Alright, I have to preface this post by saying that today has not been an especially tough day for me...and this past week has not been an especially tough week. I have just been thinking about this lately and thought I'd share.
Throughout the process of adoption, we have waited and waited and waited, passed over hurdles we were waiting for and waited some more. Those of you who are in the process (or completed it) know exactly what I'm talking about.
Ever since my trip to Tanzania in college, I felt that adopting from Africa was a part of the plan for my life....but I knew I had to wait until the time was right. I went on to graduate school, met and fell in love with Z, got married, and was set to finish up my degree. I was blessed to find Z...a man who loved the idea of adoption as much as I did; a man who wanted to be a dad but didn't care whether or not his kids looked like him, shared his genetics, or were born on the same continent. He didn't even care whether or not they were babies when they joined our family.
We waited with our plan until we felt it was the right time....I can't explain how we knew it was the right time to move on this plan, but we knew...and all the doors opened for us. I spent several months researching agencies and trying to determine the right fit for us. We set a date that we would send in our application and we waited until the date came. Soon after, we heard from the agency that we were accepted and because we were requesting "older" kids we were told we could go ahead and start our homestudy. We found a fantastic social worker to do our homestudy, got all the paperwork ready and waited some more. Soon we found out that the agency was starting a new program so we asked to be a part of a pilot program in Ghana. We waited for the decision. When we got the go-ahead, we put together our dossier, sent it off and waited some more.
I have heard some people say that the wait from sending the dossier to referral is the hardest wait. I've heard other people say that the wait from referral to court date is hardest. And I've heard other people say that the wait from referral to travel is hardest. There's no doubt that they are all difficult waits....but I feel differently about them now than I did when all the waiting started.
After sending off the dossier we waited and waited to hear who our children would be. When we saw pictures of our two boys we were so excited! There they are! Those are OUR boys! Suddenly that wait between dossier and referral didn't seem so bad.
After the referral, we waited and waited for a court date. Since we are in a pilot program, we didn't know how long to expect that wait to be. It turns out that wait was a little over 4 months long. We had court re-scheduling and cancellations to deal with, but we finally had a court date and were granted an adoption order! They really ARE OUR boys! Suddenly that wait between referral and court date didn't seem so bad.
Now we are in the midst of the wait between court date and bringing our boys home. I can say without question that, for me, THIS wait has been the hardest. Those boys really are MY boys. Z and I are legally their parents and we are so anxious to get to know them. But, we still can't be with them.
Adoption in Ghana is new. That means everyone who needs to do something in order for us to bring the boys home needs to learn HOW to do it. Jobs that can be (and are) done in just a matter of a few hours or a day or two in other countries sometimes take much, much longer in Ghana. We passed court on Nov. 2nd, but we are still waiting for the documents to be released from the court so we can submit our I-600 and begin processessing of the boys' visas. Once we file the I-600, we don't know how long we can expect to wait for approval (though we have some hope that it will be processed quickly, based on this post from another family in Ghana right now).
Right now we are in "wait-mode"...we're getting used to it ;) But, we are praying that we are out of it soon. Z is heading to Ghana on the 23rd to spend Christmas with his sons and file the I-600. We are praying that the I-600 is approved quickly, that he can apply for the boys' visas and get them quickly, and bring the boys home with him. What an amazing start to 2008 that would be! We would certainly appreciate any prayers you feel compelled to pray on our behalf.
I will wait and wait and wait for these little boys if I have to. But to be honest....I'm just ready to have them home.