Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Beginning

I can't believe it finally hit me. I should write about this. Write about what, you are probably asking. Our decision to adopt. Yes, I suppose this may be the best way to announce our decision to adopt. IF everything goes well. So I guess I should start at the beginning. It probably began with the Tsunami in the Philippines in 2004. Watching all the suffering and homeless children on TV really struck a chord with me. I looked at David and declared, "We should adopt one of those children. We can save one. And we are great parents." As usual, David encouraged me to look into it, knowing that only a few of my great and wonderful ideas come to fruition. A year later, we decided to get a foreign exchange student instead. So the year of 2005-2006 was the year of Camila. That same year a (sort of) relative of David's adopted a baby girl from China. We had a fulfilling experience with Camila, and we decided to become foster parents. Kate graduated from high school, and we became foster parents to a teen girl for the summer. Still, all along, I was researching, investigating, interviewing and weighing adoption procedures. Every so often, I would report my progress, and Dave and I would discuss whether we should adopt. However, we kept thinking we might be able to adopt one of our foster children. I would check waiting children photo listings daily online, and we subscribed to the Waiting Child book. In June of 2008, we met with an attorney who specializes in adoption. He provided us with several contacts, and we discovered World Association for Children and Parents online. In the meantime, we welcomed another foreign exchange student from China, a 16 year old boy named Xiao. What a joy he is!! Still, surfing postings, still talking, still thinking, still waiting to decide if we should pursue adoption. We talked about adopting for so many years, that every once in awhile Austin would tell us to hurry up because we were getting too old. I even started to network among my inner-city students. I'd ask my students each semester, "Anyone know someone with a child they are considering putting up for adoption?" But then it happened. Dave and I were all alone for an entire evening. We had to go watch Austin race in a cross-country meet, and Dave and I had 24 hours completely alone. I started the conversation with, "It's time for us to make a decision. I'm going to be 43 this year, and the cut-off for many adoptions is 45. Do we want to adopt, or is this one of those things we should just let go?" Surprisingly, David voted yes, we should adopt. We can provide superior love and care to a child who needs a family, and we should definitely adopt. The very next day, I received an email with a note from WACAP that here is a child you might consider. I showed it to David, and he said, yes, get the paperwork done. Less than a month later, we have completed more forms than I can count, have had our fingerprints done a multitude of times, completed blood work, eye tests, physicals, etc. etc. and we know that our journey is just beginning. Next week is our home-study visit from the agency. We're exhausted already, and we hear this process will take over 18 months. Bring it on!

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