2 Years and Waiting – International Adoption is Not for the Impatient

September 11, 2008 we signed our adoption agreement.

2 years down, one more to go.

Finally, our third trimester.

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Back in January we got an update on our status. It essentially moved our process from a 2 year to 3 year deal. We were shocked.

Then in April, the wheels really tried to fall off the bus. Someone sent their kid back to their home country and started a firestorm of media attention on international adoption. We just try to keep focusing on all the families that are successfully made through this process.

In June, I shared our journey toward parenthood… 21 months and counting.

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It’s September and not much has changed.

We’ve heard it might be February or March for the referral. That is a slight delay, but one that is good to know now, not later.

So what will we do now?

Wait.

Read.

Connect.

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If you are interested in adoption as a way to build your family, please start the process sooner rather than later. It takes a lot longer than you think it will.

21 Months and Counting – Guest Post

Today I have a guest post over at BeckyandHollee’s blog about our journey to parenthood via international adoption. If you are interested in international adoption, please check it out.

If you haven’t met Becky and Hollee yet, they are the authors of a soon to be released book called: Good Enough is the New Perfect. I don’t know about you, but the title alone makes me want to read it!

Bittersweet Travel Planning

Until recently I thought we would be traveling to Thailand this summer.

That fantasy was burst and I’ve pretty much made peace with the situation.

Until I started planning for our actual summer trip.

In doing research on Munich and Croatia (yay European travel!), I started with Rick Steves and quickly remembered how much I don’t want to travel with him.

I can’t even make it through an entire episode without wondering how he has this job.

Don’t get me wrong, he seems like a nice guy….. but are you kidding me?      

y-a-w-n

  

Enter my favorite travel guide: Tony Bourdain.

The foul-mouthed drunkard chef?

Yep, that one.

Anyway, in my search of No Reservations episodes in Netflix Watch Instantly, I came across a Thailand episode.

Of course, I watched it.

The dude even stopped what he was doing to come join me in my office.

I’ll spare you the details, but ultimately watching Tony eating his way through Thailand made me sad.

I really wish we were going to Thailand this summer.

Adoption Isn’t Just What You Read About in the Headlines

Enough with the bad news already.

It seems every time I turn on the news recently there is a story of an adoption gone wrong.

There is a reason it is news:

Because it is rare.

Lots of people adopt every year and there isn’t one news story on all the families made complete through the process.

Except for this one.

Please take a minute to read it.

The author’s name is Eric Weiner. He is a former reporter for NPR and author of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.

I think he’s got it right.

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The latest on our adoption?

We are in the process of renewing all of our paperwork which included a recent visit with our social worker. She came by the house on Sunday for a check in. It was lovely to see her. We’re lucky. We really like our social worker.

The best part?

We are one step closer to becoming parents.

Click here for a general timeline for our adoption.

Yoga+Music365 (day38) – The Ecstatic by Mos Def – The World’s Longest “Pregnancy” Edition

When we started the adoption process back in September 2008, several people suggested we start a blog to capture the time while we were waiting to build our family.

In theory I thought it was a good idea and thought I would do it someday because, that’s what “good” adoptive parents do.

Right? 

Good adoptive parents record every moment of waiting time so that they have a “pregnancy” story to share with their child when they ask about how they became a family.

Then I got all caught up in the notion of what “good” adoptive parents do and got overwhelmed in the judgement about what I am supposed to do.

I hate doing what I’m supposed to do.

So instead, I decided to just do some projects that interested me while we waited. So far, I’ve taken all classes possible to move across the salary schedule (who doesn’t love more money???), studied to become a yoga teacher and now I’m training for a half-marathon.

Oh and I started a daily writing project about two things I love: yoga and music.

I guess my future kid will at least know his/her mom was super busy while waiting.

Interesting to me now, that this blog about my becoming a yoga teacher is evolving into a kind of “pregnancy” story. It’s documenting the changes in me over time. I guess in my own way, I am documenting my transformation into a parent.

Adoption is obviously a longer wait than biological pregnancy. It’s also a much more personal “pregnancy” because there is no physical reminder of our impending parenthood.  If people don’t know we’re adopting – they would never know we’re expectant parents. We don’t have month-to-month bump photos or ironic t-shirts.

Stupid T-shirts

We just have a big binder and a whole bunch of waiting.

I’m curious how other people documented their transformation into parents.

How did you document your pregnancy or waiting time?

How did you share that story with your child when they asked?

Biological or adoptive stories are welcome. Please share your stories here.

 Today’s yoga brought to you by the home practice! It’s a half-marathon training day.

Today’s music is The Ecstatic by Mos Def.

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

I’m teaching 3/5/10 – so mark your calendar.

For the month of February, I’m teaching a Level 1/2 on Mondays at 5:45. Come join me.

Yoga+Music365 (day24) – Self-Titled by Killed By Bears

Self-care Tested

My self-care challenge was truly put to the test this week.  Bad adoption news kicked my butt.

In order to best care for myself, I took some time off work and tried really hard not to feel guilty about it. I know it was the best thing for me and I got a lot of support from everyone to do it, but I still felt a bit weird about it.

I wasn’t sick, but I definitely felt incapable of functioning. Fuzzy brain, spontaneous crying, and overall body fatigue and aches/pains.

Grief.

No bueno.

I turned to a trusted source for self-care: The Woman’s Comfort Book – A Self-Nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life by Jennifer Louden.

Chapters are written like self-care recipes.  You find out what the assignment is, what it isn’t, what you need and when to do it leaving you no excuse not to take care of yourself.

Some of my favorites:

A Day Off – It sounds a lot like Pajama Day with excellent ideas like: making a picnic, a bliss list, being a tourist for the day, reconnecting with someone special, just being day, and silent day. I highly recommend this.

Hiding Under the Covers – Doesn’t really need any further explanation, does it? This is exactly what Mary Paffard advocated for us to do – REST.

When I Think of Comfort I Think of Food – permission to eat what you want without feeling guilty about it. I’d argue most American women could stand to read this chapter.

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It wasn’t until Saturday morning during my half-marathon training that I really felt the physical effects of our bad news. During my warmup I felt like I was trudging through oatmeal. My legs were heavy and slow and my brain was foggy.

Although about halfway through my walk/run the cobwebs finally lifted and I felt my mood lift and I felt like I’ll eventually feel good again.

I’m so glad for this new found awareness of how a little self-care goes a long way.

Yoga+Music365

Today’s yoga brought to you by Deborah at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento.

Today’s music is Killed by Bears – Self Titled.

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

NEW!!!! Mondays at 5:45 in February I’ll be teaching a Level 1/2 at It’s All Yoga – come join me.

Adoption is not for the faint of heart

We talked to the owner of our adoption agency today after months of weirdness with our case worker in the satellite office.

Here is a list of things I learned from today’s conversation.

  1. Our dossier – fancy name for paperwork – just got sent to Thailand a week and a half ago.
  2. Our “waiting clock” of 12-13 months started when our dossier got sent to Thailand.
  3. We thought our dossier had been sent to Thailand in the spring of 2009.
  4. What we thought of as almost a year of waiting patiently, apparently was just practice for more waiting patiently.
  5. Now our expected time to travel is Summer 2011.
  6. I’ll be working next year.
  7. Working with satellite offices – not so much.
  8. I really appreciate hearing the words “neglected”, “mishandled” and “miscommunication” immediately followed by the words I’m sorry.

 Since no one is quite sure how to react to this situation, please let me ask for what we need and to tell you what we definitely don’t need.

Let’s start with the DON’T LIST in case you are short on time:

  1. “This exact same thing happened to my (fill in the blank)” …. I’m sorry to hear that, but right now I don’t care. It’s happening to me now. Focus, people.
  2. “Everything happens for a reason”…. I know and my supreme disappointment is directly attributed to someone misinforming me at best and lying to me at worst. So unless the universe is trying to tell me not to trust people – save it.
  3. “But you’ll be such great parents…the kid will be lucky and …. it sucks that “good” people don’t have kids, but “those” people do.” – Quit judging us and them. You aren’t making anyone feel better.
  4. “There are plenty of kids here to adopt”  -Since you don’t know our situation,  keep this kind of not so veiled judgement to yourself as well.
  5. “I wish I could just make it happen for you”  -We do too, but you can’t.

Now for what we actually need:

  1. Hugs.
  2. Lots of tissue.
  3. Quiet time to be sad.
  4. Some fun. Please feel free to take us out to dinner, the movies, shows – whatever – we’re easy that way.
  5. A vacation. Feel free to offer any and all frequent flyer miles and vacations houses. We’d love to get away this summer. Hell, maybe even this spring.