Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beach Bum

Almost every year since I was 9 years old I have gone to the Outer Banks for vacation.  When I was a kid my family went with other families and it was a great time having fun with friends.  As we got older and schedules became trickier we had to change our schedule and go later in June than our family friends.  That being said as I got older I began to realize that I had as much fun with my family as I do my friends.  So I still travel to the Outer Banks with friends, they just happen to be my family too:).

Despite two shark attacks (fortunately neither of which we were directly involved) it was a fun week filled with music, laughter, games, books, yummy food & drinks, and my personal favorite--the hot tub.

 avon, NC beach

It's been such an awesome experience watching my niece and nephew as well as my cousins' kids grow up.  Despite living 8 hours away, we are blessed to see them consistently 2-3 times a year.  They each have their own quirks and unique personality traits, but they all have one important thing in common--they are all nice kids.  This goes beyond the fact that they have good manners (which they all do), but also that they are fun to be around and have regard for those around them.  I look forward to having our child(ren) grow up with these kiddos as role models.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Home Study

Image result for let summer begin

Today was my last day of work for the next month--yay!!!  I will still have to be on call, keep up with email, etc. but the day-to-day grind has come to a halt for a while.

Me being me, I have a list of things to do, during my time off.  One of the more pressing items is renewing our home study.  Our home study was approved September 4, 2014.  So I assumed we wouldn't have to touch it until maybe late August.  Uh, yeah, that's not how it works.

Similar to the initial home study it is a multi-month process filled with background checks, forms, updated reference letters, and a visit from our social worker.   Yes, having our life examined under a microscope is yet another way our path to parenthood is significantly different from just about everyone we know, but I honestly don't mind this particular difference as I believe this process is designed to do what's best for children by helping to ensure they are placed in a safe, stable home.

We like our social worker.  She is an adoptive parent herself and was able to put us fully at ease, while at the same time asked us very personal questions.  The answers to which our friends and family may not even know the responses of.  Also, the parts of the process seem less intimidating the second time around. And yes, completing background checks, physicals, financial reports, etc is certainly not what I am going to refer to as the fun part of my summer vacation; however, being able to give the first parents of our child(ren) the peace of mind that not only do we seem like nice and stable people, but have a 25 page report that backs up this fact, makes this process worthwhile.

Interestingly, there is an excellent change that not a single soul (other than us) will ever actually read the contents of our home study.  Just the fact that we are approved is sufficient.  Our social worker did a nice job on the first one.  Maybe I will have to put the updated version out as a coffee table book so that her work not be done in vain...

Friday, June 12, 2015

9 Months and Looking Ahead

Today marks exactly 9 months since our profile was live and we officially became a waiting family.

For most expectant parents the 9 month mark means baby will arrive any day now.  There are doctor's visits and medical updates, and while I am sure it feels like the wait is interminable (and I can imagine physically uncomfortable) within less than two weeks they get to meet the little person they have spent the last 9 months preparing for and dreaming of.

The 9 month mark for us means:

My hope against hope has been that we would be on the faster side of average (average being one year); however, it is becoming increasingly clear that I need to begin to prepare myself for being on the other side of average and beyond.

Ultimately, I know that no matter how fast or how long our wait is, the length of the wait will be perfect because it will bring us to the baby we will spend the rest of our lives getting to know and love and the birth family we will spend the rest of our lives building a relationship with to help baby become the best person he or she can be.  So my head knows this is all working out the way it's supposed to, but it doesn't make my heart ache any less:(.

Last summer and throughout this past school year, I kept hearing in the back of my head this little voice that said:  "this will be your last 'fill in the blank' (field study, book character day, etc.) or "I wonder how x, y, z (pre-planning, new schedule, handbook revision, etc.) will go without me next year?".  Now that we have officially closed the 2014-2015 school year and already have a healthy start of prep for the 2015-2016 it is becoming more and more apparent that I will be there every step of the way when our opening kindergarten class from the 2010-2011 school year finalizes their elementary career in June of 2016.  

While there is definitely a sense of poetic justice to seeing something you started at its inception reach its finale; however, had you asked me in August of 2010 what I saw myself doing in June of 2016 I would have answered "Attending our oldest child's kindergarten graduation.".  Instead it appears I will be leading the ceremony that would bridge those 2010 kindergartners I was welcoming on that day to middle school.

At my core, I continue to believe that everything happens for a reason.  And with each passing day I become just a little bit more comfortable with the fact that I may never get to know what that reason is and that just has to be ok.