Well, it's been almost a month since my last post, about time I wrote again, isn't it? ;)
WE ARE NOW OFFICIAL "PARENTS-IN-WAITING"!
Yes, we received our letter of congratulations from the adoption agency, we're up-to-date on the payment side, so now we can officially be "shown" to birth parents. But you probably want to know what's led up to this, so here's a recap:
We had 2 face-to-face meetings with our caseworker and completed our home study. The first visit was basically separated interviews. She questioned Waylon for an hour and a half, and me for about 20 minutes. :) The questions were largely about our childhood, our families, and how we arrived at the decision to adopt. Big, vague questions like: "Do you have any good and any bad memories of your childhood?" and "How did your parents influence you?" and "Describe your appearance and personality" and "How do you keep the romance alive in your marriage?" Just kidding on the last one. No, there were NO awkward, intimate questions like we had feared. I know you were hoping, but sorry to disappoint. The second meeting was all joint interview and a brief examination of our home and property. Our house passed, even following an interior flood (long story) and the only thing we had to take care of was purchasing a gun safe. Before the caseworker left, she gave us a verbal approval and told us she'd get to printing up the study right away.
After that, we set on getting the rest of our documentation ready for the agency. This consisted of 5 letters of reference, a signed medical history form for each of us, and a conviction statement - each of the last 3 required notarization. Then we had to turn in tax returns for the last 2 years, proof of Waylon's employment, proof that our health insurance will cover an adopted child, copies of all of our financial records, birth certificates, our marriage license, and a budget. It sort of felt like applying for a mortgage again. Oh, and the photo album (which turned out beautifully!) along with 4 color photocopies. There was also a letter to the birthparents and a de-identified adoptive parent profile included with the photo album. I seem to keep leaving things out, but I think that was it. It felt sooo good to get all that finished!
So now we wait, and start to educate ourselves. Our agency asks that we complete 2 readings (or videos, seminars, etc.) every quarter on something related to adoption, and then turn in a typed report summarizing what we learned from each. They even have a library list to help us get started. This sounds a bit like going back to school, but at the moment, we don't mind. We know that we know almost nothing right now and will really benefit from this.
Also, I need to pick out a paint color for the nursery (something neutral), and start researching items for the registery. Wow! Oh, you need to see a picture of this:
This is my cradle, that my grandfather had made for me. My dad delivered it to me a couple of weeks ago, and Waylon and I set it up in the nursery. It's currently the only thing in the room right now, and our first piece of baby furniture. I love it! I will need to figure out where to get a mattress for it, though...
It's very weird to be planning for a baby when you're not pregnant. I have to keep reminding myself to move forward, plan ahead. But I don't mind at all. I am so stinkin' HAPPY. This is the first time in years, that I've felt truly hopeful and excited about our family's future, the iminent future. The doubt is gone, the sadness lifted! I am so grateful to God for what He's doing, for the baby that He's preparing for us. I actually look forward to meeting people again, because I know when they ask me if I have children (which they always do), I now can say I'm in the process of adopting! And then we can smile and laugh together as we discuss the future, instead of simply listing the past and our failures to grow our family. It's like a weight has been literally lifted.
If you've been praying for Waylon or me, thank you so much! You will never know how much your prayers are treasured. And please say a prayer every now and again for those moms and dads who are still waiting on their little ones. Pray that they won't give up hope, and that God will soon fill their arms too.