Friday, June 27, 2008

Starting Over

It's been 283 days in this process. I spent the first 240 writing like I nothing else to do. Now, my blog hasn't really been updated in a few weeks. Well, it's not because I had nothing to say, it's because I had too much too say and struggled with how to put it all in to words.

What does my header say? Follow me on the journey and a journey it has been. I just wasn't sure how much I wanted to share. I also felt like I needed to take a few steps back and take a lot of deep, deep breaths.

So here is a brief update. Many details will be filled in later.

  1. I started the process in August of 2007. I chose my agency applied and officially went on the wait list January 5, 2008. I settled in for what was to be my 0-6 month wait.
  2. On Wednesday, April 30,2008 my agency and I came to a big impassable fork in the road. We officially parted ways on Monday, May 5, 2008 -- four months into the wait.
  3. I had some concerns early on (December), considered switching agencies but having just finished the paper chase and sending off the dossier, It was too much to think about starting over with another agency. Lessons Learned: An agency might be a great one but what's good for some may not be good for you. Trust your instincts.
  4. I began the process again and had to find another agency. What was immediately evident was that I had learned a great deal over my months in the process. Earlier I didn't know any better, I really didn't know the questions to ask. It was interesting talking to agencies and hearing the things that some of them said. Lessons Learned: What matters at the beginning of the process is not what matters in the middle or the end. Trust your instincts.
  5. So, believe it or not I talked to probably 10 agencies. Some didn't even exist when I started the process, some I would never have considered at the beginning. My needs were different, what mattered most to me was open communication. You will find that even bad news is better than no news or being pacified but people who don't think that you can "handle the truth." Lessons Learned: Ask all the questions that you need to ask and realize that the quality of the answer or NO answer speaks LOUDLY. Trust your instincts.
  6. I narrowed my choice to two agencies. I abandoned those two and I selected a waiting children's program. I selected two amazing children and began the new process. Application and fees paid, dossier documents prepared only to find out that the children weren't actually available. I was offered (I think) four sets in their place, however they may or may not be any more available than the last two. Having learned my lesson, I spent no more time on that program. Lessons Learned: Ask more questions about how and when children are referred. We focus so much on our paperwork but are the children paper ready?
  7. I stepped back took a couple of deep breaths and went back to my first choice. I started over. This is the right choice for me and I am only sad that I didn't choose them earlier. Application filed, fees paid, dossier documents prepared and sent off. Lesson Learned: Trust your instincts.
Well that's the update. At least it is what I'm comfortable sharing at this point. More to come I promise. I'm not going to change my process or wait time clock. But, let's consider today the new start.


Robbin said...

Hi Valerie, I've been watching your blog for a while and was wondering why your wait seemed so much longer than some others. I totally understand now every word that you are saying when you say, what you needed now is different from what you needed then, I definitely see how the agency doesn't necessary fit after you see what it is that they are "supposed to" be doing for us. I know it takes so much courage to move on when you feel like you have committed so much to this partnership. But its like any bad relationship, you want to stay cause you are really scared to start over. I hope that I am making sense and not rambling. I think that you have an amazing referral on its way and I hope that I figured out between the lines who you went with cause I know you deserve a perfect fit. Hindsight is 20/20 for sure. I wish you luck, and blessings as you journey to meeting your little ones.


VALARIE - Single, mother-to-be of two bright-eyed Ethio children. said...

Robbin you made perfect sense. What's interesting is that if I had stayed with the agency I would still be on their wait list for siblings. So, it was not trusting my instincts that extended the time. Thanks for the good blessings, I will take them all. More good news to come, I'm sure.

Shrijnana said...

Hi Valarie, I had noticed you had been quiet on one of our shared groups lately and had wondered what was happening. I hope the new agency is a perfect fit and that you are able to announce great news soon.

graceling said...

Hi Valarie- I am so sorry that this has been a much more curvy path than originally anticipated. Hope you hear good news soon!

Anonymous said...

At first, I had the feeling of sadness about the Habesha children being adopted far away to live and grow exercising and experiencing very different traditions and cultures while their habesha root is rich with old and unique tradition and culture. But after witnessing the wonderful American and Canadian adoptive parents, I said to myself “This is perfect for the sake of the children.” Witnessing the unconditional love between the Habesha parents and their Adoptive/God given families/ teaches the life time lesson world wide to the ignorant and shows the way how the good people easily and beautifully can make the world a better place.
As long as the Habesha children are getting the most valuable treasures in life (love and respect), adopting them mainly by US and Canadian parents need to continue. It is good to the God created beautiful children and their blessed parents.

But there are few around trying to make a living at the expense of the children and their parents. Some agencies are using the adoption system as their own private business making unnecessary profits by delaying the process, not matching the right child, asking additional costs and worst than that by refusing those legible to adopt. There are behaving as if they are protecting their business punishing in many ways those speaking their mind freely, openly and frankly about the adoption that is good for the sake of the country and their parents but not necessarily to the agencies.

It is true; the vast majority of agencies are working their job while feeling the feeling of the children and their parents. But there are few out there trying to poison this wonderful and innocent feeling bringing their personal interest before everything.
This is not a harvest time to make the living using the situation to score own advantage. This is the harvest time the Beautiful and handsome habesha children being adopted by wonderful and example parents mainly in US and Canada.

If the US and Ethiopian govt are not intervened and mainly the parents are not actively participated to oppose and expose bad agencies, the whole adoption issue will be stop soon rather than later.
Ethiopians are not only what they are looking from outside, but more than that in a good way. Honesty, justice, respect, history, culture and their Fidel which the only African born Alphabet among the many pride they have. Being poor materially is bad but a temporary one while being rich spiritually is a forever wealth feeling to the Ethiopians. If the adoption process is not going as it was/is for the sake of the children and their parents, we ordinary Ethiopians will make sure to stop it. Ethiopians are not brothers and sisters no matter who and where they are. Their unique natural look bonds them with love and respect mainly when they are facing anyone from outside. Ethiopians love their children very very much, Think about it mister bad agency of whatever else.

It is not who is rich materially but who is good under God’s umbrella.

Lots of love and respect to the wonderful parents. With the human standard, you are perfect. Continue loving your Habesha children. When they grown up, they will make you proud and happy. Teach them their history rather than concentrating how their country is poor or other stuffs. Their more than 3000 well recorded Habesha History serves as a motivation them to grow faster and well to become the better person.

Dear Valerie,

Do what you have to do and you are doing brilliantly. The rest will come when it is it's time and you really are ready for.

When I get the time, your blog is one of the blogs I’m visiting and I like it.

Anonymous said...

Here is again the above anonymous,

Before I posted my previous writing, I didn't read what I have written. As a result there are some mistakes here and there. for instance instead of saying “Ethiopians are sisters and brothers” there is a word “ not” mentioned accidentally. Trying to understand the concept what I was trying to say about.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you've had to go through all of this. I hope good news comes soon for you.


kristine said...


I'm sorry to hear your path has been so difficult. I'll be keeping you and your children in my thoughts and I'm looking forward to the day when I read that they are finally safe at home.

Warm Regards,

VALARIE said...

Thanks everyone for your support. Even though it sounds difficult and unfortunate I truly feel like this is such a positive move for me. Once I knew that I had to make a decision I did not approach it with sadness, anger or regret. I saw it has God placing me on the right path. I can't tell you how relieved and comfortable that I feel right now.

Especially to my anonymous Ethiopian friend. Your words mean a great deal. I understood everything that you were trying to say.

Maria and Family said...

I am so sorry you journey has been long and filled with stress. I hope this is the right fit for you. I look forward to following you "new" journey!

Holly said...

Wow Valerie... I have been checking in and wondering why so long with no updates. You have had a lot going on. I can't even pretend to understand all you must have gone through emotionally these past few months.
I am going to be so thrilled for you when the CHOSEN CHILDREN find their way into your heart!!!!
They are on the way!

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]