Sunday, April 26, 2009

April Update... Family & Friends

Thursday the 30th marks the officially 4th month of 'waiting'. I have no idea what lies ahead or how long this path is. Each month there are more milestones to celebrate and occasions to be involved. April has been no exception.

I had a fun day a couple weeks ago, when I traveled to So. Portland with local friends Ashlee, Ryan & their 3 year old son Feleke who came home in August. We spent the day with a growing group of Ethiopian Adoptive families playing in the pool and eating Ethiopian food. The amazing “ASMARA” restaurant catered the lunch. They serve Ethiopian (Eritrean) food, which I admit to finding addicting. It’s on Oak Street in Portland (near Civic Center) and is worth the trip if you get the chance to try it out.

Begrudging the over saturated: I can’t let the month pass without somehow addressing the whole “Madonna/Malawi” issue. Others have far more educated and eloquently stated the obvious and insightful. Primarily these two.
(click on the name for the articles)

Randy Cohen of the Ethicist

Marathon Monday was great cause for celebration for Ethiopians! Both the women's and men's classes carried high competition from many Ethiopian runners. The top Ethiopian Woman placed 2nd collapsing at the line. While the top Ehiopian man finished First!!

Last month, a woman passed away. A women that most within the adoption world hold in high regard for her role in history. She was known, as Haregewoin Teferra. ‘An Ethiopian woman who found herself at the heart of a global crisis.' At the depth of her life despair, she was shown her mission, her gift, her life. A very telling book, “There is No Me Without You”, by Melissa Fay Greene captures many aspect of her life, yet only the tip of those effected by her mission.

The book is almost required reading for internationally adopting families by now. I highly recommend it. I’ve read it twice now. It was too good to put down. I have 2 copies of the book I would love to loan to you and I’m sure the library may be able to get it on cd.

I've received a few repeating questions lately. I'll do my best to answer them here, perhaps more intelligently than I have in the past.
Note: Feel free to ask away. Some answers are harder to give than others, but by searching for the answers it helps others too.

How much longer? If you are a logical thinker, looking at the spread, the bookies would lay odds on about this time next year. Yes. A year. If I listen to the timelines, calculate those ahead of me, account for age range, substitute variables. . . yada yada yada. . . the result will just drive us all crazy. REMEMBER: There is a great deal of this process that has nothing to do with steps, red tape, or time lines.

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Children are God’s gift. As are my children. This will happen, simply, when it is time. Not before. Not after. It will happen when the time is right. It may be sooner. It may be later. And I’m ok with that. I have ground to cover. Paths to cross. Mountains to climb. Reminding myself with each step, it is the journey that gives the venture its worth.

What I’m not, right now, is anticipating about what does or does not, lie ahead. This is somewhat odd for me. Anxiety has a way of messing with many aspects of my life. So this is oddly surreal, but good.

Ultimately, I am thankful for this attitude. What may seem as lack of engagement is, I believe, the gift of peace. I feel peaceful about this adoption. I have felt God's hand throughout this journey and continue to feel comfortable in the timing.

I was so naive when I started this process. I thought it would be 'easy' - 6 to 9 months and boom! Family. In a way, I'm glad it wasn't so easy. I don't think I respected the sacredness of what is going on. Half-way around the world, a family is going through trauma. My family is being born out of that trauma. There will be joy, but right now, there is pain beyond what I can understand.

“The path as it lays before me appears trodden under my feet. Ahead though, many trees and plants that hide the path ahead of me. I have no fear because the light at my feet shows me those steps I must take first. So, I do not care of the steps in my path that are not yet lit. It is a journey of rejuvenation.” -Unknown or Kampossible

Am I excited?!?!!? The easy answer is yes. Of course I am incredibly grateful to be starting my family. It is thrilling and feels right. The true answer is complicated. I’m keenly aware that adoption, by definition, is a result of: Great Loss. Excruciating Pain. Undeniable Sacrifice. This is the reality adoptive parents recognize. It is not the part of the process that I expect you all to understand or want to hear so I won’t mention it any further. I simply make note so that you are conscious about my hesitation in the answer of: Are you getting excited?


Liz said...

Thanks for the link and the nice words!

I forget - are you waiting for siblings? Another whole year sounds like forever to me!

Leesavee said...

Shannon, I get those same two questions all the time, too! We are waiting together, my dear. What a journey to share! I can't go for long without thinking about the tragedy that must occur in order for a child to be put up for adoption. People will say to me (and I'm sure to you) that these children will be so lucky to be adopted and to come to the US, but they aren't considering all that the children have lost in order to get to this point. I feel like we are getting the most precious and sacred gift, and that gift comes with enormous responsibilities to not only the children, but to their birth families.

Every time I think about Haregewoin Teferra passing, I think about the incredible gift she gave to the children of Ethiopia -- and to countless families all over the world. Our families will be a part of her legacy! Pretty amazing...

-C said...

Thanks for the tip about acrylics on pottery. We are going to try that next weekend. Love the Melissa Fay Greene excerpt, she is amazing thanks for posting it. Kudos to you for your amazing calm regarding the wait. It truly is bitter sweet waiting with excitement for your child yet knowing that it is another family's devastating loss, so many intricate and difficult and wonderful and conflicting emotions in this process.

I am looking forward to following your journey.