Sunday, April 01, 2007

The journey

It's Sunday evening and though I did a good job of keeping myself busy over the weekend my thoughts are now drifting to the fact that we just may be getting "The Call" very soon.

I am suddenly reminded of what it has taken to get to this point. I am going to re-post one of my very first blog entries that was originally posted on MySpace in August 2005.
Here is our very long story:

Adoption #1
It all began the summer of 2000. My husband and I decided to adopt from Romania because of a documentary we saw . We filled in forms and sent in money and began our homestudy only to find out in September that the Romanian program had closed. So, we decided to try Moldova and again filled in forms, sent in more money, modified the homestudy and 3-months later Moldova closed. We then decided to switch agencies and go for Russia as I had a colleague who had a good experience (This was November 2000). We once again filled in more forms, and sent in more money and modified the homestudy. A year later we updated everything and a week after that (November 2001) we got a proposal of a beautiful boy who was 18 months old named Alexander. He was very healthy and we were told we would have him before Christmas. Well, Christmas came and went and we had a baby shower in January. Every day we called the agency and they did not reply. When we did get them they said that they were working on it. His room was ready and waiting with clothes and toys and books and every day I would watch the video of him and look at his pictures. My husband, our family and I prayed every day that the wait would end. In March I heard that 5 couples that went to the region my son was from (Kyzyl) came back without their children. I heard that the judge was making things difficult and wanted the birth mom present at the court. Another month went by and we heard that the agency director got into a huge fight with the judge of the region and that we would not be getting Alexander after all. Angry, sad and devastated I threatened the agency with a lawsuit for lying to me and keeping me in the dark about the region problems. I was immediately proposed another child named Andrei who had many more medical problems. In his video he was crying so hard he was purple. We decided he was perfect as he looked just like we felt. (I believe that adoption is a leap of faith).

In March (2002) we left for Russia and when we got to Moscow we were told that the adoption process in Russia had just changed to the two trip method. We were livid. At that time I found out that our son had been rejected by 3 other families and I began to get very nervous. We flew to Kemerovo ( Siberia ) to meet our son. He was beautiful but small and was suffering from giardia, rickets, malnutrition, etc. His arms and legs were so skinny with a huge distended belly. We accepted and signed all the release forms. We were told that we could fly home to wait for the court date or go back to Moscow to wait – we were not allowed to stay in Kemerovo to spend time with our son. So, we spent 3 weeks in Moscow in an apartment with another couple in the same situation. It was really hard but now that I look back I appreciate that I was given time to experience my son’s country and culture and I have ford memories of staying in Moscow . Finally we got a court date and flew back to Kemerovo . They day after the court day we finally got our son (April 15th, 2002) he was 14 months old. A few days later we flew home. After spending over a month in Russia we were so happy to be home! Our son (we named him Francis) caught up in all of his delays within 3 months and now I cannot imagine my life without him. He is 4 ½ years old and loves sports – I often think of the couples that refused him for whatever reasons and realize now that he was meant to be ours!! That said, I did and still do mourn the loss of Alexander even though he knows nothing of us nor that he was ever going to be adopted, I will never forget him.

Adoption #2
In June of 2004 we decided that it was time for Francis to have a little sister. The agency we had used for my son is now out of business. We had heard many positive stories about Belarus and how the children are still suffering from the effects of Chernobyl . We decided that we would adopt a sibling group of 2 girls or boy/girl. By July we were paper ready and sent in our dossier. In October there was an adoption freeze due to the president who feels that it is better for Belarus to not loose its children to foreigners – even if that means the children must live in orphanages under deplorable conditions (don’t get me started). We waited out the freeze until January – then the agency suggested that we switch to Lithuania ; a new program that they felt was going to be great. In May, after I had revised my Homestudy, forms, fees, new translation, doctors visits, etc… The agency told me that they just found out that the average wait time was going to be 3 years!!!!!!!

So here we are, August 2005 and almost paper ready for China (You should see how thick out adoption file is!!). I have heard wonderful things about the China program and I am honestly thrilled with the 6-7 month wait time (dossier and travel not included). There are many reasons that we have chosen China but the number one reason is the agency. I am impressed by the honesty and forthcoming information. The level of organization and help has made all the difference to us. I am hopeful that sometime next summer I will be announcing my travel dates!!

Thank you for reading my story. Despite our adoption journey I am still positive about adoption and will likely have a #3 story in a few years.

Wow, it's hard to read an it's our own story! So here we are are, April 2007, closer than ever to our second child. The wait times were not what I thought they would be but I still think that the China program is a great one and our agency has been truly fantastic.


Dawn and Dale said...

WOW!! Amazing stories!!!

I can't imagine how hard this journey has been for you!!

Francis is sooooo adorable!!! Hard to imagine you may not have had him in your life!!!! (Maybe this is why our journey's to China are taking so long...the RIGHT daughters need to come home to us!!)


Hope you hear something this week!!!!

Love Dawn

Anonymous said...

I cried(I am very sentimental and pms'ing)....I love the happy ending!


Cari said...

Wow -- can't believe the story of your first adoption -- how difficult it must have been!
You're so lucky (and smart) that you have Francis at home with you -- I'm sure he can't wait until his sister comes home!
I'll be thinking of you this week, and hoping that you get 'the call' soon!

Doris & Dan said...

I so enjoy hearing your adoption story. I always am amazed at the strength and determination you and Stephan have. Thru it all, your attitudes have remained positive. I am so happy to call you my friend and look so forward to sharing this time with you.

Keep smilin!

C.J. said...

I had no idea you had been through so much. It's amazing the path life leads us along. We would never imagine some of the things we encounter. It has much pain but one single joy (Francis) makes it all worthwhile.

Soon, you will have your newest little one's face before you. I hope VERY soon.

cougchick said...

Wow! That story blew me away. I can't imagine how hard it must've been to live through it. I am so excited for your referral. Can't wait to hear the news...

Elisa, Jarrod & Thomas said...

You guy's have been through so much!
I am so happy that Francis was meant to be yours especially when I look at pictures of Thomas and Francis playing together on Saturday.
They get on so well and often look like brothers..I know this will be great for the China trip.
Wow ..soon we will be seeing our daughters faces for the first time!

Stacy said...

You have an amazing story. I can't imagine the struggle it must have been to bring Francis home. I am so happy for all of you.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a reminder that this wait could be much worse. At least we know this will happen.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for you today! :)

PromiseKeepersDaughter said...

Wow I am sitting her in awww of what you have been through, all in the name of love.....
thinking of you today.....hope you hear good news.

Lee-Anne said...

Thanks so much for sharing! As my husband constantly reminds me... all this waiting, is for the perfect child for our family. I think Francis's story proves that without a doubt.

Its Monday night here, I'm about to go to bed... I pray that you'll find out about your daughter and Francis's sister, as I sleep!

Lisa and Tate said...

Crossing everything that you will be in this batch!!!!


Mark & Michelle said...

Wow - what a roller coaster ride you have been on. I am sorry for all your disappointments, however, they are what lead you to Francis!

You are a strong woman!

Good luck this week on the referral front! I hope that stork gets moving!!

A Special Family said...

what amazing stories, it is incredible how long adoptions take and the amount of high's and low's through the journey.
I am very excited for you....this next step will be amazing!!

Jewels of My Heart said...

I just found your blog from Colleen's blog.... I am so sorry you didn't get to see your sweet baby's face today... I know what you are going through but one day very soon you will see your daughter and hold her in your arms and all the pain, and frustration will melt away.
God's Speed

Lisa and Doug said...

Thank you so much for sharing. What an amazing story.

Lisa said...

What an amazing journey you've been on. I'm praying that you get your referral soon.

Jennifer said...

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for you!!!!!!!! I literally just ran down to the computer to check on the CCAA to see if they updated anything about the matchings. I can hardly wait, I can imagine how you and your family are feeling!

Waiting on the edge of my seat for news!


P.S. Thank you for sharing your journey. Soon, you will be looking at Naomi's face!!!!

Steffie B. said...

Wow.....amazing stories. You are so blessed and so close to bringing home your daughter! I can't wait to follow your journey!

Beth said...

Hi there - I just linked to your blog from the RQ site. What amazing stories you have to tell about the growth of your family. What blessings you and your children will find in each other. Best wishes now as you near the end of the wait for #2. Maybe our paths will cross in China.

LID 10/26/05