Monday, December 22, 2008

This is a very GOOD WEEK!

"NOTICE OF FAVORABLE DETERMINATION CONCERNING APPLICATION FOR ADVANCE PROCESSING OF ORPHAN PETITION"


Today the lovely hard working people of the United States Postal Service delivered to my mailbox my I-171H! This is a good thing! This means the USA has determined that I am able to furnish proper care to an orphan as defined by some act of something or other.



With being finger printed just last week (was it last week? must've been the week before) getting home study approved, now recieving my I-171H... this is a good week. I'm thanking God today! Tomorrow I'll be doing the same as I test the roads while heading to the Secretary of States office to have my dossier documents certified. Wow!



I know this all sounds foriegn to those unaware.. but these are all very big milestones! VERY VERY BIG ONES!!



After sooooo sooooo sooo long of waaaaaaaaiting on one thing after another, this finally feels like progress. I guess its the journey I'm supposed to be enjoying. Not the milestones. Just like hiking. Enjoy the path. Not just the kodak moments.



I realize these aren't the milestones people are interested in. And that is ok. This is the very personal private struggling part of the journey. And yet here I am REJOICING for all the world to see! (ok.. there's like 3 of you that read this, but that's ok... I love you gals!)

Accepted!...


Quick update-
On Thursday afternoon I got word from CHSFS that my home study had been accepted. In the next breath (email) they sent me a 30 some odd page email detailing the specifics of what needed to be done in order to submit my dossier. In a totally atypical, Shannon move... I had it all done in 24 hours. By Friday morning actually!! All except one... little... step.

In retrospect, I should have hopped in the car and driven to Augusta Friday afternoon. But I'd promised mom I'd spend some time with her as she picked out a laptop for herself. Had I known the "snowstorm" predicted for Sunday night, would be still blowing around here at 10am Monday morning... I would have left Friday.

See, there are a few of the documents that need to be "State Certified". I realize I could mail them... but with Holiday mailing, I'm not taking the chance at how long it will take to get them back from a State office. So I'm driving them down to August and having them done in person. I'll find a little UPS or FEDEX place near by, photocopy everything and overnight them to Minnesota. That's the plan.

It's really really really hard, for me not to leave today and chance the blowing snow.. and chance that the lady who does these things actually braved the weather also. So... I wait. Tomorrow morning, I'm headed to Augusta. Kevin Mannix, you can keep you wild blizzard predictions to yourself, I'm going!
I see the light at the end of this tunnel!

ps- For those of you keeping track, If my dossier is approved, I "should" be done all the paperchasing and will be able to officially announce that I'm actually waiting!! Yay! I'll end there on a positive...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

International Adoption...

International Adoption. Dream. Maze. Nightmare. Calling. Blessing. Gift. Rollercoaster. Sick. Trap. Heartbreak. Masochistic. Arduous. Heaven on Earth. Stressful. Lonely. Gut wrenching. Scary. Unnerving. Exciting. Patient. Kind. And again… Blessing.

It is all of these and more. Maze is probably the analogy ringing most true to me right now. The difference is that the Maze can change shape, change rules or stop all together, with no where left to go…. Literally. I was reminded of this these past few weeks. It can all come to an end at anytime… with no where else to go.

International adoption is an arduous voyage in the best of situations. In the IA world, being single, does not qualify as the best of situations. The other thing international adoption does, is unexpected. I’m required to learn and perform a number of different things in order to adopt. Outside of the already mentioned “permission” and “notarization” from a number of different individuals and offices, I had to open my eyes and heart in order to ready my life for an Ethiopian child. I must learn about this country.

What I have learned thus far, I can not convey in the abstract cold language I’m familiar with. Warm. Vital. Proud. Rich. Embracing. Desolate. Tragic. Gut wrenching. Trap. Dream. Nightmare. Blessing. Scary. Arduous. Hungary. Ill. Broken.
Historic. Happy. Joyous. Giving. Patient. Kind. Loving. Blessing. Ethiopia.

I’m in love with this country. I didn’t start this journey loving this country; her people, her religious depth, her rich human history. I did not know I’d become intrigued by its diverse ethnic divides or its complicated politics. I was not obsessed with her struggles, her pride, her joy or her grief. And yet, here I am. I actively, purposefully, fell in love with this land. There may come a day, when she will break up with me. But until that day, I’m walking forward in full hope. I’m all in. 100% in.

Some weeks ago, I was distracted, with the idea of changing agencies. That will not be happening. CHSFS is my placing agency. In the end, the reasons I posted earlier still stand, and I’m sticking with them. It may take some time for me to have my child home with me, but everything has its perfect time. Anything I’ve ever pushed to make happen, has clearly shown it self not be in its season, but mine.

PS- This Wednesday I’m scheduled to be in So. Portland to get fingerprinted. This is another big step! (No giant check related to this milestone… I prepaid some time ago.). Keep fingers crossed that I’ll hear from placing agency this week that they’ve approved and accepted my home study. As soon as they do that I can finish my dossier!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bunco Babes...




Christmas Party / Ladies Night... No Bunco involved.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So Cosmo...



Thursday night was a surprising fun time. I caught up with some BRLI friends at Seadog. I love these people. Or more, I love that I like them, cause we all went through some eye scratching, evil eye throwing, mud slinging with each other for 2 months last year.

My off handed comment to Trish… “Hey, what do think of a road trip sometime this winter?” was overheard, and before I knew it a plan was hatched! Quebec City for my birthday in January. Winter Carnivale!

I love spur of the moment last minute stuff. I tend to enjoy my time much better! I’m so non committal, which is why those that know me are stunned I’ve gotten this far in this intense adoption process!! (so I’ve left instructions to keep all Quebec details from me, just let me know a day in advance where to be!).

Afterward, a few of us old friends, invited a few others from a different class and had a nice dinner together. It was one of those nights that I was overwhelmed with appreciation for good friends. It even felt a little cosmopolitan (in a red neck, country fried way).


PS: Sometime in the past month, my blog has reached over 1,000 hits. I'm shocked, considering the friends that know about this blog don't ever actually go to the site, they read it via email. hmmm. I will use the site to update & educate family and (more) friends once I'm officially "waiting".

Hmm...