On the15th we found out that our homestudy was approved! This is a pretty big step, the one that takes the longest, the one that says-- after picking over your life with a fined-toothed comb, we believe you to be capable of adopting from Ethiopia. It is very exciting. We are now waiting for CIS (immigration services) to tell us when we are to drive to San Antonio to be fingerprinted. We have several other official documents that need to be gathered to complete our dossier, which is a packet of information that includes things like, birth and marriage certificates, doctor statements, homestudy, etc. that will be sent to our agency, translated, then sent on to Ethiopia for their governments' approval.
When I was a little girl, orphans were fascinating to me. So many fairy tales and stories feature orphans it is impossible to not consider the notion of a child living apart from their parents when you are still quite small. I don't know the moment that adopting a child entered my mind as a possibility for my future. My guess is when I was still a child myself. But I do know when it became concrete and something I knew for certain I wanted to do. When I was 21, I provided childcare for a family with two small children. Melissa, the mom, had a booklet from an adoption agency that was full of pictures of waiting children from the States and from other countries. Halfway through the booklet near the bottom was a picture of a brother and sister from Haiti. They were three-year old twins. And they were so beautiful and so in need of a family. I couldn't stop thinking about them for a long time. I ached that I was too young to claim them. So I tucked it away for a long time--- A child in Haiti will someday need me and someday I will be ready. When I began to first do the real research, I learned about Haiti's children. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western world. Many, many children there are in need. But I was eventually led (pulled) toward Ethiopia and it landed on my heart and just sat there, unwavering. It is amazing how a seemingly small event, like Melissa having that booklet in her house, could affect the course of my life, and then by default Erik's, and the shape and growth of our family. And the lives of my future children.
I had a dry spell with the posting here. Partly because we've been so busy with the work of preparing for a move with three small children. But mostly because this summer I spent a good deal of time questioning whether or not we could do this. Not just do this, but do this well. Many Questions arise when one pursues international adoption. The furthur we get down the road, the more Questions there are. And I have tried to face them all with an open, clear mind and heart. Questions of race, culture, racism, adoption ethics, family dynamics, birth families, white privledge, United States policies, corrupt governments, poverty... This process is rife with opportunity for self-exploration and unfortunately, self-doubt. But with every question, even the most ugly and complicated ones, we come back to the soul of a child who needs a home right now and two people who want to parent more children. And it has to be the answer that matters the most.