We have completed the I-800A and Robert mailed it out via priority mail today!!!! And, we received a $20 donation and the kindest letter from a complete stranger. It was so touching to hear her story as well as her heartfelt encouragement. Thank you!
It is strange to be discouraged and making progress at the same time. I really am so happy to finally be getting somewhere and yet, the further we get, it seems that more roadblocks go up.
So, why am I discouraged?
I just learned that the tax refund of $13,000 (per child) is not going to be as helpful as I had once thought. In the past, the tax refund was fully refundable regardless of the tax that you owed. Meaning that, if your family didn't owe that much in taxes, you would still get a check for the balance. That is still true for those who complete their adoption this year. And, I really didn't think about it much because I had every intention that we *would* finish the adoption by the end of the year.
Well, with the rest of the paperwork and time that it takes to process everything....it sounds like we will be quite lucky if we even get the twins home by Christmas. That had been the worst case scenario and the very latest that I could imagine them coming home before. Now, I have to be realistic and know that it could be into next year. Keep in mind that we will get to bring them home after the first trip but we will still have two more trips before the adoption is finalized. <sigh> We also just found out that we may have to start over with our DOJ clearance and fingerprinting(long story but not very interesting...and definitely *very* frustrating!)
The problem is that the paperwork is so crazy intensive that it takes both an extraordinary amount of time as well as an incredible amount of money for all of the different professionals to handle and put their stamp of approval on everything. I truly understand that we want to eliminate the possibility of children getting into the wrong hands. What I wonder is....
........are we accomplishing this or are we increasing the likelihood?
The bottom line is that there are many very nice families that would take in children and love them wholeheartedly but....they know that it is very complicated and very expensive. It is a huge burden on the family and most of us are busy enough just taking care of our regular day to day lives to even imagine it. The paperwork, the fundraising....coupled with a challenged economy means that in the last five years international adoption has decreased by 50%!
On the other hand, the pedophiles and abusers may be more motivated to bring children into their homes and are willing to go through the expense and trouble.
It is the same thing that I experienced when I worked as a social worker for CPS. The foster homes that were made up of wonderful, kind, and enthusiastic families, often burned out quickly when they encountered a broken system that created havoc and difficulty for their own families.
On the other hand, the foster homes that provided minimal care but were very focused on the monetary benefits as well as those homes who turned out to merely continue the abuse of the children.... were plentiful. :-(
I saw this video of a group seeking to make changes in International adoption. They show children in Vietnam that are waiting in an old prison....
So....why should we get involved in International adoption? After all, it's expensive, filled with ridiculous amounts of paperwork and moreover, many of the children have experienced trauma and have challenging behaviors.
Why? Well, there is the call from Heavenly Father to help those in need and we hear about that a lot within the adoption circles. I don't want to take anything away from this call as it is essentially important and it plays a large role in our adoption.
But, I just want to find a way to make it more personal....
What if I hadn't been born in the burbs in Southern California? What if I wasn't safe and loved with parents who took me to piano and ballet lessons?
What if I was born instead to parents who were drug addicted and incapable of parenting? What if my parents died of AIDS and left me alone.
What if my life was completely out of my control and I found myself in an orphanage before I could remember any other life.
What if I was often miserable and starving both for food and for affection.
What if when I turned sixteen I would find myself lost and wandering on the streets....panicked and looking over my shoulder for predators that would surely come.
(This is not the country we are adopting from and I also cannot vouch for this charity but it does appear that they are trying to help....)
If this were happening to me, would I want someone to try to help, to hold out their hand......
even if it was hard.......
These are the thoughts that have been circling through my mind. At the same time, this is why I am so heartbroken to question our ability to bring the twins home.
I will worry about it and then find my stubborn resolve and then cycle back to worry again.
The bottom line is that their futures are so bleak without a family.....and I really believe that we are their family and that we are meant to be together.
So, I will keep trying until there is nothing more that can be done, because I want their story to be like this:(get some kleenex-because these are real stories and real children!)
I know I have been promising this for awhile but I am determined to have our new business website up this week. I am also determined to work hard and do what it takes to bring the twins home.
So, here is my quote that I will continue to follow:
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks." Phillips Brooks
I promise that my next post will be more lighthearted....my husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary and I want to dedicate a post to him...... how we met when I was only 17 and that I wouldn't date him until he shaved his moustache! Ah, the important things in life!