Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rambling Thoughts

I am feeling a myriad of emotions these days. I find myself high with the anticipation that we could soon know who our daughter is. I told Ryan as great as the weekend was with him and the boys, I am glad it's Monday because it means 5 solid days of having my heart jump with each phone call. It is unlikely "the call" will be this week. We'll just be glad if it's by Christmas. But the fact that it is possible makes me all the more excited to think about what each new day may bring. I also find myself thinking quite a bit about what may be going on right at this moment in Ethiopia. It could be this very day that her birth mother or living relative decides they can no longer care for her. I can no sooner imagine what her birth mom must be feeling then shoot myself to the moon. And I find myself thinking about what our daughter is feeling. She is likely between 6 and 12 months old. I imagine her grieving for her mom. I feel pain in my heart for her, and her birth mom. Everyone told me this was a difficult journey. It is. The process itself to get approved and to the point where you are officially waiting takes patience, determination and yes, faith. Then the wait. I am so thankful to have two very energetic little boys that keep me busy during this time. How all the more difficult it must be for first-time parents. And the worry. Lots of worrying. Worrying about the daughter I have yet to meet; the birth mom or family I will forever hold in my heart. Worry about whether the program will be shut down. Worry about whether I will feel the immediate connection I hope to feel when I first see her picture. But as my Mom always said, worrying does not change a darn thing. Of course it doesn't. And you can't let it get you stuck. So I'll get my heart around my worry and wait for the call.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Officially Waiting (again!)

We received the great news today that we are on the official waitlist with Holt! Apparently, there are only 5-6 waiting families ahead of us so there is a chance we could know who our daughter is by Christmas! It feels a bit surreal. I keep imagining what it will be like to see Holt's number on our phone and know that it's the day we've been waiting for. And what it will be like when Ryan and I open the e-mail to see our daughter for the first time. Happy thoughts.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Roller Coaster

So it's been a bit of a ride these last couple weeks. As we approach 8 months of waiting (and 1 year since we began the process), we received notice from our agency that the estimated wait time was extending to up to 24 months. That means up to 16 more months until we are matched with our child. We also received news the wait time after referral was extending to 6 months (to when you can travel to bring home your child). That means we could be potentially be waiting another 22 months until we bring our daughter home. Almost 2 years. I couldn't wrap my brain around that kind of timeline. A lot can happen in 2 years. The fact that I'm an impatient person doesn't help matters. We had to consider other options. I re-looked at the agencies we had researched when we first started the process. There are only 3 agencies that I consider to be on par with each other in terms of ethical adoption practices, humanitarian efforts, and level of child care in Ethiopia. After talking with others who had direct experience with both our agency and others, after researching agency reviews, and after speaking to the Program Director, we are switching to Holt International. So here is where the ride starts. Holt has many children in its orphanage, and not many waiting families right now. That means we are looking at a relatively short wait time for referral. Possibly only 1-2 months. That means we could know who our daughter is by January, and then travel to get her summer, 2010 (although I have learned never to count on anything in international adoption). So Holt adds you to their wait list upon approval of your homestudy, prior to submission of the dossier (the 100 or so pages of legal documents). So we will have to get the dossier back from our agency and likely re-do at least some of it, but that can be done while we are officially on the waitlist. A couple questions I had to have answers to before considering this switch. Why the short wait time? How can one agency have a wait of a couple months while our agency is looking at 2 years? Holt is fairly new to Ethiopia and they do not have nearly the number of waiting families as our agency. Our agency has close to 400 waiting families while Holt has a very small number in comparison. And Holt happens to contract with an orphanage that has seen a large number of relinquished children. The next question surrounded their in-country practices. Holt doesn't consider poverty alone to justify adoption. They even offer assistance to allow the birth family to remain together. They also are involved in many humanitarian efforts within Ethiopia itself. For these reasons, and many others, we felt confident that switching to Holt was the right decision for us. So the ride continues! As one of my close girlfriend said: "This little squirt is giving you guys a wild ride already ... her soul is as anxious as yours to finally meet you - her mother! ... But you know she's also laughing as she'll be the greatest teacher you'll ever have and this 'lesson' is only the beginning of what she's got in store for all of us ... the path is laid but the blinders are on ... try to enjoy the journey using your other senses." I hope my next post is to share the news that we are officially waiting (again) for our daughter.