|This is the symbol for adoption|
Ask anyone who has ever or is in the process of adopting about paperwork, and I bet you will hear an earful about the extreme AMOUNT required along the entire process. We are officially well into a year of our referral wait, and recently met with our social worker to update our home study. Once again, we had to trudge through another hill of paperwork prior. I call it a hill this time around as it is not nearly as an exhaustive process when simply updating. After some discussion and careful reflection we decided to add ourselves onto the girls waitlist along with our wait on the boys list. Luckily for us we don’t end up at the bottom of the girls list when we jumped on, in fact, we were added as if we were on both lists the whole time. I would probably feel bad if we still had waitlist numbers, because it would appear to those behind us that no movement was made, however there is no more waitlist numbers, so no hard feelings.
We will likely need at least two more updates to our home study prior to our referral, and may continue to make changes as we see fit, but for now we will remain on both lists for a baby less than 12 months old. We did consider increasing our age parameters, and may in the future, however we have to maintain birth order in our home (per our adoption agency policy), and our little guy is three now, so our Ethiopian baby needs to be at least 10 months younger than him. Little man has been with us nearly one year already (can hardly believe it!). His story into this process is discussed IN THIS POST
Speaking of little man, this summer was a blast with him. He loves swimming, is a great traveler, and loves being outside enjoying the sunshine! Our social worker met little man during our visit, and deemed him suitably adjusted to our home. While we think he is doing great, it is always helpful to hear from professionals how well your child is doing and adapting.
I cannot begin to explain what a joy he has been for Jay and I. When we were first thrown into this “parenting thing” we were overwhelmed, scared, and anxious. Sure we had started the adoption process, but figured we had a solid two and half years before we became parents. We could still grow up a little ourselves! We had plenty of time to read books, and watch a couple of our friends try their hands at parenting before we actually did. Then, in one day, everything changed. Little man was here with little notice, and we started the most exciting chapter to our lives to date! In the beginning, we had no clue what we were doing, but we trusted God and together (all three of us) we figured it out. Looking back, I see how this sweet little boy has paved the way for our future dive into international adoption. More importantly, his story in all of this gives us a strength we honestly didn’t know we had. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. As I have heard some describe it, “You never really know what you’re going to get”. One of the main reasons we started the adoption process with our sights on an infant was largely due to the fact that they would have little to no recollection of their life prior to us. They wouldn’t struggle as much with adapting and their questions regarding their past would likely be simpler (if there is such a thing) to answer. Trust me, I know how this makes Jay and I look, like cowards in one-way or another. But, God had other plans, and suddenly we were thrown into parenting a toddler, with an excellent memory, who comes with a lot of “extraneous circumstances” and in time our preconceived ridiculous notions were thrown right out the window. We have come to learn what any adoptive parent will tell you, that kids of all ages need love, and nothing is too much for God to handle. In His loving hands, children will prosper and scars can heal, and tough questions will have answers. I love having found the knowledge that we CAN do this. We ARE doing this, not internationally, domestically, but doing it nonetheless. What I hope more than anything is that those who think that adopting an older child, one with possible “baggage” and “special needs” is to much for them, would understand that behind what you think YOUR doing, God’s doing something even bigger, and HE is working through you for the good of that kiddo. Be open to His leading, to His ways. They are GOOD after all….
My favorite part of our visit with our social worker was perhaps when little man pointed out the framed Africa picture located in our living room. He told her, matter of factley, that that’s where our baby is coming from. I have to add that he plans to share most of his toys with the new baby….except his orange bike.
Recently, Ethiopia celebrated New Years (Sept 11), so I wanted to welcome everyone into 2006…again! As you may recall, they have a different calendar known as the Ge’ez calender.