Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I thought I was better than that

So I am going to be really honest about something. You might be offended and for that I will apologize now. And you might think less of me for this but I am going to admit it anyways.

When we started the adoption process last May, I had done years of research already. I knew about the facts. I had read hundreds of blogs and knew about the emotional roller coaster. I knew that everyone out there has found the process difficult, expensive, and emotionally painful. I knew that the waiting can be torturous.

So here is the part that you aren't going to like: I thought I was better than all that.

I thought that because we chose to adopt from the beginning, without ever trying for the pregnancy route, that I would be immune from the emotional roller coaster. I chose this route, right? I'm not desperate for a baby, any baby, a baby right now. (This is where I fear that I might have offended you. I truly do apologize.) I didn't think I would yearn for my babies the way that I do. I didn't think that the waiting would bother me. I never expected the weird random moments when the thoughts of my children are right in front of me and I start crying in the grocery store.

In fact, I didn't think that we would wait long because our request is rather open. (We had our homestudy written for boy or girl and up to age 12.) Little did I know that we would then feel God leading us to look for a sibling group of FOUR children. Basically the very least common request possible! I believe that this is what God has planned for us. And maybe at some point we will feel lead in a different direction but until then we are committed to sticking with it. But I have to admit, it is so difficult. I really want to see our kids on the horizon. Its not really the timing that is difficult. If I knew that it would take another year and at that time our kids would appear, I would be totally okay with it. But right now, finding them at all feels so impossible. Yes, I know that if it is God's plan that of course He will see it through. On a daily basis I am having to make the choice to continue to act upon what I believe to be true even when my faith is so shaky. By the way I have asked God for a lightning bolt if He wants to lead us in a different direction. I think it's a fair request, don't you?

I don't think I ever admitted it out loud or even to myself but I actually thought I was better than all the trials and tribulations that everyone else goes through. I thought I was better than that. And I was wrong, completely wrong.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is that you God?

We think we should adopt. Is that you God? Pregnancy sure would be cheaper and I'm starting to think easier...

We think we should adopt a pair of siblings. Is that you God?

We think we should adopt from Russia. Is that you God? Russia has become really difficult.

We think we should adopt from Ethiopia. Is that you God? We don't know anything about Ethiopia.

I think maybe I would like 4 kids someday. If we are going to adopt 4 kids, maybe we should do it all at one time in order to keep a sibling group together. Is that you God? It certainly isn't logical. Who in their right minds would go from 0 to 4 children on purpose?

The agency we chose to help us adopt from Ethiopia doesn't really support our desire to adopt 4 at once. We think we should change agencies. Is that you God? This is going to delay the process....

We think we should adopt from Ghana. Is that you God? Let me find a map and look up where Ghana is.

There aren't any groups of 4 available in Ghana. We think the will show up. Is that you God? Seriously, is that you? Is this your plan? Will you bring them to us? Did we miss understand? Is this our will and not yours? Could you send us a sign? A lightening bolt would do nicely...

This sure isn't easy...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm Done

I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. After four and a half years, I am finally done with my masters degree. This has been such a long road. I never imagined how much time and effort this would take.

Because my undergrad work was in Linguistics, I did not have any of the needed prerequisites for a business degree so the first 2 years were spent just completing all the pre work. During that time I took a statistics class. At the beginning of that quarter my beloved Grandpa got sick and near the end of that quarter he died. So needless to say I was pretty distracted that quarter.

Once I finally got into the program, the first class I took was statistics. During that same quarter I started a new job in a new department. The department itself was brand new and we were rolling out our new logistics system. We did this starting on the east coast which meant 4am wake up calls and long hours. (6am is seriously pushing it for me.) Now remember that I was distracted during my foundation statistics course so I had a shaky start to begin with and then I was sleep deprived. And the result was academic probation. What a nasty start to grad school.

It finally came time for me to wrap things up. In the past my school has required graduating students to compile a portfolio of their best work over a wide scope of subjects and styles. Summer was the first quarter that they went to the case study format. Summer quarter they used one company to do a case study on doing a comprehensive analysis. Fall quarter they choose to do building a statistical model as the case study. And oh luck me, that is where I fell into the timeline. Yup, it had all come full circle. I was scheduled to graduate in early December. While I had received passing grades in my prior statistics classes, I had really struggled. I had no idea what I was doing this fall but I researched and worked and worked. But my best was not good enough. In November I was told that I was not graduating. Ooooo nelly I was not happy. I knew my best was not good enough but that didn't change the fact that I was not happy. In fact, out of 10 of us scheduled to graduate that quarter, 3 others were given this same news. One such person I had worked with several times before and I know is a really good student. If this guy couldn't pass, there was a serious problem. The good news is that I was not told that was it or that I had to start over, just that the timeline was going to be later than expected.

A few weeks ago I finally got the okay to move forward. The final step was to present my case study to a panel of professors. At 2:30pm I arrived at school. The appointment was not until 3:00pm but I was not taking any chances of being late. I made my presentation. Then they asked me questions for a while. At 3:54 I was asked to step out into the hallway while they decided my fate. I could see a clock from where I sat. 5 minutes passed and I got a little nervous thinking how long can it possibly take to decide if I did well. 10 minutes passed and I got really nervous thinking they must be having a significant debate or they have decided that I have not passed and they are trying to decide what to tell me. 15 minutes passed and my professor came out into the hallway and said "congratulations". She then said "we got to talking and then said oh she must be out there wondering". Ummm..... YOU THINK!?!?!?!?

The point is that I can finally say I have a Masters in Business Administration.

Monday, March 7, 2011

USCIS Appt Scheduled

We got the letters in the mail today saying that our USCIS fingerprinting appointments are scheduled for April 1st at 8am. Yes, April Fools Day. :) You don't get to pick or request your appointment time. The tell you when and you show up. Just that simple. 

If you are trying to figure out what on earth USCIS fingerprints are, let me explain. This is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. We mailed in our i-600a Application for Advance Processing or Orphan Petition a couple weeks ago. If you are doing the math, yes we delayed a little bit from when we got our homestudy to when we stuck our application in the mail. Gasp. I know, everyone thinks you should be in a huge rush to process an adoption as soon as humanly possible. Well our 4 haven't showed themselves yet so it doesn't really matter at this point. The i-600a is a request for pre-permission for our kids to immigrate to the U.S. The fingerprinting in the next step in getting our i-171h (the form you get when your i-600a gets approved).

So we will wait to get fingerprinted and then once we get fingerprinted we will wait to get our i-171h and then we will submit our dossier (documents to the Ghanaian government saying why we think they should let us adopt). But it all hinges on our 4 showing themselves, that is when the real timeline begins. Come out, come out, wherever you are! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feeling Squirrelly

I have been feeling squirrelly this past week. Yes, I know "squirrelly" is not a real word. Josh and I were just discussing how to spell it. To clarify he said "like you have squirrels running around in your stomach". I told him it is more like I have squirrels running around in my head, but yes. I am feeling squirrelly for our 4. I don't really know how to explain what I am feeling. It is not quite that I am anxious, although that is true. It is not quite that I am longing for them, although that is true. They have just been on my mind. There are times when I think about them often and at times not as much. Sometimes I suddenly feel overwhelmed and anxious for them. Sometimes I long to hug them and it is all that I can see in my mind because all other thoughts are overshadowed by this image. And right now I feel squirrelly for them. I often wonder if these feelings are just me and my naturally anxious mind and heart. I wonder if these feelings are connected to what is going on in their little lives. Is this the day that they are abandoned? Is this the day that a parent dies? Is someone taking advantage of the fact that they don't have anyone to protect them? When I let myself ask these questions I start to cry. I know the facts; Our children will have been hurt by the events that lead them to our arms. I have to remember that our God is watching them and that He is the master healer. And while I do know that, my mind spins and I feel squirrelly for our 4... wherever they are.