Friday, October 1, 2010

He's Adopted and I'm Staying

I feel like I should be out celebrating the fact that I just crossed a monumental hurdle in the adoption process; the signing of my adoption papers.  But in fact, I'm so exhausted from the whole ordeal of the past few days or perhaps the past few months  (I'm not sure which), that all I can do is sit here and try to decompress.   Bottom line:  He's mine, and that's really, truly good news.

But it's like the false summit as the real mountaintop lies in the weeks and months ahead.  After signing I headed straight to the US Embassy and had a good, long chat with the spokesperson who we all deal with, April.   I wanted to put a face to her name and visa-versa, and I also had Pukar with me and I wanted to try to appeal to her human nature as well, for what it's worth.  That was also out of convenience as the trip into Kathmandu is a brutal one, and I wanted to lump a couple things together if possible.  What I figured out today was this:  She said that the problem in proving these cases as abandoned is that the standards they are being held to are set SO HIGH it is really difficult to get all the required documents, etc. in order to meet the criteria.   This is the sticking point and this is why everyone is being sent to Delhi.  Our criteria is not the same as pre-Aug 6th, and they've made it nearly impossible to meet. There is no way for a country like Nepal to be able to meet the standards set by a country like the US, especially when there is a 'caretaker' government in place and all this instability.  Things don't work like that here.  That being said, they really do want to approve cases.  I hope one of those is me.

On another note, today was the first day Pukar was out of the orphanage alone with me.  He sat in my lap literally for 7 hours.  He was an amazing little trooper.  Unbelievable actually.  He took two naps in my arms, and was wide eyed and curious the rest of the time.  He is an incredibly tolerant child.  We were bonding as I was the comfort zone for sure.  But wow, long day for him.  I decided at the end of the day that I would wait to take him out of the orphanage for the night until I felt he was more ready.  He's still so attached to his Didi, and she to him, that keeping him overnight too soon, could be traumatic.  So I deposited him back at 'home' with her, and made plans to just take him for part of the day tomorrow (and make it a purely FUN day), and then expand that day by day, until we are ready to take the leap.  Then we will visit the orphanage for the day, and come 'home' to our place.

Which brings me to this:  What is our place?   I've decided I can't go home.  He is as such a vulnerable and perfect age for language and attachment that I can't leave him here at the orphanage and hope it'll be ok when I return.  Everything in my body and heart tells me I need to stay.  I found a place today for the first month in Bhaktapur at kind of a Nepali Home Stay Guest House, and then later plan to move to Pokhara. (to stay with a Nepali family of my dear friend Thane, who I met here 12 years ago!!!)  I will do this only when he seems to be doing well without daily visits to the orphanage.  The less traumatic, the better for everyone in the long run.

I don't know how long this whole process is going to take and I have no idea how I am going to make ends meet, but I am staying anyway, because it's truly the right thing to do for us.  It feels insane and perfect at the same time.  I know, lots of 'but how's' and my answer is: 'I don't know', but I'm not leaving this child here in an orphanage after he's been told I'm his mommy and he's going home with me, only to have me stop showing up, and then reappear some months later.  I just can't do it.

So I will end with that.  There were so many things that happened today; our scenic taxi ride home, Joy's tireless support, meeting another adoptive parent and child at the Ministry, our $5 meal, Tibetan toast, and Nepalese sense of time and paper shuffling to name a few.  But most days are like this, and I try to just encapsulate the major events.  Can't believe I've only been here a week.  Impossible.  Can't believe Joy leaves me Monday.  Unfathomable.

See our day in photos:  Adoption Day ~ a little scary but a brave boy


  1. Hi Jen & Pukar! Welcome to the family sweet little boy who has grown in Jenni's heart for many years...I can't wait to meet you and be another didi in your life.
    I'm so glad you have decided to stay is the only right action you can do now that you are a mother: devote yourself to the love and nurturing of your child. The Universe will handle the "hows" when you commit yourself wholly to loving.
    Namaste my dear precious bahini...Love, love Didi

  2. Jen, I totally support you with your decission. I sit here and think about our conversations. I think about were you are now and can only say WOW! Thank you for all you have taught me. I can't wait to meet Pukar! Que lindo nino! Avisame si le puedo ayudar en algo! G