A dear birth parent letter also frequently called a dear birth mom letter is now a portfolio or book more then a letter. This book is shown to prospective birth parents (BP) that are seeking an adoption plan. The book is shown to BP's that fit the adoptive parents requirements and vise versa. So if a BP wants parents that are young and are active then adoptive parents that fit that criteria will be shown to them if the BP meet the requirements of the adoptive parents. We will fill out a list of criteria including gender, age of baby, drugs BP use, and medical history of the baby/BP's. The BP look at a few books and then decide which parents they want to meet. The adoptive agency sets up a meeting for both sets of parents to meet. If both sets of parents are in agreement the process continues and the adoptive parents and BP set up a plan for the openness of the adoption, as well as how the day of delivery will work.
A lot is riding on this book as this book is the first step to how the BP decides which adoptive parents they want to meet. DH and I have begun working on the book. We have set up pages using shutterfly.com. The reason we are doing an electronic book is that we want our families to create their own pages. I set up the pages on my own and got pictures organized (so I thought). I dumped every digital picture we had as an option and then we were over whelmed (aka I was in tears). We then removed ALL the pictures and started over. We went through our digital albums and then only uploaded the one's we planned on using. This helped and the process became fun.
Having our families do their own pages has its pluses and minuses. Pluses- our family is involved and they now know how much work this process is taking, they also will be able to send messages to the BP of their grandchildren/niece/nephew, and they can provide us with feedback on our parts of the book. Cons- hand holding is needed, frequent calls to keep people on track and remind them we have a deadline, and they can give us feedback on the book.
The picture part is about 50% done and we have started the writing part. We have an outline started for the first two pages which is the letter itself (who we are, how did we get to this point, etc). I will post our final letter on a future blog as we have found lots of sites telling us how to write a letter but no good examples. We have written about our house, pets, and hobbies/fun activities. We have created a new saying which is "thats too Geri Reiley, " or "ok Geri Reiley" (Geri Reiley is a local real estate agent that listed a house we looked at double dipping on space by listing the garage as a "room" as well as a garage). Keeping things light and realizing you can always go back has helped... We still have a little over two weeks to get it done.
This week we both have our individual interviews as well as our meeting with the pediatrician. Exciting week :)