PK and the Gang

Bringing Eastern Europe to Eastern North Carolina

Archive for the category “Frustration”

A Bumpy Ride

poland-151461_1280 (1)Sometimes the trip to PK seems to take forever. In fact, a lot of the time the days seem to drag out. This past weekend, however, has been an intense rollercoaster ride of emotion.

Thursday afternoon, Becky and I got an email around 3:30pm saying that the agency had accepted the dossier and that Friday it should be on its way to Poland. Mission accomplished! The paperwork that we’d been working on for a year and a half was FINALLY finished. Now, we just had to be patient and wait for a phone call saying that Poland had a child for us to consider. We’ve been told that it takes about three months to translate the paperwork and so that would put us around mid-January staring at our phones and willing them to ring. Imagine my surprise when I get a phone call from our agency about ten minutes later saying that they had a child for us to consider.

We had been told that, on a rare occasion, a situation like this could happen. Occasionally, a family has to, for one reason or another, turn down a referral. When this happens, sometimes Poland allows the agency to look through its other waiting families and see if there is another possible fit. Since our agency had accepted our dossier, we were eligible, met the stipulations for this particular child and the fact that they had just read our dossier made them think of us. We said that we definitely would be interested in considering this child. They told us that, instead of the usual 14 days to consider, we had until Tuesday. After that, Thursday is a blur of me acting out of my head trying to process the speed at which this all happened, figure out where we could pull the needed money out of thin air, calling family, reading medical info and watching a video of this little boy who could possibly be our baby. It was hard to get to sleep and I kept telling myself that this needed to not just be a heart decision – the head had to get included as well.

Friday morning brought about strange feelings. It was all still a bit surreal. The rush had worn off some and I think the pressures of everyday life – going to work, giving a lecture, etc. – helped ground us a bit. A look back over the medical records, showed that a bit of information we had glossed over and explained away the night before really was the potential to be a big issue we just weren’t sure we could handle. To top it off, for all the praying we had done, we just didn’t feel a peace about it. Some good conversations and some tears later, we decided to wait until Saturday to really make the decision. When we woke up, both of us were on the same page – he wasn’t ours.

Those words were so hard to say, they were hard to say when we called our families, when I told our agency that we were passing on this referral and they’re hard to type. How do you, in essence, tell a child that you’re not their parents? It may sound silly but the moment we saw his picture, he’s stolen a little part of our hearts. He’s adorable. He’s got a fun personality. He’s just got another family out there, somewhere, that can meet his needs better than we can. It doesn’t make it hurt any less, though. Becky and I have been grieving the last few days for ‘what-might-have-beens’ and been feeling massively guilty. Words just really fail to convey everything that is going on inside. We went to the internet, since it apparently knows all, and searched for people who had experienced what we were going through. One page described it like a miscarriage. I don’t know. Thankfully, Becky and I have been spared the pain of that type of loss. I do know that I still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut and that someone’s tap-danced on my heart. You comfort yourself with the fact that PK is still out there, that this little boy has parents who are dreaming of him like we are PK but, honestly, the best comfort is that even though he isn’t PK, he’s always going to have me rooting for him. When I hear the song that he was rocking out to in the video, I’ll think of him and toss out a prayer. When I’m looking at the adoption Facebook groups that I’m a part of, I’ll hope that one day his face will pop up there with his forever family and thank God that they are better able to care for him than we would have been.

Where does this leave us? Where we were at 3:30pm Thursday. We’re back waiting for our dossier to get over to Poland and to be translated. For now, the roller coaster ride has smoothed out. We’re thankful for this experience, this preview of coming attractions. We’re thankful for the encouragement and the support that we’ve gotten so far. For now, we’ll keep day-dreaming, work on fundraising, and be very grateful that we have months instead of weeks to try and master Polish.

Holding Our Breath

20771997640_7c1047ffbd_zGoing through the adoption process, it can feel like you spend a lot of time holding your breath. While lot of people hold their breath for months looking at negative pregnancy tests or for results from a doctor, Becky and I were mercifully spared that phase. We went into marriage knowing adoption was how we were going to add branches to our family tree. Our breath holding started with finding an agency and waiting to hear they accepted us. Then waiting for the process to start, followed by towers of paperwork and the anxiety of the home study. You get small chances to catch your breath before you dive under for the next round. There’s holding your breath when you send off stacks of paperwork (that you realize are now your most prized possession) to be signed by shadowy figures with golden stickers and the intake of breath when you’re at USCIS and say mental prayers that the government will process the paperwork quickly and a thousand other times.

You might have seen on Facebook that we recently got the last stack of paperwork back from Raleigh with all of our apostilles. After making a few copies and getting some pictures taken of us and the house, the dossier is done. It is a massive accomplishment and we both breathed a huge sigh of relief. Breathing feels good.

Our next step is to send our dossier to the agency and have them go through it to make sure everything is right and acceptable for Poland. If it isn’t, they let us know so we can get everything perfect. As a guy who finds out that he is wearing his socks inside out more often than I’d like to admit, part of me suspects we may have to redo something. We’ve been in contact with our agency about this and they’re ready to receive the papers and they let us know the next batch of fees.

I don’t know whether it is the fact that we misinterpreted things, have been in the process long enough for a price increase, the drop in the Euro or some combination of the three, but it was a bit more than we expected. It isn’t an earth-shattering amount but enough to sober you up a bit. Adoption paperwork has its surprises. I understand parenting is similar as well.

We’ll press on. The dossier should be in the mail sometime next week. As we send off the stack of documents that I have come to think of as our “paper baby,” we’ll find we’re holding our breath again as we toss up prayers that we’ve done the paperwork correctly, that the papers are safe on their way to Poland, and that our translator doesn’t go insane turning our friend’s recommendation letters, our doctor’s notes, and our life stories into Polish (how does one explain Tourette’s in Polish anyway?). It’s understandable why it takes three months to do her work.

Around late January, we’ll start holding our breath and looking at our phones wondering when they will ring to say that the Authorities in Poland have a child for us to consider. I’m sure I’ll hold my breath when I get the first look at PK’s face on a computer screen.

Until then, thankfully, there are ways to keep busy. I’m convinced the world is not ready for Becky whenever she hits her full-blown nesting phase. There’s Polish to learn and money to save and raise. We’ve reached a major milestone. It reminds me of Samuel raising up a stone as a reminder that they had gotten that far through God’s help. In total, we’ve gotten around half of the funds needed for the adoption. We still have to get the fees we have to send over before each of the two trips and figure out how we’re going to live in Poland for two months.

We have been so blessed by all of your help and support. We have had a GoFundMe page for a while (the link is found at the top of the page) but have hesitated saying much about it. Every little bit helps us get closer to PK. We understand tight finances, believe me. If you can’t give, please consider sharing the page. Every bit of awareness helps. Thank you all for your love and your support and, the next time you see me, make sure I remember to breathe.

Back in the Saddle Again

saddle-419745_1280Well, hello there world. No, we haven’t forgotten that the blog exists. We just haven’t had much to write the last few months.

In truth, Becky and I stepped back from the adoption process for a while. This was a combination of many things rolling together over the course of many months. Imagine the stress of making Christmas magical for your family. Now, imagine making Christmas magical for 3,000 people while filling out massive amounts of paperwork. And that was just my October through December. Becky and I eventually sat down to talk and said that while we still wanted to pursue the adoption with all our heart we just needed to take a step back for a while. We weren’t doing ourselves any favors and Lord knows that PK would do better if Becky and I were reasonably sane when we get them. We gave ourselves the break and decided to tackle it all again refreshed and ready to own all of this.

Becky and I want to thank everyone for asking after us and our process. We also thank you all who have asked us in the last few months for being understanding and encouraging when we’ve told you our story. We know that when PK does get here he or she is already very loved.

So where are we now? We’ve spent the past month working on more paperwork, Becky’s gone to the doctor for her check up (I still have mine to go) and we have to get it all notarized. In a week or so, we should have that done and ready to go. After that, is the homestudy that I’ve been somewhat dreading. We’re back in the saddle.

Yes, if you were wondering, we are still fundraising. I’m available again for both genealogy and also transcribing letters. Do you have fragile, old letters from great-grandma that you have trouble reading and want to keep for future generations? With our powers combined, Becky and I can get those letters typed up and printed out for you. It can allow you to get to know the family that you never knew.

We’re also excited by a new fundraising opportunity – Just Love Coffee. They are a company who allow adopting couples, schools, etc. raise money by creating a storefront and selling their coffee. For each purchase through our storefront we get a cut of the proceeds. The coffee is shipped directly to your doorstep! Word on the street is that the coffee is pretty dang good. You can get to our storefront at www.justlovecoffee.com/pkandthegang. I’ll be putting the link into the “Putting the FUN in Fundraising” page soon.

We’re so glad that you are on this ride with us. Strap yourself in because the ride is about take off again!

For the First Time in Forever…

Yes, I just quoted a Frozen song and am unapologetic about it. What of it?

On 6 January, I made a post and thought that I’d hold back from posting anything until there was something to post. I never really expected it would be nearly two months. Today has been a weird day. I woke up and thought that it would be a normal day off – chill a bit, go for a walk, swing by the bank and the grocery store and go back for some vital relaxation time. Instead it included an email to the agency we want to work with and a phone call to them. It’s the first major contact we’ve made with the agency since we first found them.

We have since found out that the fees have increased since we last talked with them. Which is to be expected, to be sure. The price was a bit higher than what we had thought and so the gut-punch of not being where we thought we were is fresh. On the bright side, we shouldn’t be shocked by other prices since we have the new fee list to go off of. We spoke to a social worker who works for the agency (I promise I’ll tell you their name once they’re officially our agency) who was very nice and knowledgeable. The conversation led to what the application would entail – mental disorders, police records, health issues, etc –  and so we brought up Becky’s medical past. Thankfully, the social worker didn’t think it would be a major issue since it doesn’t affect Becky’s daily life. Unfortunately, since very few people have dermatomyositis and even fewer have heard of it, we have to get a letter from a doctor swearing that we’re fine to adopt. To make it even more fun, said letter may have to be mailed to Poland to have them pass off on it so that we don’t get a surprise down the road. It’s playing it safe and I appreciate it but the whole deal is incredibly annoying.

We’re feeling a whole smorgasbord of emotions at the moment. Disappointment since it feels like we’ve dropped the ball at the one yard line on this phase. Apprehension and fear play a part. Becky has said that she doesn’t want a major reason we are adopting to be the reason we can’t adopt and I hate that the decision is out of my hands. I’m also mad. There are certain days that I just get pissed off over the fact that most anyone with a little gumption and a bit of luck can become a parent – no questions, no tests – but all adoptive parents have a gauntlet of red tape to jump through. I’m also hopeful. We have taken a major step and spoken with an actual person who was encouraging and will help us through a big portion of our journey. It’s bureaucracy but it’s a bureaucracy with a pleasant voice attached. I’m so thankful that this agency has reminded us several times now that God’s timing isn’t ours and that it will all work out in accordance to his perfect will in his way in his perfect time.

So readers, those we know and those we don’t, please keep us in your prayers. Pray for patience and encouragement. Pray for creativity as we continue to come up with ways to fundraise. Pray that we look to our Papa in heaven as we trudge on to become Mama and Tata.

The race is on and PK is at the end.

 

Post Navigation