I recently reread my December 11th post and was almost irritated by the optimism by the person posting it (I know it was me, but it truly feels like a different me that made that post).
I am a basically trusting person, I am. I realize not everyone is truthful, but it would be too depressing to live my life that way, so I choose to accept what people say at face value 9 out of 10 times.
The December 11th Lisa believed that what we had been told, in Ghana, by one of our representatives, was true. He said he could get a passport for a baby in 4 days. 4 days! You can see why I thought that it would be practically no time to get Grace's passport and then get her last few steps taken care of. I, at this point, was way more concerned about the visa pick up at that moment than the passport, thinking that could be a delay because of holidays, but that went smoothly.
Then December 11th Lisa had a bit of a let down, when the other Ghana contact said that the passport would be ready in January. This was disappointing, but not too bad, because based on what the first guy had said, I thought early January, like first few days in January.
To this end, I checked back in early January with the same person who said he thought the passport would be ready in January, and this time, he said he started processing the passport but it could be a few months, but hopefully soon. Disappointing... but I figured that he still thought it could be any day, and at least he sent it out (this passport paperwork that could take as little as 4 days if the first guy was correct).
Last Friday, the 25th, I checked back with the same guy that I mentioned the last two times, as, you know, it is almost the end of January, with no information or updates, at all. What he said sadly makes me wonder if I am crazy being a trusting person.
He said, basically, that he had two other steps to do before processing the passport (two steps that we hadn't been told about by anyone up to now, including from him) and he was working on the second of these two before steps and that this step (before processing the passport) can take up to 3 months, but that he hopes it will go faster. ... Oh, and he can't start passport processing until this middle step is done.
I truly don't get it. January 3, I'm told it has been processed, they are just waiting, and now, on the 25th I hear that it could be MONTHS before processing starts?
I want to be trusting... but something is wrong here. Somewhere we were mislead and given incorrect information. Someone is not being honest. Bottom line being... she still isn't home. She probably won't be home in the next few weeks. Blake is hoping for by the end of February, but for once, he is more of the optimist here than I am. I am hoping by my birthday in April.
Day to day, I am trying to keep the attitude of my last post, that it does me no good to sit around and mope and wonder what might have been if we had known this before. That my time is better off spent doing things around the house, and relaxing, and enjoying this time.
But at the same time, as it drags on, I feel guilty. Truly.
I feel guilty that my administrators had to work so hard and so fast to get a replacement for me, based on the December 11th Lisa.
I feel guilty that my students, who deserved a full year with the same teacher, haven't had me for this last month, and won't have me as their teacher during this time it drags on.
I feel guilty that my mother and mother in law worked hard to make sure that I had everything necessary before my shower because it seemed like she might arrive before the shower, and now... we will probably have the shower first after all.
I feel guilty that since our plan is for me to stay home until preschool time, we are already going to be on one income for a while, and I am costing us this second income early.
I feel guilty that there is little I can do to earn extra money during this time because I have really little to no idea how long it will be and any job could possibly have to stop so short, it isn't worth starting.
I feel guilty that I can't even substitute at my school because I think it would be unfair to my students to have me be there, on campus, in another classroom, not with them.
I feel guilty that we got everyone's hopes up, including ours, when we were so clearly warned that the normal length of the process is 8-10 months from referral. Why did we think we would so beat the odds?
I know, logically, I can't feel guilty, because December 11th Lisa was operating on what she knew at the time... but it is easier to focus on the emotion of guilt that that of anger and frustration.
There is a little girl, in Ghana, who HAS parents, and her own room, and a house, and toys and HER OWN clothes that she doesn't have to share with anyone, and she can't be here enjoying it. She is stuck in an orphanage, with multiple caregivers and communal clothes and toys, nothing really to call her own.
This girl, who was just learning to stand when we saw her in November is learning more every day, and growing every day. She could be walking and talking, but we have no idea, we have no information, no updates. Every day that she is stuck there, she is outgrowing the clothes that we and others lovingly bought for her. We are missing her moments! She is missing the experience of having parents see her moments!
For what? Because of someone not processing things fast enough? Or because governments have so many frustrating hoops to jump through? Isn't it enough that we have proof that we are her parents? Why can't we just fly to Ghana and take her home? Why does there have to be I-600s and visa packet pickups and visa interviews and passports and visas? Who makes these rules? Why don't they care that there is a child, who needs parents, who has people who love her, and have some super expedited easy system to get her with her parents?
I wish I could say that I fully endorse adopting as the best way to build your families. I know at the end of the day, I am thankful to give her a home and become her mom. But the adoption process is ridiculous. I don't know where the blame lies. I know that many of these rules are there to ensure that no one does something illegal or unethical. The lack of a "normal" timeline is difficult. The lack of control, the lack of information, the inability to speed things up are all frustrating.
It sounds so simple, outside of context. We want to be parents to a child who has none. Simple, beautiful, rational. Something that everyone would agree is a good thing.
In context, we are suffering through a long, drawn out, complicated, expensive, lots of waiting, frustrating process just because we want to be parents to a child who has none. In context, not so simple.
Sigh. So, there is my update. Sorry it isn't cheerier. Sorry to let everyone down with really, worse than a lack of news, we "officially" have a delay. Sigh. I'll make my next post more upbeat. But it probably won't be about adoption.