Monday, October 07, 2013

My charmed life....

I had an epiphany today.

I realized that I *TRULY* live a charmed life.

Now, don't get me wrong, I still work hard, and have irritants daily, but today is the prime example of a Charmed life.

Here is how my day went.

I woke at 6 a.m. to get my 2 full time students out the door, I had food in the pantry and fridge plenty to feed them both.
After they were both situated I got to gaze out my front windows with breathtaking views. They never get old.

I then had the rest of my crew wake and fed.

I took my 10 year old daughter, who is homeschooling full-time outside to the hammock, where we read for an hour while lazing in the shade. The views from this side of my house are equally stunning, and I shared with her how I thought, "This is the most beautiful view in all the world" to which she replied...." No, you are." tears and a lump formed. She and I snuggled and giggled together. (Hammocks should be mandatory for raising kids)

Then I wrestled my rowdy boys into that same hammock, seriously testing its weight capacity, and the 3 of us had a tickle war, I made the same observation to my 7 year old son, about the utter beauty of our view.... as if on cue, he replied, "Nothing is more beautiful than you, Mom."
Gasp. Sigh.

It was at this very moment, that i realized this life I live, full of laundry, and legos, errands, and errors. Truly is The Life.

I promise you I have VAST flaws and room for improvement. But today. I am their world, and They are mine!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One week later.......

One week later , I feel as if I have very little to report, the adventure has long worn off, and we still wait.

for any future adoptive parents, the waiting is torture.

We wait for phone calls, Wait for appointments, wait for traffic, wait for the water to boil, wait for dinner, wait for any news....

we wait

and wait

and wait.

When the process is complete, then you will be finished!

The Court decree has been signed. Legally he is ours.
His passport has been printed. (being picked up today)

Today we are SUPPOSED to get his Medical exam (proving he is fit for travel)
We have our Embassy appointment tomorrow, it is only a 'file briefing' but we are PRAYING if we have ALL our papers in order they will process the exit visa and SEND US HOME!

Black & White

There is right, and there is wrong.

We all attain to do what is right. Most of us can agree on that. So when you come to an issue that is grey-without a doubt you have to do some investigating and searching for the truth in a bad situation.

When you have seen something unethical bring about a HUGE blessing, it is hard to know where to stand.

Adoption has brought millions of children out of poverty, out of suffering and out of pain. So when you KNOW that the majority of adoptions have CORRUPTION throughout each case, how can you decipher where to stand?

I have not been overly angry about the unethical practices of some of the people who attended to my son's adoptions.

The agency did not assist us through the process, they ignored us. We had to navigate the entire confusing, frustrating process without a mentor or guide.
Then days before we were to travel we were emailed a 'liability waiver' I assume this is standard, but in the forms it clearly states that the agency IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE for ANY fraud, misinformation, or any other effect of their representatives or their agents. Basically, we take your money, we make no promise of guarantee that you will get your son at the end of this ordeal, and we will not promise any action in an effort to assist along the way.

Very reassuring.

Then I found out the other 2 mom's who were adopting at the same time were charged $1000 LESS than I was. (friends' discount???)

There were so many discrepancies and irregularities, that my head was spinning. At that point, what was I to do? turn back? give up?
I was committed. (and they knew it)

Once we arrived in country the facilitators were very helpful, kind and attentive. They got started right away on our papers, and i felt like we were making real progress!

Then the lies ensued....First on day 8 of my time in Liberia, I was told that they had filed for his passport and they would be ready to request an embassy appointment within days! (of course I was ELATED-although suspicious)

then 3 weeks went by and each time I spoke with those same (kind, and helpful agents) they repeated the same information!
That any day now they were to file the passport papers and be ready to make an embassy appointment. It would have been funny, had it not been so infuriating!

I understand that 'professionals' want to keep their 'clients' happy, but I do not appreciate being lied to.
FINALLY after 5 weeks in the country we filed for the passport- and we completed the process. (while I awaited for my son to emerge from the government building for over 7 hours in the hot African Sun!)

That is only the tip of the ice-burg.

Then after our documents FAILED review at the US embassy the facilitator attempted to file documentation that was falsified. (he had bribed someone to create fake docs) I truly appreciated that they were trying to expedite the process, truly I do. But they KNEW it was false and they LIED.

When their lies were uncovered instead of MANNING UP- they tried to blame someone else!

Then the biggest frustration in ALL of the entire process- the agency HAD AGREED to do Divine's adoption, and they had made verbal promises and agreements.
After the stuff hit the fan with the MANY issues with the in-country facilitators we were told that they (Adoption Agency) was NO LONGER doing ANY adoptions in Liberia.

End of story.

They would NOT accept ANY new clients and they would not work on any more cases. They had 4 open cases that had already been contracted,and they were going to complete those and then wash their hands of the entire country. We had LENGTHY discussions about this decision.

They insinuate that the mishaps and issues that have occurred with my experience are some how my responsibility. Because I have shared openly the blatant missteps of their staff, I have shed doubt and mistrust with their agency, Um- Excuse me- MAYBE the fact that your staff have been DISHONEST and unethical could be the cause of that mistrust!! How can they blame ME (the customer) for their (the "Professional") mistakes?!

I do not comprehend how it can be my responsibility, I ONLY shared a VERY filtered very G-rated emotional experience, I have been told privately that my experience will deter other families to adopt. REALLY?

It is my DUTY as a Christian to hold my tongue, that regardless of the fact that I do not TRUST the ones who are handling ALL our paperwork in country, that the ethics and integrity are in question....

That if I LOVED the children, then I would NOT share these very same thoughts and experiences.

I am angry now-

This same agency who said, ""I had to stop adoptions now there as you know. I don't want to put the last hand full of adoption of have at risk either. I know you are not thrilled, and it is hard to be there so long and watch every little thing in the adoption."" ""I have families in process freaking out about some things you said, and I think other people in Liberia questioning things with us now, and it is sad to me. ""

Sad, is the fact that children are NOT going to have forever families because of the ethics and integrity (or lack thereof)
SAD is that despite the issues being reported- the agency is going to continue using these SAME agents (that have PROVEN they are dishonest)
SAD- is blaming the consumer for voicing CONCERNS and cutting us off- instead of attempting to remedy or offer solutions.

ANGRY i what I am.

ANGRY that this same agency is now doing adoptions for OTHER families. That they will NOT fix the problem, and that they will black list my family, and cut us off. communications has been their biggest weakness.

(we have not been in contact with them ONCE since Feb 16th 2013)

FED UP.

Reflecting and growing pains

I have been so busy with survival mode, I have not taken time to write down our family happenings. (although all 2 of my readers have called me lately.so ha ha ha)

Here is the run down of the past 2 months, April was a recoup from Liberia, and all the health problems I developed while in that country, honestly I am not sure it is from bugs I brought home, or the heart break I have had from leaving behind so many people that I love.

I have had a hard time getting back on track, the house stays clean, the kids stay fed, but my heart is just aching to be a part of a solution.
The hunger. The vast need. The gluttony of our Nation. The whining and self serving acts we all participate in daily.

Coming home has brought me to my knees, it has developed a bitterness and judgement towards all (including myself) for the abundance we take for granted!

At the same time I have enjoyed my clean beautiful home, my endless supply of food, and my family that surrounds and lifts me with their love.
I speak to someone from Liberia at least 3 times each week. If 8 days go by without a call, I get worried, and I start sending texts to all my family there checking on them.

Do you want to know the theme for each conversation we have? they ask how we are all doing, and initially I think of all the irritants of my day, and all the things I have gotten frustrated with, and then recall how HARD life is for ALL of them. and I reply in gratitude "we are ALL doing good, kids are healthy, Wes still has a job, and we are doing fine." Then I ask how they are, and how family members are. Inevitably it comes around to illness, several hospital trips for Malaria, and the many other fevers that accompany the rainy season. Then we move onto funerals, and who has passed on, which family member is now gone. Then finally they speak of the love they have for me, and the gratitude for the meager support I offer ($30 a month) and my heart sinks. Internally I grumble at the $400 I spend on groceries and I complain about the amount of work I must perform, and here they are deeply grateful for the pittance I have sent.

that is the jist of our conversations, many times they ask me if there is anything I can do to help THEIR neighbors (for they all know SOMEONE who is worse off then they) or they just say they wanted to hear my voice, and know when I would return.

I want to roam, wander, run free. I want to travel, if I could have my dream I would spend every other month traveling to Liberia.

But I know that is not realistic, and I know that my place is here, with my children, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my children.
and so I plant roots, I dig in, I cultivate happiness and joy in my every action. and I pray.
I pray for; Quita, Ameila, Divine, Annie, Leslie, Washington, Othneil, Jeremiah, Alice, Elijah, Nancy, Aretha, Lucy, Barry, Mary, Nya, each of them touching me in my heart.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The foundations of our future.

While I am deeply appreciative of the effort it takes to raise a child, I have also seen how the love of a child can induce mothers to do extraordinary things.

Divine's mother is very young, and very inexperienced. I wish there was more I could do than to simply send money for food. Trust me, I have wracked my brain and tired to come up with ANY solution to her poverty and education opportunities.

The decision is hers, and I fully support that her child NEEDS to remain with her.

What I can not help is the fact that the opportunities for growth, for stability and for health are very small.

I pray we can provide some of those basic needs.

I pray she and the 2 boys she is raising can remain safe and healthy.

I pray for wisdom to know what is next, and how I can move forward from here.

ANY funds you would like to send will be sent to Liberia to help Annie pay for food, school, medicine and living expenses.

thanks for your support.