Two Steps Back
We were committed. Finally, we had felt like we were moving in the right direction. We couldn’t wait to find out when we would have the “official” match with him. In the mean time, the paperwork kept rolling in. And to top it all off, we had to amend our I800A, which if you remember is that form that the United States Government used to determine that we are suitable parents to adopt an international child. Our home study had to be updated, and our FBI printed needed to be redone. You could say we were basically regulars at the County Jail for finger printing.
At least it was a good reason to be a “regular.”
Somehow my wife find time to continue searching for possible available children to pursue. This time it was tough. So many children were labeled as “Eastern Europe.” We had no clue anytime we inquired about a child, where exactly they were located. But when we laid our eyes on another little boy, we instantly felt that love and connection. We knew it had to be him.
Call it irony. Call it coincidence. But, his online profile name translated to Elijah. Elijah was the name we were going to give our baby that we lost in Poland because of the wrong doings of our old agency. It was as if everything was coming full circle. We were on top of the world when we found out that he was available for adoption and located in Bulgaria. There was one contingency. He too, was placed with a different agency within Bulgaria. However, our agency said they were going to work diligently to get his file so that we could file our commitment letter for him. So, we waited and waited.
And then…we waited some more.
How is it that this stuff can take so long? We have been patient for 3 years and at some point patience can run thin. But because of my wife’s strength and faith, we kept moving forward. I learned so much from her through this whole process. Be resilient, be determined, and have faith. We may have lost hope at times, but we rediscovered our faith and love for our religion and each other.
After we received some sort of go ahead from our international agency, we sent both children’s profiles to our in state agency. They soon contacted us back to request an appointment. We thought it would be a routine appointment, but we couldn’t even begin to prepare ourselves for what our social worker was going to tell us.
We waited on the first floor of the building, for her to come and get us. She always would greet us on the first floor and take us up to her office. She came down particularly cheery that day. We made the steep trek up the steps of the old building as if to climb the mountain in advance. She was quick to get to the point when we seated ourselves in her office. It basically boiled down to; the agency would approve us to adopt only one of the boys due to the large age difference. They would not allow us to adopt both. Not only was the age a factor but also that we didn’t have any children of our own and experience with children with that big of a gap.
WHAT!!!! ARE WE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE!!!!
We were in absolute shock. Of all the things that could go wrong, we would have never expected this. We refused to accept this. This was not good enough! It was fight or flight mode and we were ready to fight.
So a funny side note; my wife never can flip a switch on someone. But it was if someone had double crossed momma bear. And nobody…I mean nobody messes with her cubs. I don’t whether to be scared for my own sake or be proud. It definitely felt like a slow clap moment.
Needless to say, we walked out of social workers office and immediately called my aunt. Honestly didn’t know who else to call. If anyone knew what to do, it would be her. She calmed us down and said that we needed to speak with our social workers supervisor.
While on the phone, we pleaded our case to her supervisor, who was located in a town roughly an hour and half away. She invited us to meet with her right away to discuss the issue at hand. We bolted across Central Wisconsin. All the way there we discussed our approach. The best thing we could do is hear her out and then prove to her with indisputable evidence that she was WRONG! To our amazement we weren’t only meeting with the supervisor but we were meeting with an additional social worker.
The meeting could have gone much worse but it definitely didn’t go as planned, and all in a good way. We discussed both boy’s and everything about them. The fact that there was a huge age gap seemed to be the biggest issue. They were concerned about the older boy preying on the younger boy as this could be a real issue depending on the older boys experiences in the orphanage. Now to their amazement, this we already knew and discussed the ways we could handle it. We reviewed all of our education that we completed and demonstrated to them that we prepared ourselves and continued preparing ourselves for all possibilities.
After we pleaded our case, everything was on the table, nothing was left behind, both the supervisor and social worker agreed to let us pursue the adoption of both boys.
OF ALL THE VICTORIES…THIS ONE WAS THE SWEETEST!!!!
The icing on the cake was that the supervisor removed our old social worker from our file and our new social worker was the one our meeting. This was the greatest news. We really enjoyed speaking our new social worker. Don’t get me wrong, the older worker was good and helped us out in the beginning. But sometimes, you just don’t see eye to eye anymore and you need cut your losses and move one.
The new social worker was more than ready to help us climb the mountain call, “Trial and Tribulation.” In the following weeks she stayed in constant contact and familiarized herself with our file.
We had hoped that we would be able to give our new social worker good news and after we fought our case we didn’t expect our journey to fall off a cliff. The worst part was that the loss of the two boys from Poland was still fresh in our mind. We first found out that the younger boy from Bulgaria was matched with a family before the file could get transferred. A day or so later, we received news that the older boy was going to be made available for domestic adoption only in Bulgaria. The ministry in Bulgaria decided to separate him from his brother. We knew he had a younger brother that had severe….really beyond severe medical needs. Our agency let us know that there was a possibility that the siblings could be split. However, this deemed the older boy, our boy we were committed to, ineligible for international adoption. He now was a healthy and normal developing boy.
Just like that, our happiness and joy of having a family was stripped right out from underneath us like a rug. This can’t be happening…again. We were numb. Very few tears were shed. Hugs were shared and the grieving process started all over again.
We were back to square one.
At least we had each other.