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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Adopt? Why Russia? Why now? (and other curious questions)


Throughout this process I've answered these questions many times (and many is a polite way of saying all the freaking time!!!)  I've got my wrote answers down for each in case I don't have the time or the inclination to discuss my personal life with a virtual stranger, but for those who I feel like have a genuine interest in either me or the adoption process I'll answer questions all day long.  I don't get flustered by the intrusive questions or the ones that to the "adoption educated" are out of line (ie. are his REAL parents dead?  How much does A KID from Russia COST?).  Learning about adoption has given me an entirely new vocabulary and has made me sensitive or "PC" in the topic.  So, now that I've had the crash course in adoption, I think it's fair that I share and take the time to explain to people rather than get huffy or angry thinking they are insensitive or ignorant... no judgement - just time to share about what makes adoption special.  Just so that these things are caught on record for the future, here are my most common questions and answers:
  1. Why adopt?  I was married going on 11 years ago and we had planned our family.  When my husband passed away I didn't stop wanting to be a mom.  I always had adoption in the back of my mind but waited until my professional and personal life allowed for me to take the process on successfully.  I would still like very much to be married but that hasn't happened for me... and I still want to be a mom.  Somewhere in one of my first posts I talk about how being widowed or being an orphan is awful for both parties... this is a situation where 2 wrongs can make a right.
  2. Why Russia?  There are only a certain number of places where a single girl CAN adopt.  When I looked at the programs, I had some specific criteria (established, well run, no rumors of closing entirely or to singles, ability to chose gender/age/health/ethnicity).  I wanted to adopt a little caucasian boy. 
  3. Why is ethnicity important to you?  It is and it isn't.  For me, I didn't want to stand out visually on the street with my child and invite conversation that easily swings into he's an orphan (is your husband Asian/African/Hispanic) yes his biological father is he is adopted.  Hmmmm... are you divorced... no, I'm widowed... wow, you are a train wreck... I would just rather blend and not feel conspicuous.  Now I'm not saying there is anything I couldn't handle about those conversations but somehow it's just easier and less TBS afterschool movie to explain to people.  Quite simply, I want a son and he needs a mom and I don't want our adoption to be street topic.
  4. Why a boy?  I think there are a few reasons: First, I'm a bit of a tom boy.  I play sports (soccer, hockey, bike, mountain bike, run, ski, wakeboard etc.) I want to enjoy that with my child.  This statement flys in the face of itself as I assure you I am a girl myself and that has not limited my involvement in sport... so that only serves to confuse the issue.  But, for me, I guess I have always pictured being the hockey mom and being involved in coaching and the face behind the cage has always been a little boy.  Next, I think being married to a hockey coach and a family very involved in hockey plays into that vision.  When Scott and I talked about kids, I always saw him being an amazing dad to a little boy - so I guess it's part of the future I didn't have time to get to.  Last and probably most importantly, I remember being a little girl.  It was tough.  The "mean girls" are a junior highschool "norm"  (there is no movie called mean boys???).  Girls are awful to one another.  I could have become a neurosurgeon in the time I spent worrying if my butt was too big, if my jeans were tight enough, if my bangs were high enough, if my spiral perm was cool enough, if I got invited to the "right" party (or didn't) or if I was in the "right crowd" (all the while balancing the afoermentioned "tom girl" sports chick thing I had going on. ) It sucked.  While I have not yet raised a young man, I think that giving a boy the skills to be confident, respectful, kind, hard working and fun to be around will be enough to help him get by (all without putting roo in his doo, $400 jeans on his tush, and worrying if he'll get pregnant).  OK yes - very simplistic and I do understand that it won't be a cake walk and that hockey equipment (if he likes the game) is expensive (Please God don't let him want to be a goalie!!!)
  5. Why 2 - 4 years?  I wanted to be able to assess as many health related issues like FASD, CP, Autism etc as I could.  Meeting a child who is meeting (or not meeting) developmental milestones helped me to mitigate some of the risks.
  6. How much does it cost?  A lot.  But I rationalize that the costs associated for raising a child from birth (cribs, diapers, onsies they wear for 14 seconds, diaper cream, child care etc.) amoratized over 3 years... it helps keep me from hyperventalating.  HE didn't cost a cent... the paperwork, legalization, professionals time who coordinate the paperwork on the Russian side, couriers, translation... that all costs money.  Plus... have you seen him???!!! Worth every penny :)
  7. How are you going to manage your job and a little one as a single mom?  I plan on having a live in nanny.  When talking with my mom about this I told her how efficient the nannies are and that they do EVERYTHING... I said that I was looking forward to not having to do laundry or fold or change sheets, looking forward to trying some different meals, looking forward to having someone who can run to the store and pick up a few groceries... my mom's response was, "in the olden days Stace, we used to call those "Wives".  Touche.
  8. How much time are you going to take off?  The government gives us 9 months.  I am going to try and take the full year.  We'll see how finances pan out.  Good thing he's used to bread and water (please don't kill me for that... I'm kidding)
  9. Are you keeping his name?  Yes - as a middle name.  He knows his name as Grisha not Gregory so that would be a change in and of itself.  I will let people know his name when things are final (it's the only thing you snoopy people don't know!!! lol... kidding)
  10. Are you worried about Lyric and the little one?  No.  and Yes.  She is big and excitable.  BUT she loves kids and is actually pretty careful around them at the dog park etc.  She doesn't understand completely the don't jump at them when they are holding the ball or a treat... but we'll work on that.  There will be tears (she has a VERY hard head) but I am sure they will grow to be best buds.  (He likes dogs, she likes kids... match made in heaven!)
  11. Is your family supportive? Yes. Everyone is so happy for me and looking forward to being a big part of his life.  My sister and kids, my mom, my mother in law, my sister in law... extended family of friends... they all can't wait!
  12. Will you adopt again?  No.  I feel like I hit the jackpot with this little guy in avoiding some of the most common "issues" (I do know that is premature given he isn't even home yet and there is plenty of time for challenges to rear their head) but he seems to have dodged some of the developmental delays, nutritional deficits, emotional / orphanage delays (eye contact, engagement, verbal skills).  I plan on figuring out how to do the best job I can with ONE... Unless... a bio sibling pops up... then there will be cause for much concternation. 
  13. Would you consider having a bio child?  Sure - if Mr. Right gets his butt in gear... and I was so lucky... I would consider it but never wanted to do that on my own.  Stretch marks and morning sickness would require hair holding and ongoing false compliments for me to get through (pony tail holders and mirror mantras of "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darnit people like me" wouldn't cut 9 months of mustard. 
  14. Cuz I can't end on 13... Is the name you have chosen your late husbands? No.  It is one that has incredible meaning to me and in it's own way gives a nod to something special Scott gave to me but it is not his name.  It's special and unique (but not weird) and so very meaningful to me.  Stay tuned!
  15. When do you think you will be back for court?  Khab has generally been 4 months between trips... this would put me at end of April.  I've been quick with my paperwork so I might have made up a little time but it's too early to tell.  I am hoping the Judge will receive my documents by early March and if she doesn't ask for more or different documents it could be ~4 weeks to a court date (on a good day) or a bit longer... so if everything goes well I could be back early April... cross fingers and say a prayer!
Thats enough but feel free to ask more if you like :)

1 comment:

Kat said...

I caught your blog address on FRUA, and I'm so glad I did! While it looks like I have some reading to catch up on, I've really enjoyed what I've read so far. It's great to read another PAP's blog who is still in the midst of the process.