Sunday, August 17, 2008

True confessions - out of the closet

So, I have always known that Keith and I are going to adopt again. We were led to Africa last fall and we were set to start the process to adopt from Ghana when Villa Hope told us that the state of Alabama would not approve a homestudy for us since we hadn't been married a year. Well we decided to put it off and thought we would just start in early summer to get everything ready and then trudge forward when our anniversary rolled around in August...then we got pregnant. AAI is one of those agencies that believes you need to wait one year between adding children to your family...I am not criticizing this policy - it certainly makes sense...you want to make sure you haven't reached your tipping point, you need to make sure that everyone fits in the family ok...you have to get your routine down.

Because we are crazy...and because we have to do a brand new homestudy to readopt Zeb (I adopted him as a single mom in Arizona), we decided to go ahead and start another adoption and move slllooooooowwwwww. In Alabama you kind of have to move slow - at least with Villa Hope. We have to have our background check fingerprints done and back before they will even schedule a home visit. We also have to have all of the paperwork (like medical exams) turned into them before they even assign a social worker. So, we thought we would just take it easy without all of the crazy rush from last time. We thought that we would try to have our home visits near Christmas and try to get our dossier ready to go by like January or February.

The biggest discussion was where we were going to adopt from. I still love Ghana, I have a monthly recurring donation to an orphanage there and would love to do more...but our hearts are calling us back to Kyrgyzstan. So we put in our application with Adoption Alliance to adopt a girl 9yo or younger with minor special needs. We filled out the preliminary application in July and had been kind of dragging our feet with the formal application. We have so much time before we can finish our homestudy there was really no big rush.

There really is still nothing we can do about our timeline....but last week our coordinator called me. I saw on my caller ID it was a call from adoption alliance, but I was at work and I thought it was someone from the agency calling to see where our formal application was...so I didn't answer it. Then I listened to the message later and it was Karen, asking if we would consider another boy instead of a girl because they have 5 year old Russian boy who is ready for adoption and she thought of me. When we sent in our postplacement pictures for Zeb's post placement reports - one of them was Z with Lilianna....and she thought the little boy looked so much like Lilianna that everyone would think they were twins. I think they also may have thought of me because of the lost referral I had last time was a 2 year old Russian boy. Maybe they didn't really think of me for any reason other than we indicated we were open to any age child under 9 yo...I don't really know.

So we discussed it....a lot.
1. This is going to be it for us until someone moves out for college...do I really want another girl and will I miss not having another daughter/sister for Lilianna?
100% Honesty here....my boys have been sooo much easier than L....and they continue to be easier than L. Girls are high maintenance..I know I am one (barely!). L does talk about wanting a sister and wanting there to be an even amount of boys and girls in our house. However, she has also talked about wanting to be the only princess in the house and keeping her own room.

2. Can we really afford this right now? Ben's bill from the NICU was $143K...they totally charge about $20K for the stupid circumsicion...luckily so far we haven't been charged more than our cap of $2K and his apnea monitor has like $50 monthly copay. Luckily, all of my time off was paid and we had a killer tax refund...overall, the amount we are responsible for with Ben is a lot less than we thought it was going to be....a lot less. My house is rented so we don't have that burden and we had to switch nannies which was stressfull but financially better because we had just given our last nanny a raise. Also, we are way better off financially than when I started Z's adoption. I do have really great moonlighting opportunities at work which I can really double my salary if I work an extra 30 - 40 hours a month. There are so many opportunities in our lifestyle for cutting back expenses it is really and truly ridiculous. I started last week with no coffee and no eating out for lunch at work....it was killing me...but I just stopped cold turkey. Now Keith bought me some coffee while we were waiting to get into the jail to get our fingerprints done on Friday...but it wasn't at work! That starbucks at the hospital is just bad!

We talked about it..slept on it...talked about it some more. For anyone who knows me...I really do make a lot of decisions with my gut. It has to feel right and I trust that your gut is led by a higher source...the universe ...God... whatever higher power you believe in. I also believe that I am not omniscient enough to know what is best for me and my family...seriously. Who am I to say that to complete our family we need a girl. Karen's phone call reminded me that family planning does not mean choosing every single variable like you are decorating your living room or something. I think that when you open your life up to international adoption you do so with a certain degree of faith...that you have a child somewhere out there who is going to make your life and your family better and I don't know who that child is...but they are out there.

So we are interested and are waiting for his medical...there is obviously no rush because we can't be paper ready for several months and the Kyrgyzstan adoption committee is not setting a world record with adoption decrees. Of course, because we are not paper ready and can not travel on our first trip before 2009, there is always the possibility that another family from another agency will adopt him before we can get to that point. There is always a certain degree of uncertainty in international adoption, but I have faith in the process and I have faith in the universe that if this little boy is meant to be with us he will be.

It is funny, when I was adopting Zeb...I posted just about everything I felt or thought without reservation...but this time around I am a little paranoid. I am not 100% sure why...I will have to delve further into that another day.

However, I am out of the closet...we are officially starting.

10 comments:

The Stevens said...

Congrats Michelle! I will pray that God will give you a peace and clear direction on this adoption.

Lisa B and Family said...

Well, I now have tears and a big smile! Yeah for Kygyzstan!
With your willing and open hearts, it is only a matter of the right opportunity and circumstances lining up, and I have faith that it will happen just as it should!
What an amazing house full you are going to have! : )

Jackie S said...

Wow! Wishing you all the very best on this new journey. Things always have a way of working themselves out and I believe what is meant to be will be :)

Mala said...

Wow! That's wonderful! I'm so excited. I'll be folowwing along with you.again.

Brand New Mama said...

I'm excited to know how this one turns out. Whatever happens is the way it was meant to be and I wish your family luck! It's hard to know there is a 5-yr-old little boy out there who needs a family, and nothing you can do but wait!

Kara said...

Yipeee!

Jes said...

Michelle & family,

This is very exciting news and I can't wait to follow your new journey!
-jes

smileysk8 said...

I can't wait to see what child you adopt! Good luck and God bless!

Anonymous said...

then trudge forward when our anniversary rolled around in August...then we got pregnant

Your husband is so lucky that he is able to get pregnant! I have never heard of a man who could do this. I hope you have contacted the Guinness Book of World Records. I'd give anything to be able to get pregnant and I am a lowly female!

Michelle said...

I was pregnant all by myself when i was pregnant with my daughter...but when i was pregnant with Benjamin I was not pregnant alone! Although, I definitely was fat all by myself!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power