Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Adoption Update...Oh, BOY!

A friend of mine shared this quote with me this week, and it really touched me.  It sums up our intentions perfectly:

"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared" - Author Unknown
This week we definitely felt the "prayed for, cried for, begged for" part.  Yet another match night came and went and no luck!  We know that we haven't waited years or as long as many who are struggling with starting/expanding a family the "traditional" way, but we have exceeded the "1-3 months at the most" timeline we were given.  It's not like we are waiting to move up our agency's list - we are at the top and have been for a while.  They have tried hard to match us and there have just been very few young girls available.  Those that were have been quickly - within seconds - locked by other agencies.  Our agency is not exactly sure why our particular case is taking so long - and we even expanded our list of needs we would accept.

We see other families - logged in AFTER us (from other agencies) - being matched with children and preparing to travel.  We see Alexis' confusion as we try to explain that they couldn't "find" Annabelle again this month.  It's just so sad and devastating to know that two parents are able, willing and WANTING to bring a child into their home and there are HUNDREDS - actually THOUSANDS - of children in need of families and we are just stuck waiting!  It seems the red tape and bureaucracy of adoption is getting to me this week.  It is a very emotional roller coaster of a process and you feel you are constantly building up hope, getting anxious, feeling disappointed, reeling from the disappointment and starting all over again.  Since we started the process in December, we are just feeling a little emotionally tired this week!  We know other adoptive parents have been through this - some for much longer.  Adoption is a tough process!

Before we even discussed our situation with our agency, we had been having thoughts and wonderings about adopting a boy.  Originally, we did not realize that there are so many young boys with minor needs in this program.  Usually girls are abandoned in China.  However, boys with any type of need are not usually "wanted," and when families already have one boy, the cost of keeping two or breaking the "one-child" law is not an option. 

I have read on several sites that nearly 75% of the shared list of babies/children is boys, and nearly 75% of the families hoping to be matched off the list are looking for girls.  Our odds of finding a little boy should be much greater.

So, after much thought, prayer and discussion, we decided to be open to a little BOY as well as a girl.  We want our agency to continue looking for a girl, but if a boy is available and meets our criteria, we will be thrilled.  Alexis is excited about the option of having a little brother, and is already going through the house identifying toys she thinks he would like!  We'll definitely have to work on the name (Annabelle just won't work!) and I'll have to redesign the ladybug-themed room, but that's ok......we feel that maybe we weren't matched yet because we were meant to be a family to a little boy! 

Thanks for your prayers as we continue this journey!  Some day this unpleasant waiting and wondering will all be worth it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August List and Sister Talk

I posted this story on facebook, but failed to write about it on this blog.  Since we will be printing this blog as a memory book for Annabelle some day, I wanted to make sure I documented it!

Alexis has been studying "families" at preschool and they also have been making a lot of "about me" crafts/projects.  A couple of weeks ago, she said that her favorite thing was "her sister, Annabelle."  She also told her teacher to write that her favorite thing to do was "to look everywhere for Annabelle with my parents."  We think she truly believes that Annabelle is "lost" and that we have people looking for her.  In a way, she's partially right!  I think it is so sweet how much she already loves her.  She talks about her constantly - referring to things she wants to play with her, toys she will share with her, how she will "boss" her around, etc.  I know she will have adjustments to make, but I know she will love being a sister!

I had a shirt made for her that she can wear once we are matched.  I think it's really sweet - and definitely unique!

The August "Shared List" is being released Monday night, so we will find out on Tuesday if we were matched or not.  Let the nervous worrying and wondering begin!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dog Days of August

Summer came and went without a match, as we were anticipating and hoping, but we know that there is a reason we have not been matched and the extra wait will be a distant memory when we actually do welcome Annabelle into our lives!  Is it frustrating and disappointing each month that passes?  YES!  Is it fun just "waiting" for something out of our control?  Absolutely NO!  However, it is the reality of adoption, and it will make the reality of being a new family that much better! 

In the meantime, we have been pretty busy lately as a new school year has started.  I'm teaching third grade again, Jason is teaching AP Calculus for the first time, and Alexis returned to preschool.  She had a great start and loves going to "her school" every day.  We had an emotional weekend before school started for our family, as we had to put down our dog, Copper.  Jason and I first brought Copper into our lives eight years ago - the weekend before school started that year.  She's been through all of our adventures and experiences as a married couple, including two homes and the birth of Alexis.  Those who knew Copper knew that she was quite spoiled and didn't view herself as a dog, but rather a member of the family.  We miss her, but she was really sick and unable to recover.

Despite my apprehension, Jason and Alexis teamed up to beg for a new puppy.  Alexis missed her playmate and Jason particularly missed having a dog in the house.  So, we welcomed Jake to our family!  Jake is a TINY shih-tzu puppy who is named after the lead character on Alexis' favorite TV show, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates."  She wanted to name him Captain Hook, Smee or Mickey Mouse, so with some cohersion, we "compromised" on Jake!  He is cute - and he's growing on me!  We found out that his breed originated from China, so that is quite appropriate for us!

   August matching should be toward the end of the month.  Hopefully it will bring good news!