The Frozen YearPosted by Kim
In keeping with what has become an annual tradition, Fred and I, the kids, my sisters and brother-in-law headed up to PA to ring in the new year at our aunt’s and uncle’s lake house. And as I sit here, on the third New Years Eve since we began our Salvadoran adoption, looking out at the geese and the humans moving about the frozen surface, it’s hard to deny that the scenery is a fitting metaphor for our adoption process this year.
We will look back on 2010 as the year (hopefully “the” year and not just “a” year!) that our case made no significant progress whatsoever in El Salvador. Our file has remained at the Oficina para las Adopciones (Office for Adoptions) in San Salvador for the entirety of 2010 (on the heels of the last third of 2009). Sure, it’s been verified as “complete” – but we knew that before we ever sent it.
But at the same time, it’s been the backdrop for a whole bunch of other movement.
Because we’re thinking “adoption,” we’ve become significantly more aware of the issues, of the perspectives of the others in the triad, of ways to intervene – other than adoption – to support families and cultures who haven’t been as blessed as we have with wealth and socio-political stability. I began 2010 with no idea how many birth/first mom bloggers and adult adoptee bloggers there are out there. And so many other adoptive parents are traveling the same path we are, as we seek to be more fully aware, loving and respectful of our kids’ stories.
Then, too, we’ve watched friends bring home their children and settle into the new life of family-by-adoption, just like we did nearly four years ago. Many of them are coming up to speed on all the ramifications much more quickly than parents did even a few years ago. It’s encouraging to see, and I know we will have plenty of support when and if our turn comes.
And if nothing else, the length of our wait has gotten us to the top of our agency’s waiting-family list in El Salvador. One family ahead of us has a referral match of an older child and is waiting for Family Court to finalize; and another came home with their little one this Fall. We’re still in a queue of over 140 international families, last I heard. Some have long since left the program and finalized adoptions from other countries, but there doesn’t seem to be a system in place to weed out those “dead files.” And there are at least some Salvadoran families adopting from the orphanage system, too, which is very good news for the kids getting to stay in their native country (assuming these are safe and loving Salvadoran families). Even by not-moving, we’ve still sort of moved…bubbled to the surface with our agency and in-country attorney, anyway.
So, no, being stuck hasn’t been all bad. We’ve certainly grown this year, and the extra time as the “onlies” has been very good for the twins. But that doesn’t mean I’m not ready for a thaw. A match tomorrow would be wonderful! The kids I met last February were all-too-ready to have moms of their own to take an interest in them. But even a “we don’t want to send our kids to live with you, silly gringos” from the Salvadoran powers-that-be would end the holding pattern.
Content to have lived The Frozen Year. But equally ready for something new from 2011.