Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jammin' in my PUNJAMMIES

There are days when I stop and wonder what the F*@# is wrong with people.  I apologize for the crass opening of this post but I just got finished reading an article about Raiding a Brothel in India.  Amongst the girls they rescued was a 5 year old.  5. years. old.  That's Sofia's age.  It made me want to vomit.  I am torn between wanting to put my head in the sand because it stresses me out so much and wanting to do SOMETHING.
  It is estimated that one million children will be forced into prostitution this year.  In India, there are over 2 million women and children working as prostitutes (1).  Every day, about 200 girls and women enter prostitution, 80% of them against their will (2).
  It's a vicious cycle of poverty, caste system, disease and illiteracy.  A child of a prostitute is not allowed by law to enter the public school system.  It's basically a done deal; a fate sealed for life.
  There are at least 80 organizations working to rescue and provide healing and after care for these women and children.  Successful transition back into society and keeping them from re-victimization is dependent upon these women and children learning a sustainable skill that provides a viable lifestyle.
  Enter PUNJAMMIES by International Princess Project.  These pajamas are awesome!  Not only do they look amazing, but they are super comfy.  The tops are 100% organic cotton.  And the best part?  Every PUNJAMMIE purchase creates
A fair trade wage
Deposit into a savings account
Financial support for holistic care
Capacity building for more women to enter the after-care center
HOPE to a woman who once was voiceless

Get your PUNJAMMIES on!!!  I got mine!

(1) BBC Report on Number of Sex Workers in India
(2) Dr KK Mukherjee NGO report on prostitution

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Patti LaBelle is my new BFF

You know how you get a song stuck in your head? and it's usually one that has a really bad hook to it?  Well here's a throwback to Patti LaBelle's classic from the 80's "I Got a New Attitude."  Well, I got one and a new blog design to go with it!

What it is about our human misery that is seems like we try to one up each other in this category as well?  I've been around so many women who, when the conversation turns to pregnancy or childbirth, I always felt badly for the one who had an 'easy' pregnancy or quick labor with no drama because the other moms jumped all over her about how lucky she was then proceeded to list off all the things that went wrong with their situation.  It's like it becomes a bidding war on who's experience was worse so they can win the pats on the back.

I realized that there's a subtle undercurrent of this same sensationalism and competition in the adoption world and I was quickly becoming a part of it.  I've been following people's blogs who are adopting from the same countries as I am.  I caught myself rolling my eyes when one hopeful adoptive mom was lamenting about how long she has had to wait (less than a year) to go and pick up her babies that she received a referral for 6 weeks after she submitted paperwork.  It's a slippery, slippery slope to Bitterness Boulevard!  I caught myself and thought, "You are such a B*tch!"  I found myself having an internal dialogue listing off all the things that have gone wrong or not according to MY plan in this adoption journey, and how long I've been waiting, and how much money I've spent and lost, and blah, blah, blah...I am no different from the women who complained about their horrible pregnancies and birth stories.  I should not begrudge anyone their journey.  It is their journey. AND, I was her!  I remember being fresh on the adoption journey and you want that baby here, NOW. So, I get it- I just forgot it.  I needed a slap upside the head.

I still haven't received the match paperwork back from India. But I'm not bitter :)  I asked my agency about the families who just completed their adoptions from the same area of India how it worked for them.  She told me, and I quote, "it took a LONG time for them to get their match paperwork."  Score.  Too bad I have a new attitude because I could add that to my arsenal to win my award for the most complicated adoption ever!  Tomorrow there is supposed to be a webinar where we receive enlightenment on the process- more info on time frames, etc.  I think it's most fortunate for me that I will be teaching class at that time and will instead receive it via email in powerpoint format.  Part of my attitude adjustment is that I'm not bankin' on any of this time frame stuff.  From here on out, I'm day to day.

So in honor of my new attitude I will leave you with this amazing video- I don't think you will find a finer music video out there!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shouting from the rooftops!


I have been dying to post this since the end of June but with how everything went down with Nepal, I guess I was a little apprehensive and wanted to wait until I had some official paperwork back from India. I kept waiting and waiting and praying and praying.  And then I realized that in my quest to be "safe" I was also lacking faith.  Adoption is HARD.  Wow is it hard.  Looking back, I see that I got a lot of my strength to get through the really rough parts from all of the prayers and support of others.  SO I am asking if you would please read the rest of this post and PLEASE PRAY that it will all work out the way it's supposed to :)  O.K., so here's how it all went down:

God sure works in CRAZY ways and I still can't believe how everything came together.  Back in 2009 when I started my country search, I originally looked into India.  I wrote it off because for a single, non-Indian you had to be open to older children or special needs and long wait times.  Jokes on me!!  Funny thing is that 3 months ago when I felt like God was leading me to India and special needs, it was a total and complete surrender of my dream. I submitted to the fact that it would be at least 18-24 months and the original "idea" (baby, nepalese) of how I thought she would be was gone.  I was even to the point of wondering if it was in His plan for me to have a daughter.   I went back through my journal to when I first started out on this journey and all of my prayers went something along the lines of, "please let her be as young as possible...."  "Please let her be free of any emotional trauma..."  "Protect her from this and that..." I was so myopic in my quest for a daughter that I would have missed out on the most beautiful, precious little girl!  I can see now that God used Nepal and the suspension to change my heart- to OPEN it to HIS will for my life.  I can honestly say that I am SO THANKFUL that I went through what seemed like a torturous hell in order to come out on this side of it.  It's unbelievable to me that only a  week after I withdrew from the Nepal program, I found my little girl.  It's almost as if  God was waiting for me to get to the point where I was open to whoever He had in store for me and BAM!  Here she is!! I had to come full circle.  Now, I can't imagine anyone else being my daughter!  She has completely grabbed ahold of my heart - I cannot wait to finally meet her!  I am so completely in love with her and I can't look at her picture enough!

If you have seen the movie Slumdog Millionaire, then I'm pretty sure that you are aware of how horrible the conditions are for orphans in India and probably learned about the amount of neglect and abuse that they live through on a daily basis.  I'm not going to go into details, but I'm thankful for the orphanages there.  They provide a much needed refuge for many of those children.  Sofía was found when she was 2-3ish years old in 2009 (coincidentally, right around the time I started my country search).  She has some scarring that occurred sometime during her first short 2-3 years.  She is considered special needs because she is not a baby/toddler and has the scarring.  Cognitively and physically she has met all of her milestones.  I think she is the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen.  The first picture I got of her, there was something in her eyes that I just felt like - here's a little fighter.  She's got determination.  She has had a rough start and now all I want to do is get on that plane and bring her home!!!!  This child has so much love coming her way and I am so BLESSED that I get to be her mommy!

So now I am waiting to get the official match paperwork back from India.  This is what I have been waiting for over a month.  I need this in order to move forward with her adoption.  THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF PAPER!!!!  Once I have that, I have to get my homestudy switched to India and the immigration paperwork filed.  One big drawback in all of this is that none of the money I spent on Nepal can transfer and neither can the immigration.  But, I am confident that God will provide!  I have been picking up mad shifts at the restaurant and I've already found a couple of grants online for waiting/special needs children that I'm going to look into and see if I/ she qualifies.  I'm really, really praying that she will be home by Christmas.  This would be miraculous since she happens to be in a part of India that moves especially slow with their international adoptions.  Go figure, right?  However, I KNOW that God has provided in the past so I'm praying for that CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

 I have to give a special shout out to the Dew Crew because they have been SUPER supportive and were so excited for me and gushed over her picture, shed tears with me, and made me feel like one proud mama!  I wish I could post it, but legally I am not allowed until she is legally mine.  As soon as this little lovebug is home, you will be inundated with pics of her beautiful face!  My agency also sent me a 35 second video of her.  I can't even put into words the emotions that video brought to the surface.  It was such a precious gift but at the same time my heart aches for her even more.  I am in continual prayer that her adoption will seriously be the quickest Indian adoption EVER.

I do have a couple of prayer requests please:))-

1) that I would receive the official match paperwork from India ASAP!!!  I need this to move forward!!

2) Um - for the fastest adoption EVER!  Seriously, this comes from concern.  She has had a rough start and I want to get her into her family environment ASAP to start the emotional healing.  The healing that comes from a family is miraculous.  It has been documented many, many times!  I want Sofía to  experience her childhood the way every child should-IN A FAMILY!!!.

3) Moolah- cheese, cheddar, paper, dough, flow, cashola whatever you want to call it, I need it to bring her home.  I've been looking into some grants for waiting/special needs but haven't been able to apply to any yet because I am waiting to hear back from India that they officially accept me.  Please pray that something will come of these!  And also, that the funds will become available however God chooses to provide.  I know that adoption and caring for orphans is in line with His will, so I know He will bless this:)

4) Patience for me while I wait.  It's about a gazillion times harder to be here waiting when I know her past, can look at her face every day, watch her video (over and over:))), know that she has no idea that there's a mommy waiting for her halfway across the world, and have to trust that all of my paperwork is being handled by strangers, and all I want to do is put my arms around her and hold her.   This is really hard for me to trust that God will bring us together in his perfect time.  I have also been praying that God would put hope in her little heart.  She won't know about me until almost the very end.  Obviously, this is done out of protection for the children in the event that something crazy happens and an adoption can't be completed.

I would really appreciate it if you would be praying these things for her/me/us!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me on this journey!  I can't wait until you get to meet this special little one in person :)