Monday, July 9, 2012

365 Days

One year ago to the day, Pablo and I took the decision to adopt.
We had talked about it before.

Several years before, when we were still unsure we even wanted kids, I had told Pablo adoption made so much sense to me. He had to agree (it does make more sense than making new babies in an overpopulated world filled with kids in need of a family). But he was not as enthused as I was. It was more of a "yeah... maybe one day... we'll see." reaction.

Then, in the year leading to our decision, we talked about it more seriously. We had even researched the process. But what we had found had slowed us down. The process turned out to be heavy (that's an understatement), long (another understatement) and expensive. And we discovered it carried risks and challenges we had not thought about.
We looked at adopting from Ecuador, where Pablo grew up and we still have family. But the process is very difficult there, and the children available where older than we would consider. We put the project aside again.

All we needed was a little nudge from life.
On July 9, 2011, after a very difficult day, we came to the conclusion that this was what we had to do.
We had no idea where to start or what countries were available to us, we weren't sure how long we'd have to wait and we weren't even married. But committing to that decision lifted such a weight from our shoulders.

In those 365 days, we've done a lot of bushwhacking and figured out most of the process. We got married, obtained our government's approval to adopt, were judged and evaluated by social workers as a family, gathered a lot of documents, put together our Dossier. We've fallen from our cloud when the program was suspended suddenly, we've questioned our decisions and had to defend them in front of strangers, killed time in these infamous months by learning about Sri Lanka, about parenting and about adoption. We've celebrated the re-opening of our program, gotten on the actual waiting list (which I picture more as a huge pile of dossiers in a Sri Lanka office), started picturing ourselves as an expecting couple. We've started the process to give our precious Canadian citizenship (with all the privileges it entails) to our Cinnamon Baby.
To this day, we have put in 3 weeks of our actual wait time.

In those 365 days, I've also started this blog and made friends with a number of amazing people. I've learned about other cultures and other processes. I've received all sorts of useful tips from other parents, adoptive and bio, and also from Sri Lankans. I've poured my heart out on days when this adventure didn't feel so glamorous, and I've celebrated every little victory with you guys. And I've received amazing support.

In those 365 days, Pablo and I have come closer to one another. We've cried and celebrated together. We've both changed our views on so many things, including birth families, racial issues and parenting. And our level of compassion for our fellow human beings has raised substantially.

This isn't an easy road to travel. It's scary, tiring and long. And it's lonely at times.
But it's also a beautiful and humbling adventure. We've never done anything as exciting as this.
And somehow, working this hard for our child has made us love him/her more than words can express, without even knowing anything about him/her.

So here's to another year of paperwork, blogging and learning!
(and who knows? this may be our year!)

6 comments:

  1. Hi Gen,
    365 days is significant. I was flying at 37,000 ft on my 365th day! As you know, that was a very emotional trip, well more so after I returned. I wish you and Pablo all the success in the world for the next 365 days! I can only hope your July, 9, 2012 post starts with how many days you have been home with your little one.
    Take care, go out for dinner tonight!
    Elizabeth

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    1. We did, on the weekend ;-)
      Thans for your wishes. I hope year 2 also has good surprises in store for you
      Gen

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  2. Wow you get me all excited now. We are having our first interview with the social worker on July 20th thats next friday. Got most of the paperwork done. Waiting for few more referrals. Any tips? We are going to Sri Lankan in August for vacation for two weeks. I am hoping to finish most of the paperwork before we go there not that we get a baby from there then. In US we have to get the immigration cleared before the baby. Need to homestudy to apply for that...

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  3. Hi Ruv!
    You're so lucky you're going to SL next month!!! Make sure you take lots of pictures... I'm jealous :-)
    The homestudy is a huge step! I found it intimidating, but there's no reason it won't go well. I posted about preparing for the interviews a while ago:
    http://cinnamon-baby.blogspot.ca/2011/11/few-hints-for-home-study.html?m=0
    I hope you find some of those tips helpful!
    All the best,
    Gen

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  4. Thanks Gen. I will read the infor. Just nervous about the wholething. I can't wait to go on Vacation. Its been 2yrs since I have been there last. Sure will bring lots of picts. You will be there soon too.. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. BTW you are an engineer right? I am one too. What a coincident. If you have any questions about SL I will be more than happy to help you (not that I am an expert).
    Good Luck!!

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    1. I'm sure the homestudy will go great... I was really nervous too. It's so unnatural to have people judging you like that! But it'd only a few weeks, and getting your approval is so satisfying!

      Yes, I'm an engineer too! That's funny! :D

      Gen

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