Not a whole lot has happened lately, as our homestudy is being reviewed between KidsFirst (the homestudy agency) and Lifeline (our adoption agency). So from here, once both sides sign off on it, we become certified by the state to be adoptive parents, which means Lifeline will then start building a dossier to send off to the government of Kyrgyzstan. So I guess technically, there's progress.
In the meantime, we've started doing some fundraising. We originally wanted to wait until we got our HS certification so that we could apply for a grant through Adopt Together (more on that later), but with summer having started we needed to get going as we are seeing a lot of people in the next few months.
We've done a silent auction that served as a good primer for what to expect, and it is exhausting yet fun at the same time. Thanks to the generosity of Cliff's boss, we've managed to raise a pretty tidy sum that would pay for a pretty good chunk of our adoption fee. We've got another fundraiser brunch/dinner coming up next week, with another silent auction, then it's a weekend off to recover, then it's more planning and fundraising.
So far, those are going on in Arthur, IL. In the meantime, we're looking at venues/ideas for what to do locally or in other areas. We've thought about doing one in Napannee for our Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan friends, and one in Indianapolis. A garage sale is a thought, as well as stuff like a basic computer tuneup service. So we're just going through some ideas and evaluating cost/benefit.
We're doing a lot of waiting. And praying. And dreaming. We're going to be doing a whole lot more of it. People keep telling us, "don't be too eager for your kids to get here, enjoy the time you have," but really, we're totally eager. When the desire to be a parent is set deeply in your heart, it sometimes gets hard to sit by and watch other people happily announce that they're getting pregnant, having kids, or posting their kid's pictures on Facebook and the like. Even when these people are close friends and family, there is a niggling thought in the back of your head asking, "well, that's great and all, but when is it my turn?" and the temptation to feel bitter at only being able to live vicariously through their joy becomes very easy, and when that takes hold. it makes for some rough days.
We're not even matched yet. Adoption has got to be one of the toughest tests of character out there. It's a passion that keeps you awake late at night, constantly scrawling notes and ideas, researching and planning. You pray about it a lot and oftentimes wonder if you're "praying it right." You're writing down prayer requests on the weekly contact cards and then imagining writing "adoption update! We are making progress, keep praying for us!" and feel somewhat disappointed that this week's request is the same as last week's. You're so adept at telling people about your adoption progress that you're convinced you could pitch a movie to a major studio at a moment's notice. You have dreams about the child you have not seen, feel sad at the realization that you just dreamed it and spend the rest of your day just revisiting the memory of that dream over and over, wishing it to be real. It puts you through the emotional, psychological and financial wringer.
A common misconception is that more kids would have been adopted if it wasn't for the costs and loops one has to jump through, but in an oddly twisted way, adoption weeds out all but the most patient and determined people. Because, you really have to be patient and determined with a kid that you just plucked out of an orphanage, to travel thousands of miles away to a different culture and environment, even if the new environment is better. It's just tough on everyone.
I guess all we can do now is to keep waiting, praying and dreaming.