Thursday, January 8, 2009
Well here we are, just a few short days before our adventure begins; a journey to India that will bring together a family separated by half a world. Well, that's not completely true, our adventure began in the fall of '07 when we decided that international adoption was the path that we would follow. What began as the simple desire by a couple for a more complete family quickly turned into a world-class paper chase. Home studies, background checks, financial forms, fingerprints, and homeland security; we were under a microscope, and this was just the beginning. After an exhausting first few weeks our home study was approved. The hardest part was over, or so we thought. All that was left was to wait for that phone call that would bring us word of our future child. So we waited.
The adoption process is a bitter sweet one. There are moments you feel on top of the world, followed by periods of isolation, when you haven't heard anything for months, and you're sure you are all alone and nobody else understands. It was like that for us; a roller coaster ride of emotions with spectacular highs and immense lows that taught us a lot about ourselves and our relationship. We're not the same people we were a year ago, and we look forward to what we will become in the future.
And we waited. For over 7 months we waited for that call that would change our lives. A call that came on July 10th, 2008. Julie, the director of our local adoption agency called with news of a little boy in India. A beautiful little boy that we knew instantly we belonged to. In fact he would later be certified by the Indian government as the cutest little boy ever to be born there...well, he should be anyway ;-)
After an initial wave of euphoria, it became clear that the paperwork wasn't over. In two weeks we notarized over twenty documents, had them certified by the County Clerk of Fayette County and then apostilled by the Secretary of State of Kentucky. All of this to begin a long, slow, bureaucratic , court-driven Indian adoption process. Finally the paperwork was done. And we waited.
Fast forward to December. Close to noon on a busy work day I took a call from Suzanne, our liaison with AIAA, our foreign adoption agency. He had cleared the Indian courts almost two months ahead of schedule and he would be ready to travel mid-January. We probably should have taken the rest of that day off, because we were useless; all we could think about was him and our pending adventure. After another wave of excitement, the reality of planning such a trip to the other side of the world sank in. Plane tickets, hotel reservations, packing lists and a nursery occupied most of our waking hours; not to mention figuring out what to pack for a nine month old we have only met in pictures, but feel like we've known forever. Most of that is squared away. Not much left to do now but count the days until we travel. So little time remaining for our old lives, but just the beginning of a new family with Manu, our son.
Jeff and Leslie