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9:30 am

I had a babysitter for Sara--she'd be taken care of for the entire day--but I could not figure out what to do with myself.  There had been no subsequent contact from Shelley, the adoption attorney, since I faxed her the adoption application.

Had she spoken with Kendra, the birth mother, last night?  Was Kendra interested in meeting us?  Was I supposed to sit around and twiddle my thumbs?  

I needed to accomplish something concrete.  I needed to feel like I was making progress.  I logged onto my Shutterfly account and began creating an album about our family.  I already knew from my friend, Tracey, that birth mothers choose prospective families by browsing through photo journals created specifically for that purpose.  Under typical circumstances, a couple hoping to adopt has already made such a book, way before an actual birth mother is identified.  Thus, most couples have time to create a book that they feel truly represents them and depicts a loving home.  

Bottom line:  If you want to pursue a private/domestic adoption, you need to sell yourself.  You are competing against other hopeful couples and/or individuals.  There's a wealth of information on the web about what to and what not to do when making this journal.  

Unfortunately, I did not have time on my side.  The fact that I even knew about the existence of such photo books, let alone their significance or how to best make one, was a blessing.

I looked through scrutinized my photo archives and realized this was no easy task.  My recent pictures of the rest of the family were great.  The pictures of me, however, were terrible.  I looked heavy and unattractive in each one.   Kendra was 24 and I wanted to submit my 24 year old pictures!  This was not simple vanity on my part; indeed, my collective health issues have been a humbling, if fattening, experience.  And my concern held validity:       

There was no way to predict how this mystery birth mother would regard my appearance.  Tracey and Jim, who successfully adopted the most amazing little boy (Ricky) over two years ago, were selected by their birth mother on the basis of one detail:  Jim's tattoo!  The woman thought they'd be cool parents.  The size of my ass could--no joke--be a serious detriment. 

Were Tom and I cool at all anymore?  Would a glorified teenager even pick us to babysit?Probably not.  

I imagined picking Tom up from the airport upon his return from Europe:

Tom:  You missed our exit!  I'm exhausted!  Where are you going?

Me:  Sorry babe, not going home just yet.  We need to make a quick stop first!  There's a reputable tattoo parlor just around the corner.

But even if this fantasy were to be executed in reality, it would only give rise to the inevitable challenge of selecting the "right" or "coolest" or "most likely to be chosen by a birth mother" tattoo.  Who knew how to pick that out?

I did the best I could, sent a link of the album to the attorney, and hoped for the best.


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