First, the good news.
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Yes, we got the call yesterday, saying our court dates went through fine and she is now, officially and legally, our daughter. The picture above was her referral shot when she first came into the orphanage — the first picture we had of our baby girl.
And here’s baby’s first mug shot, two weeks later at her medical:
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We are now officially parents to a beautiful, now-3 1/2 month old baby girl. We are thrilled.
And now, the bad news.
Hard on the heels of receiving this news, we were told that the estimated travel dates, which our case worker told us on our referral date would be about 3 1/2 months out, and put us travelling to get our daughter mid-to-late September, have been pushed back. TO NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER.
We were, to say the least, stunned and very, very upset. We cannot understand how the timelines can change that much in a six-week span, particularly since the court date went through without a hitch. We were planning on picking up our 5-6 month old, and now it looks like we have to wait another couple of months and our daughter will be 8-9 months old. For NO GOOD REASON, which I will get into later.
We were SO upset yesterday. We still are. I’m so upset, it’s hard to find words.
Think of all the developmental things we will miss in that 3 month span — the difference between a 5 month old and an 8-9 month old is astounding. Think of all the firsts we will potentially be missing: Her first tooth. Rolling over. Her first babbling. Perhaps even sitting up. Those are precious moments we will NEVER get back.
My baby girl could begin making her first sounds, trying out her first words. She could be calling another woman Mama. I was supposed to be the person she said Mama to.
And do you know WHY this is being delayed? Because for no good reason, the Canadian High Commission is taking their sweet time processing a birth certificate and a visa for a 3 month old baby. What, they think she is a hardened criminal and the security check is taking so long? Is she some international jewel thief? No, it’s because it’s summer, so they are slowing down.
To this I say bollocks. These are Canadian employees, well paid, in an embassy office. They have email and all the other technology required to get this done, and they just AREN’T. There is no good reason, and none they will give to our agency. And believe me, we went to the agency this morning and had a meeting to try to figure this out.
In the span of six weeks, they went from processing these small documents in a matter of weeks for a child already legally adopted to requiring a matter of months to get them done.
These are 3 months of our child’s life that we will never, ever get back. Months of firsts and moments of discovery and joy. And we will be forever without them.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “But once you have her/years from now, that won’t matter.”
Well, maybe that’s so, but I doubt it. I can bet many, many parents remember their baby rolling over for the first time. They remember when she got her first teeth. They can tell you without hesitation his first word. Those little things are the everyday joys parents treasure with their children, and we will forever be denied them. These are little stories we were dreaming of telling our child about, and our grandchildren. These are moments that up until yesterday, we were told we would be able to share in, and now they have been stolen from us, and all because of bureaucratic bullshit.
So what should have been an incredible, joyful day was one filled with tears and frustration and pain. They’ve stolen that day from us too.
Of course we are happy. Of COURSE we are. But we are parents, and we cannot hold our child. Ask any adoptive parent — this waiting part is hard. And we were so close — we were 6-8 weeks from being a family. But now, for no reason whatsoever, they have doubled our wait time — or if we look at the worst case, it will be tripled at 22 weeks. They have multiplied that yearning, and that hurts.
So we are still a little stunned.
Today we met a couple who are going to get their baby next month. She was born 6 weeks before our daughter. They will get to bring her home when she is 6 months old. We will not. We also met a man who is travelling to Nairobi, Kenya, where our High Commission is located. He got his travel visa on Monday. He submitted his documents by courier on the Thursday before. And yet, a birth certificate and visa for a 3 month old baby takes in the region of 5 months to process.
I spent the last few weeks carefully washing and putting away all the lovely size 0-6 month clothes we have for her. I will spend the next few days taking them back out of her drawers and closet and boxing them back up. It does not look like she will get to use them.
BDH will spend the next few weeks phoning and emailing MPs and MPPs and whoever he has to to get some answers.
Occasionally one of us will look at the other and you can see our thoughts are wandering. “I just want so much to hold her.”
I wish I had a better, happier post for you. And for our daughter’s life book.
This was supposed to be a joyous day for all of us.