As the world of adoption is so unknown we have tried to keep that unknown alive for the boys. We didn't want to promise anything we couldn't be sure would happen. Since we first started even talking about a new sibling we have emphasized that we don't know for sure what will happen and only God knows if we will actually complete this adoption. We often sing "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" to the boys as we put them to bed. Sometime this year I started a verse, "He's got our maybe baby sister in his hands". This caught on and when Yared prays about her or talks about her he calls her maybe baby sister. I love it. I know it is a bit sad as it shows that we have shared some of our adoption concerns but it also makes me happy that he has jumped on board with our cautious optimism. This is how Ben and I have chosen to approach adoption. Admittedly it was much much harder for me to be so casual about things the first time around. I was all consumed with being a Mom and wasn't sure if it was ever going to happen. Then once we had pictures of the boys, I literally ached with pain if I thought I wouldn't get them home to us. But right now we are in the waiting stage of adoption. We aren't matched to a specific child. For clarity's sake let me tell you where we are in our adoption.
First you complete a home study to make sure that your home and family is fit to have another child in it. Wouldn't it be nice if EVERYONE had to have one of these. There are some seriously unfit families out there.
Second you complete your dossier. Basically a ton of paperwork proving to Ethiopia that you are who you say you are and that you can offer a good home to a child. This takes FOREVER. You have 20 items you need to gather. Each must be a certified original or notarized. Then they all go to the state level to have a seal saying they are originals or that the notary is the real deal. Finally they get sent to the Federal level to have the state seals authenticated. This wouldn't be a hassle for a family that doesn't move as much as we do. We were dealing with four states and the British government thanks to my British birth certificate.
Third you mail in your dossier. It gets translated into Amharic and then you are ready to accept a referral. You can wait anywhere from a few months to a year. We are hoping for a short wait time. Prayer would be useful here:).
Fourth you get a referral and chose whether or not to accept.. duh who wouldn't. All we know is that we will receive a referral for a girl between ages of 0 and 3 years of age.
Fifth we wait for a court date. Once that is obtained we fly to Addis Ababa for court and hopefully pass the first time.
Sixth we come home without our baby girl and wait for our embassy date. This is generally a few weeks to two months so they can get her passport together and clear everything on that side of things so that once she comes home she is ours forever.
We just completed step three. Often we get asked if our process is any easier as we have adopted through Ethiopia before. Nope!! That doesn't help us at all. We have to redo our birth certificates, marriage certificates, everything. Nothing can be used a second time. The only advantage is that you know what you are taking on when you take on the paperwork. I guess this could be considered a disadvantage but I want to be positive:).
The way I feel about this adoption is so so different. I feel like a whole different person going through this. I am not in that desperate Mommy mode. I am so blessed, so happy and so content with our lovely sons that I truly know that I will be fine if this adoption fell through. I would grieve and move on. I am not attached to any specific child yet. But at the same time I love being a Mom so much.. probably because the boys make it so much fun... that I can't wait to be a mom again. One minute I am relishing the freedom of having older kids running in the back yard unsupervised and the next I am missing holding and snuggling a little toddler. I go from the thrill of starting with baby/toddler stuff again to the terror of attachment issues, diapers and the great unknown what if we do get an infant. Nati was 19 months when we got him. Ben and I are CLUELESS with babies. But I find I like this adoption roller coaster much more than the last. I am so happy where I am in life that I feel content with whatever happens. I hope for a sweet baby girl to come into our home as I think we have a lot of love to offer. I know she will get a Mom who adores her. She will get an amazing Dad who will be the biggest softie for her. I know she will score the BEST two big brothers in the world. I know they are the reason we want more kids. They are amazing.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This last weekend we once again got to head up to my folks place in Mariposa for the county fair. This is a bit of a family tradition and we are thrilled to be back in CA and able to join in on the fun. The boys and I went up early to spend some extra time with Nana and Babu. Also my aunt and uncle were visiting from England so we got to see them a bit longer as well. Ben joined us on Friday by hitching a ride with my brother. We had the majority of the family there as one of sisters and two neices also came. The weather had cooled down a bit so this fair was probalby the most fun yet as we weren't roasting hot. I love the fair, I love family fun, and I love Birthdays so this was one fun weekend. I'll be quite now and let you see it through pictures.
My dad has traveled a lot and collects hats. The boys wanted to know where they were all from. They would have tried them all on if they were allowed but as I said my Dad has a LOT of hats. Here they are in a Russian fur hat and and Indian head dress.
What made this trip to Nana and Babu's extra special was having Ben with us. The boys were thrilled to have their giant playmate around.
Here he is finding a clue on the back of the house.
Cheeky Birthday Boy.
It was a GREAT weekend and a wonderful way to end the summer. Truly I am blessed with such a big extended family that I so enjoy, with my three men who make every day exciting and an adventure, with laughter, hope, and so much more. My cup runneth over.