Ok, I will admit it.... I am a Blog addict. I spend an insane amount of time researching and reading Blogs. I cannot get my friends and family to understand the concept of Blogging. It's evolving, and changing material, like a journal. If I invite them to see my Blog, what they see that ONE day is the extent of what they will see. Bless their hearts. I guess it will catch on in a year or so. My mom will probably be the first to get it. She always gets it first.
Part of my infatuation with Blogs, is the intimacy that I share with people that share my like interest and goals and desires. These are people that I do not know, and may never meet. You can find Blogs about ANYTHING!!!! (And yes, I know blog is not a noun, I just like to capitalize it.)
The three (is there even 3?) people that read my Blog, know that I am also in a weird love affair with YOUTUBE (All caps, all the time to symbolize the importance it has in my life lol). I think YOUTUBE gives you the ability to really see into the lives of others and really see things that you may be interested in. Oh the proverbial "fly on the wall". Really, anything, from step by step recipes, to child birth... LIVE!
I am so happy to have this thing called "internet" to make my world a little broader. I know that now, my ignorance to things can only be attributed to my desire NOT to want to know, because the internet provides me a grand opportunity to at least learn the preliminaries about anything and everything, anytime. Thank you Wikipedia.
Okay, so this Blog in particular allows me to go on and on in true Robbin fashion. My friends in Blogville (a place, so I am allowed to capitalize it), may not know that I am so wordy; but my non-visiting-the-blog-real- friends know I can go on and on and on .... You get the picture.
Anyway, the reason for this Sunday morning post is because, while visiting Sandi and Jason's Blog I found this video. I hope they don't mind that I borrowed it. I hope that my non-visiting-the-blog-"real"-friends (NVBRF) will watch it and understand a little more why ETHIOPIA is so important. Why it matters so much to me. Even though the grim reality is that for every 1 child that is adopted, there are 10,000 orphans left behind.
Am I doing the right thing by adopting this one small child away from her homeland? Am I guilty of just skimming the cream and leaving the rest? Is there a greater calling to help every orphan sustain life in there own homeland by contributing to the economic growth of the country, by giving rather than taking away?
This video is amazing. It has brought me to tears. It has made me question who I am. I hope that it affects you as well.
Today I received my appointment to be printed. Unfortunately, it's next Friday when I am supposed to be in Puerto Rico!!! I'm not rescheduling it, that's for sure. According to my forensic blog stalking, there is a really short time between the prints and the LETTER!!!!! I'm leaving for PR later dammit. Now if only my agency would sign off of everything I would feel good. I got most everything authenticated except 3 docs and the CIS form. I am ready to be waiting. I have a goal date, but I'm not telling you. I don't want to jinx myself!
I am adopting single and I haven't always gotten the response that I wanted from those closest too me. Friends and especially family were very luke warm to the ideal. I'm so tired of answering questions about the status of my uterus.
I have dated my fair share of guys and although I liked many of them (the last one especially), I don't think that I'd ever want to be involved with them forever in a way that is connected by the great role of being a parent. I know that two parents is most desirable but not just two people. I hear the constant story from men about the "thorn in my side baby mama." It's hilarious because it could all be AVOIDED. I hear men who have to "babysit" their own kids. I see men that don't even bother to spend time with kids but actually want to spend time with ME???????
Ultimately, I see examples of great dads, loving dads, involved dads, and despite-the-odds dads. And I have one! My dad didn't live in the house with me but he was always all about me.
I believe that by adopting this child now, I am committing to be a great parent and I'll keep praying to one day have a companion that will share the experience with me.
I think that it is important to clear up some things within your life and your mind BEFORE meeting with social workers and going thru the extensive mental interrogation that adoption takes you thru. This is not for the faint at heart, AND it's expensive.
As far as my friends, Hell, they don't always understand this "abortion thing". Hands down I doubt any of them PLANNED to have their children. They all got pregnant the "normal" way. By accident. The fact that I plan to parent makes me head and shoulders above the rest. Matter of fact, it makes me feel a little superior (smile).
And alas, since I am addicted to Youtube. I wanted to share with you a "normal" experience!
Yesterday I spoke with my agency and they are reviewing my homestudy and my application documents. They did request a letter from the local police station because of my "brush with the law" in 1996. My very vicious (not) lab mix sweetie Diamond, was running around without a leash and the very caring (not) dog catcher gave me a citation. Of course you can't defeat the truth and I paid 100.00 fine, for that misdemeanor and kept my dear poochie out of jail.... that time. Diamond now has strict instructions to always take a leash when she's going out to walk her self.
Gladney has said it will be about 10 days review
the application and homestudy. WTF!!!!! It's not the USCIS timeline that takes so much time, it's just that they only start the ticker after they get the homestudy.
Ok, I can't take credit for thislink because it borrowed it from my blog friend Hazel. But I believe I see the light. This site is hilarious, it's all about stuff that "White Parents" do. The problem is that I've spent way too many Saturday afternoons studying just about everything on this website. I need all of this and I need it from the comfort of my suburban home. :) Now I don't feel so bad.
Today I watched a movie "In My Country" starring Samuel L. Jackson. The movie is about atrocities suffered by the South Africans by the hands of the police (gov't period). The perpetrators were tried and the victims were allowed to tell there stories. It was just devastating. It was told from the perspective of a journalist and told under the guise of a love story. Watching the movie I am again in awe of the beauty of Africa and of the African people. I am reminded why it is so important that I don't sit back and enjoy the luxuries of being an American. The luxuries of being educated. The luxuries of being privileged.
As with any PAP, I am constantly asked why I am adopting, and why Africa. Everyone has their personal reasons. For me, when I decided to adopt, I became engrossed in all things adoption. I quickly selected a favorite agency. They represented much of what I am drawn to in most of my decisions. They were one of the largest and more advertised than most. They were tech savvy and they had the easiest web addresses and the most colorful websites. They were informative, and provided step by step, full disclosure about the process, the time frames and of course the cost. But most importantly, they had pages and pages of prosperous couples vying to be parents; large numbers of babies on the way and of course several pages of successful adoptive families with beautiful babies freshly born and prettied up. So of course I chose them. And I moved full speed ahead.
Being a Black women, I wanted a Black child. No question a girl was the best decision for me because I am single and have mostly women around me. Also, I didn't want to contribute to the cyclical effects of Single Moms raising little spoiled Black boys. What I found in domestic adoption was too disturbing for me to imagine. The discrepancies between adopting a Black child versus a Non-Black child was more than I could fathom.
A few of the problems:
as a disclaimer these things aren't representative in every agency, but most of them have some of these.
* Single mothers that are Black may adopt but not single Caucasian moms
* A child is only considered bi-racial if they are mixed with Black. In other words, if a child is say Hispanic and Indian, they are not bi-racial
*African American infants are considered "special needs" just because of race
*Adoption of African American children are discounted by sometimes as much as 50%
I was devastated by these things. I tried to discuss it with many agency owners. Of course there were so many justifications, ranging from "need" to the "desire to encourage adoption". In the end for me, I could not contribute ONE CENT to a system that devalues my ethnicity. I was told by many that it's okay to dislike the process as long as in the end it's about the baby. But for me, I know that the system continues to grow by each person that disregard the means to justify the ends.
So alas, I decided to look into Ethiopia. And to be quite honest I've never turned back. For me, international adoption is about 3x's more expensive. However, in the end, the value of this new life is priceless.
In honor of my love hate relationship with FedEx. My package did finally arrive at Gladney.
Ok so I'm a relatively educated person. Not really smart, but quite learned. I've been to college, some grad school and now Law school. I built it all on my Urban-inner-city college-prep primary school education. Perhaps, it was that primary education that put me on the wrong track, because, I was in college before I had to name all the states and capitols! (Ok maybe in 3rd grade but who remembers?). I definitely was in college before I was challenged to name the countries on the continent of Africa. Of course by this time I knew that there was a ton that I didn't know and that I am definitely not Smarted Than A Fifth Grader. So I've had the luxury of being a selfish American and only being concerned with whatever I wanted to be concerned with.
Suffice it to say, that when I decided on Ethiopia I pulled my College textbook out and revisited my Africa map and thanks to Wikipedia, I looked at the entire region and became totally fascinated with the city of Ethiopia.... just kidding! Forget the fifth grader. I am not even smarter than a 5 year old.
I've decided to challenge myself to learn more things. I think I will start from the very beginning and I will only learn from those who have mastered the art of the skill they are teaching. I have included a copy of my lesson for the day. As it is done by the Masters.
Yesterday I worked very hard on getting my full adoption application for Gladney together. I wanted all three parts instead of the recommended one week after another. Here's a list of the things required.
1.Application -- 8 pgs
2.Statement of International Adoption Risks
3.Acceptance of Adoption Risks
4.Check for program deposit
5.Check for Homestudy review
7.Service Plan Agreement
8.Child Preference Form
1.Family Photos- 10-12 color photos
4.CIS "Release of Information" form
2.Medical insurance Proof
3.Criminal Clearance and child abuse clearance
4.4 reference letters
So I put everything together, made copies and ran (by car of course) to Fed Ex to send it off using my new Fed Ex account. Overnight. Thank you very much. $37.00 later, I left feeling very progressive. Now, let me mention that Gladney suggest each group one week after the other, but NO, I wanted to really impress th
em with my great document accumulation skills. Now hindsight is 20/20. Had I sent the first group say, a week ago, I would not have ran into my next hiccup.
I received an email from social worker saying Gladney could not approve my homestudy because they did not have my APPLICATION. So of course I thought, have no fear....
. just a minor snafu... my application is on a plane right now headed to my patiently waiting case manager that has nothing else to do but review it STAT!
Enter the next hiccup, stage left.
So I decide to track my lovely package sent by my trustworthy Fed Ex, a
nd alas, my package was sitting in TENNESSEE! What the hell?
So I verify that I in fact sent it to TEXAS and not TENNESSEE. And yes, the address was verified and there was really no excuse for my package to be just sitting.
So, of course like the type A personality neurotic that I am, I called Fed Ex to promptly get to the bottom of the missing package. The very nice Customer Service Gentlemen (at extension #####00000000 -- right
now please).... informed me that my package is in fact sitting on a runway in Nashville, waiting on the weather to clear up. And no ma'am we will not be refunding any of your hard earned cash because it is an Act of God, You do believe in God right?
So now, my homestudy is done, my application package is complete and I am just waiting in limbo.
My good intentions were all for naught!
Okay, so today is April 1st, and I guess the the jokes on me!!!