Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The good, the bad, and...well, you know.

Ups and downs all over the place!

In extra happy news, we got our fingerprint notice the other day. We are about 2 weeks ahead of most of the people with our same filing date, which is awesome! Basically, the I800-A is approval from USCIS to bring a foreign born child into the country. Once we get matched we will have to fill out an I800 which is permission to bring a specific child in. Once we get fingerprinted it should only be another week or so until we get approval.

Here's the basic process we have left:
-Finish getting paperwork notarized
-Secretary of State has to certify the notary
- US Dept. of State Authentication has to authenticate the Secretary of State
- Chinese Embassy has to authenticate the Dept. of State
-THEN the dossier can go to our agency and be reviewed before being sent to China

It may not seem like it, but we are so close! Another month and a half, probably.

Not everything has been great, however. I'm not going to name names, but a very close family member made a "joke" on Easter that I'm still figuring out how to address. We were being asked if we had any children and I said, "Not yet." (standard response. I then don't say anything more since most of the time I don't need to and I figure it's not really their business). This family member then felt the need to chime in with:
"Oh, they're buying a baby."
me- "Ok, that is a joke that never needs to be made by you again." (It's not the first time it's happened)
f.m. - "Sorry, I mean they are purchasing a baby."

At that point I just walked away and didn't talk to them anymore. This was said to older relatives of mine who I had met maybe once before when I was 10, and in front of my cousin's girlfriend who is from China as well as the rest of my family. The person in question has said they are very supportive of our decision and is excited for us to bring our baby home. Now, I don't know what to make of their behavior.

Here's the deal. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Jokes like this are never ever funny. They are mean spirited, hurtful, and demeaning. We are no more buying a baby than anyone who pays hospital/doctor's bills after childbirth is. Many Chinese believe that Americans are buying babies and treating them poorly and jokes like this don't exactly change the view. It's impossible to protect her against every hurtful thing that people will say, but I expect her family members to behave better than strangers. Too much to ask?

In addition to all that, you can seriously damage the chances of the family being able to adopt at all. Our homestudy says that our families are extremely supportive of our decision to adopt and will treat our daughter the same as everyone else. Now I feel like that has been made untrue. Perhaps I am overreacting, but we would have some problems if our social worker heard about this. I don't think she would cancel our paperwork at this point, but we'd probably have some serious talks about whether our family was really able to provide an emotionally safe environment for our daughter.

It's hit a point where this is no longer just a minor issue that can be brushed off. We have to have a serious discussion with this person and let them know that their behavior must be changed if they wish to be around our daughter. I don't feel comfortable letting her be around family that could say things like this. I just don't know what to say when we do talk or how to even broach the subject. Help?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Further Down the Rabbit Hole

We are not very good bloggers.

Here's a story about our latest adoption paperwork adventures:

There's a packet of papers we had to fill out for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Jen is so on top of all this that I just had to show up and sign my name across the bottom of about eleventy billion sheets of paper (not true, there were only threeve billion). This is an actual preliminary immigration application for our daughter. Yes, immigration! This is all according to a big giant international agreement on international adoption.

In case you didn't know (and I think this is really cool), our daughter will be an American citizen by the time we board the plane for home, with a passport and everything. She can't sign her name, being a toddler and all, so they will stick her tiny foot on an ink pad and make a tiny footprint on the inside of the passport somewhere, which sounds so ridiculously friggin' cute I'm going to puke up pastel baby chicks all over.

So here's the meat of the story: our application came back, with a sheet in the front stating that it had been rejected.

This is where panic sets in. We start freaking out that there was some deficiency found in our character, some moral failing that was found, someone from our past was spoken to and they squealed about everything we'd done. We would never, ever adopt. Eventually we read the rest of the sheet that explained the reason and we smacked our foreheads in unison:

A page was missing.

A blank page. As in a page that is not even filled in.

For legal reasons, if someone else had assisted us in preparing the paperwork, they are supposed to leave their contact information on this sheet. Jen filled everything out, so this sheet wasn't included. Well, paperwork and official forms being what they are, we printed out a page, didn't fill anything in, then sent the entire stack right back to USCIS.


On a happier note: we finished our parent training! Lots to discuss. For example, did you know that China is an entirely different country? With its own culture and everything? Apparently some prospective parents did not know this.

More later.

- Kevin