Monday, March 1, 2010

Adoption speed-- long post

You know, this is one of the biggest pet peeves of mine.  The pace of any adoption seems to be in slow motion all the time.  This is the way it has been for ALL of our adoptions and this one is no exception.  though, we knew going into this Bulgaria was a relatively slow process in regards to adoptions.  But, we build patience along the way and this adoption I have the utmost understanding of the process and swore I would not stress about anything thus far and I haven't.  Miracle here.  I promised myself I would not get worked up over anything whatsoever.  Today is a day I have off.  No kids here, totally quiet.  I have already printed out some forms.  Will sit down at lunch with a homemade veggie fajita and fill out forms.  These forms will not have peanut butter on them from the kids as the FBI fingerprints did.  Maybe that's why we haven't gotten them back yet???  Just kidding.  I will fill out these forms w/ gusto.  Though I was hoping to notarize today, that is impossible.  Need both of us there to do that.  So, tomorrow morning it is set to notarize docs.  Send them off to Secretary of State's office for apostilling here in NC.  Mini dossier will be then shipped to agency & onto Bulgaria completed officially.  Then the real work begins w/ the dossier.  The real dossier...the big one. Though, I must say I was pleasantly suprised after I received it.  No big shockers and compared to Russia, not  nearly a stack of paperwork.  AGency said it is b/c Bulgaria is a Hague country and does rely heavily on what is in the homestudy.  I know this b/c I'm still filling out this stupid homestudy.  It is honestly as long as the dossier & totally in depth.  Our hardest part...finding relatives that will reference us. Why?  Because everyone has decided they will in no way support this adoption.   Shoot, my sibs wont' even call me back now.  Well, except for Heather who lives in Moscow.  Crazy, huh?  We will find a way though.  Tons of friends, strangers, neighbors, etc. that will provide reference.  I think it is sad.  It is no secret we've had little to no family support over the years.  I just think they are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to meet some great kids.  I've decided not to call anymore.  They don't read this blog anyhow.  My sister does though.  I appreciate that  more than she'll know.  In adoption, support is a necessity.  It is a difficult process.  So many roadblocks.  You rely heavily on people who suport your decision.  For us, we wish it could be family.  I have heard other families of adoption run into the same problem.  One family I know, their adult daughter gave them a hard time about their decision to adopt.  Why is it when you have a baby it is so different a reaction?  I just don't understand it.  I really don't.  I think me being sick this past week gave me too much time to think.--LOL.  I can't imagine my kids not being here.  Desptie the fact that some days I just want to bury myself in a quiet cave somewhere.  Most of the time, I can enjoy the things we do together.  I've been criticized by extended family & relatives of taking on "someone else's problems."  Um, no.  These are my children, NOT my problems.   They don't understnad why someone would knowingly adopt a child w/ a disability.  You know, I don't know either.  I don't see them as kids w/ disabilities.  I just see them as MY KIDS.  Period.  They would actually fall over if they read half my kids' medicals or even if they were aware of what dx's my children actually have.  The list is extensive.  The kids coming home are no exception.  Two of them have rather what most would consider "severe" diagnosis.  My family & relatives do not know. They don't want to know. They don't care when their brithday is or how old the children are that we are adopting or even what they look like.  They just don't care.  I think it is tragic as I try to create a sense of love for my kids from all people.  If their extended family is not accepting, how can I do this?  HOw can I create a love for all people in this house?  Well, somehow, I think we've done it.  The other day, Alex(one of our RADishes), was sitting on the stairs.  He said "mom, I was scared & crying b/c Irina said you'd have to go to the hospital."  Remember, IRina does not understand most things due to her mental abilities & carries things to an extrememe.  Anyone sick in her eyes, must go to a hospital.  BTW, just a sinus infection.  Alex was truly scared.  He said "good mom.  I'm glad you don't have to go b/c I don't know how I'd live w/out you."  Now, if a child w/ severe RAD can learn to love, I think my families can one day learn to accept my children.  I will not give up.  It's worth fighting for I hope.  Just wish that one day soon it could happen.  A simple "how are things coming w/ the adoption" would suffice.  I'm dreaming.  No questions will ever be asked like this from my parents.  Never.  Doubt they'll even follow our adventure while in Bulgaria....meeting our children.  That's okay.  I have 22 followers already--LOL!  I have received many private emails of support.  Means the world.  People at Warren's work ask how things are coming along. They care.  Neighbors ask when we go for a walk.  The bank tellers ask wehn I make a deposit.  People at the Upwards Basketball ask.  They all care.  If I dare mention about our adoption on the phone to one of my relatives/ extended family, the phone goes silent and I am quickly hit w/ "I have to go."  I have learned to accept this.  Okay, so I'm learning how to accept this.  Guess I just had to vent today.  So, tomorrow when I'm elated for sending something off in the mail, I better hear a way to go from someone, anyone.  B/c I know the family sure as heck won't care. 

What most of you don't know on here is we were presented w/ an infant situation back in August.  (This is what got the whole adoption bug in me again).  Told my mom.  She was sortof okay w/ it.  This baby doesn't have any problems does she?  I did a bad thing.  I lied.  I said no, this baby is perfect.  In my eyes, this baby was indeed perfect.  She most likely was going to have CP but to me, that was not a big issue.  So, it was there... a little... the support.  But in late November when we actually officially decided to adopt from Bulgaria(though didn't know which kids at the time), the tone, mood was awful.  Is it b/c of our kids being older kids?  Is it b/c all our kids have some disabilities?  I don't know. 

Alright, enough of the downer of a post.  Done w/ this one.  I guess I needed to vent more than I realized.  Again, thanks for all the support.  As you can see, it is needed.  This post was originally intended to be about the turtle slow pace of adoptions.  Some wait years for their adoptions to be finalized.  Irina & Max we signed on in January and were home in June.  Just 6 months from start to finish. But that was back in '99.  Alot less red tape.  In 2004, we startedin August for Yana and Alex & came home in May.  10 months from start to finish.  Bojan was in 2005.  We signed on in August and got him in January.  6 months from start to finish.  Though we could have travelled in November.  2006 was Alyona and Nik.  Signed on in April.  Brought them home in November.  8 months from start to finish.  When you think about it, all but one was shorter than a typical pregnancy.  For the Bulgarian adoptions, we officially started in December.  I have no idea how long it will be.  I long to make that first trip close to summer time.  I am doing all I can do to make it happen, that's for sure.  Still, it seems as though time in regards to adoption stands still almost.  Little progress each and every day but then one day BAM, it will hit you.  You have to book tickets.  YOu're ready to meet your children .  Iknow I'll get to share that day on here too.  For now, I love reading other people's journeys to Bulgaria and watch their lives be transformed. 

Meantime, I fill in the gaps w/ normal happenings around the house here.  The good and the bad of it all.  Yesterday, we all went shopping for our monthly grocery supply.  Well, actually, only Alex and Warren and I went to Sam's.  The rest stayed home(upon request) and cleaned up the house.  We also went to TJ Maxx for some deals.  Found books for the kids for .30 or .50 a piece.  YOu can't do too much better than that for new books.  Also, got them a Smart Lab game.  Smart Lab has such wonderful leanring tools.  Love it & so do the kids.  YOu'll have to check them out one day.  CAme home and made allt he kids get in the car.  WE decided to take thm out to Pizza Inn.  They enjoyed it quite a bit. Then, went to Big Lots for our monthly bread supply.  While there, kids were looking at books.  Bojan found an inspirational book called Up & Running.  The child had 2 prosthetic legs on the cover so all the kids begged for the book of course.  We caved and bought it.  typically, we don't do impulse buys or the kids wil think it will happen all the time.  But, we really encourage reading so if they will read it, we're willing to buy it.  And sure enough, they have all been taking turns actually reading it and not just looking at the pictures.  I was amazed.  Going to try to find more books that relate to them.  I think there is one out written by a young adult w/ FAS.  Anyhow, while at Pizza Inn, we were discussing what all we want to do this year as far as adventures go.  You know, b/c adopting 3 more kids just isn't enough of an adventure--LOL.  We plan to do the camping thing in March or April most likely.  We're going to the zoo in May and Deaf Camp in the mountains in May.  We're going to some museums as well locally in April.  Other than that, trying to think of what we'll do in spring.  June is the adoption reunion in DC.  If anyone wants us to visit, we must know very soon as we need to plan ahead.  We alsoonly live an hour and 20 minutes from the beach.  So, we have a few beach trips planned in there.  We are trying not to spend money due to the adoption so trying to do some things that won't cost so much.  Ideas, send them my way.  We fortunately have many free events locally & it helps a great deal.  Right now, lots of planning going on.  Plus, we want to be flexible as you never know when you'll get that adoption travel call.  I SO wish the kids could be home soon but again, learning patience w/ the speed(or lack there of) of adoption.  Next post needs to be mroe upbeat, don't you think??


  1. Hi Stephanie,

    I read your blog! I wish you had support of extended family, but count my family in as supporters of your family from up the road a bit (Delaware). I can't remember where I got your link- we only recently started our journey to Bulgaria and have ran across so many names and just started adding Bulgaria families to my "favorites" so I could start reading when I had a chance. Your family inspires me...can't wait to find out more about the ones you are bringing home. I know I will learn a lot by reading your posts...hope I can give back a bit in prays for your family and support of what you do to help so many children. God bless, Jennifer in DE

  2. That's too bad about the family issue... I have no idea how my family would react and if they would react the same way. Especially since I'm single and may possibly be adopting as a single parent.

    And I have heard stories about how long of a process adopting can be. I'm hoping I have the patience for it (and my head screwed on right with all of the paperwork...) when I end up adopting in the future.

    As you may already know - most museums in DC are free. The American History Museum has displays and also their Spark Lab and Invention at Play areas for kids. I recently went there and they have some nifty stuff to do and also run science experiments on the hour. Of course, I was there with a 2 1/2 year old, but he was bored by the 3 and under section so we hung out with the big kids. They had various activities, building toys, materials to build circuits to make working lights/fans/etc, Legos, activities with magnets, marble runs, etc.

    The museum was recently renovated and is massive. However, the kids areas are both on the same floor and not too hard to find.

    The Air and Space Museum is near the history museum and has displays and a kids area as well (which also has a small aircraft kids can sit in and work the aileron/elevator/rudder etc). They also have aviation simulators but those cost extra. The zoo is also free. So that's a few ideas if you have the time. There's a lot to do and see in DC - nearly impossible to fit it all in one trip and it depends what your kids are into and how long you're going to be there.

  3. Love this post - love all your posts! I know exactly how you feel concerning family. Ours is almost the same. Except for my mom-in-law of all people! She is supportive - on the outside at least! Who cares? Good enough for me! I just get very discouraged at trying to make people pay attention and respond to our adoption. Fundraising is a nightmare! Now that we have received a couple of donations, I feel an even greater responsibility to get things done! You continue to inspire me and make me feel some hope! God bless!