THE Book

Oh Dear Lord in Heaven help me. For, The Book has gulped me up and swallowed me.

If you have been following our adoption saga, and let’s just call it that, because we are nowhere near actually adopting, then you know that this is getting kind of funny. I posted a status on Facebook 2 days ago that said this: “Just got approval to order our adoption profile book and send it to the agency! Squeeee!!! When we get that homestudy in the mail we will officially be a waiting family. ticktock” –Famous last words! If you don’t know, The Book is our profile book. When you adopt domestically (through our agency, at least), they ask you to prepare a book that will tell the birth parents about your family. When families’ preferences match up, birth parents are presented with a couple or three books, and based on those profiles, they (or she, because honestly, most of the time it’s a birth mother) makes a decision about what couple she would like to meet. NO PRESSURE ABOUT THE BOOK, right?? In training, they showed us some samples and let us look through them to get ideas, and many were made on photo websites so that you can just take your digital photos and transfer them in. It’s also recommended that you included a letter to the expectant parents, and some specific descriptions about yourself and your spouse.

Needless to say, I’ve taken the job to heart. It’s been edited to death by friends. But most were editing with their hearts, which was sweet (:)), so I has to request the help of some to edit with their brains too. It’s been funny. I mean, I’m pretty sure 20 people looked at that book before someone caught that I had put three s’s in the word “embarrassed” (and misspelling “embarrassed” is ironic). However, it has to be approved by a social worker at the agency before it can be ordered. I think she’s mostly just looking through it to identify anything that might compromise our anonymity, because she pretty quickly gave me the go ahead. Luckily, I didn’t go ahead. I wrung my hands, had more anxiety, and asked a friend to edit it, again. Then I continued to compulsively work on it as I have for the past 8 weeks. The link must have been passed to another SW in the agency, because the next day I received a message from her, asking if we could chat about it. Frankly, I was grateful that someone was going to take the time to give me some more feedback and worried that she was going to tell me exactly what I was already thinking. And she did.

We finally talked today for a long time. She is the SW who did our training, so she knows us and I think might have felt more comfortable than usual being straightforward. For that I am very grateful, because I know that her advice comes from years of firsthand experience with birthmoms. I’m not going to tell you everything she told me, but the main gist of it was that our book might be overwhelming to a birth mother and that I need to reign it in a bit. I suspected this. She helped me figure out how I could, um, simplify, in some specific ways without compromising the style of the book, and still showing who we are as a family.

So, now I have to spend the weekend compulsively working on The Book so that it doesn’t look like I’ve been compulsively working on this book.

At the end of my conversation with the SW, I said something to her that I’ve said to many people: “I suppose I’ve gone a bit overboard with The Book because it’s the only thing I have any control over in this whole process.”

Silly, silly me. All day I’ve been thinking about that statement. Ah, the illusion of control. Yes, God, I will once again allow you to pry my white knuckled hands off of this process and remember that you are faithful, and fully capable of overcoming my Shutterfly photobook oversharing deficiencies.


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