Friday, October 28, 2011

What a day!
It started off rocky and full of the "blehs" but my my my what a turn around.  I got a call from the Mental Health facility here in town saying the psychologist had a report for us to pick up.  I made it over there just before closing time and I have to say I was very much anticipating the worst.  Since we live in a rather small town this particular gal was our only option for the psych eval and from the first interview you could tell many things.
1.  She'd NEVER done an eval for international adoption before
2.  She thought we were crazy for having young kids and wanting to adopt a special needs child
3.  She was put off by the whole ordeal even though we were paying her a pretty penny to make it happen. 
But seeing as though she was our only option we carried on.  I did my part and my test and on a separate day Chris went in a did his.  She told him she was diagnosing me with mild anxiety and diagnosing him with mild depression because "everyone has something".  What?!?!?  I immediately called our international agency and explained and asked if this would have negative effects.  She said she would fax her a copy of a really good report so she could get a better idea of what was needed.  I should add I definitely don't have anxiety and Chris does not have any form of depression.  Even when he asked the psychologist about that diagnosis she said "well you brought it up" and he said "I was answering your question about Junior High School".
Anyway this is getting lengthy.  My point is we had huge reason to believe this wasn't going to turn out well.  Boy were we surprised.  I read the report in the parking lot and nearly cried (happy tears).  She made us sound like the most ideal parents for any child.  It was amazing to see how she actually did observe us and our personalities while we were there.  She hit the nail on the head.  The summary- we're well equipped to provide a home for a special needs child and care for her as if she were our biological child.
So glad she was able to see the light!
I also was able to get an amazing deal a bed for the little lady this week.  She's all set up with a Queen bed and darling bedding just right for a darling girl.  I can't wait to go to bed knowing she's right here, tucked in, where she belongs.
Love you little lady!  The Cardinals won the world series today.  I owe you one pink ball cap :) 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

To Littlelola:
I wanted to answer your question about being pregnant and adopting but I couldn't locate your blog or email address so I'll just put it here and delete it later.
I have to say our agency never said a word about me being pregnant during the process but I never posed the question.  I did ask our international agency HIH.  I said "I am expecting now, is that going to be a problem?" Her response was "only for you".  Awesome.  I loved that.  To me it said so much.  It said she didn't care, the government in Eastern Europe wouldn't care, and the child I was adopting wouldn't care either.  I feel like because the child we're adopting is five she won't see the new baby as competition.  It will be such a period of adjustment for all of us.  Also I spend so much time sitting and nursing my babies in that first year that it makes me more available to my kiddos.  Rather than hustling around the house trying to get everything done I'm forced to be still and read books or play puzzles while nursing the little one or whatever it is the little guys want. 
It is a huge adjustment anytime you add a child.  I do feel like it would be harder on a one year old to suddenly have a brand new higher need sibling than it would on a infant. 
Beyond all these reasons my heart feels as though the Lord has brought us here and he will see us through.  We're following his guidance in regard to all of our children.  It will be tricky when it comes to traveling and the close proximity to my due date.  Again, I'll leave that in His hands.  I've never had a daughter or felt like I was missing out having just my boys but I know He has a plan for each of us and suppose my ladies just needed a sister from the jump off.  I hope that answers your question. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Wait
This is the part I knew I wouldn't like.  My hubby is in Texas for some dental training and my daughter is in Eastern Europe.  Luckily I have my boys here with me.  We're moderately stagnant still (or so it feels) because our homestudy won't be completed until November 12th and there are certain things we can't submit without a completed homestudy.  I am however, taking advantage of this time to gather info and paperwork and forms which will all go out asap after the homestudy is done.  I am still blown away but the random costs of adoption.  For example, one form the "petition to adopt an orphan" submitted to immigration is 720 dollars plus 85 dollars for each adult in the home.  What??  Such a random number and I have no idea what that money goes towards.  Plus 85 per adult?  How about just 85 per adult?  Don't these people have a regular salary?  Or are they just banking on yet another adoptive application?
It does often feel like all sides are against you being able to adopt.  It is all the more motivating for me though so bring it on governments (just do it quickly, that's all I ask).  My mom is here while my hubby is away.  She's as driven as I am when it comes to this adoption.  She's already shopping for the little lady (second hand of course, since all kids do is grow) and telling anyone we meet about the pending adoption.  That's what mom's are for.
We're also working on setting up her room.  She'll share with her sister who isn't born yet of course but once she's ready for a crib they'll be bunking together.  I wasn't sure what kind of bed she'd prefer since as far as I know she's only known a crib.  We decided to go with a platform full size bed so one she won't fall far if she falls and two she can crawl out or scoot or however it is she gets around Ariel style on the floor.  And who are we kidding, I went with a full size so I can lay with her as she falls asleep to make up for all the years she had to go it alone. 

Here's to a numbered amount of days in your old be, little lady.  We love you and miss you terribly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tons of love for those of you who donate!  You're making this happen!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One step at a time
I know each day brings us closer to her but the wait seems so tedious!  If I'm not actively filling out forms our having something notarized I feel like my time is wasted.  Blogging helps.  We finished our psych evaluations this week and received copies our marriage license and background checks.  We also had our fingers printed this past week.  Our in home visit with the case worker is scheduled for later this week but I'm trying not to think about that.  Does anyone know if it matters whether we have room set up for her?  I'm hoping to sell a few more items to purchase the bed I want but for the moment we have three boys in one room and then a guest room and playroom. 
We are still so excited to be on this journey and to get to be her parents but the wait is awful.  Nothing seems to be happening fast enough.  We take comfort in knowing that she is ours and that each day brings us closer.  We continue to sell things in order to raise funds and while I know our efforts aren't in vain it does seem like we have a long way to go til we reach the 10,000 dollar mark.  We've made arrangements for the first 20,000 but the last ten is going to be the real faith builder! 
Thank you to all who have donated or prayed in our behalf.  The comfort you provide is tremendous.  The journey continues!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The rest of the story....
So I thought I'd take some time during 1. naptime and 2. the stagnant, waiting for passports and fingerprints time to go back to the beginning and explain how we came to be at this juncture.   Scroll down ahead of time so you know what you're getting into.  While it is a good story, it is not a short one.  Grab a juice box, you're gonna be here for awhile. 

Chris and I were married in 2006.  I came into the marriage with one son from my initial marriage who was about six months old when Chris and I started dating.  He was 15 months when we married so Chris is Daddy to him.  I started talking about adoption right from the get go.  Chris knew it was in my blood and future plans.  We had one son who was born in 2007 and the plan was to adopt the next one.  Surprise! Another son in 2009 and then we finish school and move from Boston to Idaho with all intentions of adopting the next child for sure this time.  Chris had wanted to put a couple years in between our bio kids and the next one so we could "do that well" and then be more open for older children without upsetting birth order.  I was down with that idea but inside I knew I wanted it to happen sooner.  I asked Chris if he would be open to at least praying about it together and letting the Lord know that we were up for the challenge and that we welcomed his instruction on how to make it happen.  Chris said he was more than happy to do that.
  Then another Surprise!  this time we're expecting a girl and due in February of 2012.  I went through some pregnancy blues this time around until I convinced myself that we are adopting from the Lord and that this child is obviously meant to be in our family.   So I was bummed a. that we were again expecting rather than adopting and 2. that our plans to be a family of five for some time was now out the window.  Then I realized if this pregnancy, unexpected as it was can be a welcomed addition to our family, why not an adoption?  Why does an adoption have to be so perfectly planned out and timed but a pregnancy just happens and that's okay?  Finances, right?  I know what you're thinking.  Still where there is a will there's a way.
    I've spent years looking into all types of adoption (this was all while we were in dental school -no I didn't go but I invested in the effort so we both say "we").  I looked into trans-racial adoption, special needs adoption, domestic adoption, you name it I've looked into it.  I was on the Rainbow Kids website more often than I care to admit.  Then we moved out here to Idaho and somehow I discovered Reece's Rainbow.  Laying in bed at night I'd show Chris pictures and profiles of some of the waiting kids and he would always say "that's nice" or "wow tough break for that little guy".  He never took me seriously.  I remember the first time I saw Marissa's profile and those gorgeous eyes just spoke to me.  I really felt like I was looking at a picture of my own child.  I showed Chris her profile and he said "where in Eastern Europe?" since he lived in Siberia for a few years.  I emailed RR to find out.
    Then a few days later I got a reply and she said where she was located and asked where my husband had lived.  I told her and then explained that we were a military family and there was a good chance we'd only be stationed in Idaho for a year which wouldn't give us enough time to complete an adoption.  She replied a few days later, on the one day that Chris was out of town on a business trip and said "you can complete an Eastern European adoption in 9-12 months" and without being prompted to do so she included 5 or 6 pictures of Marissa and her medical history.
   My world literally stopped.  I bawled looking at the screen and seeing what I knew was my child in a far away land and wondering how I could get to her, how I could make this all happen.  I was heartsick that entire day.  I called my mom (Chris was unreachable) she was down (meaning ready to do whatever it took), I called my sister, she had the voice of reason and logic and said "you're already pregnant, why don't you finish what you started and then go find the needy children."  She was making sense but it wasn't an option in my mind.  I later told my husband this same thing "it is like someone tells you something that you didn't ask to hear but now that you know you absolutely have to act".  That's how I felt.  Very moved, very prompted and stubborn as I am, this was gonna happen.  So I went all day dreading Chris's reaction.  He was flying home late and wouldn't arrive til midnight.  I called him before he boarded and said "something happened".  He said "You decided to keep the purse?"  I'd bought myself a purse (which I never do) for my birthday and I was uncomfortable with what I'd paid.  I'm a second hand girl at heart but I thought for once in my life I'm gonna go out and buy the exact thing I want, no compromise!  "No, in fact I'm not keeping it, and here's why".  I told him about the email, the pictures, the medical info and how disgusting and heartsick I'd felt all day long.  He said the exact words my sister said "We're already pregnant, lets do this first and then we can go out and save the world.  There will always be needy kids." 
    Not what I wanted to hear -but- he agreed to talk to me about it when he got home.  Poor guy had been in Texas for an internship interview and had so much else on his mind!  September 12th.  That was the day.  So anyway, he gets home at midnight, I'm awake, of course and the discussion starts.  He repeats what he'd said earlier and I give him all my explanations as to why I can't just ignore this.  We go back and forth and then I pass him the laptop and say "okay, but will you look at the email?".  He looks, he reads, he scrolls through the pictures.  I freeze.  I wait.  I hold my breath hoping that some magic is happening within him.  He says nothing.  He reads again, scrolls again and then passes it back to me and says "Okay.  We can look into it." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   I could hold that key all day and it wouldn't express my joy.  I knew it.   I knew I wasn't crazy.  Yes the logic says "who adopts when they're pregnant?" but then as a parent you see the face and you know...that's our child.
   So the next day we had our agencies, sent our initial paperwork and started the journey.  I had to call Chris that next day and ask what he meant by "lets look into it" because I was about to cut some checks.  He said he was up for the challenge.  What a guy.
    Hard to believe that was less than a month ago.  It feels like we've been on this journey forever.  When I think back to the goals we set at the beginning of September I have to laugh.  I think 'keep track of our expenses" was on that list.  Haha!  We're certainly doing that now!
    I have to say it is wonderful to watch our families completely open up to the idea.  Some were dubious at first or thought I'd just fallen off my rocker or run away with another crazy idea -which I do, I can understand why they'd think that, but this is different and I think they feel it too.  She's just one of us, one of ours and just as if someone kidnapped one of my boys and then emailed me their picture with a 30,000 dollar ransom note, I'd find the money and get my baby back.  So for you little lady, I'll get the money, I'll sign the forms, and I'll be there with open arms (or hand, or smile, whatever you're comfortable with) and I'll bring you home.  And just because I love you SOOO much I'll even grow you a sister while I'm doing it.
We love you little lady, we're so glad we found you and we can't wait to have you.  One day closer...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I see some similarities here. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You make my heart sing.
I don't always know who is donating but everytime I see it my skips a beat and goosebumps takeover.  You guys are SO making this possible for us.  We honestly appreciate every dime.
-side note- this evening I could hear my almost four year old in the bathtub practicing, "Pri, pri, privet!"