The pit of despair

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A little while back we received a letter from the USCIS in response to our I600A application. It informed us that we had to, yet again, get fingerprinted. The difference being we had to go to a government office, specifically the CIS office in downtown LA.

We arrive after a hour or so in traffic. The second you walk in you feel the depression and angst. Very similar to walking into a DMV office. We fill out more paper work, wait, have someone look it over and then we are given a number and told to go…. DOWNSTAIRS into what I affectionately call the pit of despair.

The set up was interesting. Immediately in front of you, as you descend the stairs is a row of chairs. Natural inclination would be to sit in one of these vacant seats to wait. There is no sign indicating otherwise. So David and I sit. Facing forward from these seats our view was of 50 other seats facing to our left, where “they” were doing the fingerprinting. I was so thankful that I could be there with David, b/c otherwise it would have been miserable. I take note that no one is talking, no one is happy. In fact far from it. Everyone looks quite downcast and solemn. It was a very depressing picture.

After a minute or two were informed by others in the waiting room that we are in the wrong seats. We have to move to the seats facing “forward.” Our seats are for the “next ten” in line. We look up at the number and it’s on 40… we’re 63 and 64. So we get up and move.

An hour later the number is 54. During this 60 minutes I notice that everyone who comes down the stairs sits in the same seats we sat in initially. Only when the guard comes to the room and “directs traffic” do people know whats going on. This only happened two or three times, so others in the waiting room took it upon themselves to direct the new comers. I found it comical. It was like some secret society.

After another 30 minutes we’re at 60 and we get to move to the coveted seats facing sideways. Ten minutes later we get our fingers printed, which takes all of 5 minutes.

Another hour and we were home, trying to shake off the cold, dark feeling from the pit of despair. I don’t know if that will ever be able to though.

More progress

Received a letter yesterday with a “go-ahead” to get our finger prints for the I-600A.  A good sign that things are moving along.

It was also nice to get the letter because we’re hovering in “wait” mode.  There really isn’t anything to do and we have no idea how long the wait will actually be.  We hope that it will be less than a year, but you never know.  With the waiting and not doing anything it’s easy to push the adoption out of my mind and at moments even forget that we’re in this process.  So even the littlest task is welcome reminder of this journey.

I was trying to calculate approximately how far along the biological mother would be right now.  If the baby is 6 months old at the time of referral and we if we receive our referral in Dec. then the baby is about 6 months prenatal.  The biological mother is probably showing quite a bit and feeling the baby move and kick.   Initially, I feel pangs of jealousy.  But then I am overcome with gratitude.  What a selfless sacrifice.  She is giving the most amazing and priceless gift to a stranger half a world away.  Though, I’d suspect that the biological mother sees this as a gift to the baby.  I am grateful for this gift to my child and to me.

Heart and Seoul

I never understood the people in the old testament. I couldn’t comprehend how God’s chosen people, whom He spoke to, and gave signs and wonders to would blatantly disobey. From high in my tower I thought, “surely, if God would speak to me or even show me clearly what I should do, well of course I would do it.” Gladly, in fact. But recently, I’ve seen that I am just as stiff-necked as the Jews wandering the desert for 40 years.

For the last 4 years, that’s right FOUR years (almost like 40, without the 0) I have been wandering the desert of disobedience. David and I had been desiring to have another child and started “trying” 4 years ago. Early on thoughts of adoption took seed in my brain, but I did not allow them to grow roots. That wasn’t for us, not right now.

I had plans. Of course, I should know by now, my plans rarely match God’s. I had also planned to get pregnant the first time… about a year or two AFTER Emma was born. That’s right, Emma was a gracious surprise. This time, I wanted to get pregnant on my terms. I wanted to WANT the pregnancy. I wanted to experience pregnancy, childbirth and infancy with joy.

There were many instances where adoption would creep into conversations with David, but neither of us really wanted to walk that road. That road was full of unknowns and it was costly and we could find so many excuses why it wouldn’t work for us. Yet, all signs seemed to be pointing in that direction. I wanted to walk by the burning bush and pretend it wasn’t there. I was just as stiff necked as those wandering the desert- I wanted things MY WAY.

The more I prayed, the more I cried out in pain over my hearts desire gone unanswered the more thoughts of adoption would crop up. It seemed that this was the road we needed to walk. I wasn’t happy about it and there are times when I am still unhappy about not getting my way. What can I say, I’m an only child.

And so began our path toward adoption.

I600A

I did it.  I sent it today.  Now it really is all about waiting.  Nothing to do but wait, and wait and wait, and pray and pray and pray.

A few months ago I typed up a post about the beginning of our trip down the adoption road, now may be a good time to post it.

half check

So, for whatever dumb reason, I have been putting off filling out our I-600a form. I asked AZ to keep reminding me to do it. She was on it this week and so I got it out and just plugged away. (Thanks AZ!) I got out all the documents I needed, I made photocopies, I even wrote an e-mail to our social worker with a couple questions so that once I receive her answers I can send it off. Really it’s more than half checked off my list, it’s more like three quarters checked.  I’m hoping that before Emma turns 6 (and that’s soon) I will have this puppy completely checked off my list.

Hooray!

Evesdropping

A little while back I was getting my hair cut. It seems that most of the hair dressers I have are chatty, but not my current one. I am SO thankful for that. I can just sit and enjoy having my hair “played” with and think. On this occasion my heart was heavy. I had been considering some of the obstacles we may face as our children grow, especially our child that we are adopting. I worry about how he/she will face the thoughts of adoption, whether or not he/she will feel rejected or a sense of loss. I worry about how the children will compare themselves. Obviously I will do the best I can on my end to alliviate these issues, but it seems that they may still come up.

SO, back to the hair dresser. As I am sitting, stewing and drowning in my worry I hear the hair dresser next to me talking to his client. His client was asking him if he had some sort of medical test done because his mother was having some sort of health problems. He replied that he hadn’t since he is adopted and genetic problems wouldn’t pertain to him. AHHHHH! Another thing to worry about. Our child isn’t going to know his/her genetic history… what if…..BLAH BLAH BLAH. My mind went on and on in just milliseconds. BUT, on further listening this man seemed to dismiss the lady’s concerns. He said, we all have genetic predispositions, but it isn’t a guarantee we’ll get (fill in the blank with disease) or not. He was so logical and calm and… well, right.

They discussed his adoption further; he talked about how he met his biological mother and that was that for him. To him she wasn’t his mother, she was his womb and he was grateful for that, but his adoptive mother was “mom.” He wouldn’t change anything. I wanted to ask him for his mother’s phone number.

Overhearing that conversation was a great gift. God saw my small faith diminishing in my downcast heart. He had pity and allowed me to hear that conversation, that glimpse into something better. He turned my thoughts upward and outward instead of inward.  He reminded me that David and I are not raising our children alone, nor should we be depending on our own abilities to do so.  God is so good.

The first gift this Christmas

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We received a letter from Holt a few days ago.

Our paperwork was sent to Korea 12/7/07.

Hopefully, this time next year we’ll know who our baby is.

Now, on to the I-600A.

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