Friday, July 31, 2009

On With The Show

Oregonian friend just reviewed our draft. He was really impressed - he said that the tone and content was good... and that he wished he had access to the programs we have now when he and his wife were on their adoption journey fifteen years ago. That made me feel really good, I have to say, because it's a document so personal, so emotional, that I worried that it might be a little too much of anything or everything. It calmed me.

DC was awesome, but I am glad to be back. Next stop: hunting down SW. Didn't have time before departure, and she only works four days a week (how nice).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In The Capitol

Hey, kids. I'm in DC this week. What a treasure with all the museums and parks and memorials. I even met up with someone I thought I'd never see, ever, which I'll address on the alter ego blog.

Until I get back, be good!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just for Fun - 8 things

While I wait for our draft profile feedback from adoptive father friend (scrappy friend gave some great advice this past weekend!), I figured I'd do a silly list for the hell of it.

THE RULES: Meh, Who needs rules? I'm on the computer with lightning in the distance. Rules schmoolz.

8 THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO (no particular order):
"The" phone call
Meeting up with high school friends in October that I haven't seen in 19 years
Going to DC with DH later this week
Fall and cooler temps (it was 110 at 11am this morning - ugh)
Furnishing a nursery
Moving to NC in the next few years - yeah, baby
Getting back to hiking when the weather cools off
Becoming a family of three

Toyed with the profile draft
Sent it off to adoptive parent friend for review
Looked for a new shoulder bag for the trip to DC
Survived lunch with the in-laws
Went to Starbucks and journaled
Played around with my mother's sewing machine to see if it still works (yes)
Made fried chicken for dinner

Eat as much as I like and never gain a pound
See my mother one more time and have that "last chat"
Give birth
Play basketball again
Be a good equestrienne
Ride a motorcycle

I don't watch much TV, but when I did,
The Shield
Sopranos (before it jumped the shark)
Magnum PI reruns
The Wire
Dead Like Me
(OK, sue me. I hate tv. I had to stretch for this)

Homemade tacos and enchiladas
Chocolate in almost any form
Chicken Parm
Robek's Citrus Stinger smoothie
caesar salad

South/southwestern Ireland
Virginia Beach
Vail, CO
Niantic Bay, CT (oh yes it's soooooo worth it)
Tri State Area ("New York/NJ/Pennsylvania")
Cleveland (ha! it was this or Yucca Valley)

Norway (where my namesake was from)
Rome (Italy, generally, but Rome - one Mass at St Peter's Square)
France (fergit Paris)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quickie Update - Profile, Continued

I'm having a crafty-type friend look over my profile format this weekend. She's a scrapbooker and has a better eye for symmetry and presentation than I do. Well, I'm okay at it, but she's much, much better. She can help me rearrange and clean it up. Am I looking for perfection? No. I am looking for clean and easy to read without being too simplistic. Plus, I want an objective eye looking at what I'm writing. Then I'm going to have another friend look at it. I might even have Boss review it just to have that legal view to it. I'll think about that.

Hopefully I'll have the text ready for DH to review and edit this weekend. I'd really really REALLY like to have it out soon; my aim in a previous post might not make it, but who knows. Then do a website (the scrapbook program converts to web format as well as PDF... awesome), then make cards to pass out.
Also, SW really has blown me off for a second time; she was on vacation but now I've given her enough time to catch up. I need to call her tomorrow when Boss is out of the office so I can talk to her in a private setting.
My first question? "So, is your email broken?"
Back to work. Peace out.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What a Pain in the Tushie

I'm picking away at our profile. What to say, what to keep out? What is too much or not enough? how many pics can I add until it looks overdone? The writing came easy. It's the format and graphics.

One thing Bev said was that there's no "wrong" way to do it. You can pluck ideas from others, but don't completely copy someone's work. I didn't doubt that people do that - hell, my little brother plagiarized my English 102 paper, on a topic that he didn't know squat about. Anything'a possible.

I loves me some Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 4.0. You can either use their templates or create your own layout. I don't want frilly - I don't want overdone - but I want some color. It's relatively minimal. I'm not twelve, and more than likely neither will my readers be twelve.

One thing I will not do: write a novel. I've read of folks doing 15, 21, 25, 28, even 30 pages. Seriously? I'm thinking 8 pages, tops. Cover page, two pages about us, two pages of pics, two pages of miscellaneous things outside of our life, then the back page. It's sort of like writing a research paper - target your audience, and then work on not boring that audience to death.

I'd like to have this out before DH and I head to Washington, DC next week. We'll see. I'd really like to get the ball rolling.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Paper Pregnant and Slogging Through a Seminar

Okay… now that I’m over my semi-stunned state of ecstasy… I’m so freaking excited now. It’s REAL. I know there will be ups and downs and everything in between, but it’s real. It’s really going to happen at some point and hopefully within the next eighteen months (which is how long the certification lasts in Arizona).

The hurdle I have to get over is DH’s insistence that the child be three or four years of age. While not impossible via private adoption, there’s a better chance to adopt a child that age through the State. I don’t know if y’all are aware, but our foster system in Arizona is a disaster and CPS (Child Protective Services) does not have a shining track record. I don’t think that there’s a month that doesn’t go by where there is a child that has been given back time and again to abusive (drugs/physical/emotional/sexual/etc) parents and winds up dead, and the story winds up in the paper. And these are just the ones that make the local print media. And the chances of a couple taking in a State child will more than likely have to hand the child back to the very parents whose actions caused CPS to get involved in the first place. And,when not awarded to the potential, privately certified parents, they are shipped to those certified through a foster-to-adopt program – privately certified people/couples generally get the shaft in these situations.

I think I feel kinda strongly on that.
Ya think?

So I have to get to the root of this issue. As I’ve stated before, I think DH is terrified of newborns/infants, terrified of the disruption they bring (i.e. sleepless nights), and terrified of them in general because he’s never handled one, never really dealt with one except in limited scenarios, and so he doesn’t want to deal with them.

My position is this: let's list our age range from birth to three years of age, then let God take care of the rest. He has taken care of us so far – OMG, the Lord really has, it’s amazing – and allow Him to bring to us the child we are meant to have.

Tonight’s seminar/class/whatever you want to call it had so much potential. I liked Beverly on first sight. She’s just one of those people whose first impression is of a person who is happy with their lot in life, happy with their job, and happy to help people in a practical way through the wringer of adoption. My gripes with the seminar have nothing whatsoever to do with her or her topics.

DH met me at the Agency. It started well, with six people: DH and me, another married couple (we’ll call them “A”, the husband, and “B” the wife) about our age, and a married woman (I’ll just refer to her as “W”) with her best friend (“F”; W’s husband couldn’t get away from work). The first third covered things we’d already gone through as we are already certified. I sort of tuned out and chimed in when Beverly asked me to.

Unfortunately, “A” stopped the flow of topics within the first ten minutes, and fixated on the statute-mandated pool fence, boring the shit out of DH; DH promptly tuned out for the rest of the seminar. A shame, but he has no patience for people who ask the same question in seventeen different forms in the span of fifteen minutes. “A” stalled the flow several times through the 90 minutes, and it got very annoying. He has the right to ask, but come on already. “B” looked intently at her notebook by the third time. She knew.

“W” pretty much kept her mouth shut throughout the whole thing. It was “F” who asked all sorts of really good questions. It made me wonder who was the one adopting. It was kind of strange.

The last, say, thirty minutes were full of good information. We talked about adopting through the State (shudder), potential expenses (yikes), networking (emails are amazingly effective), and the birthmother letter (with copies of examples of successful profiles given to us in a packet).

We also talked about the national “agencies” which are really “facilitators” – the ones that list children, usually but not always minorities, with this health problem and that prenatal drug addiction, demanding a $25-50K agency fee, plus expenses, plus your travel expenses, plus legal fees, plus whatever – they’re generally baby mills for the desperate. I saw their sites on the first search I ever did and was wary of them from the first site I looked at. I think this may be a topic in itself on another day.

The important thing was that I did get my pressing questions regarding adopting through the state, interstate adoption, and a couple of other topics answered.

It was overall a decent 90 minutes, but disappointing in its way. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
And you're not going to believe this.
"Twenty Questions" is on the reading list she gave us. No! Nooooooo! Nooo!
Now I really have to smarten up my draft on that and post it. That book should NEVER be on any agency's reading list.
Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

One Word Says It All

It's 5:30pm my time. I have literally just gotten back from getting my hair cut and I swung by the mailbox.

It hasn't hit me yet.

One word:

I'm still absorbing it. More later. =D