Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Study

Now that I have you up to speed on the developments of the last couple of months, I should fill you in on what's happened most recently.

Last week, we completed two first steps. We registered with Wide Horizons for Children out of Massachusetts. They will be our placement agency meaning they will handle the 'country phase' of the adoption process. They will be the entity that handles actually making the adoption happen between the United States and Ethiopia. We also applied/registered with the local agency here in Richmond that will perform our home study. They are called Jewish Family Services and were recommended by friends. We met with our social worker several weeks ago for a consultation and we'll meet with her again tomorrow for our first meeting for our home study.

The home study is said to consist of three meetings -- tomorrow's in their office, a second meeting here at our home and a third at our home (I think -- could be at their office). FBI and CPS (Child Protective Services) checks are being performed on us now. The home study also requires five references. The home study is said to take between 6-12 weeks and depends on how quickly the background checks and references come back. Once the home study's complete, we move into the next phase that will begin the red-tape-laden process of beginning to complete a dossier and starting to work with Ethiopia.

It amazes JD and I to think that there are two children out there that God has planned to have as part of our family since the beginning of time. Since before we even knew it. Wow. I cannot wait to meet them.

I was talking to a friend recently who told me that her neighbor adopted a daughter from Ethiopia a year ago. Her neighbor said going to Ethiopia and seeing her daughter's living conditions (a thatched roofed shack with a dirt floor) affirmed her decision to adopt more than ever. And my friend assured me that when JD and I go to retrieve our children, we will be moved to our core that we're doing the right thing.

So, I sat one day and imagined this moment.

JD and I get off the plane after a ridiculously long day of traveling. We're tired, but energized at the thought of meeting our children for the first time. The air is dry and warm. The smells, sounds and sights are like nothing we've ever experienced before.

There's dust everywhere. Everything is colorless -- no green grass, no flowers, no colorful buildings or cars. No plush trees; no softness. The buildings are all the same hue -- browns, whites, grays. True poverty abounds.

We're driven to the children's home. It is a box; a shell. Children are playing outside, but the instant they hear a car, they all stop and look. It's as if they're wondering, "Is today my day? Is this the day that my parents are coming for me?"

Then we get out of the car and walk into this barren building. We're greeted by a social worker who has the widest, most electric smile. Her whole face smiles. It's the kind of smile you can get lost in. She warmly greets us with a hug and leads us to a room and encourages us to sit and make ourselves comfortable. There are sparse furnishings, so JD and I sit side by side on a small sofa.

We wait.

After a few minutes, we hear footsteps.

Here they come.

The door creaks open and in walks the social worker with the two most precious little girls filing in behind her. We lock eyes. They look to be about 3 and 5. Their heads are shaved and they manage to give us half-smiles. Through a translator, they're told we're their mommy and daddy. We squat down and open our arms wide to them. They each walk slowly, timidly toward us. We gingerly hug them understanding their apprehension.

We're strangers to them.

But only for today.

This is the first day of the rest of their lives.

Today, I weep just imagining it.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Design By Sour Apple Studio | All Rights Reserved