Wednesday, June 1, 2011

(Yet another) Breakdown

I hit rock bottom the other week (for like the 12th time during this process) after the announcement of two close-to-my-age pregnancies in my immediate circle, which coincided with our best and favorite, favorite, awesome social worker resigning her post. We are left without a social worker until the agency hires a new one. This will be our sixth (seventh?) social worker since we began the process, nearly three-and-half years ago.

Something is fishy, too, which is concerning because we'll never learn why. I had put the number of resignations and reassignments down to the fact they seem to hire young social workers and likely don't pay well. (so the women move on to better opportunities, I reasoned). But the latest social worker had been there many years and raved about our agency. Then, three months later, she resigned with a brief note that didn't include the cheery happy "I thank you all for giving me the opportunity..." or what have you. She had also said to us, when we asked her directly, she had no plans to resign.

So what happened in the past three months? Did she learn something about the program or the agency that didn't sit well? Inquiring minds want to know, but will never find out, leaving conspiracy theories to flourish.

So I cried and cried and cried. And then for good measure I cried some more. These friends babies will be born and be months old before we travel. I have slowly recovered. I gotta admit it's hard though and feels like whiplash to have this stuff keep happening. I am now on guard against pregnancy announcements.

I feel like this blog is always a complete downer. I don't lead my life in a state of wallowing, but do allow myself to wallow here. Nevertheless, I'll punch it up in the next few days. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(Yet another) setback

Okay, this is never going to happen. I have to prepare myself for the fact that this is never going to happen. But I'm unsure how, when now we're supposed to be sending care packages every month to a son who lives overseas who we have never met, and who we may never meet.

We've had yet another setback. I won't get into describing how the Korean International Adoption system works, because we'd be here all day and I write about technical and boring subjects for a living, but suffice to say, the Ministry will this year quit processing exit visas for children whose referrals were received before December 2010. Ours was received (we were matched with a child) in January 2011. So when the Ministry opens in January, it'll start processing December 2010 visas, then ours. They take about four to eight weeks to process, each.

So yeah, we're looking at April travel. Maybe.

I haven't been this unaccountably depressed about a delay or setback since we began the process in February 2008. This one feels like the end game. I can't seem to process it. I know we're matched, I know we're just waiting for an exit visa, but it really really really feels like something else is going to go wrong, and I'm guessing that thing is going to be aging out of the program or Korea shutting down all adoptions that are to take place in 2012, even if the child is already matched.

 Maybe tomorrow I'll have a more upbeat post, but I'm not feeling it now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trudging uphill

Not all life is adoption. That is, knowing "who we've been waiting for" in adoption parlance, has enabled me to move forward with my daily life much less encumbered. I sometimes stop to feel guilty (I wouldn't be me if I didn't) that I don't think of Seong Joon enough, wonder what he's doing right now. But the truth is, I'm sure he's being loved on, not knowing the momentous changes he's in for. I feel terrible for him in advance. Being ripped from his life. Twice. At only 18 months old. And terrible for his foster mother. I'm not sure about foster father as they're never spoken of. Like so much about fathers of all stripes, foster fathers, if they exist, aren't part of the societal fabric of international adoption.

I attended an adoption support group last night. The women who lead it had adopted two children domestically, another couple had been waiting more than a year for a domestic placement (to be chosen by a birth mom "out of the book") and another couple was in the early stages of considering adoption. Being among these people, all relatively "older," all whom struggled or are struggling to conceive, I felt much less like a freak than I had for such a long time.

I have been part of the sanitized adoption community so long I forgot what it's like to talk realistically about others' adoption experiences. It's hard to explain, but it relates back to the political correctness training we received our first day with the agency. And then the ripping apart I've received over the years from members of the various adoption forums I've been part of. People, other adoptive parents and adult adoptees, in the parlance, can be judgmental and eviscerating. As can the endless lectures about how I can be sure I won't know how to raise a transracially adopted (child who was adopted by parents of another race). The tone of superiority and judgment can crush. My anger about it can startle me.

So last night felt like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes, lately, I feel like I can breath again.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


With news of potential corruption and attendant slowdowns in the Ethiopia program, we moved to the Korea program. We hadn't yet been married three years when we started this process, so we weren't eligible for a Korean adoption. Now we are; now we've been married four and a half years. Sigh.

We've been matched with our little now-eight-month-old boy, Seong Joon Francis. We'll call him Frankie but always leave his Korean name as his rightful first name, should he choose to use it as he grows older. He's in foster care right now, with foster parents. We won't be able to travel to get him for around a year. Meanwhile, I delay sending him a care package. We can send only one, I think, so that's all he'll receive from us. When he gets it, our contact is over. It's breaking my heart.

We started our adoption process three years ago February. This whole thing has broken my heart. I was prepared for the ups and downs, the roller coaster of emotions. I was prepared for things to get out of my control and to have my own issues with that. But this has been so incredibly much harder than I'd ever imagined. And due to our ages, I think we will have to be content with two children in our family.  My husband doesn't know this yet, but that's a hard pill for me to swallow right now. Family planning has been taken out of my control in more ways than one. And it's painful.

I keep repeating the word painful. Seeing Seong Joon's face has been joyous as well. Knowing he is ours, that we are merely biding our time until we're united with him has been joyous. Knowing he's safe and spending his first years in his native land is a sweet relief and a sweet melancholy (he's bonding with a woman who's not me!).

I'm going to try to "grow" this blog but I'm still feeling so shy and hesitant about it. Even this little teeeeeeensy bit of the blogosphere makes me feel very unprivate. Yet I'm all about Facebook. Lord. Showing my age here, I guess.

I'd like to blog about the Twin Cities adoption community and how welcoming it's been to us in my next post.

Friday, January 7, 2011

And the wait goes on

I'm still new to blogging. I still don't really understand how it works, to be honest (though I certainly read my share of blogs) and still feel shy and precarious as I adjust to this new world.

For instance, can I put a paragraph break here? We shall see.

We've now passed our expected two-year wait by two weeks. To put that in context, we started the process three years ago. When we finished the paperwork and home study and an extra three months required of us by the home study social worker, our dossier went to Ethiopia in December 2008. We were expecting a nine month wait. That number swiftly climbed to one year and then, when we hit the one year mark, was pushed out another year.

So here we are. Still waiting. I couldn't say this is the most painful thing I've had to endure in my life. My father died young and I've been diagnosed with some scary health stuff...the same thing anyone of my age has likely endure. But this adoption is certainly up there.

The social worker has no expectation for when we might receive the call. We have to be near the top of the list. Our agency is referring people (matching with children) those who have been waiting since December 2008. But still we wait.

Due to changes in the program, the wait for our first court date is also protracted, now six months, down from about three months. We will travel to Ethiopia and appear before the court, who ideally will say the child is now legally ours. Then we wait a few months (or more) for an embassy appointment.

I don't think I can do this anymore, frankly. It's been three years like this. Meanwhile, Alvin turned five in November. He was two when we started this process. I don't think I can do this anymore.