WE ARE THE TRUTH.
I don’t know where I have been lately and why I hadn’t heard this story, I blame the funk ie been in and not watching the news. Today however I read about Artyem Saveliev, the russian boy adopted by a woman in Tennessee who almost a year after adopting him put him on a plane by himself and sent him back to Russia saying she didn’t want him !!!
My inital reaction was WTF is wrong with that crazy expletive expletive expletive ( you get the picture). Then I thought my god that poor child. The loss he had already suffered to land him in the position to be adopted in the first place, along with what he is experiencing now is horrendous. It is more than unfortunate how that situation came about but I am here to tell you , that is NOT the normal outcome of international adoption. It is NOT the truth. We are the truth.
My husband and I had started talking about adoption around 2004. It was more just wishful thinking around that time and neither of us thought that we would really be able to adopt. Turns out in 2008 certain circumstances led us to find out we were wrong and that we were able to adopt and so we started the process immediately.
I started researching countries and agency’s, trying to find a good reputable agency is tough work. After a few failed attempts at finding and agency and a country that fit our situation we finally found one a few months later. You see, my husband is in the Army, and the military means deployments. Deployments we have no control of, a timeline for that deployment we can’t adjust. So a country that required both parents or extended stays just wasnt possible for us.
Thats when we found Ethiopia. My god what a beautiful country full of loving beautiful people. The moment I read about Ethiopia I felt something I can’t explain deep down in my soul that put me at peace. A peace I can never describe to anyone who hasn’t felt it before I just knew it was the country for us. Luckily their requirements we also a good fit for our family. After hooking up with our agency who was a well know well established agency in Ethiopia we started to compile our dossier also known as the paper chase.
After doing that I could honestly say I never ever wanted to see paperwork again. I realize that there are reasons for that much paperwork but my god the amount of paperwork that was. It still gives me nightmares. After turning in our dossier we hunkered down and started our wait. We were quoted 6 months to referral and when 6 months passed we were told it would be 9 months now, that passed, and so did 12.
On June 3 2009 our 13th month of waiting, my life came to a screeching halt. I was at home doing who knows what, while my husband was at work. I had emailed our specialist recently asking about updating some of our paperwork because of court closures coming up that we would have to wait through. So when I got a call and the number was from our local homestudy agency I thought nothing of it. We werent due for a referral for a while and knew of at least 10 families ahead of us on our agency’s unofficial list. But when I said hello after picking up the phone and our SW started talking I think I lost conciousness, or lost time, or both I don’t know. I went blank and after a couple of minutes I heard her say, ” Amanda ? Hello? Did you hear me?” And I had, except I couldn’t believe it. We received our referral. But I was shocked not only because we got it, but the details of it.
See we asked for a child of either gender(though I had bought some dresses months before. Wishful thinking lol.) 0-16 months leaning more towards the younger side of that scale OR siblings under 18 months. This referral though was siblings. Siblings !!???? 2 girls !!??? Ages 2 and 6 WEEKS old. My heart stopped. I started bawling, huge loud sobs, tears streaming down my face, snot running out my nose. It was not pretty. But it was the happiest moment of my life up to that point, besides getting married of course.
Our social worker said that she knew it was out of our age range and to talk to my husband about it and get back to her. I agreed but knew in my heart of hearts this was meant to be. These were OUR girls no matter what age they were. I immediately called my husband, told him the happy news and then called the SW back so we could continue with the referral. She had us come down to their office to view it in person. That’s the first time we saw their face. Those precious faces, with those sad scared eyes. My heart felt very sad and very heavy, four our gain came at someone else’s expense and that was and still is heartbreaking to me.
In September 2009 I traveled to bring home our girls. The experience was NOT what I thought it was, and I wont lie and say it was everything I hoped for. It was hard, really hard on all of us. None of us took it the way we thought we would. To make matters worse my husband deployed to Iraq for a year, 4 days after I got home with our daughters. He has gotten to spend about 18 days with them since they got home. Other than that I’m doing it alone. Props to you single moms btw, you all rock.
This part of our lives didn’t turn out the way we thought or had hoped it to turn out. But daddy is coming home soon and we can all be together. And although this has been a tough ride, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love my girls more than anything and always will. We are a Military, Ethiopian adoptive family. We are tired, sad, mad, grieving, happy, loved, lucky, blessed and WE are the Truth.
My girls referral pictures:
and my girls now: