Tomorrow is our follow-up call to hear if our little guy has been moved to Hannah's Hope. Until he is moved in, we will not get our official referral paperwork. We have only seen some sparce information on him so far, besides his adorable photos! We are looking for a medical report so that we can get it to the doctor. Hopefully, all looks well and we can be officially on our way! Our goal is to have him home by summer. Our daughter, Lauren coaches acting, voice and dance for the high school, would like him to be part of her summer drama camp! We will see...
On January 16th, I headed out for a day of shopping with some girlfriends. I received a phone call with a potential pre-referral! I thought, "Oh no...is this what I want?" I decided to call back later when we could talk and I could gather my thoughts. Now my husband was out of town and I would have to get a hold of him. I told my girlfriends that I felt guilty because so many families wait by the phone for this special call and here I was putting it off!
When I returned home, my son, home for college, and daughter were ready to see the movie I promised them, "Slumdog Millionaire". I quickly called about the pre-referral and wrote down some quick information before heading out to the movie. Eventhough there was email information about our little guy being forwarded, I still didn't know if I was ready to see it!
As soon as we returned, our daughter ran to the computer and pulled up the photos. She screamed her excitement at the adorable little boy staring back at her! "Oh boy" I thought, "here we go!" I came over to see for myself...that sweet little face of our 8-year-old "pre"referral. If we were interested in pursuing it further, we had till Monday (3 days) to decide. "Let's talk to dad..."
My poor husband. We put all the pressure on him as I knew he had the most to give up for this adoption...time, money, energy and retirement. He had thought he also was starting to enjoy the freedom of grown kids! I told him either way, we are fine with the decision. By Sunday, he would have an answer.
On Sunday, my husband drove our son back to college and took the long rode home to reflect on where his life was and where he wanted it to go. Our daughter and I waited for his return and decision. Little did he know that in the meantime, we had shared the news with all of our friends and they too, were awaiting his decision.
When he came home, after relaxing a bit, I got my nerve up to ask. (Somewhat paraphrased) he responded like this: "There are many reasons why I don't know if this is the right thing. There are many obstacles and I don't think I can afford another child. I always think in life, there are these moments when you are teetering on a limb and you wonder if you should jump. So, I am going to jump!"
Speaking of second thoughts, after the holidays, I felt we had been forgotten. I hadn't heard from either agency in over 3 weeks! Being out of town, we had to find a local agency to do our Homestudy. I made a call to AGCI and they quickly responded. With the holiday traffic and poor weather, we had missed some meeting dates, but all was well. We just needed to decide if we still wanted to proceed. We were beginning to feel the doubt again...
Our son left for college this year and it was one of the hardest things for me to do...say "goodbye". He gave us the confidence to do it again! We loved his "boyhood" and can't believe it's over! Our daughter, a junior in high school, has been the driving force behind adoption. I used to torment my parents for a puppy, and then, for a younger sibling. It was only my brother and I, and I wanted a larger family. Now, it's my turn. With only two kids, I suddenly felt like it was all going to be over soon. Our daughter has tried on two other occasions to get us to adopt and each time, I put it aside. This time, she said she would be disappointed in us if we didn't follow through, and I thought "so would I."
We began this trek in October of 2008. I was on top of gathering the documents and finished by November. It took the Homestudy a while longer. In the meantime, we had second thoughts many, many times...but with time and money invested...we plugged along. I couldn't help wondering if we were too old, now 44 years and my husband at 51. He looks terrific! He is active and young at heart!
Cold hands and warm hearts abound in Minnesota where adoption is as welcome as the first spring day! I love this place where "Minnesota Nice" has meant that even if you aren't native here, you can still find family, love and acceptance. After living in over 6 states and traveling as far as Japan, I have found home in one of our country's best kept secrets. Come spring, when the snow finally melts and the streets are swept clean, we look forward to traveling to Ethiopia to bring home our new son and little brother. With 24 years of marriage under our belts and 18 years of parenting, we are feeling older, wiser and a little more confident exploring this journey to adopt.