Yep, that's where I'm at. I'm in a full-on funk. Lois has been home since the 18th and I haven't heard from her. She isn't going to be back in the office until the 23rd (Monday) but I'm assuming that if there was an update on our case that she would have emailed or called by now, even if it wasn't a business day (that's Lois).=-)
I really try not to get frustrated and vent on this blog, but I'm going to break my rule tonight. I am verging on angry I am so frustrated! [And yes, I know that all frustration/anger is rooted in fear and my being fearful is what is at the bottom of all of this.] Having said that, here I go...
UUURRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! How hard is it to get the full name of one child?! How hard would it be for Ernest (at Eugemot) to write Lois a tiny little email saying "Bright's full name is _________________." I mean, really!!!!! He must know his name if he's trying to get relinquishment documents and such signed by Bright's father, right??? I know Ernest doesn't travel the 3.5 hours to Ho Hoe every day (or maybe even every week) but we have been waiting for almost SEVEN weeks! and I KNOW that he's been to the orphanage at least twice during that time!! He said in week two that he would be sending the "new development of Bright's pictures soon." Even in Africa I would think that "SOON" means quicker than 6 weeks. Maybe it sounds spoiled for me to want an update picture, but remember the condition that Bright was in the last time we got a picture of him. He was very malnourished and in need of major medical intervention. I would hope that 7 weeks later he looks like a much different baby. And what if he doesn't? What if he's being given a good diet now but isn't gaining weight? That would tell me a lot about whether or not there could be ongoing medical issues with him (beyond usually reversible malnutrition). I NEED to know this stuff.
I am so confused about everything. On one hand none of this feels real anymore and I'm having a hard time believing that this child is actually going to come home to us. On the other hand, I know that with even a small update my heart and mind would be refreshed and ready to fight another day (or seven weeks, as the case may be). JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO!!!!!!!
I know, I know. The Lord is my strength. I know He is, and I know He will always be. I'm just having a weak moment and allowing myself to wallow in it. Writing it out is like vomiting for me--it gets all the nasty stuff out of my mind. I could write it in a personal journal, but I'm not because I don't think the feelings of frustration and/or anger are something we adoptive parents should hide from one another. I think that sometimes in the Christian community we feel like sinners if we share our disappointments and frustrations. Well of course we're all sinners. I'm not going to act like I don't have these feelings even if they aren't the ideal that God wants for me. I do my best. I really do. But I am just human. And tonight I'm weak and I don't want to hide my weakness as if there is something un-Christian about it. To be Christian is to be a sinner and to fall short of the Glory of God.
Another source of my discouragement is in the fact that we've been waiting almost 4 weeks (on Monday) for the stupid application just to be able to adopt Bright!!!!! FOUR WEEKS!!!!!! Africa time...I know. But I live in America and even though I know about "Africa time" it doesn't make it any less hard to go through this. I don't understand why we (meaning our agency) can't just call the Director of Social Welfare and ask him what's going on. I don't get why that would be inappropriate. If I were adopting independently from Ghana that's exactly what I would be doing--calling the director and asking what I can do to help him. Do you need money for the DHL?? Fine. Need something else that I didn't send in my Letter of Interest? Fine. Need an application fee? Here ya go. But instead we're just waiting and waiting and waiting and it's driving me crazy!!!!
And maybe my agency is doing some of the things that I've said above (contacting the Director of Social Welfare, getting onto Ernest BIGTIME for lack of information), but if the agency is doing that, it hasn't been shared with me. I know that some agencies only update families when something actually HAPPENS to move the process forward (for instance, "We got the application today.") but I know that most adoptive parents consider it as something HAPPENING when the agency calls this official, or writes for more information for the 18th time to that contact in country. To me, that IS an update. It is an assurance to me that my agency hasn't forgotten about our case and is actively doing something to move things forward. I know Lois and I know she's doing things, but that doesn't mean that I don't wonder WHAT is being done. I know that I have no control in this entire situation, but knowing what's being done for our case gives me some sort of "illusion of control" that makes things more bearable. It's something to tell my friends when they constantly ask what's going on with Bright's adoption. It's something I can specifically pray for.
Part of me feels like there is a whole group of people out there that want to remind me that I'm the one that signed up for this brand new program. Yeah, I know. Don't worry--I can't forget. And I'm not sorry I signed up for this program. I believe my child is in Ghana. This program is not as "together" as I thought it was when I signed on, but that doesn't matter. I knew that when I was signing on not to believe the timelines and procedures. I knew that in my head. But did my heart listen? Nope. My heart wanted to believe it when I got timelines that would surely put our kids home before Christmas. I just can't seem to get all of the optimism out of me (as pessimistic as this particular post is).
As yucky and unpredictable as this process has been, I have something that lots of other adoptive parents don't have. I have faith that my agency is completely ethical. Believe me, after the things I've been through and seen in the last 6 years it takes a LOT for an agency to convince me that they are fully ethical. I know that Lois and LVI will never pay for my baby, or for things to be done more quickly. And for that, I am eternally grateful. I will never have to consider if/when I tell my Ghanaian child how much he was bought for at the central market. I will never have to lie to get my Ghanaian child home. And as completely and utterly frustrated as I am right now with the lack of information on our adoption case, I wouldn't trade information for unethical practices. No adoption professional is perfect. No agency or program is perfect. No adoptive family is perfect (that I know of)! But at least once Bright is home (if he ever comes home) I can sleep easy at night, knowing that he needed us and was adopted ethically.
Now, if we can just get him home...