A Coupla Updates: The Letter and The Home Study Report

We’ve been getting a few pokes and prods from folks wanting to know how things are going.  Our reluctant answer: slowly.  Slowly, indeed.  Still, any forward motion is forward motion.

First: our Dear Birthmother Letter. After much deliberation (thank you for your help, dear co-workers!), we decided to go with the photo that *A* and I liked best rather than subject ourselves to another photo shoot.  The agency’s editor was concerned that this photo didn’t show enough affection between the two of us.  We tried the poses they suggested, but in all of them, we ended up with a really dorky pose somewhat akin to this:

(minus the plaid shorts and tube socks for me, of course). So, like I said, we chose the photo we like best, and that we feel best represents us. This is the one:

wall1version2light1

The photo of us in the ferns (top right of this page), by the way, won the photo contest, and thank you to all of you who voted.  Though it was the reader favorite, the photo just didn’t work out with the colors we used for the letter – on paper and out of the context of the forested lake where we took the picture, the ferns looked fake, like a granola version of one of those cheesy Olan Mills laser backgrounds from 1987.  You know what I’m talking about:

laser background

So after firmly stating that we were sticking with the photo we chose, even if we didn’t look super-duper lovey-dovey, we got the go-ahead to send the file to the printer.  The printer printed one hard copy and mailed it to our agency’s office in Raleigh. EIGHT days later, it arrived and is currently under review, with the rest of our file, a process that is supposed to take 5-7 more days. *fingers crossed*

After everything in our file is reviewed, we’ll get the official nod to get additional letters printed. Some of these will go to our agency’s main office in California to be sent out to inquiring birthparents nationwide, and some of them will come to the North Carolina office.

A big part of the file review process involves, of course, our home study.  We *finally* got a rough draft of our home study from our social worker last Tuesday, September 3rd.  We immediately set to editing some timeline-related issues and clarified some other points to do with our own biographical histories.  At that point, it was a fairly routine 13-page document that started by covering the various background checks and clearances we had undergone, proceeding to basic information about our home and community, then diving into first my, then *A*’s background.  After spending a few pages on our relationship, there were some excerpts from comments included in the letters of reference our kind and gracious supporters sent in for us, and the final sentence: that our home study has been approved!  It’s not officially official yet, so we’re waiting for the officially official “YOU IS OKAY” to begin singing and dancing.

So, file reviewed, letters printed and sent to California and North Carolina, home study approved, websites up, THEN we are “in the books.”

In the meantime, this past week I was offered the opportunity of writing a monthly column over at Open Adoption Bloggers.  I’ll be writing about our experiences as pre-adoptive parents-to-be (from the perspective of a Dad-to-be).  It’s a great chance to be a part of a larger community of folks who are in our same or similar position,  or who have been at some point and now have actually adopted one child or more.  There are also birthparents who are regular contributors and offer a a look at open adoption from a different perspective.   Social workers and a variety of others who have many years of experience with open adoption are also part of the writing team.  I’ll post the column here too, and it’ll be published through Open Adoption Bloggers the 4th Thursday of each month.

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