Saturday, February 22, 2014

Adoption: Where Are We Now?

Well, it's been about a month since I shared our news with you. Our sweet little 7 year old IC became ours.

I thought I'd give an update. It's not much. But we are thankful for each and every piece of progress.

Last week I got a call from our family coordinator. She let us know that IC's relatives had a court date where they relinquished him officially and gave consent to our adoption. That was hard but it was a required step in the process. And it's over.

We also, surprisingly, got more photos of our cutie!! Right after we got our referral we sent a care package with a traveling family. Since our guy isn't in the transition home run by our agency, we didn't bother sending a photo release and figured we wouldn't get any photos.

But I got an email one morning with the heading "care package photos." It was from our family coordinator. When they gave IC his first package from us, the staff took photos. So now I have photos of him looking at photos of us.

Guys, it's about too much.

I mean, what in the world is he thinking? His big, beautiful smile can't surely contain all the emotion. So, so much emotion. I wish I could share the photos with you because it's really wild.

In the specifics of our progress on the American side, things aren't as promising.  I called immigration two weeks ago. Our case had not been assigned to an officer. They said they were hopeful it would be soon.

So I called again last week. The woman on the phone was super nice (and said "I remember talking to you last week") as she told me we still didn't have an officer. Still. Which means for now it's just sitting in a stack, right where it started 3 weeks ago. And she said I could call in a week but there wouldn't be more for me to know. I should wait two weeks.

That's five days from today. I won't even pretend to tell you I'm not counting. I'm counting. Every single day. I will call them in five days and try to "smile through the phone" as I beggingly ask if someone has looked at our darling boy's file.

Because, to me, it's not a file. It's a little boy.

Oh sure, he's made of paperwork and pictures, not flesh and blood.

But what they're holding in a file just a few short hours from my house is my son. And until they:

  • review it
  • decide they have the paperwork to move forward on the case
  • send it to Ethiopia
  • review it
  • interview a birth relative 
  • write a letter to go in our file; and finally
  • invite me to Addis to stand in a courtroom and legally become a mom

I will be a wreck. Because I don't know how he's doing. I don't know if he slept ok last night. I don't know if he has friends. I don't know if anyone asked him how his day was. Or if he got to eat his favorite food. Or if he ate any food at all. Or if he's safe, happy, ok.

I don't know. And it is harder than I could ever, ever imagine.

Sometimes I keep my distance from all the thoughts because they are just too overwhelming.

We still have absolutely no idea when we will travel. All those bullet points up above? They could take a month or six months. There's really no way to tell.  It all depends on who looks at our paperwork, how much they like it, and if they need more from us. Or if things get lost on the way to Ethiopia. Or of someone takes vacation.

But in the meantime, our son is sitting in their pile. Their pile they see as paperwork.

So would you pray? That the paperwork would be a child to them? That each person who reads through it would be efficient and thorough and handle it with the care they would if it were an actual child standing in their office?

Because to us, he's a child.

Thanks for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us. This is the beginning of a long, arduous journey. We're gonna need you, your prayers, and your love for years and years and years to come.

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