I've been asked this several times over the last few days, so here's an official update.
The rest of the paperwork needed for our home study is in the mail today. Our social worker just needs to finish up our home study and include the information from that paperwork for the rough draft to be done. She will them send us a copy to look over. We will make some changes, she will make the changes, and then submit us to be approved to adopt.
Our initial paperwork for our agency is in the mail today as well. It is so weird to essentially tell people you have just met every intimate detail about your life, your history, your financial situation...EVERYTHING. We still have more to do for the agency though. We have to write a letter the the prospective birth parents, create a photobook about our family for prospective birth families to look through, take a class, read several books and lots of articles, and fill out a couple affidavits.
Once all that is done, we just have to have the rest of our money in place in case we get matched quickly. We are getting there. Slowly, but surely. We are doing our best to save what we can each month, we have some very generous friends and family, and I'm still making and selling felt food. I'm already getting orders for Christmas gifts!
We're also still working on preparing Evelyn. She is adamant that we are going to adopt a girl even though it is more likely that we will be matched with a boy. I would be thrilled either way. In some ways I would love to have a son because we already have two beautiful daughters and I would love that experience. But then I also think it would be a blast to have three little girls grow up together. It's not in our hands though, so thankfully I don't have to be the one to decide.
We did have a very interesting experience recently at the library that I wanted to share. We were there for story time and there was one other mom there with her son who was about 18 months old. They were a Black family. Evelyn picked out a book that she wanted me to read to her and the little boy came over to sit and read with us too. The book was entitled, Who Will I Be, Lord?, and is about a little Black girl talking about all the members of her family, what they do, and questioning what she will do when she grows up. It's a great book, but I was not prepared for some of the subject matter.
Some of the topics in the book include inter-racial marriage (and family disapproving of it) and slavery (including reference to slaves being beaten and mistreated). These are clearly topics that will be discussed in our home, but they're not something that I have brought up at all with Evelyn yet. I would have felt much more comfortable had the child been old enough to actually talk about these things or if I knew the family, but as it was, I was just left feeling awkward.
They are the truth of a painful past and present in America though. I was reading last night in the book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria, about talking to young children about slavery. It had some amazing examples of how to bring it up. How to not portray Blacks as passive victims, and also to not portray all Whites as dominant aggressors of injustice. I really can't recommend that book enough to all parents, regardless of the racial make-up of your home.