I know it doesn’t seem it from the outside but Gabriel’s adoption has been moving along.
It just has been different this time around as we have known about her from the start. In a way, this has made it seem longer and slower. All that is about to change.
On May 11, our (finally translated) dossier was submitted to the MOJ.
On May 12, we quietly celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Jude’s official inclusion into the family.
On May 14, (unbeknownst to me) the IAC met and officially referred Gabriel to us. (I think this was the 318th IAC meeting. I will have to wait for the results to be published to know for sure. Once they are I will list them in a blog post here).
On May 16, we marked 11 months of Jude being home!
Yesterday (May 25) while we were wrapping up a project that I actually tried to do 2 YEARS AGO (somewhere back in this blog is my entry on “the hill” as I write this, the hill definitely lost this round. I just have a few bags of mulch to add and HGTV can come over and take photos) I got the e-mail letting be know that Gabriel was referred to us on the 14th. We don’t have the paperwork or “written referral” yet. I expect that will come late next week. However, Trip 1 is imminent. Hopefully June.
Once we receive our written referral next week Gabriel’s adoption process should closely mimic Jude’s.
It took 6.5 months in between trips to get Jude. We are hoping that Gabriel’s timeframe will run closer to the faster-middle of the average of 4-6 months.
Blogging about the first trip is hard. To be upfront, there will be no photos of Gabriel or the village/city/orphanage she is living in. There will be no identifying information of her location mentioned. So, to censor myself. Trip 1 post is a heavily redacted post that is done after we arrive back home.
In retrospect, I loved meeting Jude. I got to see her earlier in her life than I otherwise would have. But, Jude, I do not think, had any real memories of me from the first trip. We played some. It was fun, except when she got bored with me (a strange lady who she couldn’t even understand) and thought that playing in the toilet was a better alternative. She recognized us from the photos that were left behind. Her behavior when we were visiting her was not a true reflection of her personality. Jude was horribly frightened of the visit room and of at least one of the social workers. We had a better understanding of Jude’s true personality after she had been with us for 10 straight hours on pickup day.
I too look forward to meeting Gabriel. To seeing her now. I am adopting a toddler. I have already made up my mind, so I wish I could somehow tell her that it is OK for her to be a 2 year-old. Trip 1 is a formality. I will also leave a photo book that is cleverly designed to me enticing to toddlers. I hope that she will engage with it often as there is no foster mother this time to review it with her daily. I hope that when we return, like with Jude, we do not seem totally alien. I look forward to trip 2 when I will actually get to begin the lifelong bonding process.