Adoption Journey – Day 10
One more day, one more bit of paperwork out of the way. Every little bit of bureaucracy we get finished is one step closer to a flight back from Ethiopia, child in arms. So I choose to see it, anyway. I will mark the journey with little bits of paper passed from hand to hand.
Today we formally signed our retainer agreement and paid our first of many fees to the adoption agency. We are now, officially, in the process of adoption. We had to get the retainer witnessed and drop off a cheque, so rather than mail it in, we decided to drop it off and get the agency to witness our document instead.
I called them first thing this morning to check on the particulars of the witness. I spoke with Sue, the Manager of the agency. Sue is a lovely woman, who always has something nice to say in the few times I have spoken with her. Today, she mentioned that she wanted to meet us, but she was going to be out today, and then she will be leaving on Friday to go to Ethiopia. She will be checking in at the orphanage, and visiting with some of the children. And, she added, there are 9 families on their way to Ethiopia to meet and bring home their new children. NINE! I was thrilled for them. I appreciate now how exciting and wonderful a time this must be for them all, as well as one full of anticipation and longing and emotion. I must admit, I was a tiny bit envious of these families, now at the end of a journey we are just beginning, but I guess part of the experience is the journey, after all. We have to remind ourselves of that when the going gets a little tougher.
One of the neat things that came with signing our retainer was that the agency gave us a Rough Guide travel book for Ethiopia and Eritrea. I had looked at them online, but was planning on buying a stack of books and hadn’t done so yet. Now I have one of the books in hand! I am anxious to get reading. I love travel books anyway — I have sometimes read them for fun, just to learn about other places — but now I can read all about the country and customs and people that our son or daughter (or both!) will come from. I am excited to begin learning. I am excited to get going.
I also had to order some documents online today. We need certified copies of a lot of documentation. Today, I ordered birth certificates and our marriage license. So many questions, particularly for a birth certificate: Where were you born? Doctor’s name? Where were your parents born? Birthdate? Hospital? Hells bells, I could have written my OWN birth certificate with all that information. Come to think of it, I probably just did. Ah well, at least it’s all online, instead of standing in lines in offices. That’ll come when I visit police stations and passport offices and consulates and the like.
BDH got some of the medical stuff started today. We have 6 months of hepatitis vaccines to look forward to, not to mention yellow fever vaccines, and anything else we haven’t got up to date. Looks like I have to call my insane doctor and make an appointment to get that stuff started. (BAH. I hate that woman for what she did to me during my miscarriage. But she’s the only doctor I have and cannot switch thanks to the Ontario government, much to my dismay.) We have the option of going to a travel clinic that specializes in this sort of thing, so I will pursue that option, but I still have to get a physical done with Dr. Insane-o. All for a good cause.
As long as I keep checking things off on our Adoption Checklist, I am happy. It means we are moving closer to our child, who is probably in utero this very minute. Can you imagine? Somewhere in Ethiopia right now, a baby is developing that we will one day call our own. That’s a nice thought. On the flip side, a mother right now is dealing with the issues of pregnancy, thinking about impending birth, harbouring hopes for her child, worriying about their future, maybe even just struggling to survive herself. That thought, too, drives me a bit — to get this paperwork done, to learn everything I can, to give my child everything any mother could hope for for her child in terms of love and health and happiness and opportunity. We have entered into a bond to do the best we can by these two people that we don’t even know in a foreign country that we haven’t any connection to. Yet.
We are just at the very beginning of this journey. It will last us a lifetime.