Friday, September 4, 2009

Days go by!!!

I know it has been a long time! Seriously though, our life hasn't consisted of much besides adoption, adoption, adoption. Throw in some work and fundraising (but that's adoption related) and sleep and that's our exciting life :) We do have our much anticipated Disneyland vacation just 2 short weeks away!!! We plan on thoroughly enjoying ourselves and doing anything and everything we've ever had any desire to do in the parks as this will be our last kid-free trip to Disneyland!!!

So life is busy with the adoption process. We are almost 2 months in and we have accomplished a lot. This has already been a huge learning process and even though I have already posted something similar to this on our adoption blog ( I thought I would share some of those lessons here too!

Adoption Process Lessons Learned:

1) It is possible to fall completely, 100% in love with a child you've never seen, met, or even know exists yet.
As we have talked with other adoptive families and lots of families who have both biological and adopted children one thing they consistently say is how different the "pregnancy" process is in both cases. When you are physically pregnant you have that physical love and bond with your child. When you adopt you have this overwhelming feeling in your heart for your child and this emotional bond that is unexplainable. Words cannot describe the transformation in our hearts for this little one!

2) The tasks that you might think are going to be difficult, might actually be the easiest.
We had an idea of what things might be the most difficult to complete and surprisingly those things came together pretty quickly. All of our references turned in their paperwork quickly, our employers only took a day in completing their letters, our medical appointments were quick and the paperwork got done faster than we expected! Some things we expected to be a piece of cake ended up taking longer. Parenting education was very long and sometimes hard! A simple task of going to our local police station to get fingerprinted ended up being drug out for two weeks! Obtaining vital records from Oregon and Alaska proved to be quite the expense. We really should have had no expectations!

3) EVERYTHING is expensive
Our governmental fees for processing fingerprints is high but that is nothing compared to what our government charges for getting vital records. On top of that we are also required to overnight those forms to ourselves so throw in another 50 bucks for a stupid piece of paper :) Lots of high overnighting fees and tracking fees have already been accumulated! The medical appointments could have proved to be expensive but fortunately we have a great doctor who was willing to work with us and "follow up" on other issues we've been seen for while we were there ;) We have also been warned to expect the vaccinations to cost close to $1200 since insurance probably won't cover them. Did I also mention that my employer took away any paid maternity leave due to the fact that this child will not physically be coming out of my body? Nice huh?

4) The paperwork really isn't that bad.
When we received our paperwork from our agency it was very intimidating. Fortunately the agency does 2 scheduled phone calls (one for the home study and one for the dossier) right after you get your binders and walks you through everything! I still get bi-weekly phone calls with our case manager who just sees how things are going and helps me with any questions I have about the dossier paperwork. Did I mention I love our agency :) We dug right into everything and it only took 3 solid weeks of hard work to get everything done and believe me when I say there was A LOT to get done! All the home study paperwork was turned in on Monday and now we wait for our State and Federal background checks to come back so we can start our home study visits. Best case scenario we get our state checks back in about 2 weeks and start our home study visits when we get home from Disneyland and then turn in our dossier and get wait listed sometime in mid to late October!

5) Waiting on others is not fun at all.
This process requires little action on our parts and lots of waiting on others. So much of the process requires us to wait on others to fill out forms but fortunately most of that has gone very smoothly. We are currently just waiting on our government to process our background checks, which everyone knows waiting on the government is really no fun at all! In a matter of weeks we will be waiting to get a referral and we expect that to be exciting and very very difficult all at the same time!

6) Emotional
Peter and I are not "emotional" people. This is another thing that is difficult to explain and yet other adoptive parents completely understand. Watching videos online of families getting their babies or videos of the conditions in other countries are very difficult for us to watch without becoming emotional. Thinking about these mother's having to give the ultimate sacrifice to give their children a better life or even a chance to live another a year is heartbreaking. We are part of a large community of AGCI (our agency) families in all different stages of the adoption process. We get emotional when we read about another family being moved to adopt, or when a family tells their story of getting "the call" for their little one!

7) Satan is a jerk
Okay so we already knew that but there is no other way to put it! We are obviously doing something that he is not happy about and he is trying to pull out all the stops to prevent us from doing this. Fortunately we have someone much better on our side and he is protecting us and helping us in every way to go get our baby!!! We have this very strong sense that this baby is going to do amazing things for God in their lifetime and that obviously rubs satan the wrong way. The only way that satan can stop this is to try to divide us and so logically he is attacking our marriage. Again, this is difficult to explain but at times lately being married has proven to be difficult. We love each other, we understand who is trying to divide us, and we are strong and will not let that happen! Our marriage is not in jeopardy by ANY means but we are being honest in saying things are not as easy as they once were, and yet we are also closer emotionally and spiritually than ever before, and more in love with each other than we've ever been!

8) We have an amazing support system.
So many people have come forward to help us. We've received amazing prayer support from our friends and family and others who don't even know us! That is the greatest blessing we've received and we've already seen many prayers answered! We've received financial blessings from people and that has been very humbling for us! We stand in awe of how our friends and family have supported us in this way. Even people we've never met before are stumbling across our blog and feeling moved to help bring our baby home! People are donating their time and resources to help us in our fundraising efforts. We appreciate everyone who gave up their evening to come bowl with us and raise money! We thank everyone for their generous garage sale donations and filling bottles with spare change!

9) God is so very good!
Yeah, that is pretty obvious but it is worth saying!!!