Over the past few months, my life has been a barrage of music. Sometimes it was joyous praise and I was full of excitement and laughter. Sometimes it was heart-achin' blues.
Looking forward, I can objectively say that I am aware of how minuscule all of these things will be in another year.
Looking back at the month of August though? I am both relieved and frustrated.
Relieved: That it would seem like we are coming close to the end of the paperchasing portion of our adoption.
Frustrated: That we aren't where we had hoped we would be. Frustrated that the places we got held up were not the places we expected to get held up and certainly not for the reasons we expected we would get held up. But nevertheless....we got held up anyways!
I keep a spreadsheet of the financial information that goes along with our adoption. It keeps me on track (oops...I need to mail that check today- darn it!) and it helps me KEEP track of how much everything has really cost. When I created it, after our application part II was accepted and we were moving on to the homestudy section, I also created a timeline (based on the information the agency gave me) as to when we should expect to be making each payment.
Ouch. According to THAT timeline, we should be celebrating our "1 month waiting" anniversary soon.
We are not.
In fact, we are finding our cycle of "two steps forward, 1 step back" has the longevity of a sea turtle (they live a long time....or so I've been told). We are certainly "practicing our patience" in this season of life, and it does get a little easier knowing that we are only waiting on ONE more document to arrive so that we can turn in our Dossier. As soon as we get that in, it goes through the following steps before reaching Ethiopia:
- Processed internally at adoption agency to ensure all the documents were completed correctly.
- Sent to the corresponding Secretary of States to be State certified
- Sent to the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. to be authenticated
- Sent to the Ethiopian Consulate in Washington D.C. to be authenticated. again.
- Dossier gets sent BACK to adoption agency
- Agency Sends Dossier to Ethiopia.
- We go on official waiting list as soon as our Dossier is received in Ethiopia!
Our hope, after FINALLY getting our homestudy completed in early August and being able to complete our USCIS fingerprinting appointment by the 17th, was that we would be on the official waiting list by mid-September! Unfortunately, due to the incredibly common BACKLOG at the USCIS Adoption Processing Center (Known as the NBC) we are two weeks in and have yet to be assigned a caseworker.
In the words of Liz Lemon, "Blurg!!"
(Sorry ya'll, we are in the middle of 30 Rock: Season 3 at home right now)
We are still hopeful. We know that God can do all things and we confidently put this in His capable hands. It doesn't completely wipe away the frustrations we have with the human race sometimes, but it certainly makes it more bearable!
Once we are standing there, staring into the beautiful eyes of our child. Knowing that the path that led us there was beautiful. and stressful. and frustrating. and filled with joy, and sometimes anger?
I know without the shadow of a doubt that every hardship of this journey will dissipate in our child's eyes. And all we will be left with is an awesome gratitude to God for giving us His most precious creation to protect and love and guard and shepherd.
Sometimes I wonder if I could go through all of this again (of course, much wiser the second time around)...and...I don't know yet. Ask me again in a year.
'Til I am half way around the world,*Ashley Lou*