Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day 387 - A New Milestone, Culture Shifts and Celebration

This weekend marks many good things for us.  First, the major news on the Supreme Court ruling is one that we cannot simply pass by.  While those of us in the State of Washington have been able to marry for many years now (since Dominic was a mere 3 weeks old), the hard work and sacrifices of many dedicated people have brought equality to the US.  Not too long ago, it would have been unthinkable for Andy and I to be adopting children and expanding our family.  Today, families like ours are rapidly becoming...normal.  Even though that makes life a little less exciting, it's a great step forward.

This ruling also coincides well with Pride weekend here in Seattle.  While we didn't spray paint Dominic's short-lived mohawk into a rainbow (we're terrible parents!), it is great to realize that Dominic will be growing up in a world where Pride will an occasion of celebration and fun rather than a struggle for basic human rights and recognition.

Now, on to the lighter stuff as this is a blog all about our adoption!  Today marks Day 387 in the waiting pool.  It also marks the day where we've submitted updates for all of our outward facing adoption materials!

Sneak Preview - Pg 1 of our New Family Book
Back in April, we began the semi-herculean effort to update our family book, letter, and online photos from scratch.  Technically, we could just throw some things together and call it good.  However, I'm an OCD engineer and I nit pick on every single detail, sentence, layout, and photo.

As part of our process, we've had one photo shoot with our amazing friendtographer Amy, dug through literally thousands of other photos from the past few years, and then written and rewritten content over countless evenings, nights, bus rides, plane flights, and random musings in the shower.  (You know those times when you shake yourself out of your thoughts and realize you've been standing there in the shower doing nothing for 15 minutes?)  Suffice it to say, this is a big milestone and I'm thrilled to be at this point.

Pretty soon, we'll have a new update to post once OA&FS makes the content update to the website official.  Not quite the same as an announcement of being chosen, but it's still a pretty cool accomplishment given that I'm really digging our new formatting!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Managing "The Wait" - 1 Year

As of today, we have been waiting in the pool for a full year (our waiting pool-versary?).  In essence, we've spent a lot of time with Ginger.
Ginger, our "waiting" pool giraffe

Given that it's been such a long time (for us), Andy and I have adapted to manage the wait differently.  I think we have both been busy with Dominic, with work, family, friends, and various projects.  On top of all of that, it's hard to dwell too much on the wait for a 2nd child.

For me personally, I've been starting to get more and more anxious as we've neared this milestone.  Dominic is now over 2 1/2 years old and we have started the process of updating all of our adoption materials because life changes quite a bit in a year.  Also, if we are still waiting at this time next year, we will likely be updating all of our adoption materials again and redo-ing our homestudy.

Looking back at our post reviewing everyone's predictions on gender and when we would get picked, I think it's been proven that we have a lot of optimistic family and friends.  Out of 10 guesses, only 3 estimate the wait at longer than 1 year.  At present, my prediction of 13 months is currently on deck and will quickly be followed by Angie and Andy's guesses.  Everyone else....stay away from Vegas  :)

From talking to our new counselor (Alissa), the average wait may have shifted down closer to 16 months, but there are still a large number of families waiting to be chosen.  As of today, we are one of 90 families in the pool.

Speaking of the pool, the OA&FS website lists families in the order they joined the waiting pool with the families waiting the longest showing up first.  When we joined the pool a year ago today, we were the last family on the list.  Today, we are 51st on the list out of the 90 families.  As of today, 50 families have been waiting longer than 12 months and another 39 families have been waiting less 12 months.  (There have also likely been several families that joined the pool after us and have already been selected which would influence these final numbers.)

While we haven't been picked yet, we have had a recent uptick in screening emails which has kept things interesting.  After 2 early screening emails last summer, we didn't have another until January.  In total since we joined the pool, we have now had 8 screening emails.

Looking ahead, what's next for us?  Well, we still need to finalize our family book updates to reflect fresh pictures of Dominic, ourselves, and a slightly revamped presentation of our book.  I'm definitely more inclined to tinker than Andy is (sorry Andy!), but this is definitely one way I'm managing the wait and feeling like I'm still managing some level of control in the process.

Thanks to everyone that has been so supportive over the last 12 months.  As we move forward, we'll have our fingers crossed that someday soon we'll have good news to share with all of you!