Monday, July 14, 2014

Plugging Away

Sometimes it feels like time is standing still when it comes to our adoption. However, while there haven't been any big developments lately, we've continued to plug away at baby tasks and everyday grow in the expectation of what is to come. Here are some events of the last three months.

I've read numerous books on international adoption at this point and all of them talk about the endless waiting and wading through the mud of the US and international governments, so I was an am prepared for some aspects of the adoption process to take time. However, I was surprised when it took 3 weeks and 5 rescheduled appointments with my doctor's office to finally get my medical clearance. As a nurse, I am a big supporter of Nurse Practitioners and am proud that Oregon has some of the best and leading Nurse Practitioner laws in the country. I accept Nurse Practitioners without doubt in their abilities, and while I have paid attention to the development of Nurse Practitioner parity and autonomy in the US, I had never considered the fact that other countries do not have Nurse Practitioners and do not recognize them as valid primary care practitioners. So I didn't think twice when scheduling my adoption physical with my Nurse Practitioner and neither did Ben when he scheduled with the Nurse Practitioner at his doctor's office. However, it turns out, Nurse Practitioners aren't permitted to sign international adoption medical paperwork because of risk that the sending country will not recognize the medical clearance as legitimate. Thus the rescheduling of appointments. But we're both medically clear with doctor's signatures to state we are healthy, capable of parenting and expected to live a normal life expectancy.

Ben and I have been completing adoption education classes. We are saving one important class for last--the class about medical issues. As part of our process, we will learn a small amount about hundreds of diseases and conditions that are common in adopted children. These conditions include correctable issues such as heart defects, cleft lip, club foot, lazy eyes and delayed development due to orphanage conditions to uncorrectable conditions such as down syndrome and spina bifida. Many of the conditions I have heard about during my nursing education, but others are completely foreign--sometimes literally given that the US just doesn't see certain conditions that occur elsewhere in the world. Our job is to understand enough about each condition to say "yes" or "no" to the condition. This is a very critical part of our adoption. We need to fully understand what needs a child has and our ability to meet those needs both in the short term and in the long term. To set ourselves and our child up for the best possible future, we need to ensure that the Georgia government and our adoption agencies "match" us with the right child for us and the right parents for the child.

On the more fun side of things, I'm teaching myself to quilt. While the craft of quilting is therapeutic in the sense that many arts are, it has also opened my mind to wonder. What will our child's favorite color be? Will s/he like bright or calm colors, wild or simple patterns? Will s/he like trains or lizards or animal or hearts or stars or boats? Once again, I find myself baffled by the fact that our child is probably already alive and learning and developing what s/he likes.

Next steps:
We have 2 more adoption education classes to complete and then we will meet with our social workers for the in-person stage of the home study (interviews and home visit). We hope to be "home study ready" (home study completed and sent for translation) by the end of summer and to submit the dossier (translated home study and copies of vital records and government forms) by fall. Thank you all so much for continuing to ask questions and remember us in prayer!