Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Individual Interviews

We each had to do an interview alone with our case worker. Actually, it is two interviews each but we both did them back to back. Since it only took each of us an hour it would have been a waste of time to do them separately anyways. David did his first, just a couple days after our joint interview. I did mine about a week after our joint interview. Questions asked were focused on how well we get along with our spouse and strengths/weaknesses of each other. When I was doing my interview our case worker said that in all the interviews she had done, no one said more sweet, nice things about their spouse than David said about me. Of course that made me feel great! He didn't have to because it wouldn't have made a difference--the birth mother doesn't see any of our information from our interviews. But David is always good about being very complimentary of me to other people.

Before my interview David and I were able to get our letter to the birth mother written and printed and our photo collage put together. I brought it with me to our interview and our case worker said that was all she needed to put us in the "Waiting Families" book. She said we were #7 in the book, which means there were 6 other couples in front of us. 3-5 couples that match birth mother/adoptive parent criteria are shown to a birth mother at one time.

Here is our letter to the birth mother:

Dear Birthparent,

Thank you so much for taking time to read our letter and considering us to be the parents for your child. We would like to start off by telling about how we met, our family dynamics, and our future plans.

In 2002, we were introduced by a mutual friend, began dating and a year and a half later (Jan 04) we married. Since being married, we have fallen in love with Tucson and have decided to make it our permanent home. Sarah’s cousin and her family live here and we get together as often as possible. Sarah’s parents plan to move here from Florida in a few years to be closer to us and their grandchildren. David’s parents are both deceased, but he maintains a strong relationship with his brothers and grandparents, who live in South Carolina.

David was born in 1972 and grew up in South Carolina with his parents and two older brothers. Shortly after graduating from high school, he joined the Air Force. It was one of the best decisions he ever made. The Air Force has given him a great career and plenty of opportunities to travel. He has completed 18 years of service and in that time has lived in Japan, Germany, Korea, Texas, and Arizona. He has had various job assignments during his enlisted career, but most recently was appointed as a Team Leader for the First Term Airmen Center, where he helps younger airmen who are new to the base get acquainted with what the Air Force has to offer. Once he completes his 20 years of service, he plans to retire and pursue a career in law enforcement. One thing that is unmistakable about David is his desire to laugh and make others feel comfortable and laugh along with him. David is a true Southern gentleman and shows it in his words and actions. His favorite thing to do is hang out with friends! He also likes playing cards, bowling or just working on things around the house.

Sarah was born in 1979 and grew up in Pennsylvania with her parents and her older sister. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of South Carolina. She graduated with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management and moved to Tucson to pursue her career. A couple years into her career she decided she wanted to be in a “caring” profession and chose to go back to college to become a nurse. She was accepted to the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 2007. Upon graduating she worked at a local hospital to gain experience and now works in an allergy clinic. Being a nurse is very natural for Sarah because she is a kind-hearted person. She has many activities that she enjoys doing including yoga, camping, hiking, and gardening. She also likes to go to the dog park with our two dogs, Chandler and Monica, or snuggle with our cat, Phoebe, and read a book.

We are Christians and are part of a group in our church called “Young Marrieds”. It is a group of married couples in their 20’s and 30’s who meet weekly to discuss a book or study the Bible. We also do many social events together including game nights, picnics in the park, “Rock Band” nights, camping, hiking…you name it! This group has been the biggest blessing of our marriage so far and we are thankful that God has blessed us with such a wonderful group of friends. We are all getting to the age where children are coming into the picture and it has been so much fun watching their kids enter the world and begin to grow up together.

We own a home with a pool located in a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of schools, playgrounds, and a park nearby.

Sarah plans to stay home full-time with the baby and will evaluate her job options after three months. Being a nurse is great because there are so many options and many jobs that offer flexibility in scheduling. We may decide it is best for Sarah to stay home full-time, otherwise she will probably work part time in the evenings or weekends when David will be home with the baby. David will be given at least three weeks of paternity leave from the military and will take additional time off the first few months since he has saved up almost two months of vacation time. We have always dreamed of being parents and are so excited to meet the child God has planned for us!

Thank you again for taking the time to read and learn about us. May God guide your path and bless you along the way.

These are the pictures we put in our photo collage. Walgreens.com lets you choose photos and puts it into a collage for you, so it was super easy.

We had to have 10 photos in our collage. We also had to choose a picture to put on the same page as our letter to the birth mother. It was kind of stressful picking out the photos, especially the profile picture. Of course we're scrutinizing every picture and wondering what people will think about when they look at each one. What we tried to do was choose pictures that showed our funny/playful side, because I think that's what makes us unique. We also wanted to include some family photos so the birth mother could envision their child with other family members as well, not just ours.

Here is the picture we used for the profile:

I wrote in my last blog that I would be writing about our home study this time, but I forgot that our individual interviews came first. So in the next blog I will post about the home study and I will post our profile information that the birth mother sees also.


Katie Sue said...

Sarah, I'm sorry if you already answered this. Did they give you a template to follow when crafting your letter? Did you have to include specific information? I think you did an amazing job, I was just curious. :-)

Sarah said...

Good question Katie. No, there was no template, but we had examples from other couples who had already adopted. So they were all pretty much alike in format, if that makes sense.