Monday, September 28, 2009

Decision Made

We found out, shortly after the last post, that another family had requested information about one of the kids that we were interested in. Since they were equally desirable to us we decided to get the other child's medical records looked at. The whole time we were trying to make a decision, we said if there was something that would make one child harder to place, we would pursue that child.

His records came back without anything unexpected on them, so we are asking our agency to register us in Stavropol so that we can adopt him. It's a big change from Ekat, which is known for being difficult and slow. I'm hopeful that the speed in which the process will speed up considerable.

The doctor had many encouraging things to say about this little boy, including the fact that the Russian doctors imply that he is healthy because they immunized him, and they wouldn't do that if they thought he was sickly. He was also developmentally right on target at the time of the medical report.

By the way, we used Dr. Jerri Jenista and really liked her. She cut right to the chase and let us know if there were any issues.("You see all this stuff? It's meaningless. Ignore it.") I also really like that she is local and we could actually see her in the future.

A Giggle for You

This is only funny because it is so true.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hard Decisions

Sadly there is no time out period after losing a referral. We know that we are called by God (and who am to argue) to adopt. I feel a little bit like the Blue brothers "We're on a mission from God!" At our request our agency sent out possibilities almost right away. Right now we are examining the files of two wonderful kids. Their medical histories are more complex that Sweet Pea's was, but we could choose either one of them. There are two main problems: 1.) in order to choose one, we have to say no to the other. Still, we could get past that except that Charlie and I are leaning in opposite directions.

That's just not fair.

The thing is there are no criteria for choosing one other the other. Their medical conditions are different, but equally complicated. We physically have space for either. They are both very cute and personable. We would have to re-do some paperwork for either child. There are no straight forward answers. I will keep praying and hope we receive guidance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can I Live?

Popular culture is so anti-life, I'm always so thrilled when an entertainer braves going against popular opinion and delivers a pro-life message.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Love and Pain

I have never before lost a child, and some may argue that I did not. I think that they are wrong. When you adopt you promise to love you child as if he was a biological child and that's what we did. We loved all our children from the moment that we knew that they would join our family. We planned and dreamed for them. We put together their bedroom and wondered how each child would add to the family. We found doctors and bought clothes. There are nine months of possibilities and potential to celebrate. The point is that the love and connections starts long before a child comes home to live with you. We did not hold back with Sweet Pea. In my mind she wasn't someone who would one day join the family. She was my child living far away.

So now we are mourning the loss of that piece of the mosaic. Our family will grow and will fit together, but it won't be the way I expected. The shape will always be different. I imagined Pookie and Sweet Pea being best friends and terrorizing the boys. I imagined the whole world opening up to her in ways that won't be available in Russia. Nothing could hold her back from a normal life here, so much there can. I won't see her smile or see her first steps

Tuesday night I laid down with the quilt my mom had made for Sweet Pea. It's a photo quilt with pictures of the family so that she could see us all the time between trips. I cried and prayed. I have no idea if she is healthy or sick. I don't know why someone would deem her unadoptable or if maybe someone in Russia wanted to adopt her. (Would that be wonderful?)

I feel so guilty, too. I feel as though I failed her. First of all, her chances of reaching her full potential are very limited in Russia. There are so many orphans and the system is heavily burdened. Many of the orphanages struggle to meet the basic needs of the children in their care, much less pay for very expensive prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation. (Just one leg can cost over $10,000 in the United States.She needs two and they would need to be replaced every year until she about 5 and then every other year thereafter.) Second, you don't just abandoned the people you love. You certainly don't say, "Too bad. so sad. Who else do you have?" But that is exactly what we have to do. Do we quit? No. We still feel like this is the path we are called to. Do we want more children? Yes. Are there still children in Russia who need families? Yes.

Ironically, Tuesday was the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Well, I guess She understands.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Terrible News

We began this adoption journey nine months ago, and when we did we always knew that there was the chance that something would happen and we wouldn't be able to adopt her, but I never really believed it. Today our wonderful social worker called and said that she had just been informed that Sweet Pea had been moved into a specialized Baby home and was no longer available for adoption. She went on to say that usually this happens when a child is seriously sick although the agency had no indications that this is the case. I asked if this was something that was likely to change, but she said no. It seems that we will have to abandon the dream of bringing this child into our family.

She was never officially ours, but I am mourning the loss of our Sweet Pea.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Adopting the Waiting Child

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School

Yesterday was our first day of school. Wonder Boy started third grade (mostly) and Jofus was very excited to begin kindergarten. We started the day with a special breakfast at IHOP and then had a great day learning. Both boys professed that they had a great day. If only it would stay so good. I know it won't though. Homeschool, just like any other education, has its ups and downs. Some days we fly and some days we crash and burn.

The Civil War is Over . . For Now


We spent the weekend at our first Civil War re-enactment. It was so fun. Our family was blessed to meet the Schroeder family a few years ago. Memorial Day 2007 we met for the first time at Greenfield Village (a living history museum) at their annual Civil War memorial weekend. The next year I spoke to Wendi (the mama) again. This time she asked my if I wanted to try out the hobby. I said yes and then never got my act together and got things ready. This year I made plan to talk to them at Greenfield Village and we plotted when and how to make it work.

The Schoeders and their many children were so generous and and invited us to visit their camp during the day and lent us uniform for Charlie. I was worried on Friday because it was pouring buckets and the ground was so muddy in the civilian camp area. All I could think was all this work and the kids will be nuts because they can't do anything , and we'll have to go home. As Saturday went on the weather cleared and stayed nice for Sunday.

It was fantastic. People were so kind, and our hosts have two sons around the same ages as Wonder Boy and Jofus. They "shot" the confederate soldiers all weekend. I'm surprised that any survived for the men to "kill" in battles. I met a thousand people and they were all welcoming. (I was a little nervous about our clothes since I had made everything and I hoped it was accurate-- or at least accurate enough.)

It was sometimes strange. Spectators would come through and look around and watch us, but it wasn't like being in a play. There was no script and we weren't doing a demonstration. We were just cooking or taking care of children or washing dishes. There were a few moments where I thought, "so this is what the tigers at the zoo feel like." Luckily no one threw sticks at us. (side note: If you are going to throw sticks at an animal in the zoo, why would you antagonize the one that could eat you?)

When the event was over and it was time to go, the kids did not want to leave and were asking when they could go back. Charlie and I are already making plan to upgrade our wardrobe and attend another event in October.

Still Waiting

We have still not heard anything from from Kids to Adopt. I am hoping it will be very soon. If you are one to pray, please say a prayer that we will soon get our travel dates. We are all so anxious to meet our little girl.

The wait is so frustrating. Some days I want to scream "Stop holding my baby hostage!" Even though I know that no one is doing any such thing. When we started out it was possible that we would be bringing her home now, so it is disheartening that we still have not met her. I know at every passing day is one day more that she doesn't know people love her already and want her home. It is one more day she is limited by not being able to move around as she likes. One less day of having a forever family

May God protect you, my sweet girl.