I promise I will finish the story this time. I'm such a tricky blogger, making you come back for more;)
Where were we, oh yes, we had made lots of plans and appointments for the new year to get our adoption ball really rolling.
In January, I met my dear friend's friend, J, and her daughter, J. She shared with me her and her partner's experience adopting their daughter through domestic infant adoption. She answered my questions and was so open. It was great to be able to talk to a real mom and get some of the questions they don't tell you in the articles and books. I so appreciate her taking the time to support us on this journey and when I left our get together I was more excited than ever about our adoption path. Thank you J and J for meeting me:)
The first week in February we went to an adoption seminar at the agency J and her partner had used. It was just an informational night. I was nervous and excited and so was the hubs, this felt like our first official step and we were armed with lots of knowledge and ready to go. We trekked on up to LA and entered the small conference room and sat nervously with the 6 or 7 other people in attendance. The social worker leading the class went through the ins and outs of domestic infant adoption -- both through an agency and through a private attorney -- and we of course were allowed to ask questions along the way. Well I'm not sure what the heck happened to me, my normal calm and to the point demeanor went all squirlly and I became a total spaz when trying to get my questions out. I wasn't being clear, I was getting all tongue tied and at one point the hubs quietly whispered for me to breathe and start again. EMBARRASSING. It was seriously like I was on an interview and totally blowing it, I was sweaty and just a mess. If you know me, that's not like me at all. What can you do, this is so important to me and I let the pressure get to me. I buckled, but it makes for a good laugh now. Thank goodness that wasn't a real interview, yikes, better get myself in check.
We left the seminar feeling overall really excited (aside from my shear embarrassment) and felt like we were really getting close to figuring out how we would proceed. Next up was our appointment with the private adoption attorney we'd been referred to.
So the following week we headed the other direction and went to meet RH, adoption attorney. We already had a really good feeling about RH from the paper work he'd sent us, what he had to say on his website and talking to the woman who referred us to him. We were set for a two-hour meeting.
RH specializes in adoption law and has for the past 25 years. He only practices adoption law and will only take 25 waiting adoptive couples at a time. It was actually really cool that he had a spot open right on our timeline, sign, I think maybe.
I made sure to breathe it out before we got to his office so I wouldn't have a repeat of spazzy Al, and thankfully it worked. We had an awesome meeting. RH was our kind of guy, to the point, good sense of humor and totally dedicated to his work. We ended up being there for three hours!! And since we had done so much research before hand we were able to really dig in to the nitty gritty with RH. He even had the hubs and I in a little competition to see who could come up with the best questions, it was fun and made things a little more light hearted. By the end of the meeting the hubs and I were beaming and full of excitement, we left with
information on what to do if we wanted to proceed with RH. Before we even made it to the car, we were in agreement -- RH was our man, he was going to help us find our birthmother and our baby. Holy Cow, this was real and I can only imagine that's what it feels like when you officially decide to "try" for a baby!
What you say was the next step and how fast did we get on it. Well we had to write a letter to prospective birth mothers and pick one picture to include with it. We met RH on a Thursday and we had the letter and picture options to him on Saturday night! But let me tell you the pressure of writing that letter and picking the picture that speaks to a woman considering adoption. I mean you don't want the letter to sound to desperate or corny, you want it to convey in one page or less who you are as people and a couple, what your life is like now and how you grew up. Talk about pressure, we were basically writing a personal ad for somebody to see and find some connection with, enough that they want to meet us and talk to us about parenting their child. Talk about being vulnerable and heavy right?
But even though there was a lot of pressure, we knew basically what we wanted to say and with the excitement of our recent meeting we were inspired. And amazingly when we received feedback from RH he said it was really good and just had a few minor changes to the language of adoption. What made us feel even better is that RH seems like the kind of guy who tells you like it is, and if he didn't think it was good he would have told us. I mean it's his job to find the right matches, so to get it right on the first try was a relief. He even approved one of the first pictures we sent. Man we were on our way. Next it was time to put it in a "eye pleasing" format.
We turned to our guru graphic designer friend, A, and in one night she sent us the perfect layout. Modern, clean, but inviting and light. We loved it and we love A for all her support through this and her awesome skillz:) RH had said most couples find scrap book paper and print the words and picture on that, so I think when we sent him ours he was pleasantly surprised. Again he said it looked great and we were approved to print!!! What how could it be that easy, within a week we had chosen our official path, written our letter and picked our picture and within one more week we'd be officially on the market. Yipppee.
So we sent the letters to print and we waited, they took a little longer than expected and weren't exactly right when we got them so we decided to print them at my mom's house while we were there meeting our niece. But they were done and looked good and now it was time, time to take the real plunge...
As of March 11, 2010 we are official waiting parents. We've made our initial payments and RH has our letters and will be sending our letter to potential birthmothers that fit our criteria as soon as possible. This seems so crazy, but so exciting. We can't believe it. And now we wait, we wait for someone to see something in our letter and pic that speaks to them and wait for RH to call us and say would you like to meet. Could be next week could be 10 months from now. There is no official timeline, but he said the average wait is 9 months. Not bad when you consider that's how long a person is pregnant.
That concludes the story to this point. I will be doing some other posts on other thoughts surrounding all of this and our choices. As I mentioned in Part 2 there are so many emotions that have come with our path and we are still working them out and will for a long time to come. But one thing is for sure, we are more than ready to grow our family through adoption and love up on our baby. We love him/her so much already, I can't imagine what will happen when we actually know them.
Our journey won't be like the traditional path to parenthood, but it will be ours and that will be amazing in so many different ways. Thanks for hanging on to this stage, stay tuned for more as we know it.