Leah, I was very hesitant at first to have an open adoption because I didn't want to feel like they would be constantly looking over my shoulder. It has turned out quite the opposite though. Our girls birthmother disappears for months at a time where we don't hear one thing from her and then out of the blue she will call and let us know she is doing good and asks how the girls are doing. Lily's birthfather has contacted us once on her first birthday to ask how she was and Gwyn's birth father has been in and out of jail but will contact us every once in a while for an update. We have had only 2 occasions where we met after the placements and one was with the birthmother when Lily turned one and one is with the birthfather of Gwyn as she turned one. With the exception of Lily's birthfather, we promised that we would stay in contact as much as they wanted us to and this has been the extent of our contact with them. Every adoption is different of course but I know of several couples that have had this happen for them as well. As for portfolio's we did one with the help of my sister in law (she is super creative) in less than a day and with the knowledge of scrapbooking that your DH has, it should not be too hard to put one together. The problem we ran into was finding the right pics and we did just like Jennifer and her DH did and staged some of them so we have a good variety I found that as I completed each stage there was a new sense of accomplishment and I couldn't wait to complete the next one as we knew it would be that much sooner we would have a placement. My one suggestion to you is to tell everybody you are planning to adopt. We had several people in our church, family and friend groups that were contacting us and letting us know about adoption opportunities, it got our names out there. In fact, it was a friend of DH's that contacted us about Lily and Gwyn's birthmom. She was in their church and so our names were suggested to her and we got in contact a week later. Keep your chin up because the process wears you out for sure, but it's worth it!
Britney (me), DH (Mat), DD (Lily), DD (Gwyn)