Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adoption - Revisited?

A few months ago, I felt nudged to reach out to someone. Actually, the nudges had been going on for several weeks, after that same someone left a comment on one of my blog posts. The comment was to please let her know if she could look into international adoption options for us in Mexico and Latin America.

I, of course, ignored the nudges. Nothing in the family of adoption could possibly work out for us. Nothing even remotely close to being a distant and long-lost relative to adoption could jive with Mr and Mrs TCIE.

But still, the nudges continued.

And so, I went with it. Knowing full well this was going to be another painful journey, no matter how it ended. Mr TCIE was just as scared, if not moreso, because he feels personally responsible for our inadoption. But he, like I, took a leap of faith and decided to tread slowly and cautiously under the assumptions that we were prepared to wait until 2014 to pursue foster care, anyway. If something could somehow be done before then, well, so be it. But we definitely wouldn't be relying on much.

So, we contacted E from A Martha Trying to Be Mary. She, along with her friend B, agreed to "meet" with us for a video conference and review some of the logistics of how an international adoption under the Hague Convention may be a route we could take. We spoke for quite awhile that night, and learned quite a lot. Mr TCIE and I couldn't quite articulate why, but our hearts were already leaning towards Mexico. We learned during that video conference that quite often in these adoptions, the woman or the couple are asked to stay in Mexico for weeks to months during the adoption process. We also learned that the way in which the Hague Convention dictates that agencies evaluate the prospective adoptive parents might indeed be the safety net we had been searching for, for years. We learned that what could also boost our chances were the fact that we are extremely open to older children and sibling groups. Extremely is an understatement. If it were up to me, we'd adopt the entire Patridge Family.

And, inevitably, we began to feel hopeful about the prospect. But, as always, the fear multiplied the moment our hearts became involved. At this point, it has become a very necessary and very involuntary spontaneous reaction to any feeling of hope that our childlessness might come to an end.

In the midst of all of this, I was also preparing to have a NaPro Dr from Mexico shadow our ultrasound series. She was with us for a week, and one of those nights, she spent at my home and we had a very lengthy discussion about how God had worked in her life. It was astounding to hear her story, and I saw a lot of myself in her as she spoke. God gave her such clear signs, and yet throughout her journey, she continued to question if she was doing what God wanted. I had to laugh, because I have so often reacted in exactly the same way.
It may come as no surprise that this Dr was only with us in New Jersey because of the connection we both have to - you guessed it - A Martha Trying to Be Mary.
So, while the Dr was here, I told her briefly about how we were beginning to think about the possibility of a Mexico or Latin America adoption. She immediately offered her home to me and my husband should we ever need it!

The day after speaking to E and B, I did a ton of research on the Hague Convention, and all the necessary steps we would have to go through just in order to have a chance to pursue this. There were some things that looked very hopeful, and others that looked like death traps - for example, one thing I came across made it seem as though we would never be able to adopt in the future because of what had happened in the past. And still, I continued with the research, and printed out as much as I could.

We decided it would be best to meet first with an international adoption lawyer who was certified to deal with Hague Convention adoptions, before looking into any agencies. We went back and forth, and back and forth again on when and if to contact her. But finally, we bit the bullet, and did it. This was late September. We set a meeting for October 29th. I gave her the lowdown on why we had not been able to adopt in the past, and what we wanted to discuss with her, and she told us what to bring to the meeting, and seemed both willing and able to try to work with us. It was a start. We tried not to get our hopes too high.

On October 28th, I emailed the lawyer to verify location and time, and she responded that she would need to reschedule because Superstorm Sandy was coming through New Jersey on the 29th. Of course it was!! So, we set aside all of the paperwork we had compiled for the lawyer, and I responded with some other potential dates we could meet (not knowing how bad the storm would be).

To this day, I have yet to hear back from the lawyer.

Now, I don't tell you this as another "whoa is me" story, but rather as a factor for weighing in this situation.

Because, that is not the end of the story.

Since the meeting was delayed (and never rescheduled), the following has taken place:

My 2nd cousin, and his wife, whom I teach FertilityCare, emailed me to tell me that it was official - my cousin had been awarded a placement for ministry in Mexico in 2014. They went on tell me that they hoped I would take advantage of their placement and come and stay with them whenever I wished. Hm. Interesting.

There was a new hire at our office, and on her first day, I spent lunch break with her and asked her about herself. It turns out, she had suffered 9 years of infertility, went on to have two biological children, a 3rd trimester loss, and then years later, adopted their youngest. I was blown away! I asked her, "Do you mind if I ask, what kind of adoption did you do?" She said "We adopted our daughter from Mexico when she was older, 5. If I had to do it again, I would have adopted a sibling group. At the time, they discouraged us from doing that as new adoptive parents. But, it would have been nice."
Hmmm. Veeee-ry interesting.

And yet, we sit. Still.

We knew this was going to be painful. That we would be forced to re-open the scars of the past again, and potentially be met with new wounds. And this lack of follow-through from the lawyer actually gave us time to reflect on our lives and question whether we were happier not knowing. Or at least, more content. Less disrupted. Less pained. More at ease.

There are other changes taking place, and I am kept optimistic and hopeful in all of those. One of them will be within this blog - and hopefully will be revealed in time for the new liturgical year ;) Others will dramatically change my life for the better- and these changes are already underway.

I am just not sure now is the time to be rocking the boat... I am actually quite happy these days.

But is it coincidence that all of these signs are pointing towards Mexico?
And is it selfishness to avoid potential pain and be content to do nothing?
Are we ignoring God's signs, or are we being open to our current childless lives (lives we have never previously fully embraced)?

What would you do?


Chasing said...

I really don't want your heart to hurt, and I know God is the only one who knows how this will turn out. But...I think you should go for it. Will be praying.

Made For Another World said...

Isn't oct 28th st. Jude's feast day? Maybe he gave you the time to prepare you in some way. My spiritual director always recommends putting yourself out there and God will take care of making it happen if He wants it to happen. By the way, I regularly pray to st. Jude for all the bloggers- but, specifically for you and JB. Just saying...

Rebecca said...

You know I'm praying for you - and if there is anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask!

Faith makes things possible said...

All I can say is WOW.
How could you not pursue/look into this? There are so many signs!!!

I can understand your hesitation but I encourage y'all to be open to this.

Thanks for sharing, I now have an even more specific prayer intention for you.

Ps-not going to lie...reading this has left me with so much hope for you. I'm praying extra!!!!

prayerfuljourney said...

Sounds like an interesting journey and lots of interesting signs happening too. Praying for you and your dh as you continue on this path.

Monica said...

I don't know that I could leave a rock unturned. I'm like a cat. And we all know what happens to curious cats... :-)

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, and none of us have reached the point of exhaustion on this question and then continued to push past it the way you have. You have to decide if you have the "emotional energy" to push through without being broken by this path.

But knowing a lot of lawyers, I definitely would NOT see it as a sign from God to stop simple because the lawyer hasn't called you back.

Beth R said...

Oh my goodness! Even I can see those signs and I am a pro at only seeing what I want to see. This is so exciting, as long and painful as it may be, or as quick and glorious I know the blessing(s) will be abundant. We are almost done becoming foster parents and I ca n tell you it's been a long and tedious journey. Painful and exciting. Scary and amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I really hope adoption from Mexico will be your way to motherhood. At the same time I suggest you to be very careful because adoption from Mexico is very difficult (in 2011 only 22 kids were adopted in US from Mexico, the lowest number since 2009). I link you to the US government page for more details

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Correction: lowest number since 1999

All in His Perfect Timing said...

Pursue Mexico!!! You have been in my prayers and my hope was that you could adopt before you thought you could in 2014. I will step up praying, as I see all the signs pointing towards Mexico. With our prayers, I believe God is truly opening this avenue and we will pray for you on your journey, whatever it may be. Can I tell you how excited I am for you and your DH?? :-)

Kat said...

AHHH! I don't know but this all sounds exciting! I don't like giving advice but since you asked...I would pursue it even if it meant a let down. I know I may be a glutton for punishment but who knows what God has for you through this. It might be a dead end but maybe this time it would give you more peace for your situation and you will learn about the process whatever may come. Also, know your limits and be kind to yourself. I am praying for you TCIE! I pray for God's will to be done in you and your DH lives!

alison said...

Call another lawyer or at least send a reminder/check in to see if they are OK after the storm, that's what I'd do! This all sounds like another important step in your great journey that I pray God would just hurry up and reveal already!!!

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Great feedback thus far... but I must tell you all... there is a reason why we haven't already done as Alison suggested. We are both in a good place right now, and peaceful about it. I'm just not sure if we should love and grow through 2013 and make a move on all of this in 2014 when it would be massively easier... or put ourselves through a heap more suffering. Seriously, more suffering right now just doesn't seem appealing to either of us ;)
But... is that ignoring the signs? Or, as I choose to see it at the moment, taking them in for use later? ;)
Very confusing stuff!

Stephanie Z said...


Reading your writing, you come across as accepting, even as the name you chose for yourself as embracing the suffering, at least far more than I do. I am much more inclined to whine, to yell back at God "I don wanna!" I keep asking why and resisting the signs and gentle pushes.

Remember that even if you do call the lawyer or even meet with her, you still have the option of not proceeding further until later. If you start finding more resistance, you can always stop. It seems like an awful lot of nudges to not dip a toe in the pool. No one wants to invite in more suffering... but you seem to be bold and willing to take risks. I can't begin to tell you how much I admire that, especially since I overthink just about everything to death. I'll be praying for your discernment over whether to continue pursuing this now.

JellyBelly said...

WOW. Just WOW.

I definitely don't think that it's a coincidence that the path towards adoption are in front of the both of us.

Give that lawyer a reminder call -- it can't hurt, right?

Praying for you guys!

DM + AM said...

I want to talk to you about all of this when you get a chance. ...also, sometimes if God speaks more than once if He is trying to get our attention... With that, we are excited for you both! I would say go for it! Ask God to open up doors for confirmation. Look into scholarships that can be awarded to help pay. Maybe start a baby fund in faith... you know instead of getting birthday and christmas gifts, ask people to help that way...

Little JoAnn said...

I find that a year goes by quickly...if 2014 is the year you will be able to pursue foster care...this means you have a short amount of time to focus on adoption for now. So, while keeping your balance and peace a priority I say go for it.

At least the follow up call to the lawyer. That sounds totally reasonable.

When did your colleague adopt from Mexico?

Do you have an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in your house.

Time to get one if not!

Jeanne G. said...

Wow. There are a lot of providential signs here. I think you should keep going with it. One cancelled appointment with the lawyer doesn't seem like a sign right now. It gives you time to sort things out. I'll be praying for you guys.

the misfit said...

I think you probably should (and, more to the point, I think you probably will!) look into this.

But I have to say (resident skeptic here) - we don't talk about the ones that didn't work out, but how many of us could adduce more than ten "signs" that in a given month, we would be pregnant? Adopt? Or something? And then nothing happened on the baby front; or something even worse happened. We need to remember, when we say things like, "Those signs are so clear!" that clarity should be measured the same way for things that didn't work out as for things that did (rather than ignored for one and celebrated for the other). Sometimes peace in God's will is NOT a matter of following signs, because some signs are NOT signs.

So, I hope, for your sakes, that these all are signs that you'll be adopting a family of twelve Mexican kids. But in the event that doesn't happen - maybe time to reevaluate the seeing of signs in the first place? God doesn't send us indicators of His will to torture us with uncertainties, but rather to give us hope and peace. Enough torture is provided by man's darker uses of free will; God is not adding to the tally.

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Misfit, with a vast knowledge of my history,

you have read my mind.
Thank you for your input.

Rebecca said...

Misfit said it better than I could and I'm glad it seemed to "fit" with how you are feeling/thinking.

To echo Little JoAnn, a year does go by quickly, even if it doesn't feel like it in the process, looking back it always seems to have "flown by".

I also LOVE the suggestion to start a "fund" for use in 2014.

Continuing to pray for you!

[email protected] said...

Wow! I cannot add anything to the wisdom of these ladies' thoughts, so I will go about my business PRAYING for you! This is all very intriguing, hopeful and wonderful. Especially the part about the peace you have been feeling. I like that.

CS said...

Well, you asked what I would do, and here it is: If local adoption was not open to us, I would indeed pursue international adoption. Is PRIDE training required in your state? I would schedule that, if it is. And I WOULD listen to the nudges - go for a Mexican sibling group! Yay! Praying for you!