So this week I'm volunteering at Camp No Limits. It's been such a great experience, it's totally worthy of a long post of it's own. Which I started to write but am so exausted it was completely incoherent, so I'm starting over.
After being at the point, for quite some time now, of hanging in there but feeling like absolutely nothing is happening, we arrived home tonight to a message on the machine from our caseworker and an update e-mail from Holt.
The phone message threw us for a bit of a loop. Our homestudy agency wants us in for a meeting at the beginning of the week so that they can write a child specific home study, which has either been requested by the country of Thailand, or by Holt's Thailand program (our caseworker didn't know which). It seems that our home study agency has been super proactive and has been e-mailing back and forth with Holt over the last four weeks, trying to get our homestudy finalized (which has been held up because we don't know yet if we're going to be accepted to the Thailand program, which we don't know yet because we don't know if Thailand will accept us to adopt "Chloe". Yes. We like to do things backwards.). So now Holt is asking our home study agency to send a child specific home study, which, again, is really backwards from the way things are normally done- usually a home study would be submitted, then you'd receive a referral, then you'd accept the referral, then you'd submit a child specific home study. According to our case worker, this is beyond the realm of her experience, so she's pulling in a higher up at our agency, who not only has a lot of experience with special needs adoption but who also says in her 20 years hasn't approached an adoption this way, either. It just wouldn't be fun if we didn't make things interesting. Yeah.
So the fact that I'm receiving this news while I'm already physically exhausted just makes it so much more draining. But encouraging. They wouldn't be asking for this if they weren't still considering us. Right??
THEN I checked e-mail. Chloe turned 20 months old today. The last info we got about her was from 4 months before the update we received today. We got 4 new pictures (is it possible that she got even cuter??) and an update on her health, development, etc. She's healthy and developing well. She was described as "cute", "sweet", "spoiled", "strong will", "smart", and shows signs of worry when separated from familiar caregivers. It stated that she is so cute and lovely and that is why she is spoiled by everyone around her. (I pretty much just want to squeeze her and kiss her already.)
In many of the photos we have, including those we received today, there is another sweet little girl. The report today stated that the other little girl and Chloe have become best friends, like sisters. I wish I thought Thailand would let us try for two...
Um, and then the report closes by stating that the orphanage staff are so glad to learn that she has an adoptive family of her own?? Jeesh. I would so love to know exactly what is happening in Thailand right now. (As much as I would totally love to get my hopes up through the roof, the last contact I had with Holt a couple of weeks ago said that there was another family who was interested but hadn't made a decision.)
So are you getting a picture of where I'm at right now? I am too tired to do my usual 100% mercurial response, but I still can't help but try to analyze it all, am so glad to finally hear some news, wish we would finally hear THE news for pete's sake, glad that there's again something we can do to try to help our case (meet to work on the child specific homestudy), glad that there's a sort of forward step in motion while still realizing that every time we take what seems to be a step forward we still somehow seem to manage to maintain the same holding pattern, drained, just want to DO this already and bring this child home so she doesn't have to wait in an orphanage any longer, SO excited to receive new pictures and an update, feel like crying over the fact that I'm receiving photos and an update instead of holding this little person, still realizing that we have no clue what the outcome of this will actually be- it all seems to point to her joining our family, from my perspective, but I'm not the one with the big picture here. We just don't know. Etc., etc., etc. And so on.
There. That's the long, rambling, inconcise version of where we're at. Hope you can at least get the sense of what's going on, if not the details. Thanks for your patience, and for listening!