Yesterday, my five-year-old was asked by another child, “So who is your real mom?” Coming from another child, I realized the innocence behind this question. My daughter quickly pointed to me and said, “She is!” The other child pressed further by asking a more pointed, “Yeah, but who is your REAL mom?” I stepped in to help answer the question appropriately by clarifying, “Do you mean, who is her birth mom?” Once we had that clarified, I had to answer honestly and say that we didn’t know who here birth mom and birth dad were. My daughter is a deep thinker and today she asked some further questions such as “Why did my birth mom have to give me up?” Tough questions to answer. I have read enough articles and books to know that I shouldn’t glamorize this story, especially since I don’t know the details. But since I am answering a five-year-old, I also try to handle it somewhat delicately given her age and maturity status.
Reflecting back on these conversations, I realize this is an example of the hard part of adoption. A part that is broken and cannot be fixed. A part of her story that is incomplete and that I can never fully give details to because I don’t know them. A part of history that I wish I could rewrite for her. And yet, it is part of her story. So we have these conversations. And I ponder the unanswered questions in my heart for each of my daughters.
So where are we in our current adoption process? We have just finished our home study. This is a lengthy document that has been compiled by our social worker after several months of face-to-face meetings and completing various documents. We have submitted our I-800a application to request a fingerprinting appointment through US Center for Immigration Services. We hope to be fingerprinted in the coming weeks. Once that has been completed, we will assemble all of our documents (after they have been certified by our Secretary of State and the US Secretary of State as well as authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in DC) that make up our DOSSIER. This is a fancy word that represents months and months of work on our part. This dossier will be submitted to China where we will be officially logged into their system where we begin the wait to be matched with our child. I’m hopeful that we can have our dossier on its way to China in December. That would be a nice birthday/Christmas present, don’t you agree?
We’ll continue to update as progress is made. Thanks for continuing to follow along.