Thanks to the "snowpocolpyse", we are not shooting our video today after all. They were calling for massive amounts of snow - amounts like we have never seen before! But alas, we woke up and looked outside and it looked like any other February morning. But not to worry - we are simply delayed one week and this delay will not hinder our process which is the most important thing.
As I type, Gary is hard at work at making the final edits to our Profile Book. This is our marketing tool - our way of advertising us - so it has to be perfect! We had a meeting earlier this week where we got some helpful tips and our goal is to have our new and improved version to our social worker first thing Monday. Then she will review it, get back to us with any comments and we will make any necessary changes. Once she approves it completely, we will make 15 copies and get them to her office.
We also need to fill our our Profile Key. This 2 page "key" allows us to select race and about a hundred other things that we are either ok or not ok with when it comes to choosing our child. Then our Profile Book gets sent to the offices in all the states that are agency is in (some in PA, the rest in NY, NJ, CT, VA, DE) and with our Profile Key with it, we are officially "in the book". So our hopes are to be "in the book" in less than a week.
Next Saturday, we will film our 5 minute video which is just a way of bringing us to life a bit. They are shot right at our agency and everyone gets the standard 5 minutes to talk about themselves. It's pretty high level, but it can give the birth mother a better idea of who we are than from just looking at us on paper. From what we understand, a birth mother may narrow down who she is interested in and then may use the videos to help her make her final decision. We should have that part in the bag!
30% of the placements are Emergency Placements. A birth mother goes to the hospital, has no plan, calls our agency. From there, a social worker will review the Profile Keys to determine who is a right match for that baby, show the birth mother those Profile Books and she will make a choice. In that case, the adoptive parents will get a call one day that their baby is here (or almost here) and what hospital they need to get to in order to meet their baby!
The rest of the placements are more planned. A pregnant woman will go to the agency and seek counseling and support and spend a bit more time making an adoption plan for her baby. We could get a call that we have been "matched" and that our baby is due in ____ and _____ wants to meet us. In that case, our social worker will arrange a visit and we all get to meet each other and make sure the match works, make a plan for the delivery room (can we be there?) and make a plan for our baby's future.
Sometimes there are babies that will be close to what our Profile Key indicates and we will get a phone call or an email asking if we are ok with the different aspect and do we want our Profile Book shown to this birth mother? In that case, we will have to sit down and review the history and make our best guess as to what we are and are not comfortable with. If we are ok with being shown, we will know that we could then be chosen rather soon.
It's a lot, huh?
In the meantime, we wait. Our agency has a great reputation and we could not be more fond of our social worker. We have to trust the process and trust that what will happen will be the right thing for us. Our baby is out there - we are just not sure what path he or she will take to get to us. And of course the waiting game is going to be rough!
I am the only expectant mother I know who had a glass of wine with dinner the other night and knew it was ok! I can also eat sushi and soft cheeses! It's like I am pregnant in my head and heart, but not in my body. It's a whole new journey for us. For me.
At our meeting last week, they gave us a list of things to have on hand for when we get the call. Remember, 30% of the time, we might only have time to put our dishes in the sink and get a move on! It's so scary and exciting. And hard. Gary wants to pack a "Go Bag". I can't. We each had one from when I was pregnant and we took such care to pack them with all we could ever want - batteries for our camera, a few outfits for Allie, important phone numbers...we were so excited to always make sure we had our "Go Bags" with us at all times. Here is picture from the back of Gary's car in early April 2011. It looks like we had some other baby stuff in there, too. And why wouldn't we?
So my plan now is to have the list from the Agency readily available. And when we get that call, then we pack. And if we forget something? Screw it. We buy it on the way or call one of our moms or brothers to bring it with them. Because my gut says there is no holding them back!
It's a different world for us out there - but still one filled with promise and hope and love. We could not be more excited to see how our next chapter reads!