Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here's to a better year in 2009

I hope that 2009 started out well for all of you.
I had a lovely first day of the New Year as I celebrated Christmas with my whole family on that day. We had a nice time and had some good remembrences of my Dad. It felt a little odd without him. He wasn't an integral part in the planning or execution of our plans, he would just follow along with what we planned, so everything went on just as before with the only difference being that he wasn't there. It was a little unsettling that it could be so much the same as always and so different at the same time.
As you know, I have been working on my Russian adoption process. I have also been really thinking about the foster children program here in Minnesota so I looked into that. The one big drawback is that the vast majority of the kids are over age 7 and I was hoping for a younger child as I really want to experience some of the younger years. There are some younger children in the foster program but there are many parents waiting for them and they are often part of a sibling group so I was told it would be unlikely that I could adopt a child under 7.
I also asked about dual listing with foster care and Russia which is what I would really like to do but the Minnesota Waiting Children Program does not allow that so it was choose one or the other. I did choose to stay with Russia.
I had my last homestudy visit on Jan. 8th after spending the week before frantically clearing out my daughter's bedroom (that had morphed into a store room) and cleaning the whole house. It went well and I am now officially approved for bringing home one child up to the age of 4. As of Jan. 8th--my approval date, I am on the waiting list for Russia. Yeah!!! The wait for a girl is being quoted as 18-24 months so please pray I will be on the shorter end of that wait.
My agency is opening a program in a country new to them that might hold some promise but I don't know enough to say anymore about it now.
Here is an issue that I would like some honest feedback on:
I asked my social worker about the possibility of siblings (from Russia). I would have to do some more homework--they gave me a list of books to read--and they want me to talk to some other singles that adopted siblings (there are very few) and then go before a committee to be approved for siblings. Now I am not 100% certain I want to pursue this but here is my thinking--I just turned 48 and will be close to 50 when bringing a child home. With the increased costs and wait times, I know I will not be going through this a second time. I know it will be pretty tough when they are young but as I am an older mother, they could be left parentless when they are still young adults and I think it would be nice for them to have each other. I can't imagine my life without my siblings. The only parents I know that adopted siblings have beautiful children that they love very much but they have some pretty trying times. In doing this, I would not exclude the referral of a single chld---just be open to the possiblity of siblings if they were available. Some have already told me I am nuts. My sister said--"if your heart says that, pursue it. I trust God to bring you to the right spot and I trust you to make the right choice". Am I nuts for even thinking this or is it worth thinking about? I do want to be fair to my child(ren). Tell me what you think.


Harmondk2 said...

Mary, your reasoning is so incredibly selfless - by no means do I think you’re crazy…it makes perfect sense. I brought up the idea of twins to Danny, he wasn’t to keen on the idea  but my thinking was similar to yours. I have three siblings and love having them as my friends and close family. The way I see it is, they are babies for such a short time…Yes it would be hectic, yes..there would be double to diapers…but double the love and hugs to.. you really have a win-win decision to make..

I’m so happy to see your journey moving… I will keep you close in my prayers and thoughts..

Take care, Kari

Misty Clark said...

Hi Mary, I think it's wonderful you are considering siblings. Shane and I were approved for two children when we were in the Kazakhstan program. I think if you're up for the challenge, I say go for it. There are no guarantees you'll received a referral for siblings but at least you'll be approved if the opportunity presents itself. We're all not getting any younger and it would be great for your daughter to have a brother or sister.

Jackie said...

Mary, My husband and I adopted Madison from Kaz last April... I also am a older mother, as I will be 48 in March... we were also approved for 2 children if there were siblings to be considered... we met Madison when she was 7 1/2 months old and brought her home at 9 1/2 months old, no sibling... I am proud to say that I am now a stay at home mom and am overwhelmed with joy of having her in our life... she is our only child and we waited a long time to make the decision to adopt... as we just celebrated our 18th year of marriage last October... so if you can get 2 siblings, I say go for it... as this is a once in a lifetime commitment... like you said we aren't getting any younger, and if you don't do it now you may never do it later... best of luck to you...

Congrats to you for moving forward to complete your dream... Your in prayers as well...

Alysa said...

Hi Mary,

Glad to hear you are making progress on your Russian adoption plans. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed that 18 months (or less) is how long it will take for you to find your child!

As for two, I understand why you want to consider this option. I am 46 and brought my son home from Kaz at the end of October. I did not request siblings, but would like two kids eventually for the same reasons you mentioned. I am the only child of a single parent, who died 3 years ago. The lack of family after Mom was gone is what spurred me into action to adopt. I too do not want my child to be alone when I am gone. Unfortunately, I don't see how I can afford daycare for two, so not sure if he will ever have a sibling.

Go with your heart and know any decision you make will be the right one.


Kim said...

Absolutely NOT, you are not nuts. I can totally understand your thinking, what a great idea. I would do it if I were you! Yup, do it! :)

qmiller said...

Hi Mary! Happy New Year! Glad to hear that things are moving along for you! I know a fair number of single moms with 2 adopted children, but very few adopted 2 at once. There is a blog I occasionally check of a single mom with 2 little one's from Russia and they seem to be flourishing (let me know if you want the site info). Personally, I wish that I had the means for 2, as I'd love for my daughter to have a sibling, but not likely to happen due to costs, strained support network (and I have one, but life does get complicated for everyone!)my age (now 47). It's such a tough decision...oh how I wish I could loan out my crystal ball!!! : )

Kelly and Sne said...

Glad you had a nice holiday. You're right - that is when you miss your loved ones the most. Just think - someday soon you will add at least one more to the celebration!

I can empathize with the decisions you are trying to make right now as we are going through some of the same - many of them age-related. We would actually prefer to adopt domestically but our social worker recommended that we also apply to Kazakhstan since there are no guarantees domestically (and she thinks that our ages will make it more difficult for us to be chosen) and because by next month we will "age out" as Kaz applicants. We have decided to pursue both - throwing our fate to the wind. But I told Sne that if we do this then having 3 children must be a possibility as, if we are faced with the decision, I don't know if I would be able to say "no" two is enough. Of course, I'd have to quit work, etc. etc. But sometimes a higher power intervenes and calls you to do something that logic might tell you not to!

So, I guess that is my opinion about your question. I understand that adopting siblings can be a lot more work (even more than double) especially since they will be going through different stages. But if you feel that this is meant to be (or meant to be a possibility), and can accept the additional efforts needed, then by all means, listen to your heart and go for it!

John & Jenny Morgan said...

Since you're open to adopting siblings, it's a good idea to get approval to adopt two! I don't think it's crazy.

I hope the process goes smoothly and relatively quickly!

Lou Ann said...

Hi Mary,
I was approved for two when I went to meet Lexie and was very disappointed at the time that they didn't allow singles to adopt unrelated children in that region. Couples can but not singles. And there were no siblings available at the baby house at that time. Now I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to adopt a second one as I am 47 and I don't think I'll be able to financially afford to go back this year. I really want a second child for the exact same reasons.
So in my opinion if you are thinking about two this hard you should get approved and then see what happens when you get a referral. I think it would be very hard to hear about siblings and not be approved for them. But if only one child is available for you when you get your referral then you'll know that was God's plan and you won't be second guessing yourself.

I'm sure you will make the right choice.

Lou Ann & Lexie too

Aaron & Julie said...

My two cents: listen to your heart :) Put it out there - God already has you impressed in your child(s) heart. If siblings are meant to be He will put them in your path and give you peace about it at the right time. If they are not then He will close that door.

We were hesitant to petition for two boys from Kaz (even though we did). We figured that if God had two boys in store for us than who were we to say no to that blessing - even though it scared the heck out of us. You know the rest of the story - we did not meet siblings while in Kaz even though we thought for sure that we would. But we have two boys ;) Follow your heart, leave the doors open, let God do the rest.

I am happy that your journey is progressing & pray that the wait isn't longer than necessary.

Baby Kaz Moore said...

I admire you for thinking about this. I agree with everyone else and your sister: listen to your heart, you can't go wrong. I'm a 44year single mom to a new Kaz little boy. I'm blessed with the opportunity and ability to be in my second journey to Kaz, although it will be more than a year before I travel again. Will it be a challenge with 2 little ones as a single mom (at least for now before I meet the right guy) yes. But on those days when it's stressful, I realize how lucky I am and that gives me the power and the humility to move forward. Wishing you the best, Susan

Sam said...

I think that you should do sibs. I mean who knows what will happen with your program. i am wishing that i did sibs because no ethiopia is restricting and i wish i had just done it all at once. I think that the sibling piece is important and as singles we need to think about further down the road etc......i say go for it