Friday, October 31, 2008

Lights & Tunnels....

Adoption update: I’m still waiting to receive the final copies of the home study. It is supposed to take 1-2 weeks. Yes I’ve already been waiting 2 weeks, but it seems everything with me is taking twice as long. We are now on week 17 of an expected 6-8 week process. There will be, of course, more papers to sign, notarize and have certified by the Secretary of State’s office. All important but incredibly tedious to talk about.

What people want to hear are the highlights. The milestones. The date they get to see a picture or the date we come home as a family. It’s understandable. It’s what I want too. And I’m so grateful when people ask, it lets me know they are starting to warm up and get interested. But when I am consumed by the tedious, mind boggling, paper shuffle, finance struggle, mailing juggle it’s difficult to put into voice about stuff that seems sooooo far away right now.

“Never under estimate the power of ice cream.”

I’ve been absent from writing for some time now. My final Home Study visit was 2 weeks ago. I’m going to try and avoid discussing the “Elephant in the room” for now. Some of you are aware of the disagreements I’m having and for those of you unaware- nothing to worry your head about. It will not kill me so it will make me stronger and a better advocate for adopting families in the future. More about that at another time…

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." - Lawrence Block

Highlights since my last post:
Homecoming Weekend!! My college roommate, her new husband and baby came to town. Homecoming, Pat’s Pizza, Babies & Beer! Can’t beat that!!

Tyler turned 18! Oh my god, I can’t believe it has been 18 years since I first saw my the little tyke that would be the primary guy in my life for so many years. We were “best buds” for so long. He’s all grown up now and all the better for it. Somehow, in my minds eye, he is still 3 years old.

Connor and I had a special day together. I picked him up from school, and we went to the barns. He always used to be afraid of the cows and this time he walked up to each and everyone and wanted to know the names. He even fed the Miniature horses AmEx & Nasdaq. He loved it as we were headed to borders to spend quality time reading and exploring the children’s section, he announced, “I’m going to be a Farmer when I grow up”. I was so EXCITED!!

Tuesday, Ethiopia interested families met at the Bangor Library to learn more about CHSFS and Maps. But lets face it… it’s Bangor. It was me (already a MAPS & CHSFS client) and one other couple (already a MAPS client). The CHSFS lady showed a film I hadn’t seen before, that was very insightful. There were a number of reasons I chose this agency rather than any of the others, and honestly, most of those reasons involved how they would help me through this maze, focusing on my own comfort and support. I never considered the other things that this agency does other than being simply an adoption agency. In fact this film was probably only half about the child care centers. Most of it was talking about all the other things, medical care, jobs and training for women & men of Ethiopia etc… When people ask me about the costs of international adoption, and when I’m writing these big checks (2 new big ones tomorrow) I will be reminded where my money went, I’ll remember the faces on that film of the hard working men and women training to be nurses and teachers to raise up the next generation of their people, even when they have no support, no government help.

One more family joined this meeting! Ashlee, Ryan and Feleke. What a joy! It couldn’t have been more uplifting that night. They are so happy and amazingly bonded already.

“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.” -Henry Ward Beecher
"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." -Charles F. Kettering

It has been an overly emotional couple of weeks. I’m physically tired. Emotionally exhausted. Overly sensitive, my compassion bone is in overdrive, sensing others sadness even where it may not really be. The “White elephant” issue; I learned of yet another divorcing couple; Homecoming; too much work stuff; paperwork crunch; fighting finances; unknown timelines; repeatedly imagining what agony must my children’s birth family be going through that the best choice is to give up their precious child. Through all of that, I saw light.

"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together." ~Erma Bombeck

Keep in mind I am often reminded how grateful I am for being a SINGLE mom. Looking forward to it actually. I’ve seen so many crappy dad’s, and I mean REALLY crappy, bad influences that honestly scare me. (“sh*thead” is only one) It seems so common to see a new dad scared, unable or unwilling to nurture their young child. Sometimes I actually look forward to there only being one parent to do the eventually screwing up of my kids (slightly sarcastic, but not completely…) But this week, I saw the possibility of hope.

I saw some good dad’s. Some really good influential Dad time. I saw Wendy’s young eager husband Bill, coddling & soothing his 5 week old son like an experienced mother bear. I saw a young son running to dad for comfort and Ryan literally glowing like a pregnant momma as he’s playing on the floor chasing after his son, never tiring. I saw two daughters who think their dad walks on water and who despite all modern forces against him, fights everyday to put his family’s priorities & needs first, with full recollection that one of those needs is simply time together. I don’t know how to express really how or why these resonated with me, a soon to be single mom, yet it did so loudly.

Family means love; biology doesn't have the final say.
Lilo: "Ohana" means "family."
"Family" means " NO ONE gets left behind."

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