Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blue Funk of International Adoption

aka...the suckiness

There are ups & downs in every part of life and if there wasn't, well...we would all be a bit bland wouldn't we? International adoption is no exception and is fundamentally the big unknown. It's that unknown part of IA that can make your head spin because it is so foreign (no pun intended) to us.

Eastern Africa, the Ethiopian population specifically, is currently facing significant hardship. This is a bold statement considering the customary standard of living endured by Ethiopians. Droughts are in their fifth year. Cattle are dying due to dried up watering holes. Crops can't endure the climate change. So where are families getting their food? nutrition? water? income? and the list goes on. One thing I read that I wouldn't have realized is a side-effect of the drought is conflict. Because families depend on their cattle & crops for both food and income, it is not uncommon for families losing their cattle & crops, to pillage others which in turn creates great conflict within the communities.

"This is the worst humanitarian crisis Oxfam has seen in east Africa for over ten years," Paul Smith Lomas, Oxfam's East Africa Director, said in a statement. source: NY Times

Our entrance into this new world of IA officially began in 2/09. After eight months, I still consider us newbies with so much room for growth. Reports like this from worldwide news outlets make me think in very selfish terms, "Based on our timeframe, I think our baby has been conceived. What in the world is his birth mother eating, drinking, feeding him? How is she getting proper nutrients? Am I being naive when I think/hope she isn't affected by this drought? The reports say the entire country is in the midst of it." And then I stop or I will simply self-induce a panic moment causing my head to explode. So, I rationalize - this is the unknown that we signed on for and as much as I don't like it, it is completely out of my hands right now.

The other Blue Funk moment this week is that courts did not reopen on 9/28 as planned. The rainy season ended (ironic, considering the 5 year drought. I still don't get it myself but am researching it.) but the courts are conducting a training session for two weeks which will keep courts closed through 10/9. Agencies will be announcing the reopening as they receive updates from the federal government. Our thoughts go out to the families who had a 10/5 court date.

Okay, so enough Doom & Gloom. I'm not a fan.

I've done my fair share of research; learning about others' experiences with IA. I've heard and read things that gave me goosebumps - both the good & the not-so-good; experiences from both birth parents and adoptive parents to be. It is rough. It is joyous. It is at times unsettling while being the most exciting venture of your life. The only definitive of IA is that is the unkown.

I'll simply conclude this by saying that IA is not for the weak.


  1. not for the weak at all! ethiopians often say "izosh" or "be strong" in such circumstances.

  2. Boy, Tam, do you have that right! Thanks for keeping us all humble about a world so far away.

  3. Nope, not for the faint of heart and this process definitely makes you stronger, even if you were strong to begin with. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best is my moto!

    Wish you had been there this weekend but we'll do it again sometime. We still need to get together for that drink too! Sorry, think the ball is in my court but I have been so crazy busy and spending a lot more time in Philly instead of NYC lately. I should be in next Monday, though, if you are around...