Picking and Choosing

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This day last year was the beginning of the end of my foster-parenting days.

I vividly remember hitting reality after a painful day in court, feeding the little one a dinner of Fried Chicken from the local fried food hotspot, topping it off with cotton-candy flavored ice-cream (it was one of those “eating my feelings” days) and putting her to bed.

I never went to bed that night.

The Kiddo was about to be processed through the wheels of bureaucracy and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. I couldn’t reason a way for her out of it. Crying only helped me vent my frustration against a system in which (by design) I had no say in. I could do nothing. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zip. It sucked. and 1 year later it is still very painful. I can’t, won’t, and am not trying to replace her. But surely, I thought, there are 2 kids somewhere in the world that need a FOREVER mom. So I started looking.

Started with Domestic Adoption vs. International Adoption. Domestic Private Adoption is typically newborns and infants, I’m more geared towards parenting the toddler and preschool-set. International won.

Then it came to countries. Looking at all the specifics of all the adoption programs all over the world. The top 3 contenders were (in no particular order at that time) Russia, India, and Bulgaria. There were benefits and drawbacks to each of those programs. Halfway through the night India got dropped off the list. More research. I wanted to choose Russia. It was faster and had more traffic (and, so I reasoned, more experience). But Bulgaria was less expensive and had 2 trips instead of 3. What tipped the balance? Siblings. Everywhere I read “Siblings were available.”

By sunrise Kiddo was awake and Bulgaria had become my “Plan B”.

From that night onwards for the next several weeks I would stay up late into the night researching multiple Adoption Agencies. There is not much information out there. Very few review sites (and the ones that do exist seem…I dunno…off in some way). Most information is found on chat boards and by word of mouth. It is tricky. Ultimately I found out you just have to dive in and make a decision…some call it a Leap of Faith.

I chose Adoption Ark the day I was formally told that Kiddo would be moving. They called me that day, and totally understood my need to wait until it was all over with Kiddo before starting on a new journey. Until Feburary 4th ( there is a blog posted on that date for more details) everything with them was great.

Picking an Adoption Agency the 2nd time around was VERY different. In retrospect I was not in the best emotional frame of mind to be making any decisions (let alone life altering ones like Choosing your adoption agency). Thank God the lovely Jessica at St. Andre’s (my homestudy agency) knew that and shortened my options for me. She sent me a detailed list. Step 1. Find the agencies that work with Bulgaria. Step 2. Find the agencies willing to work with single parents (6 pages were whittled down to 4 agencies by end of step 2) Step 3. Inquire with all 3 agencies. Of 4 agencies, 2 responded. Choice down to 2.

Only it was never really a choice. One World stepped up big time. I’ve never seen anything like it and certainly never expected anyone to be so personable and wonderful and HELPFUL. Via some Rube-Goldberg Machine of Fate…I ended up in exactly the right place.

They say in adoption that happens. Leaps of Faith landing you exactly where you need to be. You just have to have the courage enough to jump.

So 1 year ago tonight, on perhaps one of the most wretched nights of my life…I made that decision to jump, and even though I haven’t landed yet (and don’t expect I will anytime soon)…I can already tell that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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