Subtitled: The Anniversary We Hoped We Wouldn’t Have
Further Subtitled: But Let’s Try To Not Get Too Bogged Down By It, Now It’s Here.
This past Wednesday, September 24th, marked the one-year anniversary since we went “in the books” with our agency (which basically refers to the time we’ve been home-study approved and that our agency has been sending out our information to interested expectant parents). We’re quite a few more “anniversaries” into the wait to become parents – but this official “we’re available, pick us (pretty please!)” date is not insignificant to us.
As we started to approach this one year mark, we had to renew a few things – I’ve mentioned this before, but realized I forgot to write a follow-up post on our home study visit, which happened on August 22nd. Not too much to report – it went fine and our social worker has updated our home study report pretty quickly. All the paperwork we had to renew has been in for a while (we accomplished all of that quick as a flash last year, so the deadlines for renewing those things were early this summer). There could’ve been snags with any part of this process but, *knock on wood*, we seemed to have made it through just fine.
Now that we’re officially a year in, we’ve taken some time to evaluate where we are. For me, that means looking at the numbers. Now, *A* is not a fan of my “looking at the numbers,” and not without good reason. Such a thing tends to lend itself – when it comes to me, that is – to the potential for a load of self-doubt, frustration, and sadness at no one choosing us when we don’t get a phone call, an email, or anything. By “numbers,” I’m referring to the report our agency sends us on the 15th of every month to tell us how many times our Expectant Parent Letter / Profile went out over the previous month. And there’s also Google Analytics, which shows us how many times that same profile has been viewed online through our agency’s website – not entirely sure how accurate Google Analytics is, but it’s something, anyway. I’ve also installed a counter on this blog (from the home page, scroll down the right-hand column until you see the box about visitors) to tell us how many views we’ve gotten a day, what readers were looking at, and what state they are in. The blog is, of course, out there for the whole world to see, and we’ve had visitors from all sorts of places. Pretty interesting.
As soon as we went “in the books” with our agency and the profile was up on the website, I began feverishly looking at all of these numbers, hoping to interpret that we would be getting that important contact soon. I added more numbers to consider: we started our Facebook page and I began to judge how well we were doing by the number of “likes” we had, because that number translates into a larger network through which to share our hopes of adopting.
I suspect everyone does this to an extent. But it was making me crazy. And it became, over the course of the first three or four months, such a downer. You see, there’s so much push to get the paperwork in – so much to do, with appointments and forms and physicals and the home study visits and the website. And we earnestly believed, just like probably everyone does, that we’d get “the call” any minute. I think I wore myself out.
So, that said, it still feels appropriate, even though I can’t allow myself to be obsessed with numbers anymore, good to reflect on the numbers, maybe in a more general sort of way, now that we’re at year’s end.
In the past year, from September 24, 2013 to September 24, 2014:
Our agency has sent out our Expectant Parent Letter: 79 times (no number for 9.2014 yet, so this is as of the end of 8.2014)
Our iHeartAdoption page has been viewed: 318 times
Our Facebook page has: 124 likes
Our blog has been viewed: 10,100 times
To me, the number of times our letter went out (79) and the number of times our iHeartAdoption page has been viewed (318) are the most important numbers. We know for a fact that our letter only goes to expectant parents considering adoption, so that’s a for-sure number. We know that folks other than expectant parents (family, friends, etc.) see our iHeartAdoption page, but intermixed with those visitors are actually expectant parents – how many of the 318, we don’t know, but hopefully it’s a fair amount.
Of course, we wish our Letter had gone out many more times, or that expectant folks thinking of making an adoption plan were seeing our iHeartAdoption page much more often, or that we had more likes on our Facebook page, or that the blog was reaching more people, on its own or through our Pinterest page.
It’s an uphill battle to refuse to let any of these numbers stop bothering me. But in the last year, I’ve also been reminded that there’s only one number that really and truly matters. It’s just reflects one person, the person who has already come to mean so much to us, though we don’t yet know her. Yeah, the first time we hear our child’s birth mom’s voice, the first time we meet her, we will be over the moon.
So – it all boils down to one number. Just one. That’s all we need.