Saturday, August 29, 2009
In case you are wondering, both of the interviews went great. We got some more information from our adoption agency about John Sergeant. We were given a better idea of our timeline and what to expect when we go to Russia. It was very reassuring and I feel like I have a much better idea of the whole Russian adoption process now. Our homestudy interview was more personal; just a lot of questions about our family and such.
So this isn't the most interesting post ever. But it's very exciting to us and I'm thrilled to be able to document three more steps toward bringing John Sergeant home!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tomorrow: Phone interview (adoption agency) at ten a.m. and first homestudy interview with(homestudy agency) at 2 p.m. Whew!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Early one morning, Greg and I were laying in bed and Clayton came to join us (as he often does...usually between 5 and 6 a.m....why o why?). He was chatting it up so we knew there was no hope of dozing back off for an extra hour of sleep. So we started talking about Sarge and where his place would be in our bed when he got home. Out of nowhere, Clayton yelled, "HEY! SARGE CAN BE THE JELLY!" Explanation: we make "Clayton sandwiches" which is a family hug with Clayton in the middle. I guess he was thinking he could be the peanut butter and Sarge could be the jelly and we could make pb&j sandwiches instead of Clayton sandwiches! I love the way that little mind thinks.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
True confession time. I never thought we would adopt internationally. I always said, "There are so many children suffering in America, why would we go to another country to adopt?" Not that I disagreed with international adoption at all, but my personal experiences just led me to feel strongly about domestic adoption. You see, I've been a social worker for almost 10 years. I've seen more than enough abused and neglected children right here in the U.S. So it was hard for me to understand going around the world to adopt a child. But then we started researching waiting children with Down Syndrome. When we learned that there are over 200 families on the waiting list to adopt a child with Down Syndrome in the U.S., our focus turned to international adoption. The statistics on orphans with Down Syndrome in other countries were absolutely staggering. Here are a few that I gathered on various humanitarian organizations' websites.
- There are 700,000 orphans in the country from which we are adopting, including "typical" children and those with special needs.
- Statistically, 1 in 733 live births results in a child with Down Syndrome, therefore there are approximately 955 children in the country from which we are adopting with DS who are orphans.
- There is no place in society for these children who are seen as "defective." They are put into orphanages by their families out of shame and fear. 90-95% of these orphans have at least one living parent and sometimes an entire family. Doctors typically advise the families to give the children up because of the widespread belief that these children will not be able to be contributing members of society.
- Children with special needs are allowed to stay in "baby houses" until they are 4 years old. Then they are transferred to state mental institutions or special orphanages for children with disabilities. Once they are transferred, they are no longer eligible to be adopted.
- 85% of these children die within the first year of being transferred due to the lack of proper medical care, nutrition or LOVE.
Below is a video expose' that I found on orphans in mental institutions in Serbia. Although we are not adopting from Serbia, the conditions shown are very similar in many Eastern European countries. If you choose to watch this video, please be prepared for some heartbreaking graphic images of less than humane conditions.
We have been told to expect a negative response to us when we walk the streets with our child when we go to pick him up. We have been told that complete strangers may come up and chastise us for having our child in public. I just can't imagine living in a society where humans with disabilities are seen as disgraceful, disposable and social outcasts. This is one of the most compelling reasons we had for choosing international adoption.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Or, you can click on my super-cool button in the right sidebar, designed by Amanda! You can also add it to your own blog if you wanna copy the code below the button. And would you look at that elephant...seems Sarge is already a Bama fan!
And now I'm off to do a happy dance...
Clayton: "Why are you looking at Sarge?" (I was actually calling somebody on my cell phone but Sarge's pic is the background pic on my phone).
Me: "Well, I have his picture on here because I miss him and looking at his picture helps me feel better."
Clayton: (after a couple of minutes of silence) "Mommy? I miss Sarge too. Can I have your phone to call him?"
Me: "Clayton, Sarge is a long way from Tuscaloosa. Mommy and daddy will have to fly on a big airplane to go get him."
Clayton: "You don't have to go. The mailman can just bring him."
Me: "We are going to give Sergey a new name. We are going to name him Jonathan Sergeant. You can call him John Sergeant or Sarge."
Clayton: "We can name him Shad Johnson Sergey." (referring to former UA player Rashad Johnson, with whom Clayton has been mildly obsessed since he was old enough to say "Roll Tide")