Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photo Albums

I already mentioned how I have been doing a lot of reading to occupy some of the waiting time that comes along with the adoption process. Another thing I have been doing has become a new hobby. I have been making scrapbooks and photo albums.

We made a photo album that we gave to the DIF along with our dossier. The album will be a way for the DIF to introduce us to our future child or children. It wasn't a requirement for our dossier. It's something extra I wanted to add, because I am a very visual person. I made two albums with the exact same photos and layout, so I have an extra nearly identical album at home. Inside the album are a few photos of us, our house, some family members, our neighborhood, parks, school, grocery store, etc. The kids will be able get an idea of the things we will do with them and places we will go as a family regularly.

These albums are called Peek-a-Boo Albums because they have windows in some of the pages to see through to the next page and some of the pages are made out of clear acrylic to also allow views of the next pages. In hindsight, it wasn't the most practical album style to use for making my first album, since it is extra complicated. This particular album required a lot of advance planning, so that the layers of pages not only look well coordinated, but also make sense thematically. It would have been much simpler to make a more traditional album. But I enjoyed the challenge.

I have also tried to include a variety of textures for tactile appeal, using felt, ribbons, different textures of paper, 3D paints, etc.

These albums are small, perfect for little hands. They are 6.5 inches square.

I am not really sure how the kids will respond to the albums. I showed one to a 5 year old I was babysitting, and he spent a lot of time focused on why some pages had holes while others didn't! It was cute.

We do know that the DIF certainly appreciated receiving it. They said it really helped them to visualize the life that our kids would be living. I have really been enjoying putting these albums together. I already have more blank albums similar to these with papers and themes already picked out for future scrapbooks! I have been reading about Life Books and look forward to helping our kids make them too. I plan to share more about Life Books later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're on the Waiting List in Mexico!

We are approved to adopt in our chosen state in Mexico and are on the waiting list! We are very excited!

We are so pleasantly surprised at the fast timing of our approval process. But be aware that our timeframe would not necessarily be an accurate expectation for other international families. We did things differently than it is normally done, and there is no predicting how things will be done in the future. We didn't have to, but we delivered our dossier in person to the DIF. We had arranged with the DIF in advance of our trip that we would be submitting our paperwork to them in person, and that we would be available to meet with them at any time while we were there. We ended up meeting with them in person three separate times, and we answered many questions. So, I would like to stress that everything differs depending on which state you chose and your particular circumstances.

Also be aware that the process of submitting the dossier differs by state. Some states require that the dossier be submitted to Mexico City first to be registered there. Other states have a different process or different order to the process. So if the state you are adopting from requires that extra step at the beginning of the approval process, it could add quite a bit of time before your paperwork reaches your chosen state.

We are very happy and grateful we were able to meet with the DIF in person, and that we were able to get to know each other. We are extremely impressed with how they conduct adoptions and with the care the children are receiving. We so look forward to returning! We miss it already!