An Announcement, From All Your Thoughts & Prayers.

I think these posts might be the ones I worry about the most.  Always, the most.  And I’ve posted many of this type of announcement here.

I posted from the hospital when two of my daughters were dying.  Those posts didn’t worry me at all.  The situation did, but not the post.  I knew how hard all of you were praying or hoping right alongside me, that there would be no judgment of the raw emotion in those posts.  I don’t fret about the social justice posts or messages about racial equality, because they are what they are, and they are our truth.  I know the reaction.  I can nearly always predict the number of messages of hate, and the many, many messages of support.  I worry, and fret, every time over adoption announcements.  I can never predict the reaction.  How will will you all feel about the way we have chosen to live?  I never know.  Sometimes, anger and fear come from the least expected places.  I’m asking you to please be kind.

We are here to tell you, we are going to attempt to adopt again.

Twice in the last five weeks I’ve been vague-booking and have asked for good thoughts and prayers.  It didn’t have anything to do with the children in our home.

It has to do with the one that isn’t.

Isabel is currently two years old.  She is deaf and has a heart defect.  She currently lives in Colombia.  She is Afro-Colombian, and along with her special needs, this makes her an unlikely candidate for domestic adoption.  It also makes her an unlikely candidate for international adoption.

But, it doesn’t make her unlikely, in any way, for our family.

So, we have set out to adopt little Isabel.

In a very beautiful chain of events, we actually set out to adopt Isabel on her hopeful sister Cate’s birthday.  After a whole lot of back and forth, on January 30, 2017, we signed a letter of intent to adopt.  When I say, we, I mean all of us.  We always do that.  Picture, if you will, 11 children coming to the table to sign a piece of paper making a commitment to another sister.  After much discussion, and a family tribunal, they couldn’t wait to do it.

January 30th also happens to be the day that the 45th President of the United States signed a travel ban and began what would become a very uncertain time for people entering the United States on visas.  When we found out that this ban, and the subsequent chaos that would come to pass because of it, we nearly gave up before we had even begun.  It was the kids that asked us to continue, and someday, God and fate willing, that moment will be woven into Isabel’s story.

Right now, the way immigration in this country stands, and with the size of our family, I feel like this adoption has a very slim chance of actually becoming reality.  But, on that night, one little girl, whose adoption we were equally unsure of, said to me, “We have to try, mom.  We just have to try.  It’s all we can do.”  

She’s right.  It’s all we can do.

So, we’ll try.  Yesterday, on the day the subsequent immigration ban was announced, we wrote a check to our amazing adoption agency to come and do another home study.  This will be the 14th one of these we have done.  We have 11 children in our home.  Twice we did this for children who wouldn’t make it to our family.  That is the reality of this process.  We are gambling our hearts, and our finances, here.

Even after all these times of doing this, it never ceases to amaze me how much goes into this.  We usually don’t make this part of the process public, at all, because it is fraught with uncertainty.  I don’t know until our social worker gets here and reviews all our paperwork whether or not she’ll approve us.  I don’t see why she wouldn’t, but one never knows.

I don’t know that the $3000 check I wrote yesterday, which is about 10% of what this will cost, will bring Isabel to our family.

But, we have to try.  It’s all we can do.  

We’re telling you about it very early in the process because I want everyone to see what this is like.  It’s not easy.  Immigration, even for a child who is no threat to anyone, is very, very difficult, and the scrutiny Joe and I will undergo will blow your mind.  Also, that tiny little girl who wants us to ‘just try’ absolutely can’t be quiet about it.  She is so very excited.  She is going to tell EVERYONE.  In fact, she might have already.

So, because she is a blabber mouth, and because we want people to understand this process, you get to come along for the ride.  The ups, the downs, all of it, you get to come with us.

Colombia prefers we don’t publicly post any pictures.  This little girl isn’t ours, so that makes sense.  We absolutely respect that.

Over the next couple of days I will post about the paperwork we have already begun and the pressure we already face to get this going.

Welcome to the madness.

–FullPlateMom, who is gearing up for a good paper chase.

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14 Comments

  1. I saw an email notification of your updated blog and I thought, “it’s going to be an adoption announcement”. Smiling so big for your family and wishing you nothing but the best.

    The reality is, you and Joe are raising great kids. They are truly remarkable human beings. So whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, lady. The world needs more Ketarki. And that’s that. <3

  2. Congratulations, my friend 🙂 I’ll be praying for you along this process. You are an amazing mama, and you have a beautiful family, and I pray this is the beginning of a precious little girl officially becoming its next member <3

  3. Love and support and prayers for your family and Isabel during this roller coaster ride of the process of international adoption.

  4. AWW
    How exciting.
    I can’t imagine how hard this is. The whole process of the adoption and all that goes into it. And now that the president may have made it harder with his ban.
    I am praying for your family and sending all my good thoughts for an easy journey and that it leads you to your next family member.
    I love that you included all the kids in this.

  5. you got this, I am praying for u, because prayers do work for your family, and so I cannot wait until you can post a picture of the newest member of the family, your kids are wonderful, I hope you are so proud of what you and Joe are doing, you inspire.

    nevertheless they persisted.

    you rise people, you rise..

    much love

  6. Adoption is your life. You guys, alone , are the only ones to make this decision. I say congratulations on this decision!

  7. I read this and I smiled 🙂 I wondered to myself when you had posted that you were “done” how long that would last! Congratulations! You both are amazing parents raising amazing children, and seriously, once parents kinda figure out the adoption/attachment stuff, then it’s just a matter of numbers (seats at the table, beds, carseats, etc..) We are parents of 12 children, seriously considering #13, and I know how much grief we will get if we adopt again, but it is what it is. Your Isabel will have a family, lots of love, and be surrounded by supportive siblings, and in the end, that is what is important. God is smiling! Kudos to you two~

  8. Whenever I think of your family, I am overcome with emotions. Your hearts are so big. And how you have shared this love and raised your beautiful children is amazing. I just chanced upon a short video today (http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/get-rea-s15/ep11/482045) and can just only pray that there will be more people with such big undiscriminating and accepting hearts. Knowing that adoption also means commitment to journey with the child in spite of his/her health and emotional challenges, not to entirely the willingness to commit to the potential financial weight for each child . Each member of your family is amazing. You two are such inspirations.

  9. Whenever I think of your family, I am overcome with emotions. Your hearts are so big. And how you have shared this love and raised your beautiful children is amazing. I just chanced upon a short video today (http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/get-rea-s15/ep11/482045) and can just only pray that there will be more people with such big undiscriminating and accepting hearts. Knowing that adoption also means commitment to journey with the child in spite of his/her health and emotional challenges, not to mention the willingness to commit to the potential financial weight for each child . Each member of your family is amazing. You two are such inspirations.

  10. Wow! What an awesome, inspiring story! I love how Isabel is already part of your family — she’s already in your hearts. I hope and pray all works out according to God’s plan and that all of the children (including Isabel) learn some valuable life lessons from this experience. Please continue to keep us posted.

    Sending you much love from Texas!

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