Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wishing On a Wishing Star

My husband and I have excitedly started this journey to adopting a daughter, but after talking to a neighbor today about our good news, I realize I have probably shared too much too early.

For one, we still haven't figured out the money part. I really have no idea how we will make it work at all. Like seriously, NO IDEA. Because we don't have even $20000 to spend, let alone the full $40000. Prayers we get grants, please!

And too, we are still early in this journey, and things could still fall apart. We could reach a point where we have to stop, and say we can't spend anymore money. We can't afford it. And we might have to walk away. Our hearts will break, but that will be a reality that could happen.

If that worst case happens, and we can't afford to finish this journey, then we certainly don't want to be judged, or hounded with questions, while our hearts are breaking. Mostly I don't want to be judged. We have sadly already gotten enough of that just by starting the adoption process-I can't imagine what reactions we would get from people if we have to stop and can't afford to finish.

We've had most people tell us to just try again for a girl. Or say that we have too many kids already. Or ask why we don't want a white baby, because you know, out adopted child, lord forbid, won't look like us. Or why we aren't doing foster care instead. Or even people saying that we have three healthy sons, we shouldn't want the headache of a girl.

And while some of the comments are well intended, others just make me mad. In answer to the neighbor that was so concerned with our child not looking like anyone else, well, I don't look like anyone else in my family. My mom and sisters all have beautiful brown eyes, black hair, and great tan skin from their Native American genes that I just didn't get much of. My dad's Irish genes come through in me, but even he has brown eyes and black hair. I got the pasty skin and auburn hair and freckles that no one else has. Oh, and the random hazel eyes. Yea, I don't look like them at all.

We want to adopt, we don't have any infertility problems, and I want a daughter. India draws me because it is a country that doesn't value girl children. As simple as that. My daughter is going to be the answer to so many prayers of mine, and the completion of her adoption will be the completion of a dream I've held since I was a child and first learned about abortion. That is how long I have wanted to adopt.

But if we can't finish this, if we get to a point where we just don't have the money to go any further and grants aren't coming in for us, then I want to try to "walk" way without the judging stares from people that think us jerks for not going forward with it.

Even though the people that would judge, or say things to us, are probably the same that have already said slightly hurtful and judgmental things about our desire to adopt at all; let alone adopt outside the USA.

I know I sound defensive now, but after talking with Bill, I realize he is right. We need to go forward privately with all of this-go with the next step of our home study and make sure that is approved, and then go to the next step and the next, without having to worry about what others think if something goes wrong and it doesn't work out like we are dreaming.

This is going to be a really long, hard, full of waiting and full of government interaction, paperwork running around, S-L-O-W journey. And if we do get the adoption finished, it will be THEN that the truly hard part starts; helping a child that doesn't know us learn to trust us and move on from past abuse and neglect she faced. So please, be kind to us if things don't work. We are doing our very best to make it happen. Until we reach a point where it feels comfortable to share that our journey is going successfully, then there won't be much adoption updating going on here.

PS I bought a beautiful dress today. I can't wait for the day I dress MY daughter in it.

Adoption Status: Approved

We got an exciting email today-our application has been officially approved!!! We are eligible to adopt a little girl aged 0-4, and our agency thinks we have a super great chance of getting the little girl we are trying to get.

OMG. WE GOT APPROVED!

But there is that little chance that we won't be able to get her......but we will get someone. There is a little girl out there that will be a part of our family.

OMG. I'M GOING TO HAVE A DAUGHTER.

I want to go do shopping right this minute. She is going to need princess dresses. And a pink soccer ball. PINK!

OMG. THIS IS GOING TO BE CRAZY EXPENSIVE AND I NEED TO FINALLY UPDATE MY NAME ON MY PASSPORT.

Where do you even do that? Oh goodness, there is so much to do. I feel thrilled beyond all else and panicked at the same time. A part of me thought we wouldn't actually get approved. A part of me thought we would hear no yet again. We have some huge payments to dish out very soon to really cement our place "in line" for a referral- for the little girl God is going to lead us to.

Do we take the chance of not getting her? Are we ready to do this now? Do we have the money? I have no idea how we will afford all of this. When it is all said and done, it will be around $40,000.....OMG. That makes my stomach hurt....but at the same time, I would pay millions to keep my sons safe, so thinking of it that way, why would I not make sure I found a way to pay the money to get my daughter safely to us?

We will have a daughter. A DAUGHTER.

I need to learn Hindi, stat

OMG!!!!

And even cooler? We got the best news ever on our 8th wedding anniversary.

I'm totally ordering this Tinkerbell hair clip for our Princess:

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to have a DAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Preschool Graduation

Little Dude graduated from preschool today! I'm totally in denial still, haha! It was such a lovely and cute program. They had a string quartet playing the REAL graduation march. And it was held in the beautiful church sanctuary, so it made it seem so very offical and formal. We had such a lovely time! Even JR and Champ enjoyed it because the older kids put on a performance for us parents. I seriously had to work hard not to cry when the kids started singing the abcs. I know, I'm a dork.

Our handsome little guy; he is so proud and excited for kindergarten!



Little Dude and one of his buddies after the ceremony, waiting in line for the buffet luncheon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adoption Scares

We have started the adoption journey rather slowly-in fact, we are STILL waiting to find out if our application to even adopt the waiting child we are trying to adopt has been approved.....and we did our application a good month ago.

So, I guess it is good practice for all the waiting that will be coming up, eh?

Anyways, in the meantime, I have been reading everything and anything about adoption of toddlers, since our little Princess will be just over 2 1/2 by the time we can go get her. That is, IF the timeline goes as quickly as our agency predicted, once we finally hear if we are approved. It might be only 10 months once we find out if we are approved, since she is a waiting child with moderate special needs, but then, most people seem to have had a few years of waiting, so who knows, right?

But, back to what I have been reading. Our agency has a book list they recommend, so I have been going through the entire list one by one. Most have been so inspiring to read, like Orphanology, and others sound like they were written by spoiled brats, like Twenty Things Adoptive Kids With Their Adoptive Parents Knew, and then others, like Toddler Adoption, have me scared.

Like seriously scared.


There are SO many things I had not thought about toddler adoption. Like attachment issues, and discipline that normally works for toddlers apparently isn't good for the newly adopted toddler-like time out. And independence isn't a good sign. And you want them to grieve, but you want them to be able to say goodbye and see their caregiver give approval of you, so they can then attach to you....what if that doesn't happen?

What if we have a child that won't attach?

The author has a ton of ideas and tips on how to approach it, but the thought is actually overwhelming-especially since this author indicated that older toddlers-like 2 to 4-have the worst time of forming a new attachment, especially if they have never attached to anyone before.

So while I am waiting to hear from our agency today (fingers crossed) if our application is approved or not, and that we are clear to start our homestudy, I will just be trying to wrap my head around the worst case scenario of what our Princess might have been through, and how her behavior will be.

It is really scary to think about our child hating us and wanting to hurt us, but I think we are up to the challenge. I think we can help her trust us.

I think. And hope.


*and just so you know, the "Twenty things..." book did have some really good points to make, but overall the author's personal stories had the tone of a very spoiled, over indulged child blaming all her life mistakes on the fact she was adopted, when to me, it seemed like most of her issues and mistakes as an adult and teen resulted from a lack of directional discipline from parents that instead gave into and feed her every whim. I don't quite agree with her that someone adopted as a newborn is going to have a primal wound that will never heal.....I think a child's reaction to their adoption has to do very much with how open and age appropriate the parents are with sharing information and allowing periods of grief at stages of life, but still treating that child as a child you must rise into an empathetic, loving, strong and self sufficient adult. *

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day With Adoption

Mother's Day for me is always joyful. I have three little munchkins that make each year better and better and an amazing husband that loves to spoil me by doing all the laundry for the weekend. If you don't know it, I HATE laundry. Actually, I'm decent at washing, it is just the folding and putting away that I hate. I like to blame it on the fact that we really have no closet space for our things, but really I just hate to fold and iron, so more space probably wouldn't help any.

Needless to say, Bill doing laundry ALL WEEKEND for me is AWESOME!

And he always gets me the stargazer lilies we had at our wedding and in my bouquet, so even though he tries to surprise me, I always know they are coming and can't wait to see where in the house he has hidden them. He is the best, truly.

This Mother's Day is a little different for me though, because we have started down the road of adoption. And we have started the road differently, since we are trying to request a waiting child, so we know her name, and where she is.....and that makes it hard to not think of her constantly and hope she is well. I know she is loved, luckily, because I have been lucky enough to know people that have volunteered and worked in her orphanage (which is how we came to find her and try to request adopting her).

But, since I have all this swirling through my heart right now, it is hard to not realize we are missing a family member.

I know, it sounds crazy, since we may still be turned down. So she may not be ours. But I'm hoping so badly, and just FEELING so much, that it is meant to be. And I just can't help but feel a little sad that our little girl isn't here with us today, enjoying the rerun of "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" (which the boys thought was HILARIOUS...brought back some good memories from when I was little and saw it the first time around!)

Anyways, I found out recently that we should know the result of our application on the 20th.

At that point we will know if we can keep going forward with our adoption, or if our request is denyed, we will try to learn why, and see if there is still the option to adopt a different child out there, or if India feels that we just don't fit their criteria, period.

I am nervous, since we have three sons already, but our agency said it helped that the child we want is a girl, since she would be the only girl, India will be more prone to over look the child limit for a non heritage family.

Keep the prayers? And maybe in two more Mother's Days we will have a daughter laughing here as well.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New News

So, I know in my heart that adoption takes a long time. I have a blogger friend who waited 5 years to be matched with her lovely daughter, so hey, I understand and realize we will be waiting. But, right now, we are just waiting to hear back that our application has been accepted. And while our agency coordinator said that everything looked great to her, the ultimate decision is up to the lady that works with the India government very closely, and she knows exactly what their preferences will be with the new CARA rules. And our family is RIGHT on the border of their rules anyway, because Champ our Princess will be right at 9 months apart.....JUST past their age limit set to make sure there can't be artificial "twinning". AND we are JUST at the limit of children already allowed in the family prior to adoption. AND even though Princess is special needs, she isn't severe...and she is still really young, in terms of international adoption. So, we have some things going for us, and some against us. And right now waiting is killing me, because I really just want to KNOW that we can keep going forward, or stop for the time being. If we get turned down, it just means that Princess isn't meant for us, but that another child out there is, and this is all part of that path. But seriously, waiting to just hear a yes, keep going, or no, you can't adopt her and you need to look at a different kind of adoption is killing me. So maybe some prayers that we get an answer to which path we need to get on sometime soon? And in the mean time, a cute photo of us all from our cousin Angie's trip to NC from Oregon!
Now we just need to get out there to go on one of her rafting tours!