Our Time-Line As Seen Through Facebook

23 01 2011

A couple disclaimers:  We turned in our initial application to our agency on July 29, 2009.  That means our time-line was very, very quick by IA standards.  We chose our agency based on reputation alone and definitely not based on predicted length of wait.  Our agency happened to partner with a second intake care center shortly before we joined them, so their wait periods were extremely short – temporarily.  It appears that their wait periods are now inline with other reputable agencies… blah, blah, blah (I am thinking so much about adoption ethics these days and wondering if there is any real test for knowing if an agency and the in-country people the agency is partnered with are really operating ethically.)  I do know that choosing an agency based on its wait periods feeds the unethical beast.  Enough said, by me, for now.

From time of initial application until December we were chasing paperwork for the homestudy and dossier.  We also attended multiple full-day parent education classes.  I didn’t post about any of that stuff because, who cares?  I mean I know it is interesting to other people who are in the same process, but none of my facebook friends were.  I thought posting about paperwork would be like posting about the most routine of pregnancy appointments, “gained three pounds, urine is protein free.”

I started posting on Facebook about our adoption the day before our first homestudy appointment.

2009

December 14

In 25 hours a social worker will arrive at our house to evaluate our ability to parent an adopted child… I think I need to go dust.

December 15

Two hours until Social Worker arrives and I just bumped PJ’s head into the car door. Scratch and bump on bridge of her nose… thanks for the idea, Lorna.

December 15

Homework from Social Worker: Stop over thinking, go to Goodwill and buy something very cool, hook up with other local families, get offline…. (shoot, I am already online – I think she meant with adoption specific stuff.)

2010

January 5

Social worker visit #2 in the morning…. I think just by the fact that our current daughter is so cute, they should let us adopt.

January 7

Ye Ganna Baal – Merry Christmas (Ethiopian style using the old-school, Julian calendar making January 7th Christmas)

January 13

I am thinking the Social Worker would not approve, either would my mother. The kid loves to climb.

January 22

This week I killed two trees making photo copies, went to the post office three times, and wrote a big check. Yes, we have “officially” completed another step of the adoption process.

February 3 (we had received our referral but hadn’t accepted it yet)

Crying on the elliptical at the gym… I want to believe that people thought it was sweat.

February 5

Today we accepted the referral for a nine-month-old baby boy. We can not post identifying pics until he is legally ours (probably a few more months). But here are his beautiful eyes.

February 9 (snowstorms stalled my paperwork moving through the Embassy system)

The weather in D.C. is messing with my adoption, never mind that I live in Oregon and our new son is in Ethiopia. How annoying is that?

February 14 (I had been trying to buy dolls-of-color and I finally found one that was cute, cute but naked)

I hate naked dolls. Therefore, I just made a pattern and sewed a doll’s shirt. Holy crap, who am I? I must really hate naked dolls.

February 17

Dossier in Ethiopia, one step closer to baby T.

February 20

Not for the faint of heart.

February 21

Some friends were discussing our impending adoption in their car when their 8-yr-old son said from the backseat “We are studying Ethiopia in school. Can I take him in for show-and-tell?”

Feb 24

New pics of our son. I think his hair is like PJ’s – it just grows out of the top/middle of his head. Got to admit, it is a sweet hairstyle… wish I could show you more.

March 1 (this was when I was trying to get our fingerprinting appointment scheduled)

is attempting to “control” the international adoption process by politely encouraging a government office to work quickly. Who says I am not an optimist?

March 3 (His “original” birthdate was April 3 – we had to get stuff to our agency a month in advance in order to have it arrive in time)

Apparently Hallmark does not make a card that says, “Happy First Birthday, Sorry you are stuck in a ‘care center’ in Ethiopia – we do love you and are trying to come get you.” However, if you want disney characters, they got ’em.

March 4 (couldn’t post pic on FB because we hadn’t passed court yet – but here it is, our first family photo)

Took a picture with our family sitting in front of the computer monitor with a picture of Baby T. on the screen, used it to make a birthday card – forgot to write a cheesy poem – I guess Hallmark won’t be calling.

March 8

Just like Jimmy Cliff “Living in limbo, limbo, limbo”

March 10 (before they decided that some people would be grandfathered into the one trip process)

Ethiopia just changed their laws – apparently I will now have to make 2 trips – and SAG will probably have to go with me for the first one. Good thing we are made of money.

March 23

If I check my email every half hour am I more or less likely to get the news I am waiting for? Am I more or less likely to get all my other projects done?

March 29

Thought we would hear about court date last week… silence. Today another family whose dossier arrived in Ethiopia the same day as us heard they had a court date and passed without even knowing it was scheduled. Ummmm, I am pretty sure that was what was supposed to happen for US… I mean, “I am really happy for them.”

March 31 (we had actually passed March 24 – and that is a different, very long, very complicated post)

Officially mother of two – we passed court.

April 3 (original Birth Date they assigned before changing it to April 6)

Our son turns One today. Sad to be missing this milestone with him. We will make up for it next year.

April 6

My friend Jamie is going to Africa with me! While she is not an adventurous eater, she can survive for days on jelly beans so it should be just fine.

April 9

Just got approval to head to Ethiopia and pick up Little Dude…. will be traveling the last week in April – first week in May… so, so, so happy.

April 12

trying to remember that freaking out is not on my todo list

April 12

“Bought” my plane tix to Ethiopia with my Rewards Points… all those $2 charges finally paid off.

April 15

Today the US State Department issued a travel advisory for Ethiopia due to the upcoming elections… no one tell my Mother and I will be just fine.

April 20

I think my adoption agency counts on parents being passive and afraid of confrontation… I wonder if they give out awards for their favorite client of the year? Am I in the running?

April 26

3.4 million people living above 7,500 hundred feet…. look out Addis Abeba here we come.

April 26

Leaving Chicago 4/26 for Addis, meet Little Dude on 4/30, back in the States on 5/7… will post pics.

April 27

When traveling internationally one should make sure his/her passport has not expired… and that is all I have to say about that

May 8

Back in the USA – pictures and updates to follow.

May 10 – first photos of Little Dude posted

“So if you fly over there, do they give you one for free or do you still have to pay for them?” (My new landlord who says she and her husband are considering adoption.)

May 12

real computer still packed – making do. Here is the handsome dude… also putting a mother’s day photo in my files (hopefully)

May 18 (the day I posted my Ethiopia Album on Facebook – most of which has now been published in Wordless Weds of Sunday Snapshot)

Wish I had taken more photos, wish I was a better photographer, wish our driver would have slowed down

May 30

This week when I was changing PJ’s diaper she announced “No peanuts.” Bring home a boy baby and you will get anatomy lessons from your 2-yr-old daughter.

June 11

Little Dude signed tonight for the 1st time “More” – he was eating Mac & Cheese. If he was a dog I would say, “He is food motivated.”

June 2

PJ gave herself a yogurt facial today in anticipation of our new social worker’s visit… btw – they let us keep Little Dude.

June 15

Fantasizing about starting a blog – remembering I have wet clothes in the washer, semi-wet clothes in the dryer and haven’t worked out in 8 weeks…. guess I will have to be happy with long Facebook updates

June 16

Apparently while in Ethiopia I taped over days 3-6 on day 7. Trying to convince myself to get over it… not really working. Trying to remember I did not go to Ethiopia to make a great video.

June 30

Lately my Proud Mama “of course they are looking at us, my kids are beautiful” feeling has been transforming into “Quit staring, you f***ing racist” Seriously, can’t people be a little more discreet or just smile when I catch them staring?

July 16

“Life is Good” should make a t-shirt that shows 2 stick-figure toddlers sleeping at the same time… because this is when Life is Really Good

July 16

Took kids to pool today. Had to explain adoption to same nosey/funny kid as last time. He still can’t believe Little Dude is not “mixed with something” and that his real name is Little Dude…. this kid’s name is Keavicus (Sorry, Keav, I am sure I got the spelling wrong.) Keav is also worried about what I will tell the teachers …about my son’s name: “Little” or “Little Dude”  (My son’s name is Ethiopian, but is two simple syllables and sounds like a couple common American names.  His shortened name is the same as a famous, and incredibly hot African-American actor.)

July 22

Is there a contest for gaining weight quickly following major life changes? I think I am winning.

Aug 6

Three month visit with Social Worker – still letting us keep Little Dude.

Aug 12

“Are you mom to both?” Shouted from 4 feet away (why shouted? I don’t know) as I walked past this stranger at the library. People are so weird. But I think I prefer this direct approach rather than the “Are you babysitting?” I got before which I guess was an attempt at being subtle.

Aug 30

Two of these guys were room-mates in Ethiopia. Here they are hanging out together in Kansas City… it is a very small and very wonderful world.

Sept 3

I seem to have lost an entire file of pics I took in Ethiopia. That combined with taping over most of my video footage makes me very angry. On the other hand, loss, like everything in life, is relative. I haven’t lost a single important thing yet. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

I actually wrote this post back in September.  I have posted on Facebook about adoption numerous times since.  However, this is already the world’s longest blog post.  So I will end it here.  And because it is just so darn enlightening, I will at some point in the near future bring it up to date.  Now don’t go holding your breath or anything.  Remember it is important to tend to your families during the interim.

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5 responses

23 01 2011
Jamey

This was a fun post! How did you get all your old statuses like that?

23 01 2011
Semi-Feral Mama

Yeah, I was talking about YOU on March 29th. I got the posts by scrolling backwards, for a very, very long time. Which is very depressing when you start to notice all your grammatical and spelling errors.

24 01 2011
claudia

Huh! It’s like I was THERE 🙂

Now am almost ready to forgive you for not starting the blog earlier!

24 01 2011
fricknfracks

Um, you’re on facebook? Why aren’t we friends? I’m going to find you.

24 01 2011
roadtosam

Ditto Fricknfrack. Apparently I’m not good enough? Well I’m going to friend you regardless.
Oh, and Sammy was sportin’ the ‘frohawk for the longest time as well.

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