Friday, May 9, 2014

Checking those marks

I have a weird confession. I love check marks. Glad I got that off my chest….But seriously, I do LOVE them. Its strange and I am not sure when my fascination with them started but I know as far back as I can recall, I have loved check marks. I remember in school, using check marks to document my progress through homework and essays. I even had a document through grad school that I used check marks to mark off each class, each semester, each clinical hour completed. Whenever I am at a conference and an agenda is sitting in front of me, I have to put a check mark next to the portion completed. It gives me a sense of where I am in the process, how close I am to finishing, truly gives me a sense of satisfaction. I find myself counting down, and most of the time spending more time concentrating on the number of marks I have and have left to go rather than on the topic itself. When I make a list, you guessed it, check marks next to each item completed. I love check marks. Even if there is not a clear area for a check mark to be placed, I create one! I was sitting at a conference recently and someone pointed out my neuroses. I was a little embarrassed, but then they proceeded to tell me how they do the same thing, so maybe I should start a club or something for people who just love check marks. I guarantee a lot of adoptive mommies would be on that list.

Its probably a good thing I like check marks, our adoption paperwork process is once again in full swing and I REQUIRE my little list of completed and uncompleted document check lists to keep me on track. Good news though, I have only a small amount of check marks left and it is an amazing feeling! This round was a breeze (knock on wood). I was told that China would be more difficult, but as this really was my third time around with adoption paperwork, I was able to complete it rather effortlessly. I have an amazing friend who is a notary and I believe that has made the biggest difference by far. We just met with our social worker again for yet another home study. We have completed most of the documents for our new dossier, and everything is coming together. I feel like we really are moving now. We are no longer stagnant, just a name on a list of hopefuls anymore. And I have to say, I truly think we made the right decision with transitioning to China.

The number one reason we choose Ethiopia in the first place was actually the number 6 million. That’s how many orphans are estimated in that country alone. China has always had a strong, thriving adoption community and so China never crossed my mind as a place where great need still existed. I mean, China is a world power house! The United States alone owes China some 1.3 Trillion dollars! And yet, there is still a huge need. Nearly 1 million (according to some reports) orphans are located in orphanages in china, and this comes as a speculated number as china tends to down play the number by at least half. Orphanages used to be filled with little girls due to China’s “One child” policy and its preference for sons, but now a majority of the children are sick or with special needs, and over 70% are boys! Often times children are abandoned because the parents do not know how to care for a baby with special needs, they cant afford to, or they feel an inability to emotionally cope with the challenges special needs can bring. The weird thing, most “special needs” are minor to say the least, at least in terms of what we feel are “special”.

In January of this year the province of Xiamen (pronounced Sha-men) opened up a baby safety island.  This was a shelter located at an orphanage where parents could discretely drop off their abandoned children without recognition (as it is against the law). Children were previously being abandoned where they could not be found and many died before being rescued. Since the opening of the baby safety island nearly 70 children have been abandoned and sadly there is not enough staff to help care for these kiddos and some have already lost their lives. They receive roughly 1-3 children there a day. Because of this increased demand, the baby safety island had to be shut down. But the children previously left have now caused a huge crisis in the local orphanages. Our adoption agency is partnering to hire 2 full time caretakers for one year to help with caring for these kiddos, making hospital runs for the sickest, and to help with paperwork to expedite their adoptions. The reason I wanted to share this with my family and friends is simple:  This is where our child WILL come from. Not that I solely care for one individual child, but there is a great need and I ask that your prayerfully consider once again partnering with us to make a change. We may not have much, but they have nothing. Giving as little as $20, shoot even $10 could change everything. For more information or to help donate please click HERE

Ok gotta get back to my check marks, hopeful for some good news soon.