Monday, June 29, 2009

Update- Stinkerific Month 7 on Deck

I struggled writing this update for you all. This month has been an arduous, and ultimately, an emotional one. Emotional, for a number of reasons. Seeing family and friends lose their jobs, loved ones passing away, wrenching my back, and getting a direct shot from a skunk did nothing to help raise the level of joy. Add in the fact that, this time last year I expected to be traveling to pick up my child this summer. Clearly, not happening.

The underlying, inescapable truth is…
Adoption is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

It. Is. Hard.

A friend of mine and her husband, who are adopting siblings, were with the same agency as me. Last week, they decided to switch agencies as they looked at another agencies Waiting Children and saw the faces of their children looking back at them.

I am so excited for them and in a bit of awe at the fact that they have absolute faith, with no doubt, these are their children. “Please, Shannon. Come with us. Switch too.” (I know she’ll read this and know that I’m paraphrasing. I’m sure that’s what she wanted to say, but was sufficiently restrained in her words) ;)

Crossroads. They aren’t always intense contemplative places… but they are a stop sign. The literal crossroads and figurative ones… have the same effect. Some are easy, known, well traveled. Others… not so much. All the same, they are actual points requiring you to STOP, pay attention, chose a direction and look forward to what lies ahead.

This one called for a real gut check. Did I feel right switching? Why should I? Is it the ‘right’ thing? What about being single, would the new agency be able to get me through court? What about the children? AHHHHHH What to do?

My head was swirling. I couldn’t figure it out. The temptation to switch was STRONG. So I called in the troops and asked my friends to help. There are some differences in the agencies- I spelled them out so that Sarah & Kevin could have a view into the chaotic world I call my brain. “HELP ME!” I said. “I need to know what you think.” I couldn’t guarantee I’d do what they suggested. I just needed to hear the situation coming from someone else’s mouth.

They came through. As always.
As I suspected, they both had different conclusions. It was their insight that was so helpful.

So I’m staying with my current agency. I’m at peace with it that way. If, I’d started with the other agency, I be just as happy staying with them. But, I didn’t…

What I also learned: I cannot, yet, with peace of mind, chose which child is mine. Some adopting parents can. They are blessed to look at these waiting children and see their child’s face staring back at them. I know that it is not a gift I have. (At some level I don’t trust my judgment, but I also do not think it’s my choice to make.)

You may be thinking, ‘I’d want to choose.” It is not as easy as you may think.

Who among us, would choose to have their child born ghastly early, possibly blind with an uncertain, highly questionable life expectancy? Who among us, would choose to have our child born with 3 holes in his heart, and a strange kidney problem likely requiring surgery? Who among us would say that’s my daughter! The one born with a broken collar bone, dislocated shoulder face taped up receiving oxygen. Who would chose to the child lying there, with legs twisted, needing surgery and Forrest Gump braces for a good year? (Corey, Alex, Cassie Lynn, Brady)

But you were perfectly suited to parent those blessings you call children. Had you chosen a perfectly healthy child, or the cutest one, or one that seemed like they’d fit in your family easier… all hell may have broken loose. Who knows? It worked out for the best. I come from a long line of taking what God gives us.

I’m looking forward to what little blessing is waiting on me. What little personality, challenges and opportunities lay ahead. There is a reason, Forrest says the old box o’ chocolates line… We don’t know what we’re going to get. We aren’t supposed to.

This is my view today. The other thing I’ve learned, nothing stays the same. I may learn something new and change perspective by next month!?!?!

I do my best to keep these updates light and fun for us all, but time and again, reality sets in.

As I'm entering 13 months into this process (7 months of technical 'waiting'), I had to start redoing paperwork. Parts of my homestudy paperwork, the background checks, FBI clearances, DHS Ok's, DMV etc etc etc. Basically every state agency got a check from me last week. It wasn't intimidating to have to do it all again the second time, but it sure was depressing to think it'd been that long and wonder if I'll have to do it all again next year.

Next week, I have my second round of shots. The first were incredibly painful. I've yet to get: Hepatitis series (1 down, 2 to go), Tetnus (done), Typoid, Yellow Fever, Menengitis and about six others I'm purposefully forgetting. Those I'll have to go to the "travel clinic" to get as, appearently, no self respecting doctors office carries those.

Yup. Actually me getting stuck.

To keep this update from being sponsored by “Debbie Downer” here are 7 things you should know about skunks:

7 Things you should know about skunks, from personal experience...

  1. Telling your dog to hurry up and get inside, translates in skunk language to, “C’mere skunky skunky…” -
  2. When you get a direct hit, from 3 feet, it doesn’t smell like skunk. It’s 10 times more assaulting to all the senses!
  3. Having a lot of vinegar, baking soda and dish soap is very handy. Use it quickly! (Face, hair, skin. Strip and through cloths and ingredients in washer immediately) Rinse eyes and realize they'll burn and water periodically for days.
  4. Wash off any surface areas that may have been hit or you touched, with it too.
  5. If given the choice of letting your dog take the direct hit or you getting it… trust me… take it yourself. It’s washes off yourself much easier!! Plus any rabies treatment is much easier for humans that it would be for your dog.
  6. After showering throw belongings in a Tupperware storage bin, leave the house, exile self from society, stomp feet & pout like a 12 year old and state “I’m not going back home until it stops smelling.” Someone will send the youngins over to febreeze etc. They’ll love it. Trust me.
  7. If you have an uncle with a .22, invite him over for target practice.
The skunk that got me was substantially closer... Stankin' thang...


Bonnie said...

You can order your travel shots from almost any pharmacy and save the travel clinic fee! Also get the typhoid pill - it lasts longer (5 years as opposed to one).

About choosing - with Becca we got a referral and knew she was ours - so many God things in it. And at the time we couldn't imagine choosing BUT (as you know) this time we did choose - and it was hard I'd like to have choosen them all but our house isn't that big! There simply was this sense of knowing that God Almighty had spoken and these kids were to be ours. Both ways work out and both involve waiting and paperwork unfortunately.

Emaye said...

Thanks for being so open and honest. It's really a personal struggle! (from one who's been there...)

Our journey following Christ said...

You're's harder to 'choose' yourself. It's very fun to just let God choose and to be surprised at who He chooses for you. After all, He knows more than we do!

Be encouraged and hang in there. You've been waiting a long time. Don't lose heart.


Liz said...

And I thought I had a rough month - at least I didn't get sprayed by a skunk!

I don't want to choose either. Every once in a while I am tempted by the four-year-olds on my agency's waiting child lists (my age request is 0 - 3years), but this process already feels so much like ordering a happy meal at the drive-thru (gimme a toddler from Ethiopia, and I'll take the birth family visit on the side...), I don't want to do anything to add to that feeling. And I have to remind myself that there was a reason I decided on that age range, way back during the homestudy when it was easier to think clearly about these things, so I don't want to throw that decision out the window just because I'm tired of waiting.

In a way, by doing what you're doing, you ARE choosing your child - you're choosing the child you will eventually end up with by eliminating the possibility of ending up with any other child. Does that make as much sense here as it does in my head?

Leesavee said...

God will lead you to the right child, Shannon. I never expected that Nate and I would look at those waiting children and just KNOW that those two were ours, but it just happened that way. I fully believe that God has a hand in all of this, no matter how it happens. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and with the child who is out there waiting for you.

Suzan said...

Hi there, Shannon!
Trust your heart always, oh, and run really, reallly fast the next time your confronted by a skunk, LOL! Great blog : )

traci said...

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint...
As you wait on the Lord I pray for your continued endurance.

Sorry about the skunk. Yuck!

♪~Jenn~♪ said... the skunk tidbits. a little ray of comical sunshine between the clouds of reality that, well, waiting SUCKS!!!!! (mostly anyway, I'm sure there are days when I would say its good for this that and blah, blah, is not one of those days ;)
not that getting sprayed by a skunk is good...hmmm....funny from a distance I suppose

I'm intrigued by the Ethiopian Adoption Families community...what that all about??

I'm Jenn by the way..also adopting...waiting to wait....

Amy said...

For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision. Because as hard as the wait it (and trust me, I remember- IT IS SO HARD) I PROMISE you that one day when you see your child for the first time you will say "YOU WERE SO WORTH THE WAIT"!!
Praying that day comes really soon for you! Amy