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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I was going to call this n-n-n-n-n-nineteen, but I was wrong

So, today is the 20 month anniversary of our dossier arriving in Ethiopia. At first I though it was the 19 month DTE anniversary, but that's because I set up the Outlook reminder wrong. So, what does this mean? Well, on the face of it, it means that we’re still waiting to be a family with a daughter. In addition to that, it means that we should start renewing our paperwork (police clearances, medicals, etc) so we can get our dossier renewed. Not that there’s really any rush at the moment, since there are still approx 75 families ahead of us in line. Did I think we’d be here at 20 months DTE? Interesting question. Well, if you’d asked me that at the beginning of our adoption journey, I’d likely have said we’d have our referral by now, and we’d be waiting for our daughter’s visa, and buying up baby clothes like crazy. And putting the nursery together. Ah, I was so na├»ve then. And then, 4 months after our dossier arrived in Ethiopia, the agency went bankrupt. That set us back about 5 months, but that was okay, because we brought the agency out of bankruptcy – at least our dream was still alive. The first few months brought lots of referrals, and lots of optimism. And then the referrals started to slow down. And then they stopped for a while. And my hope slowly started to fade. So I revised my thinking to – we’ll have our referral in the first quarter of 2011. Referrals are still pretty spotty, 10 months after the agency started up again, but it’s not the agency’s fault. There have been a lot of administrative changes in Ethiopia, all in the name of making sure these adoptions are ethical, not just for our agency, but across the board. There’s a lot more paperwork involved on the Ethiopian side now, and it’s taking a long time to gather, in most cases. So where before we would see referrals of children as young as 1 month old, now the youngest I’ve seen lately is 4 months old. Add another month or two for a court date (which we now have to travel too – it’s not a bad thing!) and, after a successful court date, another 3-4 months waiting for the visa to be processed, you’re bringing home a 10 month old, and that’s being very optimistic. They’re likely to be at least 12 months old, and that’s if they come into the orphanage as a newborn, and I’m not sure how often that happens. So instead of our request for an infant, we’re thinking of raising our request for a girl of up to 24 months old at the time of placement (that means at the time she comes home with us for good). The agency has recently signed on with a new orphanage but they’re still finalizing the paperwork so we haven’t seen any referrals from that orphanage yet. Hopefully they will start happening soon, so we can see what age range is coming out of that orphanage. I’d still really like to adopt a baby, to change our request to a child of up to 18 months at the time of placement, but that could be setting ourselves up for a LONG wait. I’m already barreling towards 39, then 40, so I really don’t want to wait too long to be a mom of a young child! If you asked me today when I thought we’d receive our referral, I think I’d honestly have to say – I don’t know. I honestly don’t have any idea when I’ll be a mom – and that both terrifies & saddens me. It’s tough seeing everyone have what I want. Sure, I’m jealous of people who fall pregnant easily, or even with difficulty – because they’re on the road, they’re parents. It’s a club I can’t be part of, no matter how much I wish to be.


CinnamonOpus said...

Hugs. I have some idea how you are feeling, but I'd be lying if I said I could really understand the long wait you have had to endure. They way I look at it is, although it is hard, you have to keep faith that you will get there, and that the child who is meant to be yours is at the end of that wait, and without that wait you would not have THAT child. And once you know her, and love her, you will realize that the wait, although hard, had a purpose.

I know. Not much consolation from someone who has the luxury of being on the other side. But I can tell you, it will all be worth it in the end. That's what you have to focus on.

And I'm an old mom. And no matter what, you'll never be older than me. So that's a good thing, right? :-P

Janna said...

Thanks Cinn. If I may ask, how old were you when That Baby joined your family?

CinnamonOpus said...

I was 41. And it's hard, no lie. And it plays on your mind how old you will be when your child meets certain milestones, and will you still be around, and will she resent you for being old, and all that stuff.


There are no guarantees in this life. NO guarantee that you'll be around, no matter what the age. And no guarantee that you WON'T, either. And no guarantee that you will or won't be a great parent, and that your kid will or won't grow up to be pissed at you for doG knows what, anyway.

I lost my mom when I was 7 and she was 39. So.

Here's the thing. You just have to get on with it, and live every single day, and appreciate every single day, even the sucky ones. You're going to be tired. You're going to be busy. But don't think about whether you would have been more or less so if you were X, Y or Z. Just get on with living in the moment.

Do your best to be as healthy and happy as you can -- for you, and for her. And no matter what, record EVERYTHING. Stories. Thoughts. Video. Photos. Start NOW. Give your child everything you can not just of her history, but of you and yours. Give give give. Trust me when I tell you, what you are going to get in return will be boundless, and you will want to fill her up with love and family and life just like she does for you.

Wow. Probably you would have been fine with just a number, huh.

Janna said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey & experiences with me, it really means a lot to me that I'm not alone. Now, if these referrals would just start coming in....

Vicki said...

I love CinnamonOpus & I don't even know her - great advice. I was just thinking the other night how Jack will be 10 and I'll be almost 50!!!