Monday, April 12, 2010

Closure. Or Open-sure?

This post is a bit overdue. For some who I talk to outside of this virtual world, this is old news, but I finally felt ready to wrap things up and share the ending with you. The ending of this particular story anyway, I like to think there is a beginning of another one somewhere out of all this.
Somewhere around mid-end March we had, or rather I should say I had, another financial reality check. I remember when it happened, I was staring out the kitchen window at Bek playing with the two neighbor boys in the backyard. These two boys, who are being raised by their unusually young grandparents, who swear and shout and can’t drive because of multiple DUIs. One of these boys taught Bek what the middle finger is. He had no idea what it was. Yeah, thanks neighbors. I try to find the good in people, I really do. But I can’t find anything but lazy trashy neglectful possibly abusive parenting here. And I don’t want Bek growing up here. I don’t know what that makes me sound like but it doesn’t matter, it’s not part of the story.
We’ve wanted to move for a while, but put it on the back burner when we decided to pick the adoption back up. I realized, as I heard the 6 year old boy from next door use a very ugly racial slur, that with the adoption debt, we will be stuck here forever, or at least another 10 years. A sad reality started creeping up my spine. The reality was that IF we could even somehow come up with the amount we were short, we’d be sacrificing the quality of life for the child we already have. Not to mention our own.
I knew all of this for a long time, in theory. My husband continually told me we cannot do this, that it would ruin us. I kept telling him it would work out somehow. Love conquers all! Except debt, sagging roofs, bad neighbors and high interest rates, of course.
I fought it, even though I knew it was true. This could NOT be happening, again. How many times have we started and stopped? This baby was already alive and waiting for us. Our dossier is already over there. We’ve already spent $4k. I’ve started painting the room. We’ve told Bek over and over about ‘when your baby brother or sister gets here’. But I knew it. Knew it not only wasn’t meant to be, but that it couldn’t be.
All this paints the picture that we are hobos living in a one room shack! We are normal “middle class” people. We have a nice-ish house in a city with an excellent school system. We can afford some nice things, have a savings and 401k and a college account for Bek, take vacations (frugally of course), we love good food and prefer French reds. *Sigh*.
Like any loss or death, this was the denial stage. Next was anger. Fuming Blazing Raging anger, that apparently only the wealthy can adopt more than one child! That we are kind good spiritual people ready to open our hearts and homes to one of the world’s orphans, someone neglected in an institution on the other side of the ocean without a mommy or daddy….if only we were in the right tax bracket. Why of all the nice people in our city, which I otherwise really enjoy, did these losers have to move right next to us!? C’mon, it’s wood and tar, why does a new roof have to be so flipping expensive?! Oh yea, I was pissed. About everything.
Then we were told that because many families were turning down referrals due to health issues, we might need to be prepared to take a third trip to select a child. With Russia’s internal foster program going strong, many of the children left available for adoption were not the healthiest. This all really knocked it out of the ballpark, there was no way we could do this. The additional airfare and lodging would put the total cost somewhere around 50k. In a way, this was good for me, because seriously, that is just too much for us.
AAaand then came acceptance. Not only about the financial part, but that I had some other certain nagging feelings in the back of my mind all along. Health of the children, political issues (during this time there was another terrorist attack on the subway in Moscow). Then a few news stories broke about yet another nutjob American sending her adopted Russian son back to Moscow on a plane by himself. Rumor started circulating that Russian adoptions would stop, or at least put on hold temporarily. I don’t think this has happened yet. For all the families waiting I pray that they don’t shut it down, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did.
Then, in a routine thyroid exam, a lump was discovered on my thyroid. I am going for an ultrasound today, and it will likely (hopefully) be benign. Even if it is malignant, it is very very treatable form of cancer.
It all added up to this just not happening for us. When I look at all that was stacked against us, I’m pretty sure the universe, God, whoever, kept trying to send me a message. I kept not hearing the message until I practically had to get hit on the head with it.
I am NOT giving up though. I have already begun researching other options (hhhmm Korea maybe?). But for right now, our goal is to sell our house, focus on Bek, and my health.
I love the cathartic therapeutic outlet of this blog though, and will continue to post about parenting, adoption, cooking, life in general. Thanks for reading up until now, and stay with me if you like!


Carolynn and Steve said...

oh, Jen.
I know what a hard decision this has had to have been for you all. Please know that my prayers are with you through all of this--I'm still here!


Amy and Corey said...


I will always read this blog, so don't ever stop. BTW, Korean adoption rocks if ever you decide on that.

LEW said...

NNNNOOOOoooooo...I was just looking at houses on your street. Please don't go!

Regardless of your address, we'll always be surrounded by some idiot's human nature. They're part of the whole education of childhood.

Gregory just told me last week, "Mom, I don't like playing with our neighbor kids. They don't make good choices."

Downside - we must travel for playdates. Upside - kid is smart for his years.

Hang in here, Jen. I REALLY want your family in Lakewood!