Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just Rambling Thoughts

Shawn and Megan, thank you for the suggestion of using worldtimesaver clocks. They are not as cool as the other clocks, but they show up on the blog!

Jessica, I'm sorry I cannot make this Saturday's gathering. We are attending a wedding. I hope to get to one of the events as soon as my life slows down a little.

Am I the only one that seems to have a huge list of things to do each day and still not get anywhere?

I haven't picked an agency yet. I hate doing due diligence. I wish there weren't so many choices. Right now I am considering Frank Adoption Center in NC and Holt International. I love what I know about Holt. It seems their first focus is finding families for children. Their second focus is finding children for families. It sounds like the same thing, but it isn't. It is prioritizing who is most important, the child or the family. But with Holt we have to be open to a child of either sex and older then we would initially want. We were to the point of making huge compromises in Ukraine and it still didn't work out, and we have to think about whether to make compromises now. We would love any child we brought home, but we aren't asking for an infant so it seems we should be ahead of the wait. What do I know at this point anyway?

My friends the Paulsens are home from Ukraine with their daughter. They are so happy and I am so happy for them. Hopefully I will meet Jocelyn soon. My friend Michelle and her husband will be home soon with their daughter. She had a fairy tale adoption in Ukraine. Thankfully this still happens. What a nightmare for the kids if it didn't.

The weather here is awesome! I've been working in the yard as much as possible before the scorching days of spring summer arrive. A wonderful friend got our water pump and primitive sprinkler system working while we were in Ukraine and I am almost at the point of flipping a switch and having the whole yard watered. It sure beats standing outside with the mosquitoes hand watering everything. We have no grass but we have the beginnings of a Key West style tropical garden.

Right now it is 44 degrees F in bishkek, KGZ. That isn't bad. Oh, I just know we will end up traveling again in winter. It sure would be nice to get a break from the summer heat and travel to a cooler country in the summer. I know it gets to be around 90 degrees F in Kyrgyzstand, but that is cool enough for us!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

That Darn Clocklink Clock

I was shocked to see four comments posted on our blog. How kind of everyone to be thinking of and praying for us.

I vividly remember spending an entire day trying to get the Clocklink clock to show up on our blog a year ago. Now, again, I cannot get it to show up as I'm adding elements for Kyrgyzstan. Why should I care? I just want it, that's why. The Clocklink instructions are not terribly helpful, although more helpful then last year. Yeah, they tell you what to do, but I don't get it, and I really need the cut and paste data. I am apparently very blog-challenged. Even my IT genius husband can't get it working. He can do anything with computers, but he doesn't do html.

Adding the flag, however, was no challenge at all.


We Have Regrouped and Are Moving Forward

We were down but never out. Ukraine will have to wait for us. We may go back in the future for an older child (I wonder how many kids I can convince my husband to adopt?). We are switching gears (can you hear them?). We are looking into Kyrgyzstan. We are currently checking out agencies. We signed up for the Kyrgyzstan adoption board and the Agency Research Board (boy, do I hate to have to use an agency). The people and the children are beautiful. The process does not sound corrupt at all, which is very important to us. Kyrgyzstan is south of Kazakstan, east of China, north of Tajikistan and west of Uzbekistan.

Will write more about the country later. I hope to get a map of the country posted today.

Friday, March 7, 2008

We are Going Home

Our third referral is too sick to leave his groupa. This poor child cannot function outside his groupa. He is so mentally challenged that he cannot be considered for adoption. We were shown his file nonetheless.

We are done here and are returning home.

We sat in the hallway of the SDA until we were allowed to meet with the Director. We asked why we were shown files three different times of children that were so much worse then their files stated. We asked why we were not allowed to call the orphanage director during our third appointment. We were told that the SDA staff is too busy to keep the files current or accurate and that they rely upon the families to take the referrals and report back to the SDA about the childrens' status. This information isn't consistently added to the children's files.

We were told that it was illegal for us to have had our 3rd appointment. (Third appointments are not illegal.) We were asked if we were asking to have members of the SDA break the law by being allowed to see more files. Even though we reiterated numerous times that we were looking for a child with correctable health issues or a child that had the cognitive ability to function within a family unit and that the child or 2 children could be of either sex and up to 7 years old we were told that there are no files that would meet our criteria. The SDA Director told us that there are no healthy children under 8 or 10 years old. She said that she is working with the US Embassy to update their website to reflect this information. She said that Ukrainians do not abandon their children in orphanages if they are healthy. She said that prospective adoptees that want healthy children go to countries like China where children are abandoned for reasons other then health.

We did not receive nor did we think we would be offered an apology for being shown inaccurate and outdated files. It is our perception based on this conversation that the SDA has no interest in keeping the files current or accurate. It is our conclusion that there is no concern for adopting families traveling blindly to far away regions in their country based on wrong data. The excuse we were offered was that it was God's will that we did not find our child here. From our perspective the reason is that we are forced to make decisions on children with information that is completely inaccurate and outdated. Thankfully for many families the inaccuracies plays in their favor. For us the inaccurancies did not.

We did not fail the children of Ukraine. We see them being failed by their own government. I saw piles of files in every room we were in during the selection process. We are told by complete strangers in this process that when the SDA is called by orphanage directors or city inspectors the SDA has no record of the child, and that the files sit on desks of medical doctors who don't feel there is any need to expedite their updating. Based on dates given to us during our appointments, children are available for adoption months before they are ever shown to prospective adoptees.

It is so saddening and heartbreaking for the children. These children run to you, cry for you, gaze at you from afar because they so desperately want a Mama and a Papa to love them. We do not cry for ourselves. To try to make sense of it all is futile as there is no logic or humanity in it. We are going home and we know in our hearts that we did as much as we could for a child in Ukraine.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We are Traveling Just South of Odessa

We leave tomorrow evening on the night train to Odessa. We will travel 2 hours south of there to visit a 6 year old boy.

It is difficult finding the words of thanks we feel to those that are praying for, think of, and sending love to us. We have been given another and our last chance to find our child in Ukraine. We hope this boy is the one.

We do not know if we will have internet access in the region. We are not going to a large city. We will post when we can. I will drive Drew crazy about an internet connection in our apartment, so if there is a way he will find it.

I am so proud and impressed with the behavior of our beloved son today. It was a very trying and boring day for him. He grasped the importance of this day and behaved so well. It is hard for a 4 year old boy to be still for a long time.