For the last week, I have been carrying two notebooks with me everywhere I go. The first is our HomeStudy Packet.
(notice all of the colorful tabs? these make me so happy.)
The entire notebook is filled out, minus the information marked by a pink post-it note...because I'm a freak. Normally these notebooks take about a month to complete. We've done ours in a little over 1 week.
The other notebook I've been carrying around is a binder I created to hold ALL of the adoption information we have received (including emails I printed off) from Adoption Network Law Center. (I don't have a photo of that because it's not as pretty. No colorful tabs or pink post-it notes.)
We have been writing informational paragraphs, Dear Birthmother letters, and answers to questions like, "When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?" which isn't even the most time-consuming part of this whole process. The thing I thought would be easy for me - collecting photos - is actually proving quite difficult.
I've been taking photos since 1981. I have thousands of prints and digital files, all catalogued and filed away - either in photo albums or burned to CDs (with extremely detailed notes about what's on each disk). So it shouldn't have been a problem. Right?
Problem #1: Our photos must be 1-3 years old (so our favorite wedding pics, our professional engagement photos and our favorite "couple's pics" prior to 2007 won't work).
Problem #2: Our hairstyles must be the same in all of our photos. (and if you've ever met me, you will know that my hair changes monthly.)
Problem #3: We need 10 "action" shots of just me - doing the things I love. (and I'm always taking the photos so I'm rarely in them.)
Problem #4: Our photos cannot include any children - so as not to confuse the birthmothers in to believing these children belong to us (so all of my favorite pictures of me and Delaney or me playing with my cousin's kids won't work either...and if you really want to know how I enjoy spending my time, it's hanging out with those kids!)
So it's been a challenge to come up with all of our marketing materials. Before we can turn in any of our letters or statements, we have to complete this list:
• 20 close-up photos of both of us
• 10 action photos of both of us
• 10 action photos of just me
• 10 action photos of just Ryan
• 5 photos of the house
• 5 photos of the dogs
• 10 photos of us (fun, silly, big smiles) for Adoption Spacebook website
I was really trying not to do a "photo-shoot" since those never look natural, but we had to do it. Here are a few of our recent pics to fill in the blanks - hopefully they look slightly more natural than they felt at the time):
(the house held *really* still for this shot...)
I still think I'm going to try to get a picture of me baking a cake this weekend. All of the wedding, birthday, anniversary, and baby shower cakes I've made - we don't have a SINGLE picture of me actually decorating or holding one.
So that's about it. Not a thrilling update, but an update nonetheless. Tonight is an Adoption Group class (required by our HomeStudy) but we're pretty excited about it (should be lots of good information and nice people involved). If you're curious what the rest of the weekend holds for us - there's a good chance it involves a laptop and only a tiny bit of "are we done yet? are we done yet? are we done yet?"
OH!! And if anyone wants a SelectComfort bed (the kind with the remote control that inflates/deflates the mattress) please let us know!! We need to get the bed and the computer out of that room so we can make it in to a nursery!! Stu, we were actually thinking you might want it...but let us know. It's in great shape. It just needs a good home!