Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I-171H Arrived!

So.. things are moving forward! Again? Finally??!! I'm not really sure, but either way, it feels good!!

We went to USCIS to get fingerprinted on 6/29 & within EIGHT days we received our approval letter!!! We are so excited. It makes it feel a little more real and like we are one step closer to bringing our child home! : )

Talked to agency today and our dossier packet is on it's way to us & we should get it tomorrow or Thursday. Then we can begin gathering all our documents and paperwork (AGAIN!) to bring with us when we take the trip to our agency in Pittsburgh! (Were hoping to go at the end of August before I start school, but will most likely not be until 2nd or 3rd week of Sept. after we finish our mandatory 10 week prep course!) Once the course is complete & we have all our paperwork organized and together.. we will begin our official wait for a referral! (Sigh)  Both of us feel very confident and very good about our decision and our agency. Everything just feels "right" this time, and it feels so good to just be really excited and hopeful again!!

Thanks to everyone for all your thoughts and support! : )

Maura & Randy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Looking back on the last six months and gaining a fresh prespective

Well, we have signed our 2nd adoption contract in six months! Hopefully, this is our last & we are now REALLY moving forward in our adoption!!

Randy & I are both really excited about starting with the new agency and feel that we are now on the "right" path to our child. However, I have to admit that I do not feel as "Gung Ho" as I did in the winter when we started this process. I am not saying I don't want it as much as I did then, I am just feeling more.. relaxed? apprehensive? I don't know what it is exactly, but I do know that I don't feel this strong need to run around in circles again. Randy & I both seem to be handling things a little differently this time around. We are a bit more easy going I guess. We both feel "what is meant to be will be" and "whatever is suppose to happen, is going too & since we can't control it,we're not going to make ourselves crazy!

When we began this process back in January, I felt like I was in such a RUSH. I wanted/needed to get absolutely everything done and accomplished asap! I had to, Had To, HAD TO... get our baby home right way!!! Everyday, every free second, I was doing something related to the adoption. I literally would do 2 online courses in a day so that I could get all the training done in under two weeks! Why? I don't know. Especially since our homestudy report took until the end of April to be written!!! I literally....had months!!
We ran around like crazy people to get  it all done and to have all our paperwork together so that our dossier could be sent to Moscow as soon as the Home Study report was done! (Yeah, Right!) Well, they had everything on April 20th and on June 16th.. almost two months later.. we were told, "Whoops! Nope, Sorry!! There is no rush to get your paperwork in! Our mistake, Oh...and by the way, "We lost your check."

So, all that stress, anxiety, and rushing around was for Nothing! (Sigh)
So now, we are looking at this with a new perspective. The child who is meant to be ours will come to us when the time is right, and we need to just relax and go with the flow. (easier said then done of course, but we are going to try our best!)

In the last couple weeks since we made the decision to switch agencies, I have felt relieved. I feel better. I feel more.. sure of this whole process.  However, I almost feel like we had to learn a lesson here. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe just to listen to our guts more. Or to just slow down, take some deep breaths, and take time to process what we're doing and each step along the way? I don't know. I do know that even before things strarted to go bad with our last agency something just didn't sit "right" with me.

I wrote a post awhile back about not being able to buy the bedding, or to start the nursery, because I just had a feeling that this wasn't going to happen yet. When our family threw us our fundraiser party in March, just a week after our final home visit, I remember thinking, "this is too much, too soon.." As happy and excited as I was, I just felt like something was off and I could NOT put my finger on it. I assumed it was my "jinxing it all" fear that comes with allowing ourselves to get excited about being "pregnant" and having it all come crashing down... but now I realize it wasn't that. It wasn't that I had doubts that we should be doing this.. It was just a feeling that maybe something wasn't right.

Now, I wonder if it was just my gut telling me that things just seemed to be "way too easy". Maybe a part of me, KNEW that receiving the "Welcome to the Moscow Program" packet and being told we should expect a referral in early fall during our 2nd home study meeting, was strange. I mean, we hadn't met or spoken with any of the adoption workers from our agency, only our social worker. Well if the director of the Moscow program was in the office, why wouldn't she poke her head in and introduce herself? Wouldn't she WANT to meet us? Why wasn't she available for questions or information???? Something about it all just wasn't sitting right.

Then for two months we waited for calls & emails to be returned, paperwork that never came, and nobody was contacting us to tell us "what's next?" What was going on? and our doubts increased & we began to wonder.. did we jump into this all too quickly??

Now, looking back. I realize that Yes. In a way, we did. We decided to adopt in October 2010 after going to the informational meeting at Alliance for Children, & we decided we'd begin the process after the holidays. However, we didn't even look into or research ANY other agencies. We just went with the 1st agency we spoke with, put all our faith into them, and jumped in head first. Yikes. We were SO LUCKY they lost our check! ha!!

Well, lesson learned. It is great that Randy and I were so excited and so ready to be parents that we took a huge leap of faith, but we did it without asking questions and looking at our options and listening to our guts. Now, this time, we won't make those mistakes again! We want this so much, and we can't wait to bring our little one home, but we also are going to breathe & process what we are doing. What is meant to be will be. We both believe that. When the time is right.. we will get our referral!

So many of our friends and families look at us now & say "Oh, no! Do you have to start from scratch?" or.. "Well when will you find out?" "When will you be going to Russia now!!??" And we shrug and say, "We aren't really sure." The homestudy is done. We signed the contract and are waiting on our dossier paperwork and will just wait and see!  We know that their website says the wait time is less than 2 months for infant/toddler boys right now. We also know that they informed us if we are open to a child of Euroasian decent, that we can get a referral much quicker! However, this time.. we are NOT getting ourselves worked up or crazy thinking about timelines and dates and trying to predict when our child will be home. If nothing else, we have learned that we have no control and we need to just wait and see what happens. We will take this step by step and  process it all! Of course, we hope to get a quick referral, of course we'd like to think that they won't be too delayed by changing agencies, but the truth is all we really want, is a healthy child to love! We have waited this long.. really? What's another few months, right?!! We got a "do over". Not everyone does, so this time we just want to be sure we do it right! : )

Oh!! I almost forgot! A true sign that I am feeling much better about where we are in this whole process is that last week when we went to Boston I bought my first "gift" for the baby! I couldn't help myself! We were in this little shop that had baby "Red Sox" gear, and we ended up buying an adorable 18 month "Red Sox" tee-shirt! So cute!! It really felt so good to buy it! Of course, there is a chance that our child could be too big for it.. but my GUT says.. it's going to be just perfect! : )