Saturday, September 3, 2011

The magic is gone

Last May, after filling out about 80 trees worth of paperwork and raising a miraculous amount of money in a very short period of time, Walker and I excitedly drove down to the United States Central Immigration Services (USCIS) office to be fingerprinted.

These "biometrics" are a huge milestone in the adoption process. It typically means you are DONE with the work.  Next step is to be put on the waitlist and wait to receive the wonderful phone call telling you who your child is.

Ah, we were so excited. Bluebirds chirped in the sky as we skipped into the serene white offices, beaming smiles at all the shiny happy government workers.

I almost cried as I rolled each of my fingers on the computer thing. Afterwards we took a photo

and went out to lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant to celebrate.

We mailed off the paperwork and waited for our 171HI - or something, I always feel like a loser international adoption mom because I can't remember all the dang numbers and letters of all the forms like the good international adoption moms do -  so that we would be put on the wait list with Gladney. We waited. And waited. For almost three months.

At the time I was so upset about the delay. Other people would get their's back in 10 days - but not us. I fretted and cried and prayed and made crying prayerful phone calls and ran to the mailbox every day to see if it had come. On August 19 it finally came.

I overnighted it to New York, and it was hand couriered to the Ethiopian Embassy along with the rest of our dossier. Or something like that - I always feel like the loser international adoption mom because I can never remember the exact details of the process like the good international adoption moms do. Anyway, we were on the waitlist! We expected to receive a referral in April and have her home, oh, about right now. Maybe next month?

Please join me in a communal Pfffffft.

Over the past year, a variety of issues, both with our agency and the Ethiopian government, have thrown that timeline out the window and into the street and run over it with a mack truck.

I hope we get the magical phone call around Christmas. I hope we get to bring her home next summer. But there's absolutely no way to know.

A few months ago I got an email from my caseworker, "Your USCIS form will soon expire. Please fill out all this paperwork and mail in so you can go get fingerprinted all over again."

Now, last time, doing all the adoption paperwork was exciting. It was hard work but it was fun. We were making a baby with all those notarized forms! Yes, in a truly bizarre way, it was like sex. The giddy, fun kind of sex you have when you are trying to get pregnant.

But now? Doing all this paperwork again? This is not good sex.

This is the sex after you've been trying for a long time to get pregnant and it hasn't worked. This is the, 'you've gotta come home at lunch, I promise it'll only take ten minutes' sex. This is the 'I'm tired too, let's just get it over with' sex.

This isn't fun. Or giddy. Or in any way exciting.

So I did the boring sex paperwork and mailed it in and we got invited back to get fingerprinted and I hung the invitation on the fridge. Until this morning, when it fell on the floor, and I picked it up, cried, "CRAP!" ran upstairs to where Walker was working.

"We have to go to CIS today! At 1pm! Or our application is considered abandoned!" I don't know what an abandoned application would mean but it doesn't sound good.

"Ah, crap," Walker answered.

So today we drove down to the CIS office, trudged into the stark white building, and rolled all of our fingers over the computer thing. Again.

Afterwards we took a picture.

Back in the car, Walker asked, "You hungry?"

"Nope," I answered.

"You sure?" he asked again.

"Honey, I love you," I replied. "But I really don't want to talk. I'm just tired." 

Then I turned away from him and went to sleep.


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