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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”

Why would I think that they will ever meet their own deadlines in approvals?  That’s my fault, I know how we Peruvians are.  We have never been on time or early for anything.  That’s just how we roll people!  If it wasn’t that I married into the military where, apparently, it is frown upon to be late to anything; I would still be the “2 hours late” girl.  Just so you can understand how bad it is.  When my husband and I got married we had two invitations, at least 2 different instructions were included in some invites.  One was for 2pm which was our true wedding time and some had 12:30pm as the wedding time.  Guess who got what?  Plot twist: They were still late. That’s right AUNT LUZ you were late!!!  So here we are 21 days into a 10 day wait for approval to study a case.  Gahhhh, Peru you are killing me!!! They give me a timeline and I fall for it EVERY SINGLE TIME!! I know our rep in Peru is working very hard for us to get an answer so we can finalize things before we have to move from this state and if I have any advice to people starting the process is this; Introduce yourselves and speak to your in-country rep, they will always advocate for you but if they know you personally, its a better relationship.

Our concern is that Peru’s ‘consejo’ will meet either today or tomorrow and we desperately wanted to be in it.  ‘CONSEJO’ is the word for counsel.  They basically hold a board meeting with representatives from 6 institutions:  Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables, el Ministerio de Justicia; Colegio de Abogados de Lima; Colegio de Trabajadores Sociales del Perú; y el Colegio de Psicólogos del Perú.  They receive the potential matches and decide if it will be a good fit and they do a final decision which officially matches children with their potential adoptive parents.  This is the last step before receiving the paperwork you then present to the state department (in the case of the US) so you can then receive the final ok from your country to travel to get your children.  Now do you see how close we are!! All this, of course, has to happen before we receive orders from the US Army officially ordering us to do a permanent change of station (PCS).  This order also has a report date, so if we are told we must report to our next duty station June 20th, we better be there on June 20th or earlier.  They are very persuasive that way :-).  Like I said before, we don’t bite the hand that feeds us.

Sooooooo waiting, waiting, waiting, is what we are still doing!  Waiting to hear when and where we are moving.  Waiting to hear if we are approved and entering consejo, and our son is waiting to hear from his top school for this fall.  We hate living in limbo but I can’t say we are not familiar with the neighborhood.  If you are reading this, please send us your best vibes for a good outcome in all the waits.

Generally I love talking about our adoption with people who are truly interested about our progress and our feelings about it.  Most people we encounter may ask a few strange questions but we always know they have the best intention of learning about what we are facing. I also don’t expect people NOT going through the process to fully understand the intricately complex parts it involves.  I was probably one of those early on. Then there are those interactions in the topic that leave me wishing that a meteor would just hit me right there and engulf me in flames as a million rhinos trample me on a road of nails.  Yup, that’s how bad I want to avoid these 5 kinds of people.  (Names have been changed to protect……well me from their batshit craziness) Let me tell you how our conversations usually go.

The “I had a boss who’s cousin’s hairdresser’s sister’s neighbor adopted and the kid had a lot of mental issues, he ended up burning her house down and killing the dog and cat” Person
…uhmmmm…..I don’t…… WHAT?  Is your intent to scare me from adopting? Because that story is scary to anyone even planning on getting pregnant, EVER. Anyone with a uterus will run for the hills.  Like I hope you can tell that story on prom night as the kids are leaving the High School.  Really! Forget handing out condoms, you just sit there and tell your unbelievably scary and perhaps incredibly unsolicited story MAAARCIA! Also, yes, most kids adopted have some traumas that might need to be tended to but an adoptive parents goes through training to be aware of these seek the help needed.  Ultimately, they try to love them through whatever happens like any parent would.

The “are you going to change their names to something more American..” Person
Well let me answer your question JAAAANE.  You saying ‘change’ implies these children were already named by someone who loved them.  Now let me prefix this with a little information.  The children we are expecting to be approved for are older than 2 and younger than 12.  So to think that we would take the last little bit of a tiny human’s identity after yanking them from their country and separating them from the people they have known for years is cruel and insulting.  There is very little they are keeping of their life in Peru, so NO we would NEVER take their names as well.  Think about it, a woman loved these little humans and took the time to carefully named them and they heard their names come out of this woman’s mouth many times.  I will honor that action as I am forever grateful they painfully thought and love them enough to want a better life for them.

The “Gosh it’s taking so long, I would have quit the process already….” Person
NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR SHORT ATTENTION SPAN SHEEEILA!!! If you are that easily discouraged then your heart wasn’t ready to grow your family this way.  We were quite aware of the process being lengthy (granted we were not prepared for how lengthy) and we did ‘heart checks’ quite often.  Heart checks is when we pause for a while and really revisit the reason we wanted to adopt and what this still means to us.  If we are still unbelievably excited for the prospect and we don’t care what and how long it takes to bring our kids home, then we drive on.

The “Why can’t you get babies so you can raise them how you want…” Person
They aren’t coming from the pound or are being cared for by wolves, MAAARTHA.  They are in orphanages where caregivers are watching over them.  They are attending school and making friends.  We will still raise them when they come to us, we are not adopting 30 year olds.  We are not perfect parents but we plan to do the best we can like any other parent would hope.

And my all-time favorite, the “Wow, you probably could have adopted three kids here in America by now” Person 
First of all, learn some geography CAAAARL, I am adopting from America, South America to be exact but I know you mean the United States.  When we were thinking about adopting, I don’t think time, race, and geography were a part of the discussion.  I am from Peru and I knew the need.  I knew there were many children in my home country that were waiting for their forever family and we felt moved to be one of those families. Also, CAAARL, I don’t think you know how adoption works but you don’t just decide to adopt, fill out a paper and kids appear at your doorstep.  I think you are thinking of Amazon Prime…… and maybe not so much kids……..but dolls, you freak!

Of course they all end the same.  Me faking a call, stepping away to ‘take it’ and never coming back.  I just refuse to engage, choosing, instead, to give them the stank eye from across the room as I pretend to crush their heads with my thumb and finger.  Yeah I know, childish, don’t knock it till you try it.  There is something satisfying about pretending to crush their head from across the room as they drink their stupid Starbuck’s latte and discuss their morning meeting whICH NOBODY CARES ABOUT ….MAAARCIA!!  Again, names have been changed!  Soooooo ok, good talk!  Till my next post.  Have a great weekend!

NOTHING……that’s right, I have learned NOTHING!!  I don’t know what to tell you people, 5 years in and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  So I guess, that is what I have learned……that I know nothing.  I have learned that the process is so individualized that you can only document the official paperwork required for your country and the country you are adopting from.  Everything else has no timeline whatsoever and too many variable to decipher one.  It’s a combination of perfect timing, luck, and voodoo magic…….I kid about the last one……..or do I?  I can tell you the what, the where and to an extent, the how, but the when and why are all individualized to you.  We finished the paperwork required in 2 years and we were ready to be matched in 3.  Now of course we had a crappy agency whose work ethic was pretty similar to our government on shutdown……..eek too soon? Well let’s just say they were not the most efficient, forthcoming and helpful to the people they served……I’m sorry… is it STILL sounding like the government to you?  Ok no more laughing!  Our agency now is heaps better and communicates everything that is happening so (INNER VOICE: we don’t lose our shit) we can be more informed about our progress.  In one year we are so much closer to being matched and finalizing an adoption.  To describe where we are in the process….say… in running terms (we are runners here).  We basically see the finish line but now we have to walk…..in heels….in mud.  We are tired, we are sweaty, we are questioning how the first miles could be so fun and exciting and now we are revisiting all our life choices.  We always remember the finish line though, if we could just focus on that, this whole race might not suck so bad.  Well at least maybe we won’t remember the sucky parts.

Waiting……Waiting……. Waiting…..Waiting

We are now waiting to hear if we are approved to study another sibling group.  According to Peru rules, this should only take 10 days or less.  Last time it took them 18 days soooooo….. “Nailed It”.  Hopefully this time we are closer to 10.  Once we get their files to study we have 15 days to say yay or nay.  Uhmm duh!  That’s going to be a solid yay.  So as not to look so desperate we will wait at least 24 hours to respond but lets face it, that letter is already written, signed and on the scanner as I write.  Yup, we are that desperate to get this going.  Fingers crossed we will be reaching yet another milestone early next week.  So I don’t end this post in such a negative tone, let me just say adoption is beautiful, yada, yada, yada, I want my kids home already!  Have a great weekend!

Happy New Year 2018!  So far we are not quite fans.  Let’s recap the holidays shall we?  The very first gift of Christmas was opened by us on Saturday, December 9th when we received our long awaited approval (oh and bonus, Army beat Navy in football that very same day).  We were now approved to adopt children 2-12 and this is what Peru needed to match us with the kids whose file we had requested to study and to adopt.  So far life was good!  Of course everything in Peru shuts down for the holidays so we wouldn’t be entering the board to be matched until January.  I feel like I say this every Christmas but it sure would have been nice to be able to talk and send gifts to the kids in Peru if we had been matched.  I also absolutely hate that I had to spend another holiday season answering the same old question I answer every year: “So how is the adoption going? When are you getting the kids?”  This is about the time when I just want to scream “I know you mean well but you asking me that makes me want to pour myself a strong shot with one hand and punch you in the throat with the other”.  I know I am being dramatic and overly sensitive but like I have warned you before, this is a no sugarcoat, call it like I see it, keeping it real adoption blog.  But I digress.  We decided to spend a nice winter break in a Myrtle Beach Timeshare not obsessing or being anxious about our impending approval.  Easier said than done of course but we tried.  The day after Christmas we found out that there were issues that had not been fully disclosed about the health of the children.  In hopes of not violating any Hague Convention or Peru privacy rules I will simply say it was not caused by fault of anyone in our agency and I think I can go as far as to say it may have been an issue with timing when the assessments of the children were done.  Nonetheless here we were, having to make some very hard decisions.  So much for having a relaxing winter break away from stress.  We do appreciate that our agency acted quickly to figure out what was happening and advised us on how to proceed but the more we learned about the issue the more heartbroken we became knowing that this might not work out as we had hoped.

Two weeks into 2018 and we still have no answers.  We are also considering another sibling group but I am still hung up on the other kiddos.  I wish we could receive a sign about which way to go.  That happens, right?  I saw like a bajillion Hallmark Channel movies that show just that, during the holidays.  Why can’t that happen to us?  Normally, I like to be in control of everything.  I wouldn’t say I am control freak, but I normally think people are doing everything wrong….and by wrong I mean not the way I would do it.  If I have learned anything throughout this process, it has to be that 1. You have to prepare to relinquish control to different entities in different countries and 2. Buy a punching bag because hitting actual people is, and I’m paraphrasing here, NOT NICE.  This is about the only time in my whole life that I would welcome someone stepping in and telling me what to do.  I’m looking for signs everywhere.  The other morning I was drinking tea and I found myself staring into my cup for 15 minutes before remembering that to read tea you should have actual leaves in it and probably shouldn’t have used the keurig, basically, I was just looking at remnants from my toast and it told me nothing. I also wondered if I might get a sign in a dream (also saw that nonsense in one of those lame ass Hallmark movies).  I generally don’t have dreams, at least I remember nothing, but now I truly wish for one that would steer me in the right direction.  This week is going to be tough, we have tough choices ahead of us but I’m sure at the end, things will all work out………….is what people who have no control whatsoever say.  Oh for the love of all that is holy I may not survive this month.

          On a separate high, this gorgeous young man I made (ok hubby helped) is graduating from HS this June and already has 4 acceptance letters to college.  Time sure flies when you are having fun……..and adopting apparently!