Election Palooza, Yes Please! (said with a most sarcastic tone)

I have to say I have never been more interested in a presidential election outside of the country I am currently living in, more that I am today.  As if the U.S. elections weren’t enough of a train wreck, this year I have the added stress of Peru’s presidential elections. This April 10th the people of Peru will be voting in their general elections for a new president and members of congress for a 5 year term.  I have never been more invested in their choice than now and I lived there for over 10 years.  I have been following their progress since they began early this year…..full disclosure..I have been following the U.S. process…NOT AT ALL.  I hate to say it but until November, or at least until after July 28th when Peru’s new president is inaugurated, when it comes to U.S. elections, I will be living by the rule of “not my circus, not my monkeys.” Since in Peru a general election means every department undergoes a change in personnel, I am very concerned on what this disruption could mean for the Ministerio de la mujer y poblaciones vulnerables and ergo my adoption process.  I know, I know, it seems pretty self-centered when Peru’s people are looking for a just and capable country leader and I’m all like “sooooooo how is this going to affect my adoption” but the truth is, a good leader will work efficiently to make sure that all government sections receive the least interruptions…at least that is my hope.

Today I sit in front of my computer half checking on the Peruvian electoral process half checking on the status of my adoption documents.  Amazing how in this journey we not only adopt these children but their countries as well.  I am however,  glad about 2 things 1. My children will not have to care too much about the term of this new elected president, and 2. I an not in Peru so I don’t have to comply with the “dry law” going into effect the Saturday before elections:-), Margarita anyone, don’t mind if I do!!

9302b0d6e8afb547dc22517b60252c3e.jpg

 

 

Inner Thoughts of a Person Affected by Infertility Trying to Adopt

So today I sent in my final USCIS request so that they can approve our petition to adopt from a Hague Convention country.  I also woke up with that all-too-familiar grief over loss.  Infertility makes you feel many things, inadequate, angry, cheated and sorry for your self at the sight of a pregnant woman.  Now I have to say, ever since we started the process of adoption I have come to accept this flaw in my design.  In fact, it was acceptance of this that made me begin the journey we now find ourselves in, however, much like the pimples of yesteryear, the empty feeling comes over you when you least expect it.  As a matter of fact, very much like those unwanted teenage blemishes, it stops your world, it makes you hide from the masses, and if you were me back in 1993, it makes you binge watch MTV with a box of cookies.  Of course we are in 2016 and since MTV no longer plays music videos (frankly their ‘shows’ confuse me) its Netflix and a box of lo mein.  I still struggle with that feeling every once in a while, and now its combined with the guilt of thinking that maybe I am not ALL in with this adoption.  I thought this time around, I will write down these feelings with the intention of allowing myself to own them, analyze them, and free myself from them.

The feeling of loss is something I had no idea I had.  It was brought to my attention by a friend who also expeienced it.  It is the loss of the idea of carrying your biological child. Perhaps of feeling the kicks, of nursing a newborn etc.  Esentially, you grieve the loss for all these motherly experiences when they will be no more.  I think this is were the guilt comes in.  I know in my heart that I long to have a child, no matter how that child comes into our lives so this feeling of loss brings out some doubt.  When I really think about it however, I feel that those feelings are normal and in no way do they take away from the excitement of growing our family through adoption.  The reason I say this is because of the way I feel when my agency throws me a bone here and there with news about our progress. The minute I see an email from them my heart leaps because I just may open up an attachment with the pictures of my kids.  And that trumps any old doubt or question.

Now inadequacy is something I think I will continue to battle with.  I mean really I wouldn’t be a woman with access to any beauty magazines or tv if I didn’t, am I right?  I also think that this feeling can be bulked in with feelings of anger and feeling cheated. As a woman I feel angry that my body failed me.  I mean, the one thing that I, as a woman, should be able to do is bare chirldren.  You don’t need a degree, a license or frankly to be a super model. Your body just creates life, with the help of a human of the opposite sex of course….annnd maybe a few drinks… just kidding.  Granted as a teenager it could be as easy as sharing a towel and as we get older a use of a thermometer and an ovulation kit, but it should happen.  When it doesn’t, we feel cheated.  We feel sorry for ourselves and we feel angry with ourselves and with our reproductive organs.  I use to say that when I die I would like to come back as my uterus.  I mean, its a sweet gig really.  I could work once in 30 years and call it a day.  I would be like “allright it was 9 months, we are good here?, I’m out”.  Little by little I began to trust in an alternative design.  I started to allow myself to think that my body did what it was suppose to do and now adoption is what I am suppose to do.

My final thoughts here are that I am sure I am not the only woman who has battled with infertility or the feelings associated with that.  I am not the first and I won’t be the last and when we start cutting ourselves a little slack about the pressure to procreate, we can feel free to explore other journeys to raise children and see our new design.  We are still meant to be parents if we want to be.  We will still be called Mom and we will still feel that bond.  Not all our uteruses (is that the plural…eek) are meant to be full for us to be parents.  Our kids are already here in this world and the paperwork and the documents we so painfully agonize over is our labor.  A labor of love!

So I leave you with this, my beautiful women readers.  If you are pregnant momma, enjoy every kick, every innapropraite burp in public, bad timed pee emergency and love your ever changing body.  If you are a single chic whose family is hounding to settle down and reproduce, know that you are allowed to do YOU until the you is not enough, because that is when you’ll know.  If you are a woman just navigating that 4 letter word ‘infertility’, fight it, do everything you need to do to achieve a biological pregnacy because at the end, whether you achieve one or not you wil know you did all you can and now you need to move forward whatever you decide.  And finally my adopting mommas, those that already have bio babies or not but their heart needs to be parents of children who grow in their hearts, and my mommas adopting because, although we started out with dreams of children growing in our bellies, our beautiful reality is simply being a mommy no matter how that happens.  The end goal is the same, see you on the playground mommas!

Home Study! Take#3

Home studies must be updated every year and if there are any changes in between, an addendum must be included.  Listen to me being all knowledgable!  Where was this Jessica when “Oh honey there is a 4 bedroom available we can move into next week” was said. Needless to say I had forgotten how much work this would create, especially since we were in the middle of updating our I-800a.  Now the truth is, we only moved a few blocks away but it might as well have been across the country because we needed to redo the home study, fingerprint clearances, I-800a, etc etc.  So our social worker came over and in less than 15 minutes she had gathered everything she needed for our addendum.  Now all we need is for her to get it back to us before March 15th so we can meet the I-800a deadline.  I will start panicking by the 10th of course….its on the calendar!

Meanwhile in Peru, they are still trying to match us with children.  Not exactly sure how long that takes but its killing us.  We hit the 2 year mark in the adoption process back in January and we were approved by Peru back in November of last year, 5 months later nothing has changed.

Full disclosure spot:      One of the reasons I wanted to keep this adoption quite for a little while, is because we didn’t know how long it was going to take to complete.  We actually thought we were in the clear when we decided to share it with people at the 1.5 year mark. Unfortunately we were off by a year.  I know that our friends and family are just as anxious as we are to hear how its going but having to get the “have you heard anything yet?” question 2-3 times a day is a bit discouraging.  Don’t get me wrong they all mean well and they do show us they care and they are thinking about us through this process but know that after answering them I  will help myself to the tallest, widest glass of wine EVER!… and I will not feel bad about it.

So this is what is happening in our journey at this very moment.  Nothing exciting but no set-backs is always progress.

 

We are Back…but with no updates!!!

I am back to blogging after a few disappointing blows and a few changes in our lives.  So lets begin with the excuses for our absence on this site.  Yes, jumping right in people.  So back in August I left you with the big news that we had received Peru’s government approval…..which FYI means absolutely nothing since we are still doing paperwork and running around renewing fingerprints yada, yada, yada.  So lets analyze were it all went wrong.

First blow came with our New York agency giving us the boot.  As you recall we have two agencies working for us.  We have a local agency taking care of the social work stuff and one in Alabama which is the Hague/Peru certified one.  Well in October said NY agency thought we were ‘too far from them to fully satisfy our needs’.  Translation: ‘We are paying too damn much in postage to justify what we do for you and Peru is not an easy country’.  In short, since we were close to needing to renew our home study, we were up a creek without a paddle.  I never really get those idiomatic expressions, why up a creek? and why would anyone be in a floating device without a paddle? Actually I don’t do outdoor stuff so that would probably be me because I would forget my head if it wasn’t attached to my body.  But I digress.  So here we were with no local agency and running against the clock because our I-800a was expiring soon.  They finally referred us to an agency closer to us (still 2.5 hours away), dammmmn how big is this state.  We called and got the ball rolling.  Unfortunately, because we were starting with a new agency they wanted their cut on agency contract fees and they needed to renew our fingerprints for all the states we had lived in.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! SON OF A &*$%#.  But we were good sports (ie. had no other choice) and we trekked on.   GOOD ADVICE ALERT:  So when your I-800a is about to expire make sure you get your extension done before that expiration date because on time your first extension is FREE!!!  But if you file late, it is almost 900$ again (as a first timer).  Guess what we paid!!  That’s right, the change in agency, the fingerprints, the late home study visit made us file our extension a day late, A DAY LATE!!!! that day cost us 895$.

Second blow came during christmas.  We heard from our representative in Peru that, after hounding our psychologist for the one hundredth time and having her change our psych evaluation to reflect our addition of children, we now had to find her again to redo the addendum to reflect the age as well.  They also needed an update home study and, as per the usual, it needed to be notarized, certified, and apostilled.  It was a mad rush to try to get it to her before Peru shuts down for the holiday season and I made it, too bad our agency decided to keep it and wait for another family to hand theirs in and send it together to cut their cost. It was sent the second week of January, Freaken FABULOUS!.

The third and final blow was just a few week ago when our I-800a came back with info needed.  Apparently of all the states we had gotten clearances for, and I mean theres a LOT, 12 to be exact, we had never gotten one from NC.  NC is my hubby’s childhood home state and were he lived until he left for college.  He lived there for 4 months after he turned 18 before he left for college to NY so we needed that clearance, state #13.  They also needed a copy of my naturalization paperwork and our marriage license.  The kick in the gut though was what they needed next.  So in late January we moved to a bigger set of quaters. (for my non-military friends this means that we moved to a house with more bedrooms within the same military base, so essentially a block away)  Yayy!! The problem with that (and one we did not forsee) was that this would create an avalanche of problems.  We now  needed to get a correction for our home study and  also get clearances with our new address.  Not so much Yayy!!:(

So here is were we stand right now.  We ARE approved by Peru and we have had a few emails with potential children….well 2.  We are still waiting to get our I-800a approval and a few clearances but our representative in Peru said she is looking for matches for our family already.  So with all that said I am back to blogging our journey, I am sorry for our hiatus since we were feeling sorry for ourselves.  I promise to be more consistent and I truly hope to have good news to share real soon.

60724620

 

Hallelujah We are Approved!!

No email has ever made us as happy as the one we received last Friday!  And believe me I have been the winner of a slew of lotteries all over the world and the heir to millions from my “relatives” in Nigeria.  Let me paint you this picture, all of us in the van heading to New Jersey for a family gathering.  As the usual, the husband begins his Friday interrogation of “did you call the agency?” And “Have we heard from Peru?” To where I begin my usual rant of “don’t you think I would tell you if I’ve heard” and “if you ask me one more time, one more time”.  At that moment I remembered that I hadn’t quite checked email all day.  This of course is very unusual, especially lately because we had become super anxious since a few document were about to expire.  I begin opening the usual junk mail and there, between my khol’s coupon and a survey to Totalwine.com (don’t judge me) was the very awaited email.  All they said was congratulations, Peru has approved your family to adopt and I began to yell!  Of course, sending all the passengers into hysterics thinking the worst.  Between tears and relief I gave them the news!  And suddenly the realization that this is happening and that we may now be matched with children sank in.  

We took the weekend to celebrate and bask in the knowledge that this part is over, however, since I received the email too late to call the agency back we were also left with more questions of what happens next.  Which brings us to this week where, of course, we resumed our usual lines of “did you hear” and “omg, NO” (we are creatures of habit).  So I left a message and I have yet to hear from the agency, but for now I’m going to relish and live in the win.  I have begun to paint and repurpose furniture changing a guest room into kid’s room.  

The wait to be approved is over but the wait to be matched is next and I hope it’s not as long!

This is when we got the news