Picking our references was pretty easy. We picked four people who are very dear to us, who have known us for a long time in different capacities, and who can vouch for our ability to be good parents despite our quirks. We also picked these people because they can write well, adhere to timelines, and follow directions. Our references were P’s current boss, my former boss, P’s best friend since childhood, and my sister.
The only person who caused an initial problem was sister Sue.
Sue: By the way, how long can it be?
Me: A page.
Sue (loud): What?!!? Do you HEAR what you are asking me? I can’t write about my SISTER and BROTHER-IN-LAW in one page!
Me: (filing nails) OK, well, it has to be. Or, a little over a page.
Sue (louder): I’m over THREE pages already! I mean, P is like my BROTHER!!! And, us, I mean, you are my SISTER!
Me: I understand that. That’s why we asked you. But P and I are not that complex, really.
Sue: But you are going to be the BEST parents and I have to make sure they know that!
Me: Well, you need to say it in fewer words because IT HAS TO BE TRANSLATED INTO CHINESE.
Sue: Hm. Good point.
Hers was the only reference I read; a copy handed to me on white bond, about 6 days short of the week deadline I gave her. It clocked in at around 2 pages, probably 10pt font. The translators will cry when they see it because of the length and inability to translate “Celtics”. I cried when I read the touching words that she wrote about her big sister and “brother.”