Verse of the Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Embassy Family Interviewed Scheduled

At long last, S.'s grandmother is scheduled to appear at the US Embassy on April 2, 2012. For those of you not in the adoption loop, the US Embassy now conducts a separate interview of birth families to make sure their oral testimony is consistent with the information found in the child's adoption file. We certainly hope and pray that this part of the process goes smoothly; unfortunately, this is where many families are getting stuck. (My main concern is that S.'s grandmother simply shows up for the interview. She had a very difficult time getting to the Ethiopian court interview because of transportation issues. If she fails to show for her interview, the case might be held in suspicion--- and then it would be sent back for additional investigation.) Even though Ethiopia has already granted our family legal custody of S., the US Embassy still holds the veto power in whether or not the child meets US immigration law and US orphan requirements.

If S.'s case is approved, we are told to expect a travel pick up date as early as a few days after the US Embassy interview. The most notice we have heard people getting for travel is two weeks! So much for getting lower airfares!

The kids are very excited about S.'s home coming. The boys are going through their closets and toy bins, looking for appropriate toys and clothes to pass on to S. Even the more reserved Mr. A. is excited; he is really starting to contemplate what it will mean to him to become a big brother. He gets very wide-eyed at this prospect!

I'm getting into nesting mode as I think of adding another family member. For me, that entails cleaning out closets, drawers, pantry, refrigerator, freezer, etc. When S. comes home, I want to do as little as possible in the house. We "cocoon," meaning we purposefully stay at home and reduce the amount of unnecessary distraction. I cancel anything on the calendar that isn't absolutely critical. That means no friends, no visitors, no outings, no AWANA, no church, no grocery shopping... well, you get the point. The reasoning behind this is to allow this new little guy to adjust to his new parents and siblings. Adoption is unbelievably traumatic for children; it is necessary and prudent to take time to "just be," and learn to relate and to start building some trust. Kids need to learn that we are the parents given to him, and that this new family is always and forever--- not a temporary situation. Additionally, kids need unrestricted time to relax and to feel safe enough to grieve. This is not an automatic--- imagine all the adrenaline within a newly adopted child! You've just had a going away party thrown in your honor, boarded a plane with a stranger, moved to a new country, and get plunged into a new family of unfamiliar faces, sounds, smells, and expectations. This is scary and anxiety provoking experience for our kids, regardless of how happy we may be. We need to allow our kids time to process. And that processing can be pretty sad, loud, fearful, and long.

So in additional to readying my home for S., I must prepare my heart, as well. I am immersing myself in God's Word. I know I can not do this alone. I need to be so filled with Christ's love, that I will be able to pour (and continue pouring) selfless, unconditional love and compassion into this child. That's what "cocooning" is about: wrapping up a child in bountiful love so that he or she feels safe, warm, and tight. Just like it is impossible to spoil a newborn, it is impossible to wrap these kids up in too much love and understanding. Discipline can wait. Correction has it's time. Now is the time to love and love with abandon.

Having been through this process before, I know this won't be an easy task. But one sweet help will be a new quilt that my husband's mother made specially for S. What is so beautiful to me about this quilt is the note my mother-in-law attached to it. The note read, "For S... to keep you warm and wrapped up in LOVE." It really hit me: that quilt is the picture of what I need to do. Keep my baby warm and wrapped up in my love, so that he can eventually understand His love. (Thanks, Grandma.)

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