I am not a saver, I wouldn't save our tax returns if I didn't have too. I love to throw stuff out and have a house free of clutter and unnecessary receipts. But when you adopt you expand all your horizons. The paperwork we've had to fill out is unbelievable. I have a huge folder full of every copy of everything. We filled out the application for our agency in July of 2005. We did not complete our packet and have everything to Indiana until January of 2006. We now know multiple notaries if you ever need one. Everything must be notarized. You need a home study, which is extremely helpful actually. We met with a social worker twice who had adopted two children from Korea and answered every question you could imagine. She'll work with us again when the children arrive. We had to give two pictures of every main room of our home, a letter from our employers, bank, police department. Then you have to chose a guardian and know their financial information, where they live, how many rooms they have in their home. Oh and the immigration process, it would be easier to do your taxes. I had my fingerprints done four times before they did a sworn statement from me to prove I was not a felon. Apparently the lines on my fingers are too close together to get a good read, I guess it's all those years of swimming. The process has gone on so long we will be doing our fingerprints again a week from today. Immigration is lovely really. I can't believe people still want to come to this country after going through it. The first time we got there they told us it would be a two hour wait. We asked if we could call some morning to find out how busy they were, they told us they didn't have a phone. But then the next time we went, we saw a man (the same one who made me swear on a bible) talking on a phone. When both Scott and I actually got in to do our fingerprints, a woman looked at us like we had sat her lunch and then looked at Annie and said curtly, someones going to have to watch the child. Apparently fingerprinting is as harmful as x-raying. I'm thinking we are from this country, if you treat us this way how on earth do you treat the tired, the poor, the yearning to be free? Then they had the nerve to ask us to fill out surveys at the end. I'm like you need surveys for this experience? If you don't know how awful it is then you are just too dumb to get a real survey so I put a big happy face on the yellow card and told them to provide more magazines for those waiting. Little did I know, I'd have to fill out that card three more times!
This of course is all to protect the children. A few bad adoptions can ruin it for all of us. Child trafficking and child slaves are the main reasons most African countries don't want anything to do with international adoption, but while you're trying to write about your experience growing up as a child for your home study, the children you want home are suffering, it does seem ironic.
I have often thought, I could have had multiple biological children in the time its taken us to adopt, then I think of the pitocin. For those of you who don't know pitocin is one of those drugs they give you to speed up your labor when they think they might need your room. It doesn't speed up the labor for this pregnancy, lord 20 hours is not what I would call a quick childbirth, but it does make it so you never want to have another child and they have your room permanently. The nurses at the hospital where Annie was born gave out so much pitocin they are now know as the Midwest Scrapbooking Association, nothing to do with all those clean sterile rooms but organize the overpriced pictures of newborn babies. People have told me the second child is easier, who on earth would take that risk? Really the second time a tornado knocks down your house is much easier because you already know how to rebuild. I think those are the same people that say you forget about childbirth. I definitely didn't get the drug that induces that. I remember quite well the anesthesiologist having a "trauma" she had to attend to and unable to help me with the half of the epidural that didn't work.
The adoption process definitely has its own pains. I worry about my kids. I remember going to church on Christmas this year and all I could think of was "my kids." I didn't even know who they were yet, I just wondered if they were suffering, if they had any Christmas at all? I know time is of the essence to get them home, the longer it is, the more they will be without the comforts of a first world country. I pray for them every day and ask God to protect them and bring them home safely. It's true what they say, a biological child grows in your tummy, but and adoptive child grows in your heart.