Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hmmm, perhaps I should re-introduce myself!

Wow-I can't believe that 2 months have gone by since I last posted! It's not that nothing has happened-so, so much has happened in this process!
To get right down to it, the past 2 months have been a huge struggle with the adoption. Fear, disbelief, awe, excitement, sorrow, learning, peace, and joy (along with much more!) have all been a part of my experience thus far on this journey to our sweet baby. The only way to sum is up is one at a time, so here goes:
Fear: We've talked about this for so long. I've dreamed about this for years. I believe with all my heart that my life has led up to this journey. But, the past couple of months, the doubts have at times entered my head: What if it doesn't work out? What if "they" say "No, you cannot adopt right now?" What if I can't handle this whole process? Where in the world is this money going to come from? What is it going to be like as an interracial family? Am I really going to fly to ETHIOPIA? How long will we wait? Will I love this baby like A and A? Is this whole process fair to A and A? As you can see, the past couple of months have been a little emotional. I've often felt all of the emotion of my pregnancies, to be honest! One second, so excited-the next bawling my eyes out over a myriad of things (or sometimes nothing really at all!). The past couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions for me personally. The reality of it all is sinking in.
Along with that, disbelief-it is so difficult to really believe it's real when there isn't tangible evidence. That is why the homestudy was so exciting! It went great, and we got our hands on so much paperwork! It made it more real. I got my vaccinations. I know this sounds a little weird, but it made it more real to get those and feel it. We've been starting to tell friends/family/church about the adoption, and sometimes I wonder if some of them are thinking "Uhh, yeah, sure-where's the baby?" It's such a long process that from the outside I'm sure it seems like nothing is happening, and they're not really sure it ever will. I've heard if you can correlate the steps of an adoption to the stages of pregnancy, it's easier for friends and family to get it and get on board with you. I'm still working through how that would all correlate!
I'll stop there for now and visit the other experiences in the next few days. I know the above does not sound so wonderful and promising to read-but rest assured, it is not just that-in fact we're on a roll right now, and things are starting to become more real and more comfortable along the journey. But, more on that in the next couple of days!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The day we've been waiting for...

Nothing spectacular is going to happen tomorrow, really. We have our first informational meeting with our homestudy agency tomorrow, so we will get to soak in lots of new information, ask lots of questions, and have (hopefully) a clearer picture of where this road will take us. I hear we will also get to see a wonderful video of the adoption center/orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where our agency works to place children.

We've had to explain to our other two kids a few times that we are NOT dropping them off at their Aunt and Uncle's house to travel to ADOPT, just to go to a meeting. They kept asking how many days we were going to be gone when I finally figured out they thought we were actually going to Ethiopia (they know it won't be until they are in 2/3rd or 3rd/4th grade before we have a new baby-they just thought we were going over there to check it out, I think!) :)

Our agency also sent us lots of information on Ethiopia that we got in the mail today. The people, the history, the land, the food, the language, etc. Don't be surprised if you come to visit, and we have Doro Wat or Dabo Kolo with a little Tej to wash it down!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Application Packet #2

We got our next application packet in the mail! Oh, my goodness! For about 5 minutes, I thought for the first time, "Do I REALLY want to do this???" The adoption education notebook itself is pages and pages of reflection on our lives, our adoption, our future plans. I did just one 2-page section and wrote about 4 pages in a notebook! What I've read so far has been very thought-provoking. It talks about the obvious losses our child will face, but also brings up losses we will have-I never thought of it in those terms before. We will forever lose the ability to be a "normal" American family. We will forever lose our present ability to be tucked neatly away in our own culture, if we would chose to do that (though I hope we wouldn't even without this experience). We will forever lose the security of knowing that all of our children know who they are and where they come from (in this world, anyway). We will forever lose the precious baby pictures and first word stories of infancy/toddlerhood. Some day, he or she may decide to go back to their birth country for weeks/months/years (Ethiopia isn't just a quick airplane jaunt away, you know!).

For so long, it's been a dream-an idealized picture of cuddling a cooing baby who might not look like his or her side, but who cares??? Though it doesn't change our intent, the gravity of it all, the reality that right now our little one could be utterly alone in this world and know it, the change in all of our lives that will occur over the next couple of years, is overwhelming.

But, in the end, it all comes back to one thing: We were called to do this. It seems so overwhelming right now, but we know we can rest in the truth that God created us to do this, that God is weaving our family together in a strange and wonderful way, and that he won't give us more than we can handle. We know the desire to do this is from Him, and we see new meaning in His words: "Love...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:7 He does this for us, we do this for each other, and we wait for the day we can show this kind of love to the one God is bringing into our family.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First Meeting

Oh, yeah! We get to go to our first adoption meeting on Tuesday night! Once this all begins, I've found you just feel like a thirsty sponge, trying to soak up all the information you possibly can from people, websites, parents, ANYTHING!

The only thing so far I haven't found too appealing is the immunization regimen! I believe I'm up to a 12-shot count! Oh, my!

Thanks to some of our family for already stepping in to watch our other (now we can say that!) kids for the first meeting!

We're official!!!

After 10 years of waiting, we are excited to say that we are official! We've officially been accepted into the Ethiopia program! Yes, we are only about 1% finished with the process, but you have to start somewhere! (We are also thinking about the Korea Waiting Child program, but for our agency's purposes, we're headed for Ethiopia!)

When Matt let me know we got the official word that our application was OK'd, I was overwhelmed for a little while. It seems like for so long we've been "pretending" that we were going to do this-for someone to tell us we really can somehow makes a huge difference. For the first time in about 7 years, I though, "Oh my goodness, I'm going to be a new mom!!!" Yay!

Hopefully, this will be just a little place to record our thoughts, the progress-however slow (hopefully not!) or fast (hopefully so!) it may be. Don't check back every day-I can guarantee it won't be updated that frequently!

My hope is that, through this process, God will teach me patience and trust in Him! My hope is that our whole family will be drawn closer to Him and to each other. My hope is that through this blog and seeing this process, others around us will become more involved in caring for the fatherless of this world. My hope is that when this process is over, we will have a new family member-but, more importantly, a child (maybe even one in the world this very day) will have a family to love and cherish them.

We'll keep you posted! Please be praying for us!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient. For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." -Habakkuk 2:3