Friday, January 29, 2010


The ups and downs of adopting had me going every which way emotionally this past week, and a bit physically, too!! It felt just like being on a roller coaster many times as the week progressed. Wanna ride with me? Do you get queasy?? Hold on tight ~~~~~~~~~~here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
we ~~~

SATURDAY'S ELATION: As in running for the coaster, first ride of the day, gotta beat the crowds, high five-ing your friends...

Our meeting with our Home Study Social Worker went great!! Everything seems to be in order and she actually liked us, or did a great job acting the part ;)
It is amazing the difference in feelings I'm dealing with this time around. We've adopted many times and been thru myriads of home studies and I have always been very nervous. I don't know if it's age that's relaxed me, or experience, or the fact that int'l home studies seem to be a bit more laid back during the interview portion as opposed to County. But, I actually felt a bit of confidence rather than gut-wrenching nervousness. And, definitely more relaxed. Didn't even get a migraine after we waved good-bye!! Now, that's progress...

SUNDAY'S BREATHER: A time of refreshment, catch your breath, knowing there's another thrill around the corner...

A great day in church and lunch at Costco, our favorite bistro ;)
Then, the guys went out to play in the mud in Dad's 1947 Jeep Willys and on Drew's quad. Charissa and Mom rested a bit and then watched the beginning of Hans Brinker/The Silver Skates, a classic we'd never seen. A friend called and before we could even get into conversation, she remembered we weren't supposed to be on the phone! We were supposed to be on our way to church! She was working in childcare and we were supposed to be on our way to drop Charissa off so the rest of us could attend a special winter class on God's Design for the Family. Okay, so it wasn't that much of a breather but when you're on a roller coaster, do they EVER give you enough time to really catch your breath between loops?!?!?!

MONDAY'S DROP: I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry...
This roller coaster is not gonna beat me, I'm braver than anything it can throw at me.
That was what I kept telling myself anyway...

The phone rings and it's the Founder/Director of the placing agency that we've chosen to work with. This is a huge agency but they don't act like it. And, they are the best, so I'm waiting on pins and needles for their answer as to whether or not they'll accept us as clients. The founder's sister has, at this point, told me it's a go, but I've received no contract so I'm still shaky~bakey (can you tell I live in the California desert by that phrase? ;). I answer the phone and after she identifies herself, I'm thinking, "This could be very good or very bad."

Yeah, it was very bad! She was calling to tell me she just didn't see how they could do my adoption for me and weren't willing to take my $$ if they didn't feel they could succeed. The problem is that the region our Jewel lives in REALLY does not like the paperwork from the region I live in. And, it is one of the most difficult regions to work with, period, regardless of where you live. I took a deep breath, fearing I was careening right off the track I was on and was very careful to listen and make sure I got the message. Then, I repeated what I thought I'd heard to make sure we were communicating properly and if what I was hearing was correct.

I was hearing right, shucks! Another deep breath... and, out comes, "So, my girlfriend that lives 10 minutes down the road from me just did this with an agency that did not know their business near as well as you and she succeeded and they've been home for 3 months now. WHAT IF I go over to her house and we copy every piece of paper that she was required by the judge to submit in order to succeed? And, I send it to you? Would that help you consider helping us?"

"Well, just three months ago?? Same judge?? YES, That very well might help." she says. I am holding on tightly to this track and not letting go this easily! I knew from the beginning that this would NOT be an easy adoption. But, is it worth the life of a child? What's a few months of inconvenience in exchange for the life of a precious child destined for doom in just a matter of a few years??

So, I get on the phone and call my girlfriend and she just had an appointment cancel so we plan to spend the day together on Tuesday going through her paperwork like good track inspectors would!

TUESDAY'S CLIMB: Once you've dropped, it's a lot of work to get back up to ground level on those large coasters!

So, chugging right along, we read, analyzed, organized and photocopied a mountain of paperwork! We worked for 6 hours straight, while corralling kiddos. I came home, fixed dinner for the family and then headed out the door to a 2 hour appointment with our Chiropractor discussing a new nutritional plan (for the ADD, Autism, OCD spectrum) we're going to be embarking upon shortly. Back home and on the computer by 9p.m. in order to type up an organized Dossier documents list to go with everything we'd photocopied. I work till midnight and have only completed my responsibilities list, I still have to do the one for the home study agency tomorrow. After an 18 hour climb, I head back into the depot for some rest.

WEDNESDAY'S EXCITEMENT, JITTERS AND PANIC: Finding joy in these loops, for the most part, because I know every one brings me closer to the Jewel at the end!!

I spend a good part of Wednesday morning organizing and typing up the Home Study Agency's responsibilities list that the judge required in my friend's adoption case. Yes, this is all stuff that the placing agency is supposed to do for me, but I'm doing what I can to convince them to represent us as clients in Russia. There aren't very many agency's working in the region we're going to and this one is top notch!!

As we straighten up the house for the Social Worker's return visit tonight, my strong-silent-type son asks in a slightly jittery way, "What is she going to ask us?" I tell him she'll most likely ask what he thinks of his parents adopting another sister. His answer floors me as if I'd scripted it myself for him, "I'll say I think it's cool we're going to rescue a kid out of one of those orphanages and it's good to be getting our sister a sister." Great answer, hold onto that thought!!

So, does she ask him that?? No, too predictable! She wants to know how they'll help their new sister adapt to a busy household with 3 big brothers and 1 little sis! They answered as a team and came up with they'd be practicing some Russian, helping her learn English, how to ride a quad, how to surf, etc. etc. Then along comes Princess Charissa and gives a huge list including teaching Jewel how to be a princess; mermaid; fairy; work in the kitchen, both real and imaginary, dance ballet, read English, and on and on and on and on...

After she leaves, I sit down to read the next of my online adoption training classes and all the guys leave for lap swimming. I get Charissa to bed and sit back down and am only going for a few minutes when I have this feeling that I need to look for Jewel online. I know that, supposedly, countries frown on their children being posted all over the net, but for some reason I cannot resist the feeling that I need to search for her. And, I am no computer whiz!! So, why I thought I could attampt to find an orphan from the other side of the world is beyond me, unless it was a little Holy Spirit prompting. You see, it has been 3 months since we found out about her, yet still don't know officially if she is adoptable. So, all of this work could, potentially, be in vain. However, I found her in just a few minutes, just THREE websites later, and immediately felt, "I'm gonna throw up!" My emotions were just so shocked by seeing her much younger face, and were already on overdrive by all that had happened earlier in the week and there I am looking at her face in an old pic! She's been waiting on that database and in that orphanage for her forever family for YEARS!! And, I still cannot believe I, with my simple computer knowledge, was able to track her down that fast. But, at least we now have the confirmation we desired, she's listed as adoptable!!

It's 12 a.m. I've been going since 7 a.m. time to shut down! I will finish this ride later...


Gina-Marie Cheeseman said...

I just discovered what you are doing through an Facebook friend. I noticed the address to make donations in in Clovis. I'm in the Fresno area. I have a background in PR/marketing, and would love to help get the word out. You can contact me at

Stacey said...

I know you wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but I just got to read it and I wanted you to know that we are praying for you, your family, and Jewel. Don't give up and don't let go. GOD is bigger and better than ANYTHING that can be thrown your way. We love you. ☮ ♥ †


Anne said...

Hi Penny! This is Anne from Wonderfully Made Jewelry. Thanks for your post on our Facebook page - we love the encouragement. that spot on Break Point has been GREAT for us!
Thanks for getting in touch - I'm looking forward to following your blog - I love adoption, as Christ has adopted me!

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