Saturday, December 06, 2008


Being in the middle of the paper chase for Little Sis I find myself wondering and occasionally worrying about the adoption process again.

Depending on your view point adoption is a gamble or a miracle. With Alice's adoption I definitely hit the jackpot - and that's what makes me worry. It was only after she was home and I knew that everything would be OK that I realised the huge gamble I had taken. This time it's different, bigger, this time I'm gambling for Alice's lifestyle as well as my own. As for the miracles - I think I see them more clearly in hindsight.

I worry that other people (not any old who, but friends and family) won't take to Little Sis as they have done to Alice. Little Sis will, most likely, come home with an extra challenge, a physical difference, I worry that this extra hurdle for Little Sis may also be an impediment to how other people connect with her. At the moment I feel that my awareness of this is the best preparation for others, talking it through openly and honestly.

I worry about the timings of this adoption. The nature of intercountry adoption is difficult to predict. With Alice's adoption the timings and uncertainty were the parts that I found hardest to cope with - this adoption is very different to Alice's in most ways, but I'm already facing different uncertainties. I want Alice to be old enough to have understanding of what's happening by the time we get to referral and travel - I want her to be able to remember the journey, for it to add to her understanding of her own adoption, I want her to be old enough to be more independent (and yet I hate that she's growing up so quickly?)

I'm a planner, a control freak. I'm still fighting to control, even though I know that so many parts of this process are beyond my control. When I can't control I worry. I'm facing these things and acknowledging them in the hope that this will help me accept them and bring me peace with them. Maybe I'm becoming an optimist?!

And I'm still left wondering - is Little Sis out there yet, has she been conceived yet? I'm so aware last time that I was so wrong as to when crucial milestones in Alice's life were happening that this time I'm using more ifs and maybes.

Just when I think I've got an idea as to how long things will take, something crops up to change my perceptions again. I'm hoping to go to 'Panel' in January (that's the last part of local approval for a second child), then I'll have to gather extra evidence for the dossier before sending it off to be checked in this country. The dossier goes to the DCFS (government department), a notary, the FCO (another government department), the Thai Embassy and finally back to the DCFS so that they can send it to Thailand. I was anticipating that the DCFS stage would take about 6 months, recently I've learnt that it could be considerably quicker. I was hoping that my papers would be in Thailand by the end of the Summer Term (20ish July), now it's possible that they could be there a whole term early - just typing that makes me nervous that the piles of paperwork could collapse around me! That means I hope to travel in 2010, now it maybe a summer trip instead of a winter one (but I'm very aware that trying to predict timings is a dangerous or futile occupation in the world of intercountry adoption). I'm asking for a baby as young as possible and the SN that I'm most drawn to is club feet - I hope that being such an obvious SN that I may receive a young child again.

Once my papers are in Thailand it should take between 9 - 15 months to receive referral with travel within 4 to 8 weeks - provided that Thailand accept my application. (There's a possibility that they may not, an opportunity for me to worry - I hope that this situation will be clarified shortly after my dossier gets to Thailand (unlike China where I had to wait 11 months from application to clearing the review process).

Meantime I appreciate every day with Alice and marvel at the miracle of Alice, the miracle of adoption and the privilege of motherhood.


Janet said...

Hi Kate,
Big big hugs (((((((((())))))) You and me are going through similar worries! With the wondering about if people will take to a SN child as they have to Alice, from our experiences they will :-) LMS was born with no complications and went on to be an extremely easy baby/toddler/child (and yes even teen!!). Drama Teen was born with an obvious physical difference and everyone wanted to ask a lot of questions, once they were answered, everyone loved her just as much, if in a more protective way. I'm sure you'll probably have a similar reaction.
Take care
Lots of love

Jen and Jeff said...

Great post, Kate. I can relate to many of the things you are feeling as I am feeling it with our adoption. I'm done with worry about our girls SN's, though. I feel like she will fine and we will all handle whatever needs she has. You will too. We wouldn't be given anything in life we can't handle. Don't worry about others accepting and Alice will love her and everyone else won't be able to resist! The hardest part for me is the waiting for info and not knowing when. And not having her home for Christmas. Hanging in there as best I can, but the holidays are not easy. Please go hug Alice in our honor! :-)

Naomi said...

Hey Kate. Shawn's Nem here. I live with adults with learning difficulties and physical disabilities and whatever Little Sis may have your friends and family will love her just as much. xx