Friday, August 19, 2011

Ethiopia Updates

Our dossier left Atlanta bound for D.C. on 8/4.  It usually takes 2-3 weeks IN D.C. to go through the translation/authentication process.  Then, it returns to Atlanta, gets checked over, packaged and sent off to Ethiopia.  On 8/17, yes a mere 13 days from departure, I got an email stating that our dossier was bound for Ethiopia!!  AMAZING turnaround!  THANK YOU D.C. folks for your expeditious handling of our paperwork!

Now, the panic is starting to set in.  We’re still not entirely sure how things will play out.  We are guardedly hopeful that we will still be issued a court date for November, but will not find out until after court reopens (tentatively Oct 15th).  Notice could be very short.  We have SO FAR to go in terms of raising the funds necessary to complete the adoption process that some days, okay, most days, I feel completely overwhelmed and hopeless in that regard.  We have worked so hard to get where we’re at.  We have been blessed by the generosity of many.  Unfortunately, we have been chastised by more. 
Pardon me, for a moment, while I step up on my soapbox.  This is my blog, after all, and that means I get to write whatever I want.  People are entitled to their opinions and I'm fine with that.  Generally, I can let it go and bite my tongue.  However, discovering recently that we are not the only ones with these experiences, I have to get something off my chest. 

I’ve often wondered how anyone could look into the eyes of a child in need and not feel the desire to help.  I’ve wondered how people could turn their backs on loved ones or strangers in a time of need.  How could people be so content living within their four walls, ignoring all of the pain and suffering in the world.  I realized I used to be one of them.  Then, we set out on the path of adoption and my world was forever changed.  My eyes were opened to an entirely different world.  I began to see things more clearly.  I began to connect with many other families who, like us, were faced with many of these same adversities.  Over the years, I have been chastised, berated, and scolded.  I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that “if we can’t afford to adopt, we shouldn’t be doing it.”  To clarify, I’ve been told this ONLY by parents of biological children.  I can say with 100% certainty that not one of these parents walked into the hospital when it was time to give birth to their children with 30, 40, even 50 thousand dollars in their pocket – ready to hand over to officials when it came time to take their baby home.  Perhaps they could argue that they pay good money for insurance to cover that.  Well, so do I and so does every other hard-working American.  So, parents of biological children who have felt the need to educate ME on why I should not fundraise to adopt – you’re welcome!  I and every other insurance-premium-paying American are so happy that WE were able to help YOU foot the bill so that YOU could build YOUR family.

Now that I have that off my chest, let me say that overall, I will never complain about our adoption processes.  We chose this path of family-building.  None of the processes have not been easy, but nothing worth having in life ever is.  The path to each of our children has been unique, exciting, emotional and rewarding.  I feel so lucky to have met and befriended some amazing people along our adoption journeys.  I have grown and changed.  I have learned some extremely valuable life lessons.  I now have a firm grasp on what it means to have and to be a true friend.  I have learned that there are people who will stand by me and support me even if they don’t always agree with me – THAT is a true friend.  I have learned that blood is not thicker than water.  I have learned that I am a much stronger person than I ever thought I could be.  I have learned that true selflessness still exists out in the world.    I have learned that we can do without a lot of 'things.'  I am so grateful for these lessons.  I am so grateful for what we have, where we have come and who I have become.  I can’t wait to see where the rest of our journey will lead.    

I know that what we’re doing is controversial to some.  I know that some don’t understand and may not agree.  Those who love us unconditionally will continue to support us.  Those who don’t won’t and those are the people who we do not need in our lives.  Harsh, but reality.  Yet, there are virtual strangers out there who “get it”, who understand us, who respect us, because they have lived the miracle that we are living.  After all, how can bringing children from poverty and loneliness into a loving family possibly be wrong?

So, we press on, we hold onto hope.  We pray that we will find a way.  We know that we will not give up; we will not rest until all of our children are home where they belong.  Life in an institution is not life.  There are three children missing from our home, our arms, our family; and with the
support of those who “get it,” we WILL complete this leg of the journey.
THANK YOU to those who continue to hold us up.  THANK YOU to those who pray for us and for the health of our children.  THANK YOU to those who have shown us support - financially and through kind emails and messages when I've needed them most.  We couldn't do this without you! 


janiece said...

I was going to say--the current estimate to raise a child--a biological child no less--is about $250,000. Maybe we should say if a biological parent doesn't have that kind of money--maybe they shouldn't be "allowed" to have a child. Good God almighty!!! Who can predict the future? If we all waited until we had enough $ or whatever it is that is "needed" nothing would ever be done. I am a firm believer in it "takes a village to raise a child". Whether its financial, emotional, whatever--we all need each other to help in this wonderful "career" of parenthood--no matter how we fell into it!

Jes said...

Shannon - I couldn't have said it better myself. We are in the same darn boat ... and boy does it get lonely sometimes!!

Big hugs!!!