Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Classes ~ DONE!

Today was day 2 of the Home Study class.....which also marks the end of our classes!  The morning portion of the class was long, difficult and...slightly boring.  We each shared about our journey towards adoption, whether that journey took us through infertility, just a desire to adopt, or maybe another path.  There were some sad stories...but it was interesting to hear how others in our group had reached this point.

We all went to lunch together at Avanti's, which is close by and easy to get in and out of in a timely manner.  Lunch was fun and gave us another chance to get to know everyone.  I felt horrible when we got back to class to find out that the reason one of the couples didn't join us is because they didn't know where Avanti's was and they got separated from the group when we hit a red light!!

After we got back from lunch, we went into more interesting topics.  The birth mom counselor joined us to share information from that perspective and to answer any questions that we had.  After that, we discussed a couple other things and then went on to what I considered the most interesting topic of the day - creating our portfolios (which will be in the form of a book and a video).  We watched 2 videos that were made by adoptive couples and looked through numerous profile books to get ideas.

Since this was our last class, it was our last time with the group of couples that we've been through this journey (to this point) with.  At the end of class, we exchanged contact information with everyone.  And, we're planning to connect via Facebook.  Hopefully that will work out because I'd love to touch base and see how everyone is doing along the way!

Our folder from today's class is thick (the thickest one we've received so far!) and we've got more paperwork to sort through.  We should soon receive more information from our case worker regarding what else needs to be done (and how to go about that), I do know that we'll need to do fingerprinting, physicals, and get our house in shape and ready for the actual home study. I'm hoping that we can get moving on this quickly, as I'd like to get as much done before June as we can since summer is very busy for both us.

I'll keep updating as often as I can, so check back frequently!


Monday, February 27, 2012

What we're thinking bout now...

Rob and I have been working on the "homework" that we received during our first of two home study classes. We each worked on our stacks separately because we each got copies of the same documents to fill out that required thought and lots of writing! I don't know about Rob, but for me, these documents have really made me think! Some of the questions are HARD...such as "What do you believe to be your strengths?", "What do you believe to be your weaknesses?", "Describe your perception of God and how the perception relates to your lifestyle.", "Describe your feelings about organized religion." - and the list goes on, and on!

These are just a few examples...some of it I sit there and had to really think how to put it on paper. But, for the most part, it's really not that bad.

 Tomorrow will be our second home study class. We will get even more paperwork from that class, along with the list of things that we need to do to prepare for the actual home study.

 Every step we take makes it feel more real! And, as Rob likes to say in that joking tone of his, "We're really doing this!" ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Home Study Class

Today was our first of two full day "Home Study" classes. I'm exhausted, not necessarily because of today's class, but because of all the chaos (good and bad) that has gone on this week...I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that it's Friday...the weekend is FINALLY here!

Tuesday (Valentine's Day) was a wonderful day because my niece was born! Happy and healthy, Lily weighed in at 6 lbs. 12 oz. She's a doll! And her big sister, Shelby, is very proud (as are the rest of our family)! This is what my Valentine's Day looked like:

I won't go into all the details about why I'm so happy that this week is just about over, but it involves a set of keys that were lost after they were left somewhere that they shouldn't have been and they included the one and only copy of the door/ignition/remote entry key to my husband's Durango (which ended up costing us over $200 to replace) plus some very hectic days at work made this one heck of a week!  The $200 key replacement and $1500 we paid for this home study class made for a very expensive week!!!  Somebody needs to win the lotto...hello, anyone out there??

So, like I mentioned above, today was our first Home Study class. There were 7 couples, including us, in attendance. We got to know a little more about the other couples during class and when we all went to lunch together. I actually really enjoyed today!

We covered topics such as:  a brief history of adoption, fair fighting skills, communication styles, shared with the group how we met and about our dating/engagement/marriage, we did a personality test and watched a humorous video about the test. I'm sure that I'm missing something, but this is what I can remember right now!

We have another stack of "homework" that they encouraged us to fill out and have ready before our next class, which is scheduled for February 28th.  It's not mandatory that it all be complete by the 28th, but they said it would make things easier for us since we'll be receiving another stack of "homework" at the next class.  If we complete this in little baby steps, it won't be so bad!

Scanning through our folder right now, the homework includes the following:

  • Communication Styles: A Self-Assessment Exercise 
  • Home Study Worksheet: Family of Origin 
  • Genogram - which gives a brief history of our family genealogy 
  • Religion & Values worksheet
  • Financial Management: The Meaning of Money
  • Portfolio: Tastes & Preferences
  • Adoptive Parents Personality Characteristics
  • Home Study Worksheet: Marriage
  • Worksheet for Wife
  • Worksheet for Husband
  • Supplement to Worksheet: Previous Marriage (which does not apply to us)
  • Household Responsibility Checklist

Still a long way to go in this journey, but each step gets us just a little bit closer!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Orientation Class 2

We have our adoption application filled out and ready to turn in!  We had to provide the names of 4 people to use as references, and I called 3 or the 4 during the week to make sure it was okay to use them and to let them know that they would receive a letter in the mail and they'll have to respond to the request. And Rob still needs to contact the other person on our list, but we know that one will be not be a problem at all.  

Last night was another orientation class.  This class lasted just over 3 hours.  Since we didn't have time to do it at the last class, we did an "around the room" introduction, then the 2 caseworkers began the slideshow and question/answer session and we had some discussion among the group.  We got a folder of new information to read at home and more paperwork to fill out, watched a video that featured some young birth mom's who discussed their experience and feelings about making an adoption plan for their baby's, and lastly, we decided on dates for our next round of classes. (woo!)

So, our next step is the Home Study classes, which will be daytime classes, February 17th & 28th from 10am-4pm.  In this next step, we will get more involved in the adoption process and begin the groundwork in getting (hopefully) approved and eventually in circulation for adoption of our own little angel.  As I understand it, thanks to my friend Sarah :), we're just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to paperwork and "homework".  Lots to do still...it will be a long road, but so worth it in the end!