Well here we are in July and there's still no good news for us on the adoption front. It's been eight months and three weeks since our disruption and we're still waiting. In order to keep our home study valid, James and I have decided to split households for as long as we can afford it. Our current home study is valid until September. If we haven't moved by then, I don't know what we're going to do. James left on Monday to report to his new duty station and I'm staying behind at home until we get an acceptable offer on our house. He's going to stay with some friends of ours for the next few days, but he won't be able to do that for very long.We got lucky in that another friend is going to be out of town for several weeks and needs a house-sitter. So James will be staying there for a few weeks. Hopefully we'll have a plan for the house by the time they come home.
I've gotten the second packet from the home study agency. I can't do a whole lot with it until we meet with our social worker after we've gotten into the new house, but I've been working on gathering up all our supporting documents. I've already sent off all the requests for criminal background checks and FBI fingerprints. I need to get new physician's reports for both of us, a copy of our most recent 1040, fill out a form regarding our finances and TriCare's ability to insure the baby, a Statement of Service for James, a letter stating that I'm not working, copies of our driver's licenses, signing a form saying that we do not condone corporal punishment, a copy of the animals' current vaccines, five letters of reference, a confidential information release form, and the home study agreement. It sounds like a lot, but really it's a lot of sign-here-sign-there. I can get all of this done while we're waiting to move except for the finances sheet. I'll have to wait until we have a new mortgage payment and new monthly utilities before I can fill that out.
I hope our new birthmother, where ever she is, likes me. Going through home studies, waiting for a match, and trying to sell a house at the same time is rough on the self-esteem. It's difficult not to feel like I'm constantly being judged like some prize cow at auction. Am I good enough? Pretty enough? Smart enough? Is my house clean enough? Big enough? Nice enough? Does my dog behave well enough? Do I seem patient and loving? Competent? Am I relatable? Kind? Open? Do I seem trustworthy? It's like elementary school when you're being picked to play a game of kick ball and you're the last kid standing. No one wants you (or you wouldn't be last) but someone has to take you (unless the other kids are REALLY mean). All you can do is stand there and look as athletic, coordinated, and skillful as possible.. silently praying "Pick me... oh please pick me. Oh please oh please."
But then, like now, there's really nothing you can do but be yourself and wait. If you build yourself up to be something that you're not, you'll only disappoint in the end. But if you present yourself for who you are and what you are, then you've given others the opportunity to know the real you and see what you're really made of.
I welcome the scrutiny of a discerning birthmother because I know who I am and I love the person I've become. I love my husband and the marriage we've built together, and I love the life that we (usually) live when things aren't so complicated by moving and the never-ending wait to adopt a child. I have an open heart that's filled to bursting with love to give the right birthmother and baby, and I am anxious to meet them both.