I never meant to fall in love with Wanna and Fritzon the way only a mother can love. I never meant for them to be an extension of beats of my heart that would leave an aching deep in my soul as I've been separated from them. I've been to Haiti dozens of times and loved many of their orphans over the years but what I felt for them was so different.
I had no idea that we would face prejudice remarks, not necessarily about their color but about the fact they weren't American. I never understood the "us vs them" mentality when it came to helping those in need. I didn't know that some people believed that US borders meant we were more valuable or important when it came to investing in or loving those in need.
Until this experience I always thought adoption was a beautiful process. I knew it might take a while, as in like a year, but was not prepared to endure the wait or pain for over 4 years. I guess with all hard things it's better we don't know what we will be facing because we might not take the challenge. It's hard to back out once your heart, mind, soul and life is this invested.
I am a very passionate person and when something stirs in me I can't help but pour all of me into whatever it is. When I met Heather Elyse in the fall of 2012 I poured myself into the dream and vision she presented to me and so many other adopting parents. I sacrificed many nights of sleep to work for her to help pay for our adoption and because I really believed in who she said she was. I wanted to do everything I could to help her bring families together through adoption. It was a dream for me to invest in ethical, affordable and fast adoptions. I didn't know any better at that time and though those are key "red flag" assertions I just didn't know.
Once I began to see those red flags I was stuck and had a choice to make. I wish I could say it was easy for me once I saw the facts and reality of what was going on to just walk away and stand up for what was right. The truth is I fought against doing the right thing and going forward. I fought it hard and it cost me a lot during that time. As I publicly defended her in an effort to stay in the loop with our adoption I internally hated myself and questioned everything I knew about my friend and myself. I lost myself for a while in that process. There were weeks where I felt like I had water on my brain…. like I was drowning in my head. No one seemed to see or understand the deep pain and sorrow going on inside. I tried to keep going every day but everything suffered… my family, my job, my relationships with my friends, my dreams of more community involvement, my dream to help others in the adoption process.
I reached a point when I had to make a different choice or I was not going to survive. I accepted the idea that I faced a failed adoption if I went against my director. While every part of my selfish being wanted to stay quiet to try to protect my adoption or the progress we had made I knew I couldn't keep protecting Heather who was adopting out kids who were unadoptable, lying to bio parents about their children, lying to adopting parents about their process and financial standing and from the way she used her power of the adoption to control and manipulate adopting parents.
When I spoke with USCIS to tell them what was going on and to offer evidence they were actually very shocked and surprised since I has been one of Heather's loudest advocates. After getting over their initial shock they were very receptive to listening and assured me that their goal was to help legitimate orphans have successful adoptions. I was filled with renewed hope and strength and trudged forward, humbly asking for more help fundraising, working extra side jobs, selling everything I could think of that we didn't need and hoped and prayed 2013 would be the year we spent Christmas together as a family.
Christmas came and went and we still struggled to recreate documents that were either not done correctly or withheld in an attempt to sabotage the adoption. When we submitted Fritzon's documents to the US Embassy the first week in January I began dreaming of a spring break homecoming but when Wanna's passport was held up we approached spring break with the reality it too would pass without them. We submitted Wanna's documents the beginning of March as I watched other adopting parents post of their short approval times I was certain ours would be coming too. I began dreaming of surprising Wanna on her May 1st birthday with a suitcase and a ticket home. Her birthday came and went and while other families who had submitted their kids files to USCIS long after us were flying down to take their kids home we were given no information.
Finally after asking for local congressional support we were told we needed 2 letters by June 6th in order for USCIS to approve our adoption. It's June 3rd and I don't have those letters. I don't know what the next few days hold. I have poured my heart out to USCIS and provided evidence to prove my children are true orphans. I am praying that evidence will be enough to give them what they need to approve our adoption so we can finally be the family I've been dreaming of.
I can't begin to understand the purpose in all this but I have to believe that there is. I don't know why we have to struggle through things that should be beautiful and full of hearts and sparkles but if I don't have hope that something good will come of all this then all my pain will have been in vain. I'm 3 days away from possibly losing my kids…. the dream of my completed family…. the time. energy and finances invested the past 4 years pursuing this and if I do I will have to go on and I will have to hold on to what my heart and mind can't comprehend right now but I will not let this be in vain. So please pray for my kids who I worry for more than myself. Pray for their heart whether we get the approval we are searching for or whether we are met with the finality of this adoption that I never imagined could happen when I started. Pray that the repeated false hope in their hearts doesn't keep them from loving or accepting love in the future. Pray that whether we win or lose this fight that they know how hard I have fought for them, how I have dreamed about them every night and pictured them in every photo I take of our family and imagined them walking alongside my kids in every outing, every cuddle, every day in everything we do. Pray for my kids here who have prayed countless times for their brother and sister and for their "sad mom" that they will one day see the purpose in all this too no matter which way it goes. Pray they, and Chris, forgive me for all the times I "checked out" and failed them as a mom and wife the past 2 years especially. And pray for me that no matter what happens that my wounded heart and mind will heal and that I will not let this all be in vain. Pray that I will find the strength to be who I'm supposed be after all this.