If you ever want to know all the things that could go wrong in an international (Peruvian) adoption, read our blog, ask us!  I took a hiatus from writing because I was truly overwhelmed….actually, overwhelmed probably doesn’t even cover the feelings we were experiencing these past few months.  We were both exhausted and deflated and very, very close to shutting this whole thing down.  There is only so much a person can take.  I’ll start explaining the last obstacle we came upon.  Back in mid May we requested to study the case of a sibling group of 3.  We waited to hear a response which did not come within the Peruvian constitutionally required time (we know this to be 10 working days).  Upon inquiry, we learned that an oversight of the orphanage had not gotten the paternal signature to formally make the children orphans and therefore free for adoption. (OMG Peru you are killing me, slowly)  Yes friends, if this was ever going to happen, it was, of course, going to happen to us.  This had to be corrected and we expected it to be done quickly by means of going to a judge in the city and the dad signing away his rights and granting us access to study files and eventually adopt them.  Just a little background on the parents without saying too much, mom checked out as soon as she could but dad remained in the picture, going as far as to visit them while they were in the orphanage.  I’m sure this is the oversight that gave him the opportunity to petition said court to keep the kids there.  Now we know he cannot have them for many reasons I won’t disclose, but the fact that he actively petitioned a court for this, tells me that there is a parent that wants them.  I am assuming that his petition came after learning that the kids might be adopted to someone overseas.  Now as you can imagine, that information made us die a thousand deaths.  At that moment, I can absolutely tell you that I had no idea what right or wrong looked like.  I found myself rooting for the dad though all the representatives and the staff at the DGA said the best thing for them was to be adopted.  How does one come to terms with that information?  It was hard for me to think that in the story we tell these kids in the future, we might not look all that great.  Anyway, this was in the courts for over a month with no resolution from the judge.  At this point, all we could do was wait.  We left it up to the judge, fate, destiny, God, whoever’s job it was to decide, but not us.  We were also given the priority list to review for the 5th time, in case this doesn’t work out.  We weren’t going to look at it anymore, we were walking away.  Then the resolution was given late last week and the kids were deemed orphans free for adoption.  We still have to wait to get the DGA approval and I am sure, as the sun rises in the east, that it won’t come without some challenges and delays.  So to recap, I have a son leaving for college, I have been unable to teach with the prospect of travel to Peru, we have recently bought ourselves one more year here before the army moves us, we weren’t able to make any plans to celebrate our 20 years of marriage unsure of travel timeframe and we are quickly losing our mind over the not knowing.  Full disclosure, we have had to take turns losing our s—— over this.  If both of us lose it we shut this down.  This is by far the most OUT OF CONTROL we have felt throughout this process.  Tomorrow Chris and I celebrate 20 years of marriage and if 14 moves, army separations, deployments, infertility, and this adoption hasn’t done us in, we are in it for the long haul.  We are definitely stronger than we think.

 

This post won’t have much on adoption since we are STILL waiting on an approval!  This post is going to be about the kid that’s already with us, our bio child Charlie and the rockstar parents that got him here.  Today is National College Decision Day!  I’m not making that up, it’s a thing, I swear!  Apparently it isn’t like what I went through, you see I knew where I was going because I played ‘auctioneer’ with the few state schools that accepted me to see who would give me more money.  So decision day for me went something like this.  “girl with no money here, very little As, excellent swimmer, who is giving athletic grants, go”, “I got 5000$ a year here, who gives me 6K?”, “I got 10K, who gives me room and board”, “10k, 5k towards room and board going once, twice, sold to the school with the crappy dorms”.  Of course that was followed by ‘national work your ass off to get the college deposit money on the due date’.  Good times, Good times!!  Today, however, we are celebrating all those high school seniors who, in this day and age, and with the brutal competition they faced, managed to persevere and reap the fruits of their labor.  They decided higher education was for them early in their high school journey and worked their little Generation Z butts to make that happen.  They visited schools, they explored different fields, they searched a bajillion grants and scholarships, they filled out many applications, wrote a million essays, took numerous standardize tests and waited, and waited, and waited.  These kids were left to see if all the effort they put in resulted in success, and during January through March the answers trickled in.  They had the disappointment that comes when a school gives you a NO but the YESes were the most beautiful validation they needed. Kudos to you, high school senior!  At a time when high school is more like a scene from The Hunger Games and you are looking for the odds to be in your favor, you did it!

Now to my high school senior parents, I see you!!  I lived your struggle.  I felt like I went through senior year all over again, and not the fun part.  We yelled, we nagged, we comforted and we celebrated.  We bit our tongue and we mumbled all the foul language…well..sometimes. At the end, we helped them get through this as best we could.  Cheers to you, high school senior parent, because at the end of the day, we kept the kid alive, they are graduating high school and they are heading off to college.  BOOM!! Drop the mic because they are (insert respective college here)’s problem now.  Truth be told, yes, we are going to miss them.  I personally, waver between “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him” to looking him dead in his eye and saying “are you still here? Start packing”  After all, they are still teenagers, am I right?

Now, my Charlie has made us proud!!  He is going to go out and do great things!  For the next 4 years he will be doing these great things at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  I cannot wait to see how he tackles this world.  Charlie may not be class valedictorian, or a division 1 athlete and that’s A-ok.  He is average and well rounded and the most compassionate and loving kid I know and THAT (with his great work ethic) will take him far.  To my hubby Chris, fist bump sweetheart.  We flipping did it!! Let’s drink to that!!

Happy National College Decision day to all these kiddos and all the proud parents.  Start collecting those tissues, graduation is upon us!

Feel free to share this post with your favorite HS senior or senior parent, the struggle was real but we survived 🙂

Ok I might be a little dramatic and to be fair, we are not done yet and I hope that all these things happen on this side of the process and not when we are in country.  To recap, with an agency closing, losing money to said agency, not being on Peru’s system AT ALL due to said agency not doing their job for a year, Peru not disclosing certain info that forced us to desist on our first match, Peru adding information (and an extra child) last minute on second match which we could not pursue either and finally the newest doozy, not doing the complete paperwork on the children of our third match which now forces us to wait until it is properly completed, I think we can write a book titled “What can go wrong on an international (Peruvian) adoption”.  I mean we wouldn’t have the answers on how to fix any of them, but at least we can tell you how to emotionally prepare for them.

Right now, we are waiting on a signature that should have been there since the kids were deemed orphans and went on the priority list back in June.  No one bothered to check this for a year until, of course, we requested to study the file.  Apparently we seem to be the family that has been catching Peru’s shortcoming so they can fix them.  We are the equivalent to Target’s secret shoppers, you know, those narcs that pretend to shop in order to catch the problems that target can then rectify for ‘next time’.  We have become Peru’s secret adopters.  You are welcome Peru!

Waiting has become this family’s superpower.  We are good at it now.  This time, again, they told us to expect an answer and the approval to come in a week.  Oh Peru, we do this dance EVERY SINGLE TIME.  You say one week, we wink and say sure but we both know you mean 3.  Let’s not do this! For once I want the conversation to go something like this.

Me: How long do you think it’s going to take to fix the simple problem you guys were so incompetent to let slip by for a year that a family now has to wait for?

Peru: (oh and when I say Peru, you know I don’t mean the entire country, right? Anywhoo) Well it will be one week for us to find a person to look at it, another week to decide who’s fault it was and complain about it and a third week to get around to it.

Me: cool, talk to you next month.

See, this would be a more realistic conversation of the interactions we have had.  It would avoid the stress level we have been experiencing at our house lately.  Yesterday alone, I had a 30 minute phone conversation and 20 of those I spent looking for my phone.  Yup, the stress level is high!  The one acceptable wine glass with dinner sometimes turns into 2…..3 tops….ok truth be told sometimes 5 go down like chubby me on a see-saw back in 3rd grade, fast, hard and freaking most people out, don’t judge.  The week is almost over and we have heard nothing.  And the ‘dance’ continues.

Sorry! No updates this time, trust me I wish there were, but I just wanted to thank so many of you who have offered words of encouragement, prayers, good wishes, positive vibes and just all who share in my shock and disappointment.  I am a linguist by profession, of course in Romanic languages, but seeing good luck, удачи (I think its Russian?)  B’sha’ah tovah, shubhkaamnaaen and buena suerte just warms this language lover’s soul.  I have to say, I was a little shocked that my blog is being read outside of the United States………and now I feel like I have to apologize……well… for this….all this….just a general I’m sorry for the bad grammar and the many incoherent rants.  Full disclosure: I am not a writer.  I am more of a talker and even that is kinda questionable since I tend to ramble.  Someone also suggested that I should turn this blog into a book when we have completed our adoption.  First of all, how sweet of you to think that I am that savvy with technology that I would even know how to do that.  Second, have you been following my blog? I think this ‘book’ might just kill my high school english teacher.  My intention for this blog was to document a real international adoption from Peru, however, recently I thought this might also be a great keepsake for our adopted children to read (when they are older) to see how much we went through for them, how much they were wanted and waited for.  Perhaps a book would not be a bad idea, if I can figure out how that works, of course.  I would hope it would be a great gift for them.

So again, thanks everyone for sharing words of encouragement, well wishes and just the opportunity for self-pity and to vent.  I gave myself some time to lick my wounds, throw my tantrums, get my sh-tuff together and move forward as quickly as we can.  Hopefully my next post will be great news.  Stay tuned!

Here are two memes that describe our last couple of days, for your enjoyment.  🙂

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Peru has really outdone themselves this time.  Soooo, last I left you, we were waiting for  approval to adopt a sibling group of 2.  Remember? I was complaining because they were taking longer than the 10 days they are suppose to have (FYI we were going on 3.5 weeks).  Well I thought that was the bad part, it turns out I was underestimating Peru because a few days ago we hear that not only did they not have an approval for us but they added a child to the sibling group we had already reviewed.  So basically them: “oh hey, BTW these kids have a baby brother that we just added to the group, he has a few documented medical issues and some that are anyone’s guess but the kids just remembered him and we just found him so he’ll be tagging along k, my bad”.  Me:”…uhmm.. say what now? New phone who dis”.  Oh yes, Peru thought it was perfectly appropriate to ‘add’ a new HUMAN to the group that we had already spent weeks studying and preparing mentally, physically and emotionally for, mid approval and with as little explanation as possible.  A day or two later they sent us a video and the new child’s medical assessment and it was as vague and as incomplete as usual.  Hey, at least they are consistent in that.  So to say that this news hit us like the glacier that sank the titanic is an understatement.  We now had to either quickly review the documents and accept it or risk starting from scratch reviewing the priority list of children once more.  Reviewing it was painful because we had already whole heartedly accepted the fact that 1. Adopted children can/may come with emotional issues that you may not know about. 2. Adopted children can/may come with medical issues that were not diagnosed there.  and 3. You are relying on their medical, emotional and psychological assessments to see what you are willing and able to handle and provide for them but you are always taking a gamble because of the lacking resources available to them in assessing the children.  We know this and accepted that gamble x2.  Now they were asking us to take a third and because of the assessment of the other two we knew that a third would be too much for our family.  Look, I wish I could say I will take them all, God knows my poor ‘bleeding heart’ husband would, given the chance, but at the end of the day we still have to feed, clothe, and educate this children.  Contrary to popular belief, there are certain things we cannot just ‘love’ a child through.  We want to love, care for and provide for their every need and in adopted children that includes being prepared and ready to cover any medical and psychological help we can give.  We want to be realistic in what we can handle, taking into consideration that we already have a child at home as well.

So that is the circus of emotions that we have been living in for the past couple of days.  We were so close….so so close and Peru said “nah, this ain’t over yet”.  So if I was ever going to hurt someone physically when I hear the question “How’s the adoption going?”.  Trust me when I say, it would be now.  This is the main reason I have stayed home lately away from the general population.  You are welcome!  Well that and I ugly cry and nobody wants to see that.  I hope and pray that there is a higher power-like reason we are going through all this and that at the end (when our kids are here) we will laugh at this and quickly forget these times.  I guess the alternative just sounds more depressing!  We still need good vibes sent our way.

instagram-turntfortom-c6e9ea-e1521133680250.png     “When life is falling apart but you still smile and act like it’s all good here”