Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Patience, Grasshopper

Well, I am officially pulling my hair out over my home study completion. I Fedexed the many required documents in three months ago in a neat, tidy package after checking and double-checking to make sure I had everything...and now that I'm in Maine, my case worker is telling me he doesn't have everything. Turns out he has lost some of the copies and wants me to resend them. This would be easy if I were at home with the copies, but not so easy from Maine. Maddening!!!

So...we've decided since there is nothing else to be done on my part, we'll go do something fun, like wine tasting and maybe a schooner ride! It's a beautiful sunny day out with a high of 64, and we've heard there are seal pups out in the harbor. Can't wait to share Maine with my new son or daughter.

Please send patience vibes or pray for my patience.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Begin at the Beginning

It's hard to know how to start. I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Anna, and I live in Memphis, TN. This blog is a way for me to update family and friends on journey to adopt one or two children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as to answer questions I've been asked along the way.

So far, the two questions I'm asked the most are "What's the latest?" and "Why Africa, when children in our own backyard need adopting?" The latest is I'm waiting on a Tennessee social worker to finish writing my home study and submit to my Utah adoption agency for review. As soon as he does that, my adoption agency can match me with one child or with a sibling set of two. Right now it sounds as if it's more likely I'll be matched with one, but you never know. 

Why Africa? Let me start by saying I started out by trying to adopt locally. With all the poverty there is in Memphis, I thought for sure I'd have an easy time. After contacting state and local officials, I was told I'd need to take the PATH (parenting) class before I'd be eligible to foster (one must foster for 6 months before they can adopt in the state of TN). So, I applied, I waited, I followed up, and I waited some more. Never heard back from a soul. 

While this was going on, I began to discuss African adoption with my family. (As many of you know, my parents and I have become very close with three Burundian refugee families here in Memphis. One of the families has become like an extension of our own. For this reason, my interest in and awareness of Africa has increased exponentially.) It's at that point that I came across a NY Times article describing how many Congolese children only get to eat one meal every other day. I started comparing the conditions of orphans in the Congo to that of orphans in the US. It's at that point that I decided to apply to adopt in the DRC. Here's the article if you'd like to read it: 

I applied with an adoption agency in February, had home study visits in April and May, and now I wait. Once my home study has been submitted, my agency says it'll be between 7 and 10 months before I bring a child home. That means that if everything goes as planned, I'll be bringing one or two children home as early as February or as late as May. I'll be traveling to the DRC's capital city of Kinshasa and will stay for 7-10 days until he/she/they are issued their US visas. My parents and I will stay in a guesthouse at a Catholic church compound (for lack of a better word) in the heart of town, and will only be able to leave the compound with an escort because of the dangers tourists face. It's going to be a wild ride, and  I look forward to having you along for the journey!