Before the years are gone and I've lost my nerve...

'Cause this is what I've waited for..

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sitting still is impossible for me to do. Countless times Lee has sighed and said, "where are you going now?" after I've been sitting next to him for about 2 minutes. I'm constantly moving and there's an insatiable need to get up, fidget with something, then attempt to sit back down again, only to repeat the process 2 minutes later. I don't understand it and I know it drives my poor husband crazy, but I can't turn it off. So right now, when it's raining and I have nothing I want to work on in the house, the fidgeting is intense.

Fortunately Lee is off at the store drooling over the latest paintball technology. Ever since he joined a group of guys for a night of paint balling on Monday that's all he's been thinking and talking about. I'm still waiting for my 'paintball' distraction, but until something else captures me, adoption is all I'm thinking about. I'm trying to move forward, to bring some sense of resolution to this whole ordeal but yet with no clear direction. So here I am, bored, mentally and emotionally exhausted, attempting to be quiet and wait for guidance.

We received the packet of information from the agency yesterday and when I read through it all I felt like doing was throwing it into the fire pit in the backyard and going inside for a nice purging vomit. How in the world am I going to trust another birth mother? If I was adverse to open adoptions before, how much more am I now? Yet our feelings when dealing with this process and the openness agreement we worked on was trying to get the birth mother to shed her distrust of people from her past and learn to trust us. Do I need a dose of my own medicine? Is it fair, in my attempts at self-preservation, to project distrust onto a totally new birth mother? No, but I think it will be extremely difficult not to. So when I consider my gut reaction to another attempt at domestic adoption I wonder if this is really the direction we want to go and for the life of me I cannot get the Ukraine out of my head. In my attempts yesterday to conquer the ambiguity of our position I researched international adoptions.

There are no referrals made with available children and adoptive parents because the match is made once the adoptive parents travel to Ukraine, meet with the National Adoption Center where they are given the child's photo, medical history, etc. and get directed to the orphanage where the child has been living. The adoptive parents then go to the orphanage to meet their child, complete the paperwork in the country and travel home with their new baby. This all happens over a few weeks, so there is a decent investment of time involved, but it allows adoptive parents to start bonding with the child before the adoption is completed. We would have to make some changes to our home study to become international, complete a dossier (which is a compilation of our home study plus some additional items), file an I-600A, or "Application for Advancing Processing of Orphan Petition" with the USCIS (formerly known as the BCIS, which was formerly known as the INS). Once the USCIS has approved the application they will send form 171H, “Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition.” We would have a copy of that sent to the consulate in Ukraine and then wait for approval from their National Adoption Center. With that approval would be a travel date set for us to go overseas.

Even as hopeful as this option sounds, it still feels like it will take forever. To be able to travel to an orphanage and sit with those babies, hold them, play with them and then choose one to take home seems heart wrenching, but possible! And right now, I need to entertain the possible. Yet the message remains to sit and wait and I'm getting absolutely restless because we all know how well I do with sitting still.


jgdavis said...

Hi Tiff- I know of two families within our school that have adopted from Russia. One little boy is in my class. Can I do a lttle digging of info from the parents? They adopted him at the age of 5, so it may be different than a baby. The girl in second grade they adopted whaen she was a baby. I love you and will talk to yoiu soon! J

Marsha Gear said...

Hi Tiff, I also have a friend through church who is an older woman who has gone on several short-term missions trips to Ukraine. She works with some pastors there, and I presume her work and the orphanages are likely located in the major cities.
Anyway, let me know if you'd like to be put in touch via email as she or her Ukrainian friends would likely be a big help with knowing the areas, language, etc. Love, Marsha