After waiting for months for the movie “Up” to arrive in our village, we finally got to see it over the weekend. I was somewhat prepared for the first scene, having read about it on Stirrup Queen’s post on June 14. Though I knew what was coming, I still struggled to keep the sobs quiet. It doesn’t help either that last year (in fact, exactly one year ago today) I saw my baby’s flickering heartbeat. I was so full of hope and so happy then.

Fast-forward a year to present-day… there has been a lot of sadness over the last year. A lot of long, silent moments. It feels like a lifetime has gone by. I am feeling more hopeful about potentially adopting a child and I think that time may be easing some of the pain away, and I never thought that could happen. We’re looking to adopt a child here because we know that it can happen quickly, and we’re familiar with the culture. The openness of the adoption process scared us at first. There are no agencies here to help you out, no social workers to counsel adoptive parents and finding a mother who is willing to place her child with another family is basically through friends you know. The fact that you have to work through your personal networks to find a birth mother is more than a little daunting (so much for privacy). However, that ridiculously high fertility rate, which has taunted me for many years, may actually work in our favor. A few people we know who adopted only had to wait a few months and most of them were able to hold a newly born baby in their arms (though we would be happy with any child 4 or younger).

There’s been some movement on that front: we’ve spoken to a friend who has helped other couples. He’s warned us that the mom may change her mind. He’s warned us to proceed with caution and to be patient and wait for the right family. He’s also warned us of the high incidence of FASD (fetal alcohol syndrome). Big things. But adoption is also part of the culture here and doesn’t have the same stigma it might in other places. We’ve been strongly encouraged to let people know we would like to adopt, to talk about it freely. Adoption seems to simply be a part of life and many families here have either placed a child or have adopted. The difficulty in talking about it, I will admit, comes from our own private personalities, but slowly, we’re coming out of our shell. When we do, the people we talk to are always so happy about our decision.

One snag: we found out that our application for homestudy had been sitting on someone’s desk waiting to be processed since April… augh! Bureaucracy is the same everywhere.