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 now...it'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