Thursday, December 4, 2014

International Adoption...Waiting is HARD!

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Confession: I've been LAZY at maintaining my adoption blog. Like, really lazy! Sorry friends-It's a personal goal of mine to improve at being more consistent, which is one of the reasons I have now attached the adoption blog onto this website, sorry to leave so many of you hanging! You've been asking for updates, so here is the latest!

Our dossier was received in Ethiopia the last week of July at which point we were officially added to the waiting list. We began the official waiting process as family #34. Our agency allows us to check in at any given time to find out where we stand on the list, and Patrick and I decided that we would email at the end of every month to see how many spots we have moved up. For whatever reason, maybe that we were super busy, the month of August went by pretty quickly and we were excited to learn that we advanced 5 spots in one short month to number 29.

In September, we moved up only 2 spots to #27, and we continue to sit on that number today. Last month we had a string of upsetting and emotional days in regards to the adoption. I totally cheated our plan and emailed for an update a week before the month ended to see how far October had taken us (I couldn't help it...). I was so excited to find out how much closer we were to meeting our kids! After sending out the email, I then checked my inbox every ten minutes waiting for the response. I was literally getting mad when the email on my phone said "updated just now" but I hadn't yet received a response from our agency. I would think to myself, "Surely my phone didn't actually search for new messages yet", so I refreshed a few times just in case. I did this...Every. Ten. Minutes. I was driving myself cRaZy, people! When I finally received a response, I felt crushed to find out that we were no further along than we had been the month before. If only adoption were like pregnancy where you are given a specific amount of days to wait and prepare for the arrival of your baby and you truly feel one step closer with each day that passes. Adoption is not like that. Not at all. Some days it actually feels like you take one step forward and two steps back and you wonder if the day will ever come when you it will be YOUR turn to hold your babies for the first time and welcome them into your family.

Most days go much better than that particular day in October. Typically, I think Patrick and I do a really great job at being patient with this process, being intentional about enjoying our last bit of time together before life with kids, and looking at the bright side of things. That day was not one of those days. There have been a handful of days like "that day" when we are simply tired of being patient, frustrated about the long wait and all of the unknowns, and we just have a little pitty party to let ourselves feel all of these negative things that we usually brush aside and cover up with optimistic thoughts and conversations. The highs far outweigh the lows (at least they will in the long run!), but the true story of the adoption journey wouldn't be complete without sharing this side of things.

On a different note, we made the decision to change our request and we are now open to accepting two children up to 4 years old (rather than requesting that one be an infant). Ethiopia has just implemented a new policy this month for families who are adopting more than one child. It use to be that the agency we work with could search all of the orphanages they are affiliated with to find a match for our family and they could pull the two kids from separate orphanages if need be. When that was the case, upon accepting the referral of the two kids, the children would then be moved into a separate foster care home together until the adoption was finalized and they were able to go home with their forever family. However, with the new policy, both children are now required to come from the same orphanage. This likely means longer wait times for families because the MOWA letters (the investigation letters that are signed to confirm the children are truly orphans) must be issued at the same time for the two children that are a match for your family. Our agency has someone in Ethiopia this week trying to get some more answers for us as to how exactly this will affect our process.

I'm ready to be a mom already :)

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