Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why blog.

I wasn't going to start a blog. Mainly because I didn't think anyone would care about all the details of our adoption process. But as time passed, and the more adoption blogs I read, the more I began to feel like I was taking but not giving. I was reading and absorbing all the info and experiences shared by other adopting families but I wasn't sharing ours. I know all of these blogger's stories--I rejoiced in their successes, worried about their children, grieved for their setbacks, spoke to The Esquire about them by name... but since I never left comments on their blogs, they had no idea I was even there. I was a lurker and that made me feel kinda bad. But just when I would get up the nerve to start my own blog, I would read someone else's blog. And they would somehow manage to say the very things I feel in such an clear and articulate manner that I would think, why should I bother with a blog when someone else can say it so much better than I ever could.

But, as you can see, I did give in to blog pressure. (blossure?) And here is why:

1-part of my blog fear was the fact that technically billions of people could read it. Have you ever tried to write something with the thought that BILLIONS of people might read it? Obama's speechwriter and the hosts for the Oscars... they understand my fear. But then I realized that while technically billions COULD read it, realistically only about 20 people probably will. The pressure to write for 20 people...not so bad.

2-My new friend Julie, a way cool blogger by the way, explained in slow, easy-to-understand sentences that the best way to become a part of the ABC (Adoption Blogger Community) is to HAVE A BLOG. I had been reading these blogs for months and saw all the friendships the bloggers have with each other and wanted oh, so badly to be their friend too but didn't know how. I felt like the little sister peering down through the stair railing watching the big kids party... I knew all their details but I was still 'anonymous' to them. So this blog is my calling card... Actually, I guess Julie was my calling card when she asked all her blogger pals to also be my blogger pals. (I loved all your comments b/t/ did The Esq but he won't admit it. Thank you for the warm welcome...and the furniture tips!)

3-and finally the most important reason of all: our child/ren. This blog is a way for us to remember the path that leads us to our family. We've been in the adoption process for 4 months now and already we are completely changed by it. The people we've met, the new thoughts we are having, the reactions we are getting, the way we are starting to see the world... it's really amazing how much has changed and we don't even have a referral yet! So this blog is ultimately for the kid(s)... so one day they can look back and see that we wanted them so much we were willing to share it with billions of people.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Beginning

Family! Friends! (Strangers?) You found us. Cool huh? This is it….where I’ll record our Adoption Journey. For those of you just joining us, let’s start at the beginning…

My husband (who from now on will simply be referred to as The Esquire ... very mysterious don't you think?) and I have always wanted to start our family through international adoption. We began researching agencies, countries, etc. in September 2007. It's a pretty big decision to make with lots of pros and cons in every direction so we purposefully put the whole thing on the back burner for 6 months. Like most things left to slowly simmer, by the time the 6 months were up, all of our decisions seemed clear and easy to make. For various reasons we have chosen to adopt from Ethiopia. (I'm trying really hard to keep to the Cliff’s Notes model here but will gladly expand on the reasons that led us to Ethiopia at any time if you are curious.) After 4 months of A LOT of paperwork (all of which had to be filled out, signed, triplicated, notarized, authenticated, apostilled, spit upon, and held up under a full moon), a lot of fingerprinting sessions, many letters of reference, many meetings w/ a social worker, many many hours of adoption/parenting classes, and thousands of visits to our local Notary, we are now officially approved by the State of California and U.S. Immigration/Homeland Security to bring home from Ethiopia up to two children -either gender- under the age of two.

Yes. We know. Asking for two children under the age of two. It's craziness. Every friend, relative, stranger, and grocery clerk has told us how crazy we are. But we really, really like the thought of siblings (twins or older/younger). We like the thought of them having each other; of everyone in our family being able to look around the table and see something who looks like them. Now, just because we asked for two doesn't necessarily mean we'll get two. Our agency will work with their in-country reps to place us with the best possible match... could be a 3 month old girl, or 9 month old twins or a 2 year old boy and his 6 month old sister... we have no idea. We'll just have to wait and see. Which is exciting and yet a bit of a pain when it comes to planning a nursery.

So here's what happens next: we wait. We wait for The Call that says our agency has a referral for us (‘referral’ means we’ve been matched with a child). We have been on the Wait List since Aug 29th...two months down, probably 4 more to go. The average time on the wait list for our agency is 4-6 months. I have fantasies of receiving our referral call on Jan 20th, when Barack Obama is sworn in as our next President! How cool and symbolic would that be!

Once we have accepted the referral, the next step is to pass court. "Passing court" means the Ethiopian government has declared the child to be an orphan and found us to be fit parents and therefore relinquishes the child into our care. This part of the process usually takes 2-3 months. Once we've passed court we can travel to Ethiopia to pick up our child/ren! We stay in Ethiopia for about 10 days--we'll get to visit the orphanage and the foster care centers, meet the care givers who have been taking care of our child/ren and in some cases, meet the family of the child...can you imagine???

And then we come home. With our Kid(s)!!! Now, don’t forget that we're talking about international adoption and that the process and wait times are constantly changing, BUT... if everything proceeds according to textbook, we should be home with our kid(s) around May 2009. Talk about craziness!

So that's our story. I know this 'waiting' thing will get boring and possibly frustrating but for's just about the most exciting thing we've ever done! These first two months have flown by!

The purpose of this blog is to share this process with our family and friends. But it’s also so other people out there… families just starting to think about adoption… can see what it’s like. For months now I have been obsessed with Adoption Blogs. Now it’s time for us to share our story. Also, we want a record of this time… this time of hopeful waiting….the time before we completed our family.

Plus, in 13 years when our child is angry that we won't let her date/drive/leave the house/talk to boys and is screaming "I wish you weren't my parents!" we will be able to whip out this blog and say, "Tough! Cause we REALLY wanted to be your parents and here's proof!" See what a good mom I'll be? I'm already planning ahead on how to stick it to my kid! :-)

So please bookmark us and check back often. And feel free to leave comments… after all, you are part of this process.

Love, love, love to you all…xoxo-K