This is not a short post. However, I do think my blog readers will very much enjoy the blog book I’ve title, “To Be or Not to Be.”
There has been a lot happening in the Word of Weeks. Honestly, it’s very unusual for there not to be a lot going on, but sometimes big things are happening and right now big things are happening.
Shortly after the first of the year, Dave and I began having conversation about life and the future of our family. Not that we didn’t have these conversations prior to the first of the year, but as everyone knows, things change as life goes on and it becomes necessary to revisit subjects that were discussed previously.
One common topic of conversation in our house over the last year has been about Dave’s next career move which will likely take us out of Central Illinois and very possibly out of Illinois altogether. However, that’s a blog post that won’t be written until he actually moves on to a new position within the company. Another common topic of conversation is about our family, specifically our children. The typical things like which pre-school to send them to; do we send them to private or public school; should we sign them up for swim lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics, all of the above; should we add another child to our family? You know, the typical things families discuss.
Oh wait, you noticed that last question? Yes, we began talking about whether or not we wanted to add another child to our family. Dave was very clear during Naomi’s adoption that our second adoption would be our last, but sometimes couples just aren’t quite on the same page. When that happens it’s important for discussion to take place in an attempt to find common ground. After some discussion, Dave agreed to think about it and that was good enough for me. Of course thinking about another adoption required that we try to agree on some details such as the age, gender and number of children that would be under consideration. We were able to pretty quickly find common ground on the details – we would not be open to adopting another infant; we would stay open to gender; and we would not adopt more than one child.
Life went on and every once in a while we would talk about whether or not another adoption made sense for our family. We also had to answer some questions such as, did we want to go back to Ethiopia, another African country or another Latin American country? What were our options? The fact is, each country and each agency has their own requirements for adoptive parents and we needed to do a little research which I felt would also give us better insight into whether adoption #3 was to be or not to be.
About 3 months after we began our discussion we made our decision. It wasn’t a clear-cut “yes we’re going to adopt again” or “no, we’re not going to adopt again.” We decided that if a child was presented to us and we felt that child would be a good match for our family and vice versa, we would proceed with a 3rd adoption. We weren’t going to seek a child from a specific country or apply with a specific agency. Instead, I contacted some agencies asking about specific adoption programs they had listed on their website. During the conversation I would explain what we wanted to do, the specifics surrounding the child we would like to adopt (age range, gender, etc.) and left the ball in their court. Some agencies made it perfectly clear that we would need to apply with them and could adopt off their waiting child list or wait for referral. However, that was just not the way we wanted to proceed. Other agencies were fine with what we wanted to do while others were on the fence. Contacting these agencies left the door open and we would just have to wait to see if another adoption was to be or not to be.
About a week later, an agency I had been in contact with, asked us if we would consider a little boy from Colombia who was on their waiting child list. We agreed to look at his information and after completing some paperwork and providing a little more information, they sent us an ‘unofficial referral.’ What we discovered though, is that much of the information they had on file was out-dated so we asked for updates assuming we would have them in 1-2 weeks. I think we had been waiting about 6 weeks for the updates when I received an email from another agency about another little boy in Uganda who had just become available for adoption and they asked if we would consider this little boy. Wow! We made our decision to leave the door open and now we were being asked by two different agencies, to consider two different children, in two different countries. While we probably should have anticipated this was a possible scenario, we didn’t and yet here we were. We told the agency that we would like to look at the information they had on the little boy in Uganda. They sent what little information they had which fortunately was current, but we still had questions. In an effort to gather a little more information, we sent the agency the list of questions we had compiled. Who knew how long it would take to get a response from Uganda, and in the meantime, maybe we would finally get the updates from Colombia. After waiting almost 24 hours, we received a response from Uganda. Now we felt torn! Was the little boy in Colombia the right child for our family? Was the little boy in Uganda the right child for our family? Was either one the right child for our family? We started down this path open to adopting another child, yet not knowing if a 3rd adoption was to be or not to be. This was turning out to be much more difficult than I had imagined.
For the following two weeks we waited on updates from Colombia while periodically having discussion about these two little boys. Then one evening Dave and I began to discuss our options once again. We had only been talking a few minutes when Dave said, “I’ve looked at his picture everyday since they sent it to us and there is something about him. This is a little boy I would like to know better.” In that moment, we both knew that we were going to be adopting one more time and we would be adopting the little boy from Uganda.
Our decision had nothing to do with not receiving the updates from Colombia (although I will admit it was frustrating). Instead, our decision had everything to do with the fact that we both felt a strong pull to this little Ugandan prince and based on the information we had received we felt he would be a good for our family and that we would be a good family for him. This decision felt right so we began to move forward with our plan to adopt him.
After informing the placement agency that we wanted to adopt the little Ugandan prince, we began the process. Our case worker came out to get started on our home study update and we mailed our application to the placement agency. Shortly after our application was approved, we received our adoption agency contract and fees schedule. As I looked over the information I realized the fees were a bit more than I had realized and we didn’t have the money readily available to pay the required fees. In an effort to find ways of getting the funds in place quickly, I began to scramble but soon discovered it just wasn’t going to happen quickly. Unfortunately, this also meant that the agency would need to do what they could to find another family for this little boy and I was heart-broken. The door that seemed to swing wide open, now appeared to be slamming shut. Would we really be adopting a 3rd time? Was this adoption really meant to be?
Several weeks have now passed. We haven’t received contact from any other agency and I am happy to report that on Monday we will have all our funds in place for adoption #3. But what about the little Ugandan prince you ask?
I contacted the agency yesterday giving them an update on where things stand and asking if our little Ugandan prince is still available. I received this response today.
Thank you for the update! I know this has been a time of much anxiety for you. Things are looking good, though!
Things are looking good!!!! Our little Ugandan prince is still available!!!!!
So, after many months of discussing, planning and waiting, I am officially announcing that the Weeks’ family is adopting one more time.
Yes, I’ll continue to have some anxiety about the adoption of our little Ugandan prince until our contract and fees are in the hands of the agency and they send us the official referral. But, we are hopeful and believe this is going to work out.
In the meantime, a photo of our Ugandan prince graces the front of our refrigerator right next to photos of Lili and Naomi. He has become a part of our lives emotionally and hopefully will become a part of our lives physically in the not too distant future.