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Archive for April, 2008

This is a little delayed…

We re-did our physicals and proof-of-employment documents and got them to WPA on 4/4.  As mentioned earlier, our very slow I-600A caused us to need to re-do some things.  We also re-did our FBI background check (including re-doing those fingerprints in case they’d changed 🙂 ) and got them to WPA on 4/9.  This last re-do wasn’t necessary to move our dossier forward, but we would have had to carry over the updated versions.

So in international adoption terms we are “in translation”.  Our dossier has been sent overseas for translation.  I believe this is a commercial translation step and not directly part of the Kazakhstan side of the process.  When our translated dossier returns it will be sent to the Kazakhstan Consulate in NYC.  From there it will go to Kazakhstan and through a number of agencies – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and a local Guardianship Body.  The Guardianship Body will eventually send us an “LOI”, or Letter of Invitation (to travel).

So basically, we’ve completed the up-front paperwork and now the real wait begins.

Nothing to do but wait.  Well, nothing but

  • Painting the baby’s room.
  • Buying furniture.
  • Buying everything else but clothes.
  • Baby-proofing.
  • Learning some Russian.
  • Getting in shape.  (This trip would be a bad time for my back to go out.)
  • Enjoying the last days of our single DINK life!
  • Picking a name!!
  • ??

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The Conference

Last Sunday we went to the adoption conference that I plugged earlier. We stayed over in the city because getting up in time to be there for an 8:30 start would have made me very cranky. Unfortunately we had a local engagement Saturday night, so we didn’t get to have an evening in the city. We ended up driving into Manhattan at 12:30am. At least the inbound traffic is good at that time.

The conference was good, but much of it seemed to be common sense once you heard it. We probably would have figured most of it out on our own. Still I’m glad we went. A few take-aways:

With the exception of Dr. Aronson, who I saw speak again and who likes to refer to scientific studies or point out the lack thereof, everything was anecdotal. Even if the speaker was a social worker or counselor who has helped hundreds of people on all sides of the adoption experience, they were really speaking about their personal adoption experiences. I expect this is true for most adoption “experts”. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn there. I love anecdotal. But you could hear conflicting expert viewpoints in different talks and even within a single round table session if you were paying attention. You have to take all that and find what makes sense to you.

One thing I hadn’t really thought about is racism. Our child’s race won’t be an issue for us. And all of our friends are pretty enlightened. (We do have a couple of older relatives who occasionally say something insensitive, but not often enough to be a problem.) But until this conference, it hadn’t really occurred to me that our child would be subject to racism in the wider world. It’s sad to realize that.

One of the round tables touched on when to tell a child they’re adopted. The opinion that resonated with us was “on the way home”. Work adoption stories into the bed time stories from the beginning. Tell the child that they’re adopted and answer questions as they come up with a level of detail appropriate for their age. Then you’ve never lied, you’ve never hidden it, and you don’t end up in a really awkward place when they’re 16 or 18. Adoption shouldn’t be a secret. But that’s just what we took away. I’m not telling anyone else what to do.

One of the best sessions was a round table of adult adoptees. We got to ask them about what their adoptive parents did right and wrong, etc. They had a lot of great stories, but I won’t try to repeat them here. But one of the speakers had been angry, acting out and fearing abandonment up though the time he was married, all because as a child he was told he was adopted in a very negative way by an insensitive (child) cousin. This ties into our opinion on telling your child early — before someone else does.

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