Friday, June 28, 2013

Let's Talk Books

Our adoption waiting carries on and I've run out of ways to blog about that so I thought I'd share some books (adoption and parenting related) that I have read over these last many months.

We were required to read two books and I highly recommend both of them if you are journeying down this road and haven't yet read them:

"The Connected Child" is a great book for parents who are welcoming children from "hard places".  The book's authors are very well known for their approach to parenting adopted children.  Jeff and I were also able to attend an Empowered to Connect Conference led by Dr. Purvis, where this approach is taught.

The next book that we were required to read was, "Adoption Parenting".  This book reminds me in a lot of ways of the much-loved "What To Expect When You're Expecting" book that we've all read during our pregnancies.  To be honest, I can't recall a lot of what I read in it as it has been MANY months ago; however, it is a book that, I believe, will be a great source of quick reference in the future.

I also read the book, "There Is No Me Without You".  This is not an adoption or parenting book but it is a heartwarming and heartbreaking book about an Ethiopian widow who, in her own suffering, opens her heart to many orphaned Ethiopian children.  A great, great read.

I'm in the process now of reading, "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla" which is a book about raising healthy black or biracial children in a race-conscious world.  The verdict is out because I'm not very far into it but I've heard it's a great book as well.

This isn't a complete list but it's some of my favorites.

In addition to these books, I do my fair share of reading a couple of websites that are dedicated to African/African American hair and skin care.  One of the favorites is Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care.  It is a WEALTH of information that I know will come in handy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's a PAIR?

This past week or so has been pretty eventful in the adoption world.


(Pre-Adoption Immigration Review) Process

Early last week the USCIS (US Customs & Immigration Service) put out a notice that some new procedures were being implemented in the adoption process for Ethiopian adoptions.  There was a conference call on Thursday for adoptive families and adoption service providers where the process was explained.  I won't go into all of the details here because, frankly, I don't necessarily understand all of the intricacies of it and you wouldn't either if I were the one explaining, but the gist of it is that the process itself hasn't changed, just the order in which they do a portion of it has.  The reason for the change is a good one (it will eliminate instances of children being declared "adopted" in Ethiopia but then unable to travel due to denial of Visa issuance) but we have been warned that the waiting time between receiving a referral and being able to go to court (first trip) will likely increase.  This change occurs September 1st and will definitely affect us since we don't yet have a referral and, at this point, it is impossible to receive one AND go to court before they close in August.

PAIR - says a pair is:

1.) two identical, similar or corresponding things that are matched for use together (pair of gloves, pair of earrings); 2.)  something consisting of or regarded as having two parts or pieces joined together (pair of scissors); 3.) two individuals who are similar or in some way associated

And on that note....

Our original home study expires soon; so, today, we had our renewal meeting with our Social Worker.  It went well and we are good to go for eighteen more months.  We made a couple (a PAIR?) of changes to our parameters and we have now officially changed our paperwork to accept more than one child.

A pair.

Of sisters.

We also increased our upper age range from age 6 to age 8.

This doesn't mean that we will necessarily get a referral for sisters; it just means that if a pair of sisters in our age range becomes available BEFORE a singular child in our age range, we would prayerfully consider and be able to proceed.  We could still receive a referral for only one child (in which case, our original age range would apply; the extra two years would only apply to a sibling pair).

Jeff and I both are COMPLETELY at peace with whatever God chooses to bless us with.  One.  Or two.  I think that I speak for us both when I say that as we have prayed about this decision, over and over again, we heard God say, "Why NOT?", "Why WOULDN'T you?" and often even, "If not you, WHO?".

And so we keep on keeping on; waiting for our girl(s).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Monthly Wait-List Update

We got that email.  You know the one.  It's the one that we once anticipated with great excitement and, at times, great dread.  It's the email that tells us where we are on our agency's wait list.  It's the email that contains a number that has carried a lot of weight around here at times.  Much more weight than it ever deserved.

That number is still TWO.  We have been number two since February.  That's four months at number two. But who's counting? :)

I no longer anticipate the monthly wait-list update. To be honest, were it not for the Facebook group that I'm a member of, I might not ever realize it's that time.  Now, what we anticipate is the phone call and the face(s).

God, forgive us for all of the times that we relied on the number, all the times that we put our faith and trust in the number; for you are the One who set the lonely in our family and whose ultimate plan for it is perfect.