What A Difference A Year Makes

21 01 2011

Last year at this time we sent our parents an email.  Some of them already knew explicitly about our plans, some knew nothing, and some had received hints in the past.

You can see by our letter we were still fairly naive (embarrassing but true).  However, the letter was also meant to ease worries and to help our loved ones get adjusted to the idea.  (In other words, we were not quite as naive as we sound – but we were putting a best-case spin on the facts.)

Our parents’ response to this letter was encouraging and supportive.  My mother who already knew about our plans forwarded the email to friends.  I could analyze that action for days, but to synopsis it I would say she found a way to clue her friends in and to be positive about what was probably a very scary event for her.

We did have a few laughs about some strange comments, but by and large we felt reassured by our parents reactions.  Also, we stood up and took responsibility for gently bringing our parents up to speed and providing them with education.  One thing I was no longer naive about – how little you know when you start the process and the fact that as you learn you somehow forget how little you know.  Then you expect everyone else to know what you know, and if they don’t, well clearly they are stupid or racist or both.  Now, let’s see if I can continue to remember this.

We are happy to tell you that we are expanding OUR family in 2010.
After months of discussion and research, we have decided to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia .
We know this is a “different” decision and you probably have a variety of questions.  Please feel free to ask us anything and we will answer to the best of  our ability.
In general:
We believe that every child born deserves to have a home.  Unfortunately, many children do not, especially in Ethiopia due to poverty, disease, lack of health care and some cultural beliefs.  We know that we can provide a loving home for another child.
We have requested a healthy, baby boy under one-year of age.
We do not know how long before we will have our referral (pictures and medical information of a child in an orphanage who matches our request), hopefully within a couple months.
After we accept the referral, there will still be a couple months lag time waiting for court dates and embassy appointments.  Once we pass court and an Embassy appointment is set, Semi-Feral will travel to Ethiopia to pick up our child.
We do expect to have our son home with us before the end of the year (and hopefully a lot sooner.)
One of the main reasons we chose Ethiopia is because we do not have to worry that the child’s mother used drugs or alcohol while pregnant.  Also, the children get lots of attention and care in the orphanage.  Therefore they are not likely to have undiagnosed health problems or an inability to bond with their new family (which is common in other countries).
We plan to give our child an “American” name and keep his Ethiopian name as his middle name.
We have done tons of research on adopting trans-racially.  We know the fact that our son is black will present him with extra challenges as he grows up in this country.  But we feel we are prepared to help him meet these challenges.  We also know he will be loved by his extended family no matter what his color and that will provide him strength and self-confidence.
We are really excited about PJ’s new brother and hope that you are too.
Again, please feel free to ask us any questions as we understand that we have been thinking about this for years, but it is probably a new idea to you.

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2 responses

21 01 2011
Kelly C

Great post! I can remember that blissful naivety, when you think you are prepared! Your letter is lovely – I wish we had thought to do this instead of making a bajillion phone calls!

24 01 2011
claudia

Ha – we sent an email to pretty much everyone we had ever met. And included a picture of our cat wearing a Tshirt saying ‘I’m the big brother’.

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