Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Hold On...

"It’s another night in hell
Another child won’t live to tell
Can you imagine what it’s like to starve to death

Put faith in human nature

Our creator and our Savior

I’m no Saint but I believe in what is right

It’s a matter of Salvation From impatience up above
So don’t give up so damn easy on the one you love.

Somewhere you got a brother, sister, friend, grandmother, niece or nephew just dying to be with you.

You know there is someone out there who unconditionally religiously loves you, so just hold on, Cause you know it’s true.

And if you can take the pain, and you can withstand anything and, one day stand hand in hand with the truth.
I say, AMEN. "

Little strength from Bob Ritchie.. aka, Kid Rock.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Patience, please HURRY...

Sorry for not posting much lately. I may not again for a little while. I've got some research, praying and decision making to do. I'm not really sure I should be posting this, but I will.

I recently learned of an agency I hadn't considered before. There are families on the forum that have understandably changed agencies as they are waiting for infants and are looking at a new timeline of 12 months before referral, no guessing when they'll bring their children home.
Until recently, I've been comfortable with my decision to stay with my current placing agency. But I realized, that I should consider it seriously.

So far, I'm realizing, there is nothing "sketchy" or wrong, or bad about either group. Their approaches are completely different, but seem consistent.

I'm confident in the original groups med testing, socialization, development testing and care. There is inherent value in the lifebooks and dvd research they do on the children's history, to provide the new families. This value, of course only increases with time. I've been reading posts and blogs from these families for months now. I have a picture of what will the future holds with this agency emblazoned in my minds eye.
The current agencies time lines are REALLY unpredictable. Originally I was quoted a year, beginning to end if I was looking for an infant only... maybe sooner... definitely sooner if I was open to a toddler. Now, all bets are off. There are families open to toddlers that have been waiting 7+ months just for referral. I know of others that have waited only 4 or 5. So that means referral for a toddler is (in my mind) from 4-8 months (currently... what they will be in 6 months is anyones guess...). Travel times are all over the map. It looks like some are traveling in as little as 2 months others more like 4. So that leaves the time range from 6-12 months (from dossier). The wait for my child doesn't freak me out. I'm ok with that. What scares me is international adoption, as a whole, is changing EVERY DAY! There is a real possibility of singles no longer being eligible. I'm confident saying the care of the children is consistent and at highest standards, although honestly the children are only in this care center once they've been referred. I've never seen the orphanges in the other parts of the country where they children are relinquished. This group is rich in a country of less than poor. I've seen video & pictures of the medical centers, schools, care centers, even an arena (think civic center) they have built, trained staff to work at and managed as they contribute to my childs home nation. There is no doubt where much of my money is going. And yet, I have a whole life to support this country. Right now, what I'm in need of is an adoption agency.

The new group: Women with ALOT of experience. Very new agency, but not really. It was working through a different NP before splintering. They have no care center of their own. They work with a couple different currently running orphanage care centers, one is run by nun's the other run by 2 men. I've seen pictures of both... none of the pictures showed the children or staff. Which struck me as odd when comparing to the pictures and vids from the CHSFS care center. The woman who runs it is Ethiopian and appearently is in country quite often. I still have alot of questions for this group. Some of which I'm sure will be answered by simply time and talking with other families... the same way I grew comfortable with CHSFS. Other questions will require pertinent answers from the director. The one thing they CAN offer, that the other group can't.. predictability in time frame. Time frame with this group would be 1-2 months from referral and travel 2-3 months after that. Total 3-5 months from dossier (Worst case scenario 6-7 months as everything seems to take longer with me...). Which means I'd miss any court closure and any possible changes that they make to the rules after that.

So which way to go. Now is the time to make this decision, before I send in the next big check to which ever placement agency I choose. I try to remind myself that when I'm stuck at a crossroads and trying to figure out which is the right way to go... which ever is the easy choice... is probably the wrong choice.

For now, I haven't found the clarity to know which one would be easier. Certainly the paper chase would be longer and a bit more difficult in trying to start with a new group, but I need to get to a point of not being selfish in what I'm considering "easy or difficult"

This post may be more for me than for any of you out in web land, as I try to sort it all out. I know none of you have the answers, and that the answers will be found in my prayers. So now I do what I can do. Research. Reach out to those who've been here before. Pray for wisdom and know that I'll know ...when I know. It's like that joke "God, grant me patience... but please HURRY!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gratitude with attitude...

Many people have gone out of their way to assist me in this adoption process. Many more will going forward, I know. The very first thing I had to do in this is to open up, divulge my hopes, and trust in friends as I asked them to write a reference for me. This was not a simple process. It was hard. There were a number of difficult, provoking, and detailed questions they needed to answer. They needed to take time to think about what they would write, what the right answers were and then again to get it notarized. Dodie even hired a babysitter to baby sit her kids and the kids she was baby sitting, just so she could get a couple hours to type it all out. Then take her "active" 4 and 2 year old to the bank and wait for a notary... you can imagine that was a peaceful afternoon for all involved. I use Dodie and an example cause it makes a funny story and you can easily picture it in your mind. And yet her story is not unique. Mine is not unique. This process is exhausting for everyone involved.

So after my last home visit, I planned a dinner to thank my reference people. I could have invited 3 times as many people, given the shear number of people that have been behind me supporting me till this point. But... my house is small and ya gotta stop somewhere. They'll be more dinners to come I'm sure!

When I planned the dinner back in mid October, I thought we'd be celebrating the acceptance of my dossier by mid November so I planned it for then. Who knew, I'd have only just received a final copy of the home study that day... Currently, I'm still waiting for my placing agency to tell my they've accepted my home study so I can finish my dossier.
Anyway, my lovely dinner celebration was just chili in the crockpot, wings and paper plates, but with lots of drinks and good friends... only one thing could have been better. IF the GERRISH's had actually showed up! ppthththth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy FEET!!

Dancing for joy!
It has been found! Found! Found! My homestudy has been found, and is in the hands of someone I feel like I can trust! She tells me it will be in the mail TODAY!! What that means is one copy will go to CIS (formerly known as, INS) with my big check, one copy to placing agency, and two others bundled with some other dossier docs to me. I don't want to count any chickens before they are hatched.. but I need the good news this week so I'm taking it! I should have it by Friday at the latest. Guess what that means... within the next 1-2 weeks I'll be writing another big giant check and that, ladies and gentlemen is a good thing! Means we're getting somewhere.

Ode to Bill Murray: Baby steps... bapy steps... Baby steps.. baby steps

Happy FEET!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ty's Day out...

I've got some catching up to do... ! It seems it may be important to me to look back and have an idea what was going on the day my child was born, came in to care etc... so from time to time I'll have to catch up so that in a year... I have some record, cause you all know my memory!!! Right now I've got a few to make up for....

November 11th, Ty and Dad had some special time together and for a little while I was invited along to go for a walk along the river and then to Pat's Pizza for lunch! mmmm

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chosen People of God...

" A persistent belief in Ethiopia- that Ethiopians are the chosen people of God stems from a long-held creation legend. According to this legend, God molded the first humans from clay. He put the first batch in an oven to bake, but left them there too long, and they emerged burned and black, so he threw them away to the southern part of Africa. He took the second batch from the oven too soon, and they were pasty and white, so he threw them northward, where they became the Arab and European populations. The third and final batch was just right, and God put them in Ethiopia. "

Dorinda Hafner, in her book - A Taste of Africa: Traditional and Modern African Cooking

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Children Can Fly...

Rosa sat so that Martin could walk.
Martin walked so that Barack could run.

Barack ran so that my children might fly.

I'm not eloquent enough to write that... someone else did??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Checks & Balance...

I’ve learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life".
-- Maya Angelou

I wrote a couple BiiIIIIIG checks this week and sent them off. One to Homeland Security and one to MAPS for the balance of my Home Study. YIPPEE! Yes writing the checks hurt, but I realized, for every one I have to write, it literally means I’m one step closer to bringing my child home. So I’m poor… Let’s CELEBRATE!! Weee hoo!!

"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." - Alex Noble