Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Home Visit

Well here it is!  Finally, our home visit date has arrived (or is arriving in 2 days) and oddly, I am not nervous but excited!  We have carefully gathered all our documentation to give the final bits to our amazing social worker, Michelle.  On Thursday she will come to our home, look around, finally meet our little Jack, and then go away and write our report.  On the one hand it seems like this part has taken forever but at the same time it really has flown by and has not been a big deal at all!

I hear how things are going in Uganda and it scares me while at the same time hoping that we get our referral tomorrow! If you're wondering, our referral is still quite a few months away (we have at least 6 months after we get on the waiting list) and yet just the fact that we're moving on to the next phase soon is so exciting!

In case you're following our journey and want to have a glimpse of some of the Ugandan babies, I will give you the website of one of the babies homes that our agency works with.  Before I do let me say one thing.  If you are close to us, giving us a referral or recommendation of any sort, or are related to us, please DO NOT donate any money to this orphanage.  When we start our dossier process and work through immigration, we must be completely above reproach with regards to how we received our child.  In some cases, people have donated money, maybe even innocently, but because it could appear they were buying favor with someone in the loop it can appear they wanted to buy a child.  While most people have good motives, we don't want any possibility that anyone would say that is our intention.  We want to go through all the correct channels and not have put anything in our own way to trip us up along this process.  So here's the website:  http://www.lovingheartsbabies.com/.  This is NOT necessarily the orphanage where our child will be referred from, it is just an example of one of the orphanages in Uganda.

So here's to the end of the home study process and the kick off of immigration and dossier prep!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why aren't you adopting domestically?

I just need to address something that has been slapping me in the face many times in the last few days/weeks.  Maybe this is an evil at work trying to crush my spirit but regardless, I'm over it.  Here's my problem.  When I tell someone about our adoption or speak with someone about adoption I can only share our story, experience, and desires.  I do not beget anyone their thoughts and ideas, but maybe before placing judgement we should all consider each other's point of view before speaking our minds.

One instance occurred when I was discussing adoption with someone and they were telling me their concerns about adopting.  In an attempt to dispel some myths they had bought into they quickly told me how they did not believe in international adoption.  Mind you, at this point they did not know that we are adopting from Uganda, they just know we are adopting.  They proceeded to tell me that it's bogus that people would even consider adopting internationally because there are so many kids in need here in the United States.

In another instance, I had someone almost attack me with questions about why we would even think about going outside the US for a child with the great need locally and imply that it's just because it's "in" right now to adopt a child of another culture.

These are just two examples of multiple conversations I've had lately.  So let me set the record straight.  We are talking about a CHILD here people.  These children know nothing of borders and boundaries.  All they know is heartache and pain and trauma that they have suffered because they were abandoned.  And this is true from children inside the borders of our amazing United States and in every country of this world.  In my mind, whether you decide to adopt domestically or internationally and have the right motives, then it is not wrong, period.

Of course there are children here that need forever families.  Our decision was more of just a personal pull toward Uganda that we cannot explain or express to you.  Just because I cannot put it into words does not make it an inaccurate decision.  We also know that children in the US, even those growing up in foster care and orphanages, have certain opportunities that children abroad do not.  Those opportunities are simply non-existent in places like Uganda.  We know the almost certain outcome of a little boy if he reaches the vital teenage years in Uganda and does not have anything but the babies home he grew up in.  The statistics are staggering at the amount of orphaned boys who are drugged and forced into militant groups and forced to fight brutal and violent wars at very young ages.  Please do not hear me trying to make a play that everyone should adopt from Uganda.  I could tell you stories of this caliber about the little girls in China sold into marriage or the children in eastern Europe forced into human trafficking.

All I am saying is, there is a need.  There is a need here, and there is a need there too.  And in every case, it comes down to one child.  We have chosen to adopt one child (for now) from Uganda.  And had we chosen the United States, that would not have been wrong.  It would not have been better or worse, just different.  In choosing to give a child a chance they would have never had before, any child from any country, there is not a wrong answer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

what's that? a gift?

As we trod through this journey and my heart races every time I hear there is news from Uganda I easily get downtrodden.  I am scared.  And I know that fear is not a healthy one.  We are just getting ready to finish this homestudy and start the immigration process and with the new consulate in Uganda I fear what the future holds.

For those of you keeping up with Ugandan consulate news (so not many of you, I'm sure) you will have heard that just a few weeks ago a new American Consulate has started at the US Embassy in Uganda.  What does that mean for us?  Nothing right now.  But it could have a large impact on our future.  What we have learned about Uganda is that there is a new consulate every few years and that when that change occurs, there is a new interpretation of the law.  No, the law itself does not change, but the interpretation of that law can mean drastic things for families who fall into the process or who have to adjust from one regime to the next.  The problem is, there's no such thing as "grandfathering" someone in from previous regime.  This means, if a document requirement changes or how they define "orphan" changes you could be subject to the new requirements and definitions with no warning or way to change it!!!  What this means for my friends is that they don't get a visa for their little girl.  And who knows if that will change...ever.  Ugh.  I think what drives me the most crazy about this is that this isn't the Ugandan government doing this.  No, this is OUR government making these changes and determination.

I know that we are supposed to be in Uganda.  I have people ask me this question all the time, "how did you choose Uganda?"  It's not an easy one for me to answer because most people are comfortable with me saying "we just knew."  They want concrete.  And I can't give them that.  But as I look at where we are now I see that there have been fail safes put into place to keep us from changing our minds at this point in time.  The first one is that we've already started working with our agency and placement worker (who we LOVE, thanks Heather) and we are ALMOST finished with our home study.  In fact, just after the first of the year we should have a finalized document (so stand by for the fundraising letters to come out).  I also didn't realize that our home study provider (whom we also love, Jewish Family Services, thank you Michelle), is a non-Hague organization which means we couldn't switch to a Hague country now even if we wanted to (unless we started over).  All these things just keep reaffirming to me that we are in this thing for the long haul...I just pray hope that it's on the short end of "long".

Let me stop being so fearful and tell you the good news.  We were asked by our agency to produce a profile on a new website called adoptionjourney.  Here's our link:  http://morgan.adoptionjourney.com/.  As part of this, you sign up for a wepay account (like paypal) and put a goal of fundraising.  I didn't expect anything from this since we just signed up and haven't advertised for it.  And yet, today I got an email that said we had received $25.  WHAT???  What's that?  A Gift?  I don't know who you are, R Jason Locy, but you were used by God today.  Because in the midst of my doubts and fears, you gave $25.  And that was the kick in the pants I needed to know that God is working and we are where we're supposed to be!  So while I can't get your address to send a thank you card, I am thanking you now.  You have no idea the impact that that $25 made on me.