Thursday, April 25, 2013

Waiting

I know I said before that I wouldn't mind waiting-and really, I DON'T mind being finally done with everything.

I have all the service plan done, we are registered to get a referral, AND I have all of the dossier papers ready to be notarized (happening this weekend, yippie!) and then apostilles  And since we live 10 min from the Secretary of State office, I'm imagining it should be quick order to go downtown and get the apostilles completed.

And then we really are done, with nothing to do but wait, and I have to admit I'm actually not as happy with the waiting as I had thought I would be. It is nice to not have any more education to write about, or paper to chase, or books to read as quickly as possible but it is also distressing to realize that the clock is ticking and there isn't anything at all we can do to make any thing happen.

We have been waiting for our Princess' declaration (the legal paper that would let her be given as an adoption referral to international adoption) for over a year now. And this whole time I have been SO panicked that she would get in the system before we were, and we would lose her.

But now, with the reality of being done, and the reality that many families have waited more than 3 years for their children...it is daunting to realize we very well could wait two more years. It has been one year since we started everything.

And the most daunting part is to realize, that we were only approved for a child from the ages of 0-3. And she turns 3 this June, so past June, the clock is truly ticking, as we see if we can get matched before she turns 4...because if not, we will have to refile and redo our homestudy (I guess? I think?) And I honestly don't know if we will get approved for an "older" child adoption. It is actually a whole different homestudy, from what our homestudy agency said, when we had expressed concern about the age limit on our study. So would be be approved? I don't know. There certainly are increased mental and physical things to consider as a child grows older from the effects of living without a family, from just the reality of being in an orphange and not eating enough or getting enough interaction or stable caregivers to attach to or learn to love,  and trust.

I don't know. But I do know, in the pit of my stomach, that I'm feeling really depressed and down about this whole process and incredibly sad that we still have the whole "this may not work" outlook to face.

The worst would be having people tell us it was for the best, or we wouldn't have wanted to "deal" with it, because really, how can it be for the best, when a child we already love, will eventually age out of the orphanage and go back to the streets at the age of 12? If we don't get to bring her home to us, I know I will be forever haunted by thoughts of her and praying for her safety.

My faith is so weak today and it just sucks to feel this way. I wish I was more excited and just embracing this time, but I just don't have it today. It sucks to think that one piece of paper, getting dusty on a desk somewhere, might cause us to not get a daughter-and worse, will mean our daughter can't ever get a home anywhere with anyone until it is signed, and that may very well seal her fate to a short, hard life on the streets once she leaves the orphanage.

This just sucks.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Saved

Champ and Princess have a shared room set up finally :) The crib can be a toddler bed -just needs girly bedding.

An online friend also adopting from our daughter's country wrote this very poignant post about adoption ethics in the world: http://indiatoappleton.blogspot.com/2013/04/adoption-ethics-in-media.html

It is funny, because I feel like this adoption journey for me started back when I was in high school-and it started with a profound feeling of "save these kids!", which got kicked into high gear after Bill and I got married and had Little Dude-and that was when we started researching all the different types of adoption-countries-talking to people, etc. And we learned SO MUCH. Adoption shouldn't be a "save the kids" attitude-it is so much more than that.

And while it often starts that way for many (and me!) it must morph into a deep love and commitment to heal a hurt child and to grow yourself as a human. My husband and I have changed so profoundly, for the better, for this whole journey. Everything we have learned, everything we have read-it only has solidified our desire to adopt, but has also given us a huge goal to someday make a difference by supporting, helping, serving in developing countries. And it has REALLY made us reflect our our lives as Americans.

We are so very spoiled with first world problems, and at this point, even if our adoption falls through, we feel so very grateful that our eyes have been opened to the world. Our daughter has put a light on our perspective and really made us turn a huge microscope on our own lives and choices-and to refocus our energies on things we now deem more valuable, than the things we used to think matter. They just don't anymore.  It is so hard to describe, and I'm not giving this change justice, but all I can say is, we are forever changed.

We aren't saving her. She is fine and cared for in an orphanage surrounded by people that look like her, speak like her, act like her, eat like her and believe like  her. We are going to take her from that, without her having any understanding, bring her to a hotel, put her on a plane for hours, and drive her in a car, to live in a little town where there will be very VERY few that look like her(especially on a daily basis), no one that speaks like her, no other girls to be around (unlike her orphanage where she is mostly around girls), put her into a white family, full of boys, in a white based world, to eat different food, learn a new language, and have a new religion.

Sure, she will have school, and probably visit Disney World, and have plenty of food, and safety, and love and most importantly-a FAMILY-but really-what are we saving her from? And what are we doing to her? How very much are we asking of a small child to change and be OK with changing? How many of us could be whisked away to another place, culture, food, religion and language and be OK? Even if it was at say, an Islamic Prince's family? How would we feel and behave? The opportunities we will be able to give her, as her family, far outweigh the future she would have living in an orphanage and someday ageing out of it back to the streets-but it will be years before she understands that. And she may never understand that, and that is OK. I don't expect my kids to be grateful I gave birth to them and we don't expect her to be grateful we adopted her. She will be our child, plain and simple.

But you know who is saved through adoption? Us.

We are deeply, forever changed for the better because of her. And we are so grateful for her affect on our lives. In many ways, she has saved us and there is really nothing we can offer her that will be equal to what she has done for us.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Movement

This week  has been tough with tummy bugs, strep throat, illness and other such fun hitting our house! Thank goodness it is Friday; I'm ready to sleep! And catch up on work! But, in adoption news, things have been great this week! Movement is happening, as I'm seeing so many families that have been waiting ahead of us get travel approval, referrals, and visas! Such exciting times to see them getting closer to their children, and exciting for us since it means that maybe, maybe, we will make it through this process without having to update anything. Fingers crossed tightly for that, because I don't know that we can afford any updates-our budget is that tight.

But no worries, we will figure it out as it comes. In any case, movement is happening and that is always exciting to see!

We finally have our last form for our dossier done and now, once I'm feeling all over this illness crud, we can go get all these forms notarized, copied, appostilled and sent to our agency! AHHHHH FINALLY! So close. I'll be so glad to be done with this dossier; it feels like I've been working on getting all these forms together for years. Actually only a few months, but still. SO glad to be at the finish line. I'm planning that next week I can get everything copied and mailed to our agency.

And then we will truly be 100% paper ready for everything. Right now we are registered (YAY!!!!) with the adoption network in our daughter's country, so we are Eligible for REFERRALS NOW! AHHHHH! So, whenever her paperwork get signed to transfer her from domestic adoption to international adoption, our agency can claim her file and send her referral to us!

See why I'm so excited to see movement going on over there?!? So hopefully, soon, our daughter and some of her friends will have their files signed, and our agency can get all those files and send them to us and the other families waiting on referrals. I'm so eager to be able to say she is ours. I've been so nervous to get to that point and I know when we do I can let out a huge sigh of relief! Because, I guess until that point, things could still fall through-and that just makes me so nervous.

But, we will just wait and see; I certainly have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime!