Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We're Approved!

YAH! Not that I was concerned at all that they would not accept our application since it was just a preliminary, but this afternoon, we got our very first packet from Americans Adopting Orphans. It has the contract and some other information, with tips on what we can be doing now to speed the process along. Now, we have to rustle up our 700.00 for the program fee and sign the contracts and we will be on our way. The ball is definitely rolling though. I'm excited again. I read a really great post on one the of the adoption forums that I have been trolling on lately. One lady(I assume) was talking about how she was frustrated with the domestic adoption process and even had to give a baby back already once because the B/M came back into the picture. This was of course one the main reasons we opted not to be involved in a domestic adoption. Anyway, she was looking for advice about whether she should switch to an international adoption. One of the main differences in agency domestic adoptions and international adoptions is that domestically you generally are matched with the baby, by the mother, who chooses your family and you get the baby immediately. All you miss is the pregnancy. For an international adoption, you miss about the first year of the child's life. I have been giving that a lot of thought lately. So anyway, one of the people that responded talked about her experience when she adopted her daughter from China. I am just going to quote the comment since it was so good.

Our daughter was 11 and half months at referral and 13 and half at gotcha. Her first birthday was between referral and travel. That was difficult for me. Somehow, her first birthday seemed so symbolic. At the core of my fears, I worried that my daughter would be very independent. I worried that I'd miss out on that baby experience because a 12 month old would be less cuddly. I also worried how spending more time in the orphanage would impact on her. Well, my daughter has been home 9 months and I couldn't be more thrilled with the whole experience. As far as missing out on the baby experience, there is soooo much baby left in these girls. My daughter was like a sponge when she came home. She couldn't get enough closeness, holding, snuggling, rocking etc--and I was more than happy to meet those needs. Even at 14 months, she was very much a like a 6-9 month old baby. Not to scare, you she was alert, interactive, social etc. I definitely have had the opportunity to parent a young baby, baby/toddler mix and now 100% pure toddler (and she's still extremely sweet and cuddly). As far as attachment, it's so hard to predict how each child will respond. However, it's not so simple as younger child guarantees easier process. We were very fortunate as our daughter has attached very well to us.
I realize of course that our experience might be completely different, but it nice to know that it has worked out positively on that front for others out there. Reading through the contracts and the expectation sheet and the requirements tonight, I was thinking "it is more then a decision now", it is a process. We are moving forward towards being parents. It is scary and exciting all rolled into one. I imagine that people who find out that they are pregnant go through this, in a different way, and feel the same sense of reality smash into them every so often. We go through our day, and we talk about the adoption a lot, what we need to do and where we need to be by such and such date, where we are going to get the money for this or that, but the idea of being a parent only crops up every now and then, right now. Today I was talking to a friend of mine about computers, since my company just replaced my desktop with a SWEET new G5 ( you can read about that on my personal blog). Basically, I was telling her that I hoped that this would last me about 4 or 5 years, and she made the comment "about that time your daughter will be getting ready for kindergarten". Wow! That statement hit me upside the head. :-o It is alright though, that is at least 5 years from now.... -- Stephen

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