Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Feels Good

It's been awhile since my first post and that's because I've been tackling paperwork. Between my name change and the adoption paperwork it's been a full time job. I've had quite a few hiccups but nothing that can't be dealt with. The process does have a way of preparing you and I really appreciate that. Right now I'm waiting for my homestudy report to be completed and I'm thinking that in May I will be on the official wait list.

I have had two Parenting classes so far. These classes are specific to to International Adoption. And what I realized is how important that fact is because there are so many specific needs related to international adoption. There were four couples and one other single woman. Korea, China, El Salvador and Ethiopia were represented. I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful couple that are in my exact same situation (same agency, same timing, also choosing an infant girl). I felt in the moment that I met them that we would be life long friends. And because we're on the same track there's a good chance we could travel to Ethiopia together. The fact that my daughter could possibly be a friend with a girl that she shared her first days with is a terribly special thought to me.

In preparation for class yesterday on culture, I had to take an Ethiopian dish to share at the potluck. Those who know me, know I need help in this area...and that's what I got. I found an Ethiopian restaurant near my house and was greeted by the most wonderful woman who instantly knew my situation and hugged me and told me she'd take care of me and that I'd be a staple at her restaurant. It was one of the most loving, special moments to be embraced by a stranger like I was part of her family.

While I think I've finished about 8 books so far (****NOTE, I highly recommend "There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Fay Greene), the classes have opened my eyes to understanding how special my child's needs are and how I need to adapt as well as educate those special in our lives to make sure they understand.

While it feels absolutely right for me to do - it has been hard at times to comprehend that I'm doing this single. That was probably one of the hardest things in the class was seeing couples work through various scenarios together. What I keep remembering is that I have the best group of friends and family and "together we can" (that's for Alexis, Andy and Dad).

I am choosing a girl 4-8months old from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Many people are curious how I came to this decision. I've always been very interested in adoption as well as open to having a natural birth child. This is just what I chose to do first. I'm not sure I can completely explain all the rationale but in terms of some key factors:
--the requirements were more of a match/accepting to my situation
--there is tremendous need in Africa
--Ethiopia has committed to the Hague Adoption laws which is a global initiative to formalize international adoption
--the culture and rich history of Ethiopia is of great interest to me
--it just felt right

I have also decided to name her Liv (keep her natural name as her middle name) Elkins. Liv means "a vow with God" and it sets a wonderful intention for her. While most commonly short for Olivia, it's also short for Elizabeth (my middle name). And I like that connection between us.

There are a couple reasons I'm blogging about this experience:
--I want to include special people into my process
--I want my intentions to be documented for myself and Liv

I feel really right about it all. I certainly have moments of great emotion but I feel extremely honored and privileged to be able to grow my family in this way. I want to give a special thanks to Andy, Alexis, Kristin, Sandro, Russell and Yumi - all amazing people who had to give references on my behalf and I really appreciate the help and support. And a special special thanks to Kris, for being Kris, and letting me know he's there for us.

P.S - I thought that I'd also include some of my favorite things that I'm learning about. Above is one of my favorite Ethiopian paintings.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Here's hoping that you are on that wait list soon!