Monday, August 6, 2007

Application & Intake Interview

We just got back from our first adoption appointment, the Application and Intake Interview. Unlike last time, I wasn't nervous. I think it helps that we knew what to expect. Typically this meeting is an opportunity for the counselor to learn more about us and understand our adoption vision. Since we already know the counselor, we spent the majority of the time catching up on the last three years.

Jeff and I have been discussing how blessed we were to have such a great relationship with Lillian's birthfamily. And that we would love to have a girl again (the pink room is already set up after all). What we have come to realize is that we cannot have the same expectations for this next adoption. We are opening ourselves fully to whatever baby and birthfamily God chooses to connect us with. Interestingly, one of the points the counselor made today was exactly that. It's good to see that we're on the same page.

Knowing what to expect also means being ahead of the paperwork game. Though typically this paperwork is completed toward the end of the process, we have eagerly submitted:

  • Dear Birthparent letter - This is sent to all birthfamilies and is the way they narrow their choices. They are also posting these letters online now so you can see some examples on the OA&FS website. You know that saying "you never get a second chance to make a first impression"? Well, this is the first impression. We tried to use the same photo as last time (seen above) but they want us to get an updated one. So what if my hair is 6 inches shorter? Sheesh. Ugh, I guess it's picture time.

  • Autobiography - One for each parent. 3-5 pages recapping your life, values, experiences, etc. Try getting all that into 3 pages! These autobiographies are included in the vast packet of information sent to a birthfamily once they have narrowed their choices. (Once we're in the pool, if we get really anxious we can ask how many times our "packet" has been sent out. It's a good indicator on how well your Dear Birthparent letter is resonating.)

  • Photo collage - 3-5 page collage of casual pictures reflecting our family, home, vacations, hobbies, etc. This is also included in the "packet" and gives a realistic view of our lives. Last time we put this together, I had NO digital photos. How's that for progress? This time, I used exclusively digital photos and put the collage together on the computer. It was much easier. But the pictures only reflect the last 3 years of our lives so we made need to dig into the ole hard copy pics.

  • Letters of reference - My wonderful friends and family have already turned in letters for us. Wow, you guys are fast! We need 5 letters of reference - one of which needs to be from a neighbor. That neighbor piece is new. We only know our neighbors superficially so I'm hoping that a friend who lives a few blocks away will count. Or as Jeff pointed out, the neighbors can just tell them that we are quiet and went for walks with Lillian frequently. Wouldn't that make for a glowing recommendation?!

We also signed the agency contract detailing the process and our commitment. And we paid for the next step in the process. Speaking of which, the next step is a home visit planned for September 10th. I would prefer that this was sooner but the house realistically won't be put together before September. What a great motivator to finish this remodel...


Anonymous August 6, 2007 at 12:16 PM  

I love that photo. Bummer you can't use that one. Thanks again for sharing this process with us. It is very informative and interesting! Beth

Anonymous August 6, 2007 at 4:29 PM  

I was thinking of you two today and your adoption interview. I'm so glad that everything went well. It is so interesting to hear the details - thanks again for sharing this part of your life!


The Tucson Gang August 6, 2007 at 7:35 PM  

Glad to hear it went well...not that we expected anything different, but good to have it checked off the list! :-) I'm surprised they are making you submit a new did just cut your hair short for goodness sakes! Oh well...minor detail...I'm sure you can squeeze that in with all your spare time! :-)

Anonymous August 6, 2007 at 8:20 PM  

Yay for one more step down in the process. Too bad you can't use the old photo again. I hear the photographer has become quite famous :) Michelle

Lori August 7, 2007 at 9:50 AM  

Darn picture. Apparently they want photos no older than 2 years. Gotta follow the rules I guess. Perhaps we can convince the world famous photographer to come out of retirement and shoot a new photo for us. The last photo was more important than we could have guessed. Lillian's birthmom told us that she eliminated any parents who didn't have a decent photo. I completely agree with her criteria. After all, why wouldn't you take the time to put your best "face" forward for such an important purpose? What else will they cut corners on? "Oh the diaper smells okay to me."

Abra August 7, 2007 at 10:21 AM  

Thanks for keeping us all in the loop, it is fascinating to hear about the journey. Glad it all went well! Abra

Vondra November 10, 2008 at 2:18 PM  

Great work.

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