Wednesday, May 25, 2011


One of my favorite stores is Pott.ery Ba.rn. Most of the furniture in our house (at least the newer stuff that we've gotten now that we have some money) is all from there. So of course now that we are transitioning from the homestudy to a waiting family, we made our first venture into the kids edition of the store.

And then we quickly made our way back out. You see, that store is not made for adoptive families. At least not those who are open to a child of either gender. Your options are girly-girl or very boy. Nothing in between. I think there was a green ruffle you could use on a crib that was otherwise all pink. A little contrast can be a good thing, after all. But that was about it. No options at all for someone who won't know the gender of the baby. I am actually tempted to write to them and point out how they are missing a key group.

The thing is, even if we could know the gender with enough notice to make a trip to that store, I still wouldn't want to go so far to impose strong gender norms on my child at such a young age. Society will have plenty of time for that. This is actually something I like about becoming a parent through adoption: we won't be bombarded with pink or blue! At least not in advance. I know too many couples who had nothing but pink or blue clothes, blankets, towels, etc. Not to mention the dolls or cars/trucks, even before the child is born. Pregnant women can decide not to know the gender, but so few people actually wait. I like that if any friends or family want to buy us baby things before a baby is here, they can't impose gender norms on the child pre-birth.

So that's why I read this story with interest. Apparently some parents are not revealing their new baby's gender. While these parents are going a little extreme, I can understand where they are coming from.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Home visit

The home visit was, well, uneventful. We gave her a tour of the home and she took a few notes. But the things she said as she wrote notes made it seem more like a real estate tour. "Oh, what a nice dining room. You have a big master bathroom." She said in advance that she would be checking for fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, but then took our word for it when we told her where the fire extinguishers were and didn't check them herself. I think it must be awkward to be a social worker. At times it seemed like she was just making social conversation, but I took every question as a probe and my mind would start working over time trying to figure out the "right" answer.

She did get all the pieces of paperwork we were still waiting on, so she is all set to write up the homestudy. Once we get her our final profile and preference sheet, we will be officially waiting. I have my brother's wedding this weekend, so I will probably take some nice pictures to include in it and finish it off next week.

Speaking of that profile, they are really adamant that they want it in the middle school report cover. I showed her some examples of things that I think fit their criteria but look more polished. She threw in a new requirement. Every page must have a sheet protector. I'm still on the hunt for good solutions that don't remind me of the 8th grade.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sometimes when we tell people we are adopting, they ask if we would be open to both boys and girls. I always say we don't care, but really I'm thinking "are you crazy? we've been trying to have a kid for these many years and you think we would delay it just because a potential child is the wrong gender?" I've actually never really understood why the most common question you get when you are pregnant is whether you care about the gender. Is that a question people just ask to make conversation, or something else behind it?

But the question hits me in another way now that we are adopting. The standard answer to that question from PWCGP (people who can get pregnant) is some version of "oh, as long as the baby is healthy." But they say that having spent months taking prenatal vitamins and prenatal yoga or walking and abstaining from alcohol and in general doing all these things to have a healthy baby. So while I'm sure most PWCGP know that some health concerns or birth defects are random and happen no matter what precautions you take, the possibility that the baby will actually not be healthy is probably not something they think about too much.

But then I look placement preference form and suddenly it seems like a very real possibility. And I'm told that the more we close ourselves off to a type of placement, the less likely we are to get a match. Do I have to choose between having a healthy child or no child at all?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still here and making progress

Um, excuse me. Yes, I'm still here. So sorry for my total absence from the blogosphere. I have been completely overwhelmed with everything going on in my life the last several weeks. Work has been killing me. Plus all the work for our home study and profile. Plus my hubby graduated with his MBA last weekend! I am so proud of him and wanted to make it a very special occasion, and it was. But it's true that all the family in town and making preparations for that did contribute to my stress.

But then the family left on Sunday and I finished a big project today. I actually stopped at 3pm today and kinda looked around my office and thought, "hey, I actually have time to breathe now." So here I am again.

Much has happened in regards to our adoption. We completed the bulk of our paperwork and had both our individual interviews and medical appointments. Our home visit is scheduled for next week. I also have a good first draft of our profile done and am showing it to friends to get feedback or filling in some pictures that I still wanted to take. Our interviews went well, but it made me wonder about what the agency was looking for. My interview was 90 minutes long and covered all sorts of things. We talked about infertility and my work, but much of it was about my family. My relationship with my mom, with my dad, and with my siblings. And the odd thing was she kept asking about my older sister's relationship with my mom, my dad and our other siblings. Like the caseworker was using my sister as a point of comparison to me. But my husband only had a 45 minute interview and spent most of it talking about sports. What was up with that?

One thing I am worried about. I had my physical on Friday. I haven't gotten the official results from the pap smear back yet, but my doctor said my cervix was "lighter" than normal and thought that was odd. Has anyone ever heard of that? Could it be related to all the meds I had taken?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This day

I saw this Mother's Day proclamation from 1870. This was written during the first real effort to have a Mother's Day. Here is the beginning:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Despite the title, I think this proclamation is appropriate for all those on the IF journey. It does not call out only to mothers. It calls out to all women who are mothers in the hearts, including those of us who are there only through our tears.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Profile Nazis

Now that we are done with the first batch of our homestudy paperwork and just waiting for a few additional missing pieces, my attention has turned to our profile. And here is where my one disagreement with our agency comes in. They are profile Nazis. This agency has very strict rules about what our profile can be like. Dimensions, binding, overall length, picture captions--There are rules about everything! They spell out what we need to cover in our Birthparent letter and we must use a specific form to outline our personality and interests. They also want a letter from each of us, but it would make more sense to me for us to write the letter together as a couple. It is funny that they emphasize showing who we are, but then put so many rules that we can't be as creative as I normally am.

I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for some of this as they are in a better position than me to know what helps birthparents make their decision. But I'm having a real hard time with their rules over binding. Basically they want us to put our profile into one of those clear plastic covers you may have last used for an 8th grade book report. It's like they don't realize that to us this profile is the key to our dreams and they want us to use something purchased at the dollar store.

Monday, May 2, 2011


We mailed in a big stack of our home study paperwork today. Still a few things to do, but the bulk is done. And what we have done should be enough to move forward with the individual interviews and home visit. We are getting there!
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