Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's been a hard week--Life has so many ups and downs

I haven't blogged about it for quite a while but if you remember back in the spring I talked about my Dad's battle with leukemia and his chemotherapy. Well, the whole summer and fall he has been in and out of the hospital with many infections and complications. He has grown extremely weak and this week the Doctor's met with us to say that there was nothing more we could do and that he would not be getting any better. It is extremely hard news to hear but we really all knew that it was coming. His desire now is to be at home so we plan to take him home this week and do hospice care.
I feel extremely blessed that we were able to have the 50th Wedding Anniversary Party for him and my Mom this August. Right at that time he was feeling the best he had in a while and he was able to enjoy the day and visit with all the people that came. My sister made an awesome video of my parent's lives together that started when they were babies. It was so fun to go through all the old pictures and basically remember our whole lives with Mom and Dad and then share it with everyone at the party. We had seen him sick for so long that it was so nice to see him how he used to be and doing all the things he used to do--really remembering the man he really was.
We also had our family picture taken that weekend and it turned out so great--it is such a blessing that we all have that now and it means more than anything.
I will be taking some time off to be with my Dad and help my Mom take care of him.
I will be thinking of all you friends with new children or still waiting and will be anxious to check back up on you when I can.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Starting all over and getting smarter

I knew starting over would seem like a set back but I didn't realize that it would seem like a totally new journey. The processes between my new and old agencies are so different and I really feel like a newbie. There is so much focus on education and preparation with this agency and it has been great.
The only downfall is that it makes the process a little longer but I have really been enjoying it.
Last week I spent two full days in Pre-Adoption classes where they discussed many topics such as attachment, losses and grief in adoption, development issues, adopting children from institutions vs. foster care, and inter-racial and transcultural parenting. They also had sessions with the specialists from each country they work with and each person could attend two--in these sessions you got an in-depth explanation of the program in that country. I went to Russia and Ethiopia--after doing that I wanted to adopt from both countries! We also had panel discussions led by adoptive persons, adoptive parents, and birth parents so we could get their perspective on all sides of the process. It was extremely enlightening and interesting the whole time. Of course, it was all prospective adoptive parents attending and I got to meet some more great people and make some invaluable connections.
I will also have one more required day of education that is all about adopting a child over one year old. I expect it will be just as interesting and informative and am really looking forward to it. You can bring as many support people to this class as you want so I am hoping that my sisters and my best friend can come with.
I now have TONS of homework--a big long list of essay questions to complete about every topic imaginable when adopting a child from another country.
After spending two days with the staff at the agency and meeting most of the people I will be working with, I feel so good about my choices--they were awesome and it is easy to see that building an effective family is the primary goal.
After my homework is done the social worker will visit and do my homestudy.
It may take me a while but I am off on a new journey to find my daughter in Russia.