Birth parent letter: So we started working on the birth parent letter even before we started the adoption process about 5 months ago. I used to feel REALLY awkward about it. I still feel like its kind of an awkward thing. First, you're talking to someone who is going through something you can't understand. How do you comfort and get to know someone you haven't met, you don't know their situation, you don't understand how they're feeling and they don't know you? Second, it felt awkward because we're trying to show all that is fantastic about our family without coming across as fake, too perfect, boring or weird. It was really hard at first.
This is one instance where I'm glad it took this long to get approved. We've had a lot of time to learn and ask people who have been through this before. I asked for a lot of help from friends and family who had placed a child with an adoptive family and from friends and family who have adopted.
We started thinking about our future birth mom as the real person that she is. Sure we haven't met her and have no guarantee that we'll even be picked but we feel like its going to happen. I started writing her letters :) The letters are about lots of things and hopefully I'll have someone to give them to. Writing the letters helped birth parents feel more real, and made writing to them less daunting. Anyway, once we started thinking about the birth parent letter more as really writing to a real person it felt a lot more natural and comfortable.
Our caseworker looked over the letter for us and had some really helpful points about things that didn't need to be included and how to better show our personalities. Once we used her tips the letter felt perfect.
Collages: We had to make two collage pages with pictures of our family. I spent FOREVER trying to figure out how the frick to use Photoshop to put together cute, real looking but digitally made scrapbook pages. I haven't used Photoshop since high school so I had a rough time. I watched some "beginner" tutorial videos...then wanted to punch someone for considering it "beginner". I knew EXACTLY what I wanted it to look like but couldn't get the computer to get on board with my brilliant plan. I felt so lost and was getting so frustrated that I literally stopped what I was doing and said a prayer along the lines of "I can't figure this stupid thing out. This needs to look really good. PLEASE help me figure this program out so I can do this the way we want." Then after spending 3 days working on it and probably around 15 hours (yeah I suck at photoshop) I finally got the finished pages together. **Daniel did help and give input on the collages but I kind of took the lead here. I swear I did let him help :) **
In making the collage pages I realized that since Aurelia's birth I don't think we have a single picture of just Daniel and I together. Most of our pictures are Daniel or myself taking a picture of the other two, or a pictures of all three of us. I mean it makes sense because we're a family and we're always together but I guess its a little weird. We don't really turn the camera around and say "aw look at us!" much anymore.
So that's that. Everything is ready for review :) Next week our case will be reviewed and hopefully APPROVED!!! :)