Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
We made it, but our trip has been quite the adventure from the very beginning. For starters, we started out more than five hours late. The plan was that we would leave directly after my mom got off from work at 4:30 PM. That didn’t work out as I was still circling the Cape trying to find the dog boarders. I finally got Daisy and my mom’s dog, Bosley, dropped off for boarding around 5 pm. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that Regan didn’t understand that we were leaving the dogs and so she became quite upset that we left without the dogs. I ran home and then I still had to finish packing and finish up last minute things.
I ended up packing and repacking as we were trying to keep our weight and suitcases to the minimum. Somehow it still ended up beign way too much luggage. We also had to figure out the car packing as we had to take two cars to my grandmother's house. Between luggage, three car seats, five people, a great dane, springer spaniel and another third dog, we were packed! We finally headed out and I stopped to make final copies of some paperwork I had just received from my HS social worker. As I am going through the paperwork checklist making copies I realized I had forgotten my original birth certificate!!! I almost broke down in tears as we were forty five minutes away from home. Nothing we could do but load up and head home. I got my birth certificate and we headed out on the road again. By this time it is 10 pm and we haven't eaten dinner. We stop and grab some fast food and finally hit interstate at 11 pm. By midnight, we were pulling into my HS adoption agency where they had taped to the door my updated homestudy. She had just finished another update as at the last minute I had to have all background clearances redone. Luckily, my SW is a paperwork rock star and got it done in record time! Things were going as well as expected until my brother decided he was too tired to drive. At this time, we are only in Tampa and have three more hours of travel ahead of us. I could have wrung his neck!! More car reshuffling and my mom who had only had about 3 hours of sleep the night before and myself were driving the cars while my brother slept. My mom had to work overtime until 1:30 in the morning the previous day in order to prepare for being able to take off from work.
At about 2:30, the 16 year old springer spaniel fell off the back seat and couldn't get back up. I had to pull over to the side of the road to boost him up and then he continued to bark for about 45 minutes. Do you now how ear piercing a deaf dogs bark is when you are enclosed in a small, cramped space?!?! At least it kept me awake for the drive! Then my nephew woke up and decided he had to go to the bathroom. Three thirty in the morning and I locate a rest area in the nick of time!! But of course once the car stops, every dog feels the need to use the restroom and so nothing like a little stroll in the middle of the night in a pitch black rest area.
We finally arrive in Interlachen to my grandparent's house at 5:30 am. So much for being well rested for the trip. We woke up at 7:30 am to begin the drive back south to the Tampa airport. We had my grandparents watch the three dogs as my great dane is a big wimp and doesn't handle seperation well, the springer spaniel is old and not the healthiest and the little mutt has seizures. I really hope everything is going well.
We reach Tampa in good time to catch our flights and Regan and Konnor are soooo excited at this point!! We receive our tickets and notice that the five of us are separated with the three adults sitting together and the two kids sitting together all the way in the back of the plane. We got that fixed and headed out to find something for lunch. Regan was so precious being excited with all of the planes and airport activities. She loves her carry on and insists on pulling it herself.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Look how tiny he looks!!
My absolute favorite picture. This was THE picture that did it for me!! He was tired of getting his picture taken and so he hid behind this toy and wouldn't come out!! What a little stinker!!! What a little personality!!
On March 6, 2008 I received a return email from Katie at Journeys of the Heart. She apologized for not returning my earlier email, but she had been in India and was not able to access the internet. She told me that one of the three children I had inquired about was no longer available. She told me that she could email me a "Child Study Report" of the other two children if I was interested. I emailed her back and told her I would love to view the two children. We had some technical difficulties (I know this surprises no one who knows me!) and my computer would not accept her emails as they were too big to open. That same day, I also attended my employee processing to become an employee for the school district. I had worked there for 7 years, but as a contractor with no benefits. I now had access to benefits and insurance. I was so relieved because private insurance was a fortune and I could not switch as Regan had a pre-exisiting condition following her hospitilization. On March 7, I went home that afternoon to find an email from Katie. She could not forward the Child Study Reports, but had attached pictures of the two boys I had inquired about. I didn't know which child was which and knew they both had special needs, but wasn't sure what their special needs were.
I opened up the first email and saw a cute little boy dressed in a purple sweater. He had the curliest hair! Just a little cutie. But, I didn't feel anything deep inside. I had several pictures of this little guy and felt like I did with so many of the other children I had reviewed through different agencies. They were adorable children, but they weren't MY child.
I then opened up the second email and clicked on the first picture. Oh my gosh!!! That was him! That was my son!! I knew it the moment I looked at his picture. He was a sullen looking little boy who was staring at the camera with a warning look in his eyes!!! The email stated that he was nervous that the women who were from the adoption agency were visiting and that he refused to smile for the camera. The pictures were less than a week old! Katie also put that he was a darling boy and very active. I immediately forwarded the emails to my mom and drove to her work. I asked her what she thought and she thought that both children were cute although she thought the first email was of a girl! That purple sweater fooled her! I told her that I thought that the second child was my son and she was 1000% supportive.
I went home and received another email from Katie that included the Child Study Report for the second child. I never did see a report for the little boy in the purple sweater. I opened up the attachment and read a couple of pages about him and his special need. I told Katie that I was interested in learning more about this little boy and consulting a doctor about his special need. After reading his report, I was nervous about whether I was prepared to deal with his special need.
The next 24 hours showed me that this was truly my son!!!
To be continued...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I first started looking into a second adoption before Regan even came home! We got stuck in the early stages of the slow down in China and there were many times I thought our adoption would never happen. I researched countries and decided that Vietnam was the best fit for me. Fast forward to Regan coming home and then being hospitalized. That hospital experience was the scariest, biggest learning experience of my life. I realized that I was strong enough to handle special needs (with the support of family) and I also sat in the hospital and knew that my engagement would probably never result in a marriage as I felt I had very little support on that end of things.
I had my first post placement visit with my social worker and I discussed the possibility of adopting from Vietnam. I knew I would have to wait a year to begin the process as the rule was there had to be a one year gap between each adoption. We then discussed Joel's and my upcoming marriage and how that would probably make a second adoption difficult (due to many different reasons, # of children in the home, waiting three years past marriage, Joel had a previous divorce, etc). I wanted a little boy so bad, but resigned to put it on the back burner.
In September of 2007, Joel and I were no longer together and my social worker and I had another post placement visit which we also counted towards my first home study visit for an adoption from Vietnam. I had decided to move forward in my pursuit of a second adoption! I rushed through all of the paperwork because it was determined it could be a several year wait. By February of 2008, I had the dossier complete and ready to mail to my agency to then be forwarded to Vietnam. During this entire time, there was a lot of rumbling about the possibility that the adoption agreement between the US and Vietnam was going to expire and not be renewed. The current agreement was set to expire in September 2008. The US State Department issued a warning to not begin new adoptions as they could not promise the adoptions could be completed. I had many phone calls with my social worker who thought that I would be grandfathered in and would be able to complete the adoption even if the agreement expired. She did give me the disclaimer that there was no guarantee. I would have had to take a huge leap of faith and also put up front a huge amount of money that would not be refunded should the adoption not happen. Something told me not to do it.......I could not send my dossier.
I began researching different options and came upon several roadblocks because I am single. I narrowed it down to India, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia. India had a long wait time and my social worker discouraged me from this program as she felt it was a rocky road to completion. Nepal wasn't open to adoptions yet, although my social worker really felt that would be a good fit for me. Ethiopia was quickly gaining popularity and becoming a longer wait, and Kazakhstan required two trips with one lasting a month. I also scoured waiting children lists and emailed many different agencies about different children. For many reasons, I felt that none of those situations was working for me. I emailed an adoption agency, Journeys of the Heart about three of their waiting children. They gave very little information, just three or four lines about the basics of the children. I didn't hear back from them and I promptly forgot I emailed them as I had been contacting so many people at that time.
To be continued...