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Category Archives: Adoption

Oh Baby, It’s Hard Sometimes

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I had a trigger sneak up on me the other day and if you’ve followed for a while, you know I hate being vulnerable, especially in public. It was one of those sweet scenes in a movie where two mothers are cuddling their babies and it’s one of those love everlasting, Hallmark moments. And I fell apart.

I worked hard to develop coping techniques and understand my desires better when I had therapy for not having a biological child, when having my own baby was the top goal of my life that went hand-in-hand with marriage. I had hoped to adopt and have a biological child, so that I could also have that special mother-infant bond and those beautiful moments together that every baby commercial features. And I realized with all the hard work that underneath it all I wanted to be a mom; that the pregnancy and infant stage wasn’t nearly as important to me as being Mom, especially to someone who needs a forever family and we yearn to fill our forever family’s missing piece.

But cuddling the baby got me. There won’t be those special rocking to sleep, cuddling and cooing, baby bonding moments. Don’t get me wrong – I realized a while back I don’t want to do the midnight feedings, baby proofing the house (adoption requirements were enough for us thank you very much), or dealing with diaper blow outs. I also can’t raise a child who is unable to handle their immediate physical needs, so a baby wasn’t really the desire when we began the adoption process. The cuddling and bond, which can be tough stages to reach with an adoptee, is apparently a big weepy piece of the deepest parts of me. And I don’t know how to turn that desire for that off. I will be over the moon if we are able to adopt “Miss H”, guaranteed. I don’t want another movie moments to make me break down though, especially once I have the blessing of her in my life.

I’m working on my analyzation worksheets and techniques, but nothing explains this spot of vulnerability and longing; not at this point. I’m not strong on biologic bonds, since most of my strongest have been with people that I have no DNA links to, so I know it’s not that I wish Miss H was biologically mine. If we get her, she’s mine no matter what, forever, and I don’t give a damn about having different DNA.

So I’m left wondering if this is a normal emotion with working so hard to become a parent and hoping to get some affectionate bonding with Kiddo? Or did I never fully work through losing Sierra and wish for that physical contact with my own infant? Or is the term paperwork pregnant not just related to the long time frame and waiting for your child? Is it why I have an oily T-spot again, after it leaving with my teens; or why I suddenly have tiny acne flares, etc? Can my body get mixed up with all these emotions and start to long for a part that isn’t even involved in what we’re doing?

So far I just don’t know. I just want to figure it out and stop this. I want to quit crying at Hallmark commercials. I mean, seriously. That sucks. Especially for a gal that toughened herself up after seeing the rape and abuse for what it was. I didn’t want to cry much anymore. I had hoped I’d left the worst tears back with the bruises. But my heart feels like when the Grinch’s (c) got super big. With the growth from each young lady’s story, my heart hurts from not being able to adopt more, and I just want to give this ton of love. I don’t want to cry or be jealous of those beautiful moments that moms get to enjoy with infants. And how can I ever seem like a boxing badass if I cry at baby related commercials and scenes? *laugh*

Conference Call

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Well, this week was an incredibly hard week for me to get through.  We got notified that the Conference Call for our favorite adoptee would happen on Thursday and got the extended profile on her, as well.  I was honestly terrified.  After all of this waiting, they could straight up say they don’t think we’re a good match and end it all within a few breaths; or that something would come up about her that would mean we don’t have the strengths to meet her needs.  It could have all been over so suddenly.    

 

Thankfully it turned out to go incredibly, in our opinion, despite some trouble hearing at times with several people all on the line.  Our new SW had given me nudges in the right direction to research, which actually made us even more likable for a choice for this young lady.  Her team talked a lot about her history, what traumas and risks she has, her needs, and their own interactions with her.  All of my questions were answered with extremely positive and reassuring responses, and at the end I was able to look at L and know that we 100% wanted to proceed to BIS.  We were all ready geared up to advocate for her, because she’s had so few that did that for her, that there wasn’t a doubt that she is still number 1 to us.  

 

It takes several weeks to a couple months in order to get the BIS conference call, where all of the teams and legal sit in on a call and go through the candidates, and then they decide which family can best meet the young lady’s needs.  If that goes well, then the head CW for her will sit down with her and our scrapbook, go over the book and our profile with her, and even give impressions from the conference call.  And then she gets to decide if we appeal enough to her to agree to meet.  So in a couple of months we may have one of the most terrifying meetings of our lives.  Finding out which future an 11 year old (by then 12) holds for us.  If the meeting goes well, we get to start visitations and work toward overnight visitations, to make sure we all fit together despite the awkwardness of the newness of the arrangement.  And then they all get to decide if we get to become her legal custodians, which then means moving her, getting her enrolled in the home school, getting her a wardrobe and all those little things, and all that organizing stuff.  Holy smokes…!

 

Although it’s probably too fast to come true, there’s a slight chance we’ll get to have visitation with her for Christmas, if she decides she likes us, and that would be all of my dreams, Christmas wishes, and prayers all wrapped into one.  And in a way it’s terrifying beyond belief.  All of those “will I be a good enough mom to actually help her reach her potential”, “will she ever truly know that she’s loved”, and such scrolls around the ground of my mind like a snake, winding between the hamster cages and making them go even crazier with thoughts.  *grin*  So many people have our future in their hands, and although it seemed super positive, even if she chose to give us a try, she has six months to decide if we are really the family for her.  Having a new person in our home that we will have done so much for, who still holds such a valuable part of us in her hands, is such a scary thought.  

 

Despite the fears, the call was the best we could have ever hoped for, without a single concern about us when I asked, so we were truly blessed there.  We’re blessed that we have an awesome Social Worker that’s actually advocating for us and grooming us to be the best match that we can be for the tween we want to adopt.  And through it all we’re blessed to be going down a new path together that brings us closer together and even helps us learn a lot more about each other that we would never have thought to discuss without adoptive parenthood at stake.  Although at times it’s like we’re on two separate planets when it comes to this process, we’re learning how to work together to achieve goals, despite our different styles and desired time lines, which is something we have always struggled with.  The situation has forced our weaknesses to be addressed and to work through them.  Although I was burned out for a couple days following the call and additional paperwork that was done immediately following to prepare for the BIS, I’m back to a more mild version of my craziness *laugh* and now just have several months to try and distract myself.  Anybody want to come help makes some products or install things so that I can nest while I wait?  *grin*

 

After all this time we have made it to a BIS.  I honestly started to doubt it would ever happen.  And if things go in our favor, I don’t think I could be more excited to have her complete our forever family.  She’s a unique person with a variety of interests.  Those are such beautiful personality traits.  So, if you feel inclined, a prayer that this works out would be appreciated, and if you really feel all squishy-hearted, a prayer that I get to have my first Christmas as a mom happen this year would be a massive blessing.   I’m so ready to Santa up a big stocking for her.  😀 

A Few Decisions

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We actually are going to talk directly to a Case Worker about one of the girls!  *happy dance*  I’ve exchanged emails with several and actually am going to miss one that taught me a whole lot on how to do the out-of-state (OOS from here on out) social work on my own, but we gave up on one of the girls that she oversees.  This time, though, we get to talk to one over the phone!  An actual mini-conference call!!  We’re still waiting to hear from the Case Worker on the Kansas girl that our Social Worker keeps trying to get hold of, because we are ready to go with the conference call and move on to the BIS to see if we can get matched with her.  However, we’ve been burned a lot in this process and kept going with the ones OOS.  We actually are seeing some progress.  I really needed to know that someone is actually interested in us.  It’s an amazing boost during a very difficult time.  Anyway, this teen is in MO, which would really help with some of the costs.  To top it off another Case Worker for a tween in OH that I really, really like too is interested.  

 

I finally learned from that amazing Case Worker that taught me so much to actual write follow up emails when we don’t get responses after submitting inquiries on the adoption website.  At first I was so robotic and intimidated, honestly.  It finally clicked that I’m turning in our parenting resume (apparently the system believes we should do away with the accent; sorry!), so now I write inquiry emails that address all of the seldom-mentioned needs and desires we can fulfill that are in the profile, or what things we do that would mesh well with the teen’s personality.  I also attach our Home Study, but if I manage to get their attention with the inquiry email letters, they always want another copy.  I think it’s to keep a paper trail that they requested and it wasn’t a voluntary submission, but I’m just faking this whole social worker stuff, so got me.  *grin*  These follow ups have gotten us attention for a couple of girls, so we may actually have a decent chance of adopting now that I’ve learned so much about this.  So…go me!  *laugh*

 

It’s no secret I’ve been nesting for well over a year now and I really want her room finished, which would mean that I could also get the gym/storage room done finally, too.  (My big wood desk we got when I started my first business will have some surgery and is going from what was my office to her room, and my office will finish the transformation.)  We will have an area for Kiddo to be active and exercise in the evening if she’s still feeling energetic or if she needs to burn off some emotions.  It’ll also be nice to not have Eddie in the living room and when you turn, before memory kicks in, for a scary moment there’s a really buff dude hanging out in the dark by the window.  *laugh*  So he will go into the gym and stop startling people.  Just yesterday we finally figured out how we want to change the desk after I drew up a variety of hastily made blueprints with different options.  So one more decision down.

 

We also both agreed that we still want to do what we always planned on if I’d gotten pregnant – I’m going to home school.  I talked to our Social Worker about it and she provided information later on about the Kansas branch of Connections Academy, which is an online public school that is approved and can work with the mild IEPs our Kiddo may have.  The more I read about the curriculum, watch unsolicited user reviews on YouTube, and the built in socialization they brilliantly worked into the program.  Attending online classes and working on assignments together (deja vu to my Victim’s Advocacy Certification course *grin*), plus parents can look in the private directory and reach out to those nearby to see about doing extra field trips together or respite or just a teen play date (what do you call those even?!).  On top of it, annually they have a set get together for any Academy user families to attend if they’d like, to make connections, assist with more socialization, and even learn from some instructors on ways to handle situations that may arise in schooling (etc.), while the kids and teens get to do some really fun activities led by teachers, like scavenger hunts.  We didn’t think that this would be an option since so much is out of our control, but because we have a built in socialization group in our support system with lots of plans for ways to increase her exposure to kids going to the local schools if she wants to get back into standard public schooling at the start of the next school year, plus the socialization built into this school, we get to actually parent one aspect the way we always dreamed of.  There are so many subject tie in projects, field trips, and shows that I’ve written out, that I’m actually super excited.  *laugh* 

 

Pure nerd, I know.  Plus, I originally was either going to be a journalist or a Creative Writing Teacher originally, before my life veered the other direction, and that part of me is so into the thought of planning things out to make sure that Kiddo is at least caught up to her grade if not beyond them, by the time that school year ends.  *crossing fingers*  Doing this allows me time for extra bonding with Kiddo and to set time aside for us to work through trauma, healthy boundaries, and such, and will help her establish a safe feeling of home and family before facing lots of new people again, which could trigger some of their issues (and I hope that we can decrease that chance at least somewhat).  This program has a great success rate with being prepared for college, the workforce, or a military career, with an impressive amount being approved for college that tried.  Shoot, we can watch an episode of Warehouse 13 and then research the real mythology or past of the “artifact” from the show!  There are SO many learning opportunities and with my mom’s extensive knowledge about St. Joseph, MO’s historical locations, we can even do a history field trip in one day that could bring history alive for Kiddo.  That’s exactly what worked for me, when we visited out here while living in CA still.  Going into the Pony Express Museum and seeing/reading everything about the gunslingers made it all connect that history is full of real people and lives, not just facts.  That light bulb moment.  Whatever subject it is in, and however much time and effort it takes, I don’t care, but I really hope to be the one that is there for that transformation.  I’m smiling like the proud parent of a newborn just thinking about it.  *shaking head at self*  

 

There has been so much pain and waiting that getting back to a point to start making the rest of the decisions is a beautiful thing.  And the fact that we can home school as we always dreamed?  Language is insufficient for the happiness and excitement it brings me.  Although our path wound more than any theme park trail, we get to keep some of the core choices of parenting.  I would be an incredibly happy and blessed mom to be able to adopt any of these three girls that are currently an actual possibility.   We have other inquiries out, but each of these has something special that others don’t, at least for me.  I knew that a person could fall in love with more than one person in their lifetime.  I never knew how much the heart could expand to love so many at least a little bit.  Or that I could fall in love with these young lives just by reading their life and personality story.  Excuse me while I regain my vision after that sudden little rain storm.  It’s also a bit weird to think that I’ll have all ready started to love Kiddo before we know it’s even her.  And that I still hold a special spot in my heart for each girl who has touched our lives just a bit.  I’m really ready to get closer to filling the rest of my heart with Kiddo, though.  

 

And make a few more decisions as soon as possible.  🙂 

Wednesday is Coming Back

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We had a wonderful Fourth of July spent with friends and their kids, between my continued surgery recovery and before L ended up with oral surgery that he healed remarkably fast from (so not fair).  It’s been a lot of Groundhog Day©; same stuff, different day.  Throughout it all has been a lot of work on adopting that is enough to make my head spin yet again.

 

The emotional part is starting to take quite a toll on me at times.  I re-watched Mama Mia© to have it fresh in my mind before my mom and I go see the sequel, and I bawled so hard, for so long, over “Slipping Through My Fingers”©.  Just thinking of the song gets the ole water works going.  The girls that we have inquired and worked toward are all aging while we wait through this system.  We’re losing the precious little time we have with them.  Then I started getting acne and an oily T-zone again.  Seriously.  Hormones from emotions be gone…NOW.

 

With a lot of this I have gotten so worn down mentally and emotionally that I didn’t feel like me anymore.  I’ve always loved and cracked up at the Wednesday Addams© character, and in a lot of ways I relate to her sense of humor and mischievous streak.  I may look innocent, but I like that looking innocent makes people underestimate me.  I really appreciated it when I was able to flip a guy over my shoulder because of it and walk away safe.  And I appreciate that when strangers make me mad, they’re never quite sure where my mind is going or what I may be planning.  It’s the part of my personality that L likes best, I suspect.  *grin*

 

In all reality, I’ve never been a super cheerful, cute decorations, happy unicorns, and as-sweet-as-apple-pie kind of gal.  I’m the one that sits in the corner observing people and interactions, that can only carry on a conversation easily with someone in my “care about” zone, and whose strongest love language is giving gifts, because I care more about making things easier for others or making them smile.  And I’ve always wanted to be as okay with being me as the Wednesday Addams character was, especially when played by Christina Ricci.  Admittedly it’d also be hard to resist playing the game “Is There a God?” with a few people from my past…(Kuddos if you get that movie reference, by the way!!).  Since the movie came out when I was young I tried to learn from her and accept that I’m different, and that it’s not always bad to be different from the mainstream crowd.  It’s hard when people don’t understand me or why things interest me, but I’m still learning that it comes with me being a bit different.

 

The saddest part to me for the past few months is that I lost the pride and strength of associating with that character.  I could only see the crying at Hallmark commercials, not getting to exercise, developing a really bad infection, very sad shadow of me.  I was a name behind hundreds of pages of paperwork, inquiries, and emails. I was the one with my nose stuck in all of the assigned and recommended reading for parenting traumatized children.  I was the one juggling so many thoughts that I stopped watching most of my British shows, reading my cozy mysteries, and nothing could hold my attention.  I was, quite simply, lost.

 

Thankfully I was on SL late one night, talking with a really good friend, and we talked over this, because he’s one of the few that understands how lost I feel.  We had an incredible night of hanging out in his SL pool and just talking for hours.  My eyes are filling now, but he said I’m still a lot more Wednesday than I give myself credit for.  Then he said one of the most awesome statements that is super empowering to me that I’m going to post by my bed about being careful to not “poke” people like me.  In five minutes he did more than anything else has in months.  I felt more like me again and felt… strong (thank you Derek; that’s a gift I will always treasure).  I can be the misunderstood and underestimated me, yet still do all of this.  I can’t let myself get lost in this process, despite how easy it is for all of it to consume every moment and thought.  When I meet our daughter I want them to meet ME, not the shadow that has been lost in the adoption system.  So I’m bringing back the raised eyebrow, the looking over my glasses at someone, and the quirky smile that hints about all of the things in my mind that you really don’t want to know about that amuse me.  For a while it’ll just be a show; until I can work out again (a week left of antibiotic and I think this sinus stuff might finally be over thankfully!), find my confidence, and stop worrying about how the Case Workers are judging me (because honestly, it’s best that they like the real me and not just what’s best on paper!).  They say “fake it until you make it”.  Well, it’ll take a little faking to get the confidence back in place and then hopefully I’ll let the real me show in all it’s impish glory.  *grin*

 

I’m just so thankful to not feel lost in a twirling toilet bowl of emotions, to do lists, and remembering which child to follow up on.   It sounds stupid, but it’s become a bigger part of my life the longer this has taken, and there are a lot of things I have to consider and decide, and I started to believe that this new unknown person was who I needed to become.  I’ll always be thankful that I got pulled back from the edge, because I don’t think that woman is capable of being a good mother.  Just a thankful and tired one.  The real me is capable of smiling with my daughter as we are all homicidal maniacs for Halloween and laughing at the mutters about how weird we are.

 

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“It’s Enough to Drive You Crazy if You Let It”©

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Who would have thought that Dolly Parton’s classic song would have a lyric that would thoroughly apply to adoption?  *laugh*  I don’t know that many would call me sane anyway, but this process is pushing me closer to the bonkers edge, that’s for sure.  

 

We met our new Social Worker in person this past Friday and I’m really tickled to have such an awesome SW now.  She patiently answered the tons of questions I had come up with since things started going downhill with the previous SW, actually finalized our Home Study so it’s officially legal (it’s those little things that take 9 months and a new worker that makes me happy *laugh*), and was actually really nice.  Unlike the previous SW she really liked Kiddo’s room and loves the idea of it being move-in-ready, plus she loves the sayings and encouraging projects I hung or placed around the room.  She even liked my label maker obsession, so that Kiddo can find what she wants without having to ask, in case she’s feeling shy or uncomfortable (I can’t tell you how many times I wanted something to drink but was too shy to ask where the glasses were and never want Kiddo to go through that as she adjusts to her new home).  Several ticks that were previously against us got changed to strengths that we have, so that really helped me feel better about how we stand as an adopting family.

 

Unfortunately, just as our expected time frame for prospective child placement was about to come up, it got pushed off by another year.  That was a hard one to handle without either crying or wanting to start burning to prevent any anger from building up.  It is what it is, but just felt like a hit to the gut that it may be a whole extra year, making it 2.5 years in the process.  As usual, it is up to what time brings and see what happens.  Some days I get really tired of being “paperwork pregnant”, as many women refer to the adoption process.  Always something new to fill out or to read.  Thankfully I have all ready read several of the suggested reading “homework” we were given and the fact that I’m learning directly from the blog of what they consider an adoption expert went a long way.  And I’ve been blessed with making a new friend through my latest interest in SL photography who turns out to work with IEP and Special Ed children, so if our Kiddo has any educational needs that I’m unsure how to work with, I have a resource ready to provide research and encouragement.  So despite it all, there are blessings underneath it all.  

 

All of it opened up some unexpected pathways to us and also helped us make some clear decisions on what we will pursue/not pursue.  We’ve been pretty open minded throughout this, except for making sure this is a safe home for the possible adoptee, and this helped us widen our ideal traits list, while ruling out some other options that opened to us (I wouldn’t have made it through figuring out what was best in that possible situation, so thank you Dawn for helping me, if you’re reading this!!).  We are now considering tweens instead of strictly teens, which is a big change of thinking in some ways.  We actually formally decided to put our hat in the ring on one and they’re even in our state, so the fundraising would be used for school supplies and maybe even a tiny trip to celebrate that allows us some time away to bond as a family, before regular life begins, if we get picked.  

 

We’ve gone to the next step on others before and gotten so hurt that I can’t help but be nervous, plus we have so many out-of-state that are in flux, that I feel like my heart is being pulled in so many directions.  And the nice part to a tween is if it takes the year for the process to actually finalize, she won’t be about to graduate without a true chance to bond to become her forever family.  *sigh*  This process is just mind boggling and frustrating.  I just changed my hair color and I bet you within a couple days I’m going to find some white hairs from all of this.  *laugh*  

 

In the meantime I’ve stopped the puzzle piece fundraising, especially if it may be a year still, and we have no idea where we stand on the OOS young ladies we’ve been working toward.  I just know I’m ready to complete our family and that there are way too many children/teens out there that we, as a society, have turned away from.  Hopefully in the next few years Kiddo and I can start a fundraiser to get backpacks or suitcases for kids, and at least eradicate the trash bag scenario within a couple counties near us.  If we can help raise some awareness and advocate for these children, maybe the “village” will come back together to help take care of our lost children.  For a child to bounce so often that they haven’t had a stable enough living condition to get the grant to get their free braces is a disgrace, or is a grade behind because they didn’t have enough continual days in school since they were in flux for so long; it’s unacceptable that we have allowed the process to become this way.  We are mostly just uninformed of how all of this is handled.  So hopefully I’ll be able to advocate on several parts and gain enough voices to join mine to get us heard.  Anyway, I’ll step off my soap box and put it away for the moment.  *smile*

 

I’ll break my nails holding onto my patience waiting to see what comes our way next, but at least my hope is stronger today.  A flashlight in the dark.  Or the train getting closer on a circle track, as L commented to me.  If the train is coming again, at least I know I can get back up again and dust myself off while I wait for the next step of the path.  I survived a lot of things, but for a while I didn’t think I’d survive this process.  Right now I am back to the strength I had a year ago and have some hope, so “we’ll see”.  *grin*

GoFundMe

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Well, I made the incredibly difficult step of starting a GoFundMe campaign to help on our adoption journey. The legal costs are minimal, but due to our matches being national, we will have to do some unexpected traveling.  We all ready spent a lot on all of the renovations we did last year, getting her room ready so she can move right in and then change it to her heart’s content later, and starting to gather school supplies.  Since we always figured it would be a local adoption, we didn’t expect to have travel expenses.  We will also have additional school supplies and may have to buy a wardrobe for Kiddo, since we have no idea if the foster family/facility will be able to send much along with her.  So, we set aside our pride and started the campaign, since providing for and bringing home Kiddo are the most important things to us.

 

We created three puzzles that have inspiring adoption phrases for Kiddo and any donations will be written on the back of the puzzle pieces.  Later on we will get double sided frames, so she can see not only the phrases, but how many people worked to bring her to her forever home and show her how much she matters.  She will not be “one of the forgotten”. 

 

First Puzzle Lid:

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Second Puzzle Lid:puzzle 2

 

Third Puzzle Lid:

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We’re fundraising locally for $10 USD per puzzle piece, but we appreciate any donation and any forwarding of our campaign information.  I’m notoriously bad about not being on Facebook, so if you are willing to share the information with your contacts, that would also mean the world to us. 

 

We have a match as far away as Georgia (thoroughly ironic, right?!), so we truly don’t know what to expect.  According to our new Social Worker, it sounds like we might be at the next step with one young lady that is thankfully closer, so please cross your fingers or say a prayer for us.  It would be amazing to spend the summer getting to know our daughter.  I created a static site page for the campaign and will put the updates on the campaign on there, so you won’t hear much about the fundraising again, unless you look at that page.  This blog wasn’t made with this in mind, and wasn’t even in the realm of my thoughts for a blog post actually, so I want to keep the blog my version of normal.  *laugh*  I’ll still post adoption updates themselves, because even if it falls apart and shatters me, I’m going to go all Mama Bear and yell from the hills if we get far enough to meet one of the girls soon!  

 

So, for the fun facts…Our GoFundMe campaign is www.gofundme.com/adopting-future-cornelison.  My site page for additional details and updates is www.georgiaspampering.com/fundraising-for-future-cornelison.  Again, we are so thankful for your time reading this, any sharing of this to your social media or people or churches you know, or any donations.  The support and encouragement has been such a help all ready, when we hit forks in the road, and lost our hope.  We have the most incredible support system and we appreciate each of you.

Without You

I found this pose on SL a few days back and couldn’t resist, since I’ll be able to use it for a lot of other purposes and change things up with different windlights. For now, though, during this season of life, it tells two parts to the same story, for me.

Luke is leaning against the door and represents the adoption process in general. The ones that walk away or don’t match, the ones who get chosen by their foster parents upon the declaration of interest; all those hard moments adoptive families face. While I’m touching the door, trying to keep some connection without fully losing this big piece of life. Until we get to the good part, now that we’re past that cheerful, exciting beginning stage, there’s time I just collapse, wrap an arm around myself to try to keep control, and feel like my future is right outside that door, but still lost to me right now. Not much different from a breakup, which is probably why this pose touched me so deeply.

Secondly, people don’t usually think about the toll it takes on a couple while walking through this journey. All too often we’re on different sides of the door. I can’t vouch for his feelings, but sometimes I feel so alone when that door is closed. He is more reserved and not as involved in the process. I can’t stop myself from loving some of these young ladies, their stories, at least a bit, and it’s devastating when it doesn’t work out. When we forget to work as hard on us as on everything else going on, we’re left on different sides of the door with very different feelings. We want to understand each other, but sometimes it just isn’t possible and so we just continue down the path, recommitting whenever we can. It’s so frighteningly easy to be holding the door or be the one walking away. Even a united front can end up on different sides sometimes, with different emotions and traumas caused by this whirlwind.

I thought the loss, the grief, and longing in the pose was the perfect representation right now. The middle of a beautiful story isn’t always pretty. But it’s still our story and we’re still reaching out, so that’s all that matters in the end.

Loving Adoption

 

Although it is such a hard process, and trauma is wrapped up in every edge, it’s absolutely beautiful. The dreams, the hopes, the ability to love another person so completely, and a new season to life.

The adoption process creates a unique bond for the prospective (and hopefully eventual) parents, and we can sometimes see that another is on this journey too. We’re part of a community that we never really expected.

In light of the intriguing traits and behaviors we can see, and totally understand, I wanted to share an incredible post by Kathy Lynn Harris,Dear Moms of Adopted Children“.

Back in the Saddle!

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Okay, first, a totally girly moment with very girly font color…oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!  Yesterday we got notified that our profile had been approved by AdoptUS all ready and that we could submit inquiries now.  In the wee hours I finished our national profile (it took a while to find a pic that fit their size and didn’t cut half our faces off or other weird things).  I then did 7 inquiries (we actually have 177 matches nation wide [!!], but narrowed it down to the states around us).  A few hours later we all ready received three responses from case workers, all requesting information that I had to email my social worker for, since I’ve never received the completed forms yet.  One response was from the case worker of the girl that actually sparked our decision to take this fork in the road!  

I’m trying so hard to not get overly excited or expectant, since we’ve been there and done that with a lot of heartache, but when I sent an email in response to the requested info, explaining the delay while I work to get that information, I literally got tingles.  So silly and so incredibly happy that we are able to work toward finding and getting Kiddo again.  Never would I have expected to have gone this route, but I am so thankful that God gave me the courage to take this step.  It’s terrifying to be handling all of this by myself, instead of having a social worker to mediate and do the main work, but I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and started the new path.  I’m freaking giddy, despite knowing this could all come to just heartache.  We have options and hope again.  

Thank you for all of the support and encouragement!  I wouldn’t have been able to make it to this path without it, so that God could then do His work.  Although it’s still so scary, with God and all of you, I have actual hope again.  My Fibro is being horrific right now, but for once I’m able to not focus on it and just be happy.  I feel like that scene in Hook© where Tink has Peter think a happy thought and he learns to fly again.  I learned to hope again.  I don’t know what challenges we will face next, but I can’t help happily crying.  It’s a beautiful, shining moment along this incredibly long journey.  So please cross your fingers I can get our information from KS early next week and be able to send it on to the other case workers.  And thank you, again, for being there throughout this.  In our case it takes a village to get our girl and I’m thankful for this village. 

Expanding Our Options

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Well, we lost another potential child.  It’s now a joke that if we actually pursue further processing with a child, they will be adopted by someone else in the meantime.  Most of the time the foster parents or someone from their past steps up when the case worker notifies them of an interested family.  4.  It’s awesome that the four young ladies have found forever homes and families, just makes it hard to keep hope alive.

 

Since there are no others in Kansas at this time that sound like a good fit, and we don’t want to just sit and keep refreshing the site every day to see when a new girl gets added (which isn’t all that often really), I did some research (imagine that lol).  I am in the middle now of working on our national profile and once AdoptUS sends it and our KS Social Worker verifies the accuracy of the form part (not the narrative), we can then request profiles for girls in other states.  There are actually several in neighboring states that seem somewhat promising so far, but who knows when the verification will be done and who will be available at that point.  At least we’re not just twiddling our thumbs and waiting for a miracle, though, and it helps me feel like I’m actually still working toward our dream.

 

The other states require that out-of-state adopters have a completed homestudy all ready, which we did back in September and are just waiting for the last corrections to be finished, so that we get the official version of our homestudy profile.  They also require completion of their own forms, not that different from the tons of pages I did for Kansas, but they also require a narrative to be written.  This allows the caseworkers to actually get a brief “getting to know you” view of us, instead of just stats.  There are sections for general description of where we live, community activities, what type of child we are looking for, our joint interests (I couldn’t resist doing some of our separate interests too, since we each have a lot of hobbies and interests that aren’t shared by the other), any activities that interfere with routine (such as his scout meetings or work events), and what experience we have with children.  If it was free form it’d be easier for me, I think, since where we live and the community feel like the section our interests and hobbies should be with, instead of elsewhere.  And it is incredibly hard for me to “sell” our qualities to such a wide audience.  I can rock a resume and have actually done that for some extra money in the past, but talking about personal stuff instead of business, and within their guidelines, is so hard for me.  Talking with a friend helped me think of writing a resume-type narrative that I could then copy and paste into this narrative, in the appropriate areas.  

 

We also have to do a lot of what would we be able to handle or prefer for tons of conditions I know nothing about.  I realized that our homestudy worker had talked about the issues, and got a feel for what we can do, but didn’t name all of the things she was actually asking about.  I never even realized that, even with turning in hundreds of corrections.  *laugh* And for me to not know medical conditions is so irritating to me, since I like to think I’ve educated myself really well in that area.  The thirty five shortcuts to descriptions tells me otherwise.  *grin* 

 

I really hope that I’m making the right move in doing this.  I feel so helpless and useless right now; four is enough to really knock the wind out of the sales.  I have an incredible support system that is helping me keep working, even when I don’t feel overly hopeful, and have all given pep talks to keep me motivated to not give up.  It doesn’t make sense, but I feel kind of like I’ve failed, and I’m not used to doing that, and I definitely don’t handle it well.  I am so very thankful to have incredible people in my life to help me learn how to handle this. 

 

So I am down to two sections left of the narrative and then back to finishing the “what can we handle” sections, especially now that I know what the definitions are.  *grin*  I’ve had a hard time deciding what to call Kiddo in the narrative, since I’m not really sure what the case workers would prefer, so it’s varied from “our daughter”, “the child”, “the young lady”, and Kiddo.  I have all of the preferences covered, I suppose.  *laugh*  I get to next complete the section about her Godparents and even write about how we hope to travel out of state for Kiddo to meet her other set of Godparents, as soon as Kiddo is settled and able to handle it (and we can budget it). Leah has been such an incredible part of our support system that I can’t wait for Kiddo to get to meet her, along with her husband and children.  Extra bonus is I get to meet my honorary nieces in person, too!  So although having another “paperwork pregnancy” kind of bites, there are some great reminders of the dreams and goals we have for parenting and bonding.  I don’t know how many times we can travel to meet any of the potential kids out-of-state, so I’m going to set up a family Skype account just in case most of our contact is via that or group texting.  Prepare to hear about all of the differences between attempting to adopt locally vs out-of-state.  We’re starting a whole different path and learning as we go.  If you are so inclined, a little prayer for this would mean so very much to me.  And thank you for bumping along this wild ride with me.  We were hesitant about talking about the adoption at all, but writing about the journey has been very therapeutic and empowering, so thank you for taking the time to read and for all of the well wishes you’ve sent.

 

By the way, I actually got some new business items to get the inspiration percolating again, so look for an actual business post soon.  I know that some subscribed for the business aspect, so I hope you’ve stayed along until I could get back to it!  Happy pampering!  

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