Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Adoption Family Profile Book

Thank you all for your love, support, congratulations, prayers, comments, messages, and pure excitement from the recent post on our adoption! It still very surreal that we are bringing home our baby girl in a little over 2 months. Unless you've adopted before or have someone close to you that did, the process is all unknown... like it was to us just a couple of months ago. Today I am going to share our family profile book with you, the thing our birth family got to see and chose us based on. I want to give you a little back info on how this all works so you can follow along.

Once we were home study approved (the long process of paperwork, clearances, finger prints, interviews, references, home visits with a licensed social worker), we started working on our family profile book. It is basically a snapshot scrapbook into our family life and what is shown to birth families when they are choosing an adoptive family for their child. We were emailed cases by our adoption consultant and were able to review information such as pregnancy records/info, family, medical history, interviews with social workers, costs of the adoption etc. The amount of information varied by agency (we worked with multiple agencies through Christian Adoption Consultants) so sometimes it was really detailed information and maybe even a picture of the expectant mama and sometimes it was just basic information. So from there, we decided whether or not we wanted to present our family profile book to this expectant mama. We probably saw 25+ cases in the 5 months we waited but said no to a lot of them based on the due date of the babies (we were out of the country in July). On average, an expectant mother/family will see 3-5 profile books that fit any criteria she had (maybe she wanted a family with no kids in their home already, a certain religion/faith affiliation, a certain state, certain race, etc). Along with our family profile book, we wrote a personal letter to the birth mama each time we presented. I am still in shock that we only presented our profile twice before getting matched on our third time. And when I say present, I don't mean that we are face to face with the birth parents. There is no contact until a family is matched and the adoption case worker is the one who walks with the birth family during her pregnancy and shows her the profile books. 

If you ask any of my family or friends to describe me, they would all use the word creative. I live to craft, create, design, and use my hands so making our book was so much fun! I wanted to share our entire book with you guys because I found it SO helpful to read other family's books as we were creating ours. To say I spent a lot of time on it would be an understatement. It consumed me for a few weeks but in a good way. I got to dig through old pictures of me and Jon pre babies (wow we look so energized and refreshed), take pictures of our home, and we jointly wrote out the blurbs on each page. Thank God for Pinterest because I was able to find some awesome adoption blogs that shared their family profile books and gave tips and recommendations. Crazy enough, Pinterest is where I found this tutorial on creating a family profile book by Susan our adoption consultant. I stayed up one night reading every single post on her blog, emailed her, and signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants within 2 weeks.  I also have a few friends who have adopted in the past 1-2 years that shared their books with me. I do not know how we would have gotten this far without having people go before us and that is exactly what I want to do for the friends who will go after us. 

Family profile books are typically no more than 20 pages long. Ours is 8x11 and we ordered soft cover because we needed 20+. Soft cover made it easier to mail as well. Sometimes agencies require specific details to be included in your family profile book so if you are an adoptive family, be sure to confirm with your agency first. I partnered with Shutterfly to create our books and I can't begin to tell you how our partnership has blessed our family throughout our adoption. The Shutterfly interface is so incredibly easy and user friendly, I made probably 300 edits over the month it took me to create and had absolutely no issues. I am already up to date on our 2016 family yearbook in Shutterfly and can't wait to create birth announcements for our sweet baby girl this fall!

I still say to myself multiple times a day, I can't believe she chose us. I know the text is small so if you are needing further guidance on creating a profile book (or want to talk adoption/have questions), email me! Without further adieu, here is our family profile book. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ford's Birthday List

Ford turned 3 last week and is having a blast with all of his new birthday goodies! I felt extra excited for his birthday this year because it was the first time that he knew what was happening. He knew he was another year older, he knew we were going to celebrate, etc. His 1st and 2nd birthdays were fun nonetheless but he totally had no clue what was going on. All of the sudden Ford's imagination is growing and he is all about pretend play. He has showed interest in dressing up when we are at friend's houses and he loves doing things that grown ups do. Because he's had a blast with his gifts, I wanted to share some ideas because a few months ago I was at a loss for what to get him. He got gifts from us, family, and a few friends. Lucy is loving Ford's birthday too, she gets to play with all of his toys!

Theo Klein Service Car Station- Jon found this kids mechanics car probably a year ago online and has been waiting to get it for Ford. To say Ford loves it is an understatement! Every morning he comes down and says "Okay I am going to work on my car, the XYZ is broken". Jon is in heaven. And Lucy loves it too! It also has a little spot to store matchbox cars and a ramp for racing them. Seriously hours of entertainment. My mom let us borrow a giant box of my brother's matchbox cars and they are loving them (Lucy has been sleeping with 2 orange cars every night). Ford has such an engineer's brain but this would be such a fun gift for any little boy (or girl!).

Melissa and Doug Chef Costume- Ford had this costume on at a play gym we go to a couple of weeks ago and it just killed me. It was adorable. He has loved playing in his play kitchen upstairs since he was 1 year old and now loves to play restaurant, grocery store, and waiter. 

Melissa and Doug Police Officer Costume- if you know anything about Ford, you'd know he is a rule follower (I am totally not complaining!). My sister got him this police costume and he loves it! He tells me he has to go write tickets when people are bad or not following the rules... which is what he does with Lucy all the time. 

Perfection Game- my mom has the original Perfection game at her house and Ford loves playing with it! It gets him every time. One of his besties got him the newer, mini version and it is perfect for him! He loves board games. 

Little Critter Books- my mom saved all of the books I read growing up and gave them to me when I had Ford. We have two pretty worn out Little Critter books that are his favorite, along with a Little Critter stuffed animal he sleeps with every night. I love how the books always have a little lesson or feel good story so I picked up about 8 from Half Price Books for $1.99 each. 

Cootie Game- Ford and his cousin Embry love playing Cootie at my parents house and at the lakehouse, it keeps them busy for hours. He was so excited to get his own set from his Uncle James. 

Doctor Kit- to go along with the pretend play, Ford got a new doctor's kit from his great Gram and Papa. He has always loved a random toy stethoscope we have and when he brought it to Lucy's well check a few weeks ago, I thought a new doctor kit would be perfect. 

Some other things he got and loves are: a big box of dinosaurs that I got off of a garage sale site, a velcro catch ball set, a bubble gun, a water rocket, and a couple of crafty things (stickers, etc). It was a fun birthday for Ford!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Truth Ink

Graphic tees are all the rage these days. I probably see at least 5 a day on Facebook or Instagram that I say to myself, "Yep I need that". Whether they are printed with sayings about motherhood, working out, or Jesus, I love me some graphic tees. I started following Truth Ink Apparel a couple of months ago when a neighbor of mine posted a picture of her sweet 3 and 5 year old girls wearing Christian graphic tees and I instantly fell in love with all of their encouraging, faith based items. I ordered Jon a custom made shirt from them for Father's Day....

(and if you don't know what Jesus rap is... check out Lecrae or Trip Lee)

Looking cute and loving Jesus, amen?

Well I finally got my hands on my own tank from Truth Ink and I couldn't love it any more. So many of the shirts are not only faith based but encourage you to keep your body healthy (I am eyeing a tank that says Mommin' Is My Cardio). Jesus and fitness are two of my favorite things hehe. 

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8

You can shop Truth Ink Apparel on their websiteInstagram or Facebook and be sure to pop on over to my Instagram account for a GIVEAWAY!

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