Miss Gioia

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Family Way

During my crazy layover in Hong Kong Monday, I picked up this book - a killing time in the airport book, a 'life's too hard for non-fiction right now' book. This chick lit was all about babies - getting pregnant, not getting pregnant. It was light enjoyable reading, until I got to nearly the end. One of the couples in the book (who were having troubles conceiving) took a buisness trip to Hong Kong and decided to "go visit China" on a lark. Once there, they somewhow made their way to an orphanage where they spied a little girl, whom they decided to adopt. But they had to stay in China for two extra months to get all of the paperwork done, and it was oh so cumbersome, with all of those "security checks" and everything.

As the Brits say, bollucks.

What kind of crappy ass research did this author do before he plunged headfirst into the world of international adoption? We have friends considering adoption who are British citizens. From what they say, it it even harder and takes longer to get approved for international adoption in Great Britain than in the United States, and it certainly could not be done while touring China. And what is this picking out your baby business? Ridiculous.

The reality is one full year of paperwork: home studies, and police clearances, financial records, testimonies from everyone you have ever known, personal statements, birth certificates, marriage certificates, fingerprints, child abuse clearances... Then when you finally submit your application, it is another 13 months (if you are expedited, MUCH longer if not) of waiting for a match made for you by the China Center for Adoption Affairs.

As you wait for your referral, you gather all of the books and supplies, you buy a crib and decorate the nursery. You child-proof your house so she will be safe. You get it all ready (but never truly ready). Even after all that is done, she is still not here. And your husband gets anxious and says, wow, this is crazy. And your family stops even asking when she is coming because it is too long of a time to sustain the anticipation. Your friend comes over for dinner and says - this is too big of a house for only two of you. And your husband says - soon it will be four of us though, when Gioia and Frankie arrive! And your heart leaps a bit at that, but then constricts with worry as you think about how long until then, how much we must get through until then.

The one year anniversary of our log in date is tomorrow.



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