Well it’s been entirely too long since I’ve posted here, but that’s entirely because I haven’t known what to say.

The El Salvador adoption?  Hasn’t budged an inch since we heard from them last year.  And while we understand that, on the one hand, we’re getting close to being done waiting for a process that just isn’t processing.  We respect the sovereign right of a country not to select international adoption for its orphans, in theory.  I’m not convinced that the best-interest of said orphans is actually WHY we haven’t heard from E.S.  But there are kids waiting right here in the U.S. who need familes, and as our own kids get older, more and more of them are becoming possible fits for our family.

But that’s a decision for another day.

Today’s post has more to do with the adoption we completed five years ago.  The adoption of the twins who are now totally immersed in our family, our culture, and the U.S. way of life.  While still maintaining a loyalty and affection for the birth family and culture they left behind when they became our sons five years ago.

Ours is one of the adoption “Success Stories.”  We love them, they love us; they manifest none of the really “scary” traits of traumatized kids.

Anymore.  They did.  Now they don’t.  But still…

We recently celebrated our 5-year “Gotcha Day” with the twins (their choice in terminology), and it was a great day of remembering when the four of us became a family.  At the same time, though, it’s one of the stake-in-the-ground days when we all remember that that was Day 1 for “us.”  We all had stories before that day.  January 2007 was just when our 4 stories all intersected.

What I wish we had known 5 YEARS AGO is: Read the rest of this entry

Oh, and About that Name…

A long time ago, I blogged about why we didn’t change the boys’ names (except to give them our last name, of course).  BOY am I glad we didn’t.

After some run-around with U.S.C.I.S. (and some procrastination on my part), I have FINALLY acquired the boys’ official adoption paperwork, as submitted when we entered this country nearly five years ago.

And we thought we had photocopies of all the important stuff.

We didn’t.

Pushing past an initial brush-off from our nation’s immigration department, I filed again this past September, loading them up with all the past history of my attempts to acquire our sons’s original adoption paperwork.

And this time, it worked.  And not only do we have pictures of them and of their other mama that we never had before, we now have the names of their maternal grandparents!

The boys were ecstatic!  ”We have 3 grandmoms and 3 granddads!” (They have “known” for years that they have four sets… but the 3rd one just became more real because they have names!]

But the best news?  One of them shares his first name and middle initial with their grandfather.  We know why he has his name!

It’s something birth parents take for granted – the rationale behind a child’s name.  And we were just able to give that to him this week.  He’s seven.

We’re so far behind.  But how grateful are we that we were given the good sense to keep their names?

Their names are their story.  And we just got a little piece more of it this week.

The Not-Update

Thanks to those of you who have hung in with us, despite my bloggy absence.

No, we haven’t had any further news from El Salvador regarding our application to adopt there.  Not since they asked for additional information back in February.

Maybe we scared them away with our lack of a nanny?

Pro’ly not.  Seeing as how El Salvador only processed 8 international adoptions to the U.S. in the past 12 months.  More likely we’re just caught up in the stunning lack of coordinated-movement that is the El Salvador adoption process.

Sigh.

So, no, I’m not leaving anyone out of what’s going on here.  There’s just not anything going on here – NEW adoption-wise, anyway.

But our first one has proven to keep providing us with plenty to process.  More on that soon…

 

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Tiny Talk Tuesday is a blog carnival started a few years ago by my friend Mary over at NotBefore7 in order to capture the sweet and funny things our kids say as they’re figuring out life (and language!).  Here are just a couple things heard around OUR house recently:

Incredible Shrinking Parents

[Discussing the last day of summer camp]

Me: Remember, guys, you need to take your shoes off before you get in the moon bounce, so you don’t hurt someone, ok?

José: Are you going to go in the moon bounce, too?

Me: No, the bounce is just for the kids.

J: Yeah, if the mommies want to go, too, they’re gonna have to shorten up!

_________

Is That What I Sound Like?

[Stuck behind a slow driver the other day] Read the rest of this entry

The Week’s Links

A few good reads from this week.  As always, I don’t necessarily agree with all the opinions expressed but do appreciate that they were expressed and provided perspectives worth considering.

Open Adoption Roundtable #26: Talking about siblings in adoption at Mama C and the Boys on discussing biological siblings of adopted children with the adopted siblings of those children (got all that?).

Birth Parent Bias? at SocialWrkr24/7 : Eyes Opened Wider which I appreciated reading because when I did children-and-family therapy, before I was an adoptive parent, it used to frustrate me to no end how many times courts would reunify kids with their parents only for them to be re-abused repeatedly.  She presents the other side of that thought process.

He Has Had Enough, Thank You Very Much at The Dalai Mama on her son’s response to her making sure he has plenty of opportunities to play with other kids who look like him.

Crazy, Emotional Week at Elaine’s Blog – on being the secret granddaughter in her biological family (she was adopted into another one, but is reunified with her first).

Something to Think About at Linda’s El Salvador Blog (not an adoption topic – yes I do read other blogs, too!) – on the “luxury” of trash removal.

Parenting While Not Noticing Race at Adoption Talk (why she’s against it).

For little hearts to heal at Rileys in Uganda discusses the child-trafficking issue that intersects with our adoption world.

I want a mom who never goes away at Percolated Paradox by an adult foster-care “graduate” on the effects of never having a permanent family.

Living with the mess at Pound Pup Legacy provides personal perspective on why foster and adopted children sometimes hoard food or other items – worth the read for anyone parenting one of these kids.

…and for those of you not “down with the lingo,” that’s “Prospective Adoptive Parent.”  And this part of my story is one of the reasons I went blog-silent for a solid quarter of this year.

I’ve written before about how involved we’ve gotten with our church’s Hispanic ministry.  I’ve mentioned my now-very-close friend Reina a number of times, and that she escaped February’s house fire out a second story window while 6 1/2 months pregnant.  Well, for months before the fire I was driving Reina to her pre-natal appointments and helping with paperwork and with understanding the insurance system here in our state.  ‘Cause it’s daunting even when you’re used to living here.  Completely overwhelming when you speak another language, haven’t been here long, weren’t planning on a pregnancy, and reside squarely in the working-to-survive class.

Then add a house fire and the loss of every dollar and every identifying document you own, two and a half months before your due date.

“Vulnerable” doesn’t begin to describe it.  For nearly a month after the fire, she was so stressed out that the only thing she could keep down was bananas and a little bit of water. Read the rest of this entry

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Tiny Talk Tuesday is a blog carnival started a few years ago by my friend Mary over at NotBefore7 in order to capture the sweet and funny things our kids say as they’re figuring out life (and language!).  Here are just a couple things heard around OUR house recently:

Where’s this Heading?

[My sister Amy and I were leveling out our picnic area in the backyard for our other sister's wedding a few weeks ago.]

Heriberto: Mama, can we help?

Me: Sure!  Here are some rakes; just try to make the dirt smooth and flat, like we are.

[Minutes later]

H: Mama, how ’bout we just use our feet and stomp it flat.

Me: Ok, whatever.  That’s fine.

[Minutes later]

H: Mama, can we take our shoes off and stomp in our bare feet?

Me: Umm, sure, why not?

[Much dancing and whooping and digging of toes in the dirt ensues, and then...]

H: Mama, what happens if we just get down in the dirt and snuggle it?

[???!!] Read the rest of this entry

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Tiny Talk Tuesday is a blog carnival started a few years ago by my friend Mary over at NotBefore7 in order to capture the sweet and funny things our kids say as they’re figuring out life (and language!).  Here are just a couple things heard around OUR house recently:

Should’a Sprung for the Chest X-ray:

The boys and I were out trimming back some plants in our front gardens, when José asked me, “Mama, what was it again that our bushes had and then you had to dig them out and throw them away?”

[Correct answer: Gall.]

Heriberto (with full authority of tone): José, you know the answer to that question. It was tubarkulosis.

[Or that.]

 

The Purpose-Driven Side-Effect:

José (humming to himself, then starts singing): Chemotherapy, chemotherapy, chemotherapy… Read the rest of this entry

The Week’s Links

Since I just reentered the blogosphere yesterday, this is going to be a mighty short list.  But let me say, I am really enjoying reading everyone’s thoughts once again!  Here are a few of the posts I recommend today.  As always, I don’t necessarily agree with all the opinions expressed, but I value that they were expressed.

My Salvadoran Crocodile Dundeeat Latina-ish – is a funny account of the valience of Tracy’s marido (husband) in saving their family from a very persistent snake.

Love and Regretover at Adoption Choices – A hopeful and inspiring post about the reality of living in an open adoption (while honest that it’s not always easy).

We are here!at Our Little Tongginator – After 5 years of waiting, my friend Tonggu Mama is on her adoption trip (with husband, mom and daughter) to bring home their second Chinese-American daughter.

First-world problems that are ruining the lives of my children at Rage Against the Minivan Read the rest of this entry

After months of “no time to blog,” I’m  finally making it back online.  More on what kept me away later, but this afternoon I’ve been blessed by a good friend hosting a movie date with the twins.  So I have a whole 2 hours to myself!  (Thanks, Jocie!)

And this afternoon’s break just happens to coincide with our completing the last step of our 2nd annual Home Study Update.  That’s right, we’re now rounding out our 3rd year of this adoption process with El Salvador.  Still no decision one way or another from our most-top-of-mind Central American country, but that doesn’t mean we get to let our paperwork lapse here in the States.

I wrote last year about the process and paperwork involved in completing a Home Study Update here in Maryland.  This year, though, we had the added pleasure of needing to re-do our home Sanitation and Fire Safety Inspection in addition to the rest of the updates.

I requested ours 7 weeks ago tomorrow.  Today was the first available date.

So this morning, promptly at 9 a.m., a very nice man named Merle – who bore an uncanny resemblance to Ron Howard, so I have the theme tune whistle from The Andy Griffith Show stuck in my head, thanks Merle – scrutinized our house from top to bottom.  Just in case we’d decided to let it go to pot in the last two years. Read the rest of this entry