You know what I forgot about roller coasters? They're fast. The ride is crazy, makes you scream, turns you stomach in knots, you fear you'll lose your shoes....and then it's over. Just like that.
Things are happening so quickly, I haven't had a chance to stop and write it all out. Let me see if I can remember the last five days:
GetStuffDoneDay: We spent all of Saturday on adoption paper work, cleaning, laundry, catching up on all things in life that have been neglected over the last several weeks. We also mapped out a handful of apartments to view on Sunday.
Our New Home: Sunday, we went straight from church to our first apartment (at 10:15) and saw our last place at 4:00pm. (Note to self: don't wear jeans OR heels when going home hunting in 90* weather. Blisters don't look good on you.) We were determined to find a place before the weekend was over so that we can get things moving. Due to our house in Iowa and our adoption fees, we decided to rent small. We found a nice one bedroom apartment with private access (no shared hallways), a pool (woo!), and an attached garage (jackpot!) that opens into the foyer. It's small, but it's gorgeous and I can't wait to move in and make it home! Our plan is to upgrade to a larger apartment as soon as our house sells, or when Baby arrives...whichever comes first. We will go with a two or three bedroom by then so that we have plenty of space for Baby and all visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. :) Getting everything coordinated will be a lot of work over the next two weeks, but I'm excited to finally be settled here in Omaha!
Packet II: We finished a lot of Packet II paperwork and mailed out everything I've already mentioned in past blogs. I've made appointments for physicals and blood panels. Mine is Friday, Adam's is Tuesday. We need to decide on the amount of contact we want to have with a birth mother and fill out that form. We also need to send in a "photo essay". The essay is the day in pictures project I mentioned in our last post. This is so the agency can get to know us and is for the office staff only. It has nothing to do with the birth mothers who see our profile pictures. We also need to finish reading our books, each write an auto biography for the agency (also to help them "get to know us"), find a local Adoption Support Group meeting to attend, take a CPR/First Aid class (each one of us), and request a letter from our insurance company that shows proof of dependent coverage along with a start date for Baby's insurance coverage. This involves calling the agency and requesting a specifically worded letter...not just a photo copy of our policy from the handbook. Oh fun. I can't wait. Oh! And our agent would like all of this paperwork returned by Friday. Um.....sure. Let me just hit "mute" on the rest of life and we're good to go! (I would hit "pause", but that just means I have to catch up on it later).
Home Study Packet: I spent three hours on this crazy packet and it's still not done! I'm pretty sure the last page I filled out may sound a little more, um, harsh...than I intended but I'm kind of getting tired of all this silly homework. Included in the packet is a 5 page "Grief and Loss" questionnaire that stands as stiff competition to an intense infertility therapy session. Only....we have to write out our answers in a tiny space and describe in detail every step we have taken to attempt conception on our own. Awesome. Maybe I can attach a schedule of every day we've "attempted to conceive'' and give start times, positions, and end times. Okay, that's crude. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. All of this work is totally worth what we will get in the end! But, (yes...always a but) I wish this much work was required for someone to have an abortion. I bet we'd see a drastic change in numbers. No screening necessary to kill a baby...but 15 hours a week of paperwork in order to adopt one that was lucky enough to be saved. (and let the ugly comments come in...at this point, I'm okay with that).
For the rest of our Home Study Packet, we need to have our finger prints scanned, and send them into the state patrol office. We filled out a lot of the same paperwork that was in Packet II from Love Basket, and we need to send in our monthly budget, a list of all debts and assets(same info from Packet II, different form), and also a "self evaluation" that consists of about six pages of questions ranging from, "What are you life's biggest accomplishments?" (I've made it this far with adoption paperwork! How's that?!) to "Describe how your marriage has changed over the years" (um..."She loves me. She loves me not. She loves me. She loves me not...She loves me! Let's adopt a baby!" Does that work?) Once all of this paperwork is done, we mail it all back and then start working on our profile book for Birth Mothers. I will talk more about that when we get there!
Here's a kicker on the Home Study: I called yesterday to verify a few things with our local agent and found out that we do not have to wait for blood panels, fingerprints, background checks and the like, to be returned to the agency. We can do our Home Study visits now and have our approval "pending" while we wait on the state and the lab techs to return everything. Once we are approved of our Home Study, all information gets forwarded to Love Basket for approval of Packet II. Here's what that means: I thought we would start our Home Study visits in about five weeks, after the appropriate reports arrived on our agent's desk. Nope. She wants to start next week! Holy Moses! Packet I was almost two weeks faster than I expected, and now the Home Study is being moved up an entire month! I may be posting Baby's photos by Christmas if we keep going like this!
Okay, okay, I know once all the papers are done we may have to wait awhile before God sends us our baby and our birth parents...but my gut (Mommy Brain?) is telling me to be ready by Christmas, maybe sooner. Um...okay!!! I can do that! We'll see how right I am....
(Big breathe...) I think I've covered everything. If I missed something or you have questions, leave a comment! I'll respond to anything, unless you're mean about my abortion comment. I ignore mean people. :)
We love all of the support we continue to receive. Our family and friends are wonderful! We can't wait to introduce our Baby to everyone who is so excited to meet him or her! (Wanna start a pool on baby's gender and or birth month? It's total luck....how about a quarter a bet? Just in time for fantasy football season....boys, get on that! You make it, I'll play it). Winner can donate to Baby's college fund ;).
And...I'm out. More to come. Sorry I took so long! The Home Study Packet will be dropped off at the local office by Friday, so I'm sure to have an update by then!
Thanks for reading! Happy Hump Day. :)