On Wednesday, our Adoption Social Worker came over for our Home Sudy. It was the last part of the evaluation and the "in-person" segment of all the paperwork that was due earlier this month. We cleaned and dusted and vacuumed and left work early to eagerly await her arrival.
We really like our social worker. She is honest and compassionate and I would imagine she takes a lot of pride in her job. I would also imagine her job is much more than that to her. She came in to our house and we gave her the tour. It was a brief one - this is the kitchen, this is the garage...but enough for her to see where our baby will one day live. We showed her our guest room and explained that it will one day be converted back into a nursery and we are looking forward to having a reason to do that.
Then we sat at the dining room table and began to talk. She asked us some questions about the paperwork we filled out and then we had the chance to ask her some of our questions, too. We had an informative conversation and talked frankly and openly. We had given her an advance copy of our Profile Book (the book that will be used for potential birth mothers to get to know us) and she had a few suggestions for us to make to it.
She told us that in getting to know us on paper and in person, she can tell how much Allie is a part of our lives. She pointed to the chair next to her and said that she was so sure that Allie was even at this table with us right now. But she warned us to be careful in how we tell our story. We do not want a pregnant woman to feel sorry for us and then give us her baby - we want her to give us her child because she knows that Gary and I are the right parents for that child. It hurt me a little bit to think that we came off that way - I do not now nor did I ever want any pity, but I could see what she was saying. If you do not know us and you only know 8-10 pages of us, reading Allie's story can create sympathy. And perhaps pity. So we are going to fix it so that in the same short amount of pages, we can create joy and light - the emotions that we still feel when thinking about our daughter. We want anyone reading to know we are strong and that knowing our daughter has made us better people - and that is the opposite of pity!
And about an hour later, she left. We felt it was a very good visit and we were relieved that we could check one more thing off of our list. We smiled and hugged and felt good. We went to dinner to celebrate.
Earlier today, we got an email with the official home study approval attached! We are good to go!!!
We have a 1/2 day class on February 6th to review our Profile Book and discuss how they are going to "market" us. One February 9th, we get together to make a 5 minute video for potential birth moms to see. Then, once our Profile Book is edited and reviewed and printed, we go "live". In essence, we could be shown to birth mothers as soon as mid-February! Which means we could be matched while there is still snow on the ground. Or it could take longer. We will have to be patient and see. One thing is for sure, our baby is out there for us - I just know it!
This weekend is our big fundraiser. Even without ticket sales, we have already raised over $5,000!!! And the gifts and donations keep coming. We are expecting well over 100 people to come out on Sunday and are so excited that so many want to come out and help us and love us and be there for us. What a blessing. If I think too much about it, it brings tears to my eyes.
I am so very thankful. I can't wait until the day I can blog with my baby boy or girl sitting (or squirming!) in my lap. I am starting to let myself imagine what it will look like for Gary to read our child a book before bed. To imagine the guest room turned back into a nursery. To almost hear the sounds of laughter and giggling within these walls. It feels so good to have hope again. To know that there will be a baby here with us some day. Maybe even some day soon!