am until 11:45 then we broke for lunch until 1:30 and the meeting continued until 5:00.
It was very informative. Although, I wish I had most of this information before filling out all of my paperwork.
Oh well. Now I have it for next time!

The strange thing is now that my master's classes are over, and all of our adoption paperwork is filled out, I am not sure what to do with all my free time!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Getting Ready for Home Study Class

On Friday we have our all day home study class. It is from 9:00am to 5:00pm. That is a really long day. I am a little concerned about how Sparky will do sitting still in one room for that long. He is a little hyperactive and requires a lot of movement and space. ;o) Kind of like a kindergartner.
This is going to be a pretty boring post, and is mostly for my own records of the process:
All of our paperwork and documents are due at the home study class (along with a huge chunk of cash).
I finished our paperwork pretty quickly. The things that have taken longer to accomplish are the physicals, TB tests, blood work, letters of recommendation, biography, Dear Birth Mother letter, police records, and background check.
The first Monday over winter break Sparky and I got our fingerprinting done for the background check. I also scheduled my physical during this time since we were out of school. My school corporation just opened a health and wellness clinic for faculty and staff (who are on the school's insurance) to use for free. I really like it! It is so easy to make an appointment on line, there is little waiting, the staff is really friendly, the building is quirky, and the price is right. Since they just opened up they had to order the TB tests special for us. So I had to go back once school started to get that test done.
Sparky is stubborn and didn't want to schedule his appointment during break in case he "wanted to do something" that might conflict with an appointment time. Whatever. So I scheduled his appointment for last Wednesday. It worked out well because that is when I was going back for my TB test.
I arrived and the receptionist asked if I wanted to go back and hold Sparky's hand. Not a good sign.
Sparky has an irrational fear if needles (falling down a cliff into a ravine with a 200lb motorcycle on top of him is no big deal, but a little needle...). I guess the poor nurse came at him with the needle to draw his blood and he about threw up everywhere.
The did the rest of his physical while they waited for him to calm back down and they tried again once I was there. He did a good job. He didn't throw up, pass out, or anything!
I offered to get him ice cream for being so good, but he just wanted to go home and take a nap.
Then we had to go back on Friday to get our TB tests read.
Our letters of recommendation had to be written by friends of both of us, who are not family members. Since we don't really have friends that are couples, where people really hang out with both of us together, this was a little challenging. I had many people who could write for me, and Sparky had a ton of people who could write for him... but who really knows both of us?
I gave the first letter to my friend Katie who I used to teach with. She and her husband have gotten together several times with Sparky and I, so I figured of all the people who know me, she knows Sparky well also.
The second letter we gave to Sparky's old colleague and landlord, Kenny. He has Sparky and other guys over every Monday for Monday night football, has us over each year for his Christmas party, hosts Sparky's parents in one of his empty rental properties when they come to town, and is always willing to go out to eat with us. Not to mention, he knows everyone on earth, so probably knows how to write a good letter.
We gave the final letter to Sparky's friend Jeff. He is the principal of a local school and hangs out with Sparky often. They both like racing motorcycles, so they talk about all sorts of gear-head stuff. He took us with him to a baseball game over the summer, and takes us to the Indy 500 each year. He is a good guy and is a very eloquent speaker, so I am hoping this will transfer well to paper.
Kenny gave us our letter of recommendation the following day. Today is a snow day, perfect day to write a letter for a friend, so I am guessing we will get the other two soon!
Over the weekend I typed all of the biography information and our Dear Birth Mother letter. It was hard to write the Dear Birth Mother letter. We were supposed to address her fears: She is afraid the baby will grow up and hate her for doing an adoption. She is afraid we won't show her in a "good light" to her child. She is afraid our home will not be safe, our marriage stable.
And we were supposed to address her hopes: That our family and friends are eager and accepting of adoption. That our home is safe, our marriage is secure, and our life is stable. That college and vacations are available. That we will keep our promises (pictures, letters, visits, etc.)
It is really hard to communicate all of that information with concrete evidence in less than 3/4 of a typed page.
Fortunatly, only the first draft is due at our meeting! I have it written, but I am not sure if I communicated well enough about how much we will love a baby. I can type it, but the words don't seem to match the feelings. Ink on paper is just so cold.
Now, I just need to bug Sparky to let me type up his responses to the biography questions. And, since we are out of school today, this would be the perfect time to get go to the police station and get those records or whatever done.

Lastly, I need to finish uploading all of the photos to shutterfly so I can share those with the agency as well. It has been difficult to get enough pictures. We generally do things together as a couple. That means unless I am holding the camera out to take a picture of us together, we have pictures of just Sparky or just me. Not many of us together, and not many of us doing anything interesting. To be perfectly honest, I probably wouldn't have any pictures at all if it weren't for this blog. I take most pictures so the blog page will be more interesting. Thank God for that!!!

Well, I better get busy...