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the war within

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Warning: Rant Ahead - Please feel free to skip today's post. It's all part of that honesty bit I gave you yesterday. Unfortunately I honestly feel pretty cruddy right now and I'm having a hard time processing all the junk I went through today. The following post is real. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent (except for Maddie) and I'm starting to understand why Russians and Ukranians love their vodka so much. (Don't worry, Mom...I'm still a skim milk totaler! ;)
Thank you everyone for your comments yesterday. They did my heart good.
I wish I had a more cheerful post to give you today, but I don't.
The news is not good.
They have lost Maddie's passport.
Well...okay, they didn't technically LOSE it. They just sent it to different town.
The point is, it's been sitting there for two days and was only discovered because we started asking about it.
Did you hear that screaming this morning?
That was me.
Evidentally, Maddie's passport is sitting in a passport office somewhere in the middle of who knows where. It now has to make its way BACK to Kiev...where some bureaucrat will put a stamp in it saying it has been to the middle of nowhere and is now back in Kiev. Then the bureaucrat will hand the passport off to a courier who will hopefully bring it to the right city this time.
The earliest I'll see it is Thursday.
I'm not counting on it.
If the passport does not come on Thursday, I will miss my opportunity to get to the U.S. Embassy before the weekend, thereby forcing me to stay here through the weekend. I know I've mentioned how I feel about weekends right now.
To add insult to injury..there is, of course, no way to get back the 'expediting fee' we paid to the person at the passport office. Since the fee isn't 'official' there is no way to collect my 'expediting fee' even though my passport certainly wasn't expedited.
Unfortunately, I'm not alone.
It looks as if the Haug's are in the same boat.Their daughter's passport was also sent from Kiev on Saturday...it also has not yet arrived.

Hmmmm...I wonder if it's out in the middle of nowhere too?
Somebody is out searching for it. I think they'll need a search team...with cadaver dogs. It may be the only hope.
The Haug's are real troopers. They've been here longer than I have. They had the same SDA appointment date on Dec. 5th (we actually passed in the hall), but they didn't take the two week break, so they're going on 60 days.
I'm only on day 43.
On a more insightful, serious note. Remember back in December when I talked about the easiest trap to get caught in, in international adoption was to get caught up in your circumstances?
That's where I am right now.
All I can see is what I CAN'T have. And as you can most certainly 'hear' in my 'voice' today, my attitude continues to get worse and worse.
And that's not a good place to be.
Again, I'm at a place where it's taking all I have in me not to become bitter.
But this time I don't feel like I'm winning the battle.
Several people commented on the name change issues I mentioned in yesterday's post. Don't worry, I didn't take any offense. I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page.
Actually, my gripe wasn't in what they were calling her (I am still calling her both, using the hyphenated name technique.) I think my issue was more with the fact that they weren't asking me what her new name was, or interested at all in how she was doing. There was no recognition on THEIR part of the changes Maddie had just gone through...and very little respect in the fact that I was now her mother. They kept calling me mama but didn't defer to me in any way in regards to her behavior.
It's a culture thing I know...and I'm just overly sensative right now.
When I look back on it, I realize a lot of what she was exhibiting was just a preference for the familiar. They are the only family she has EVER known. Of course she's going to want to stay with them, prefer them. To her right now I'm just a nice lady who gives her apple juice and plays with her.
It will take time.
After three (now four) international adoptions I know it in my head...it just hurt a lot in my mother's heart. Everything hurts right now.
The good news is Maddie is starting to respond when I use just her 'new' name and is starting to understand more and more of what I say. We had a pretty good day today (passport stuff aside.) If I can keep her away from anyone speaking Russian, I should be in good shape. ;)

18 salty messages:

Annie January 29, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

You and Natalja make me ever so fond of my very capable friends in Ivanovo, Russia. Honestly, though the regulations are strict and everyone is ever-so-grim about it all, I will say that in Russia I have found all the paperwork to be reasonable and the officials to be very business-like in processing it.

Waitingonmyua2 January 29, 2008 at 3:54 PM  

Tami, I am continuing to pray for you. I'm emailing you privately. hugs, Beth

Courtney January 29, 2008 at 4:33 PM  

Tami, I tried to comment yesterday and it didn't go through. Praying for you!!!
Want to hear something weird? Dima was clinging to everyone else when we were in Ukraine too, and now he and Z won't even LOOK at someone speaking Russian. They actually turn their heads away.
You can do this. God has given you a new daughter and for whatever reason has asked that you do your first bit of bonding just the two of you. I know it's hard, but try to cherish this time since I know you won't have any once you get home! ;) :)

Stefanie January 29, 2008 at 5:18 PM  

Hi Ms. Tami, I am a friend of Ms. Sandra Boykin. Ive been following your blog and weep for your circumstances.My girls love to look at her videos they laughed at the part of her dipping her french fries in ketchup,"she does it like me mommy"

Tina in CT January 29, 2008 at 6:44 PM  

Oh, did you hear me gasp when I read about Maddie's passport? I can't assume that this is her US passport as the US Embassy would be very efficient.

Everyone here in the US has you in their thoughts and we hope that the rocky road soon smooths out for you. You've sure had your bumps along the way (not to mention several taxi accidents). Just think that this will all be behind you soon and your husband and three children will be there to meet you and Maddie with flowers at the airport .

jessy January 29, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

Forty three days. That is such a long, long time. I'm so sorry the passport did not come, today. I was hoping yesterday was the, "always darkest just before the dawn" scenario.

Nataliya January 29, 2008 at 8:55 PM  

Oh no! I was so hoping you are on your way to Kiev now... Okay, take a deep breath. It's still possible to make it before the weekend, keep your hopes up! The last days are the hardest ones, but very soon they will be over!

Anonymous,  January 29, 2008 at 9:44 PM  

My heart goes out to you, Tami. I can only imagine how stressful and exhausting this whole process must be. I have a new student in my class that does not speak any English. I have often wondered how he must feel in a class surrounded by people he cannot understand. How difficult it must be for him, and how difficult it must be for you. On the bright side, if charades ever becomes an Olympic sport will you please be my partner!?! We'd smoke the competition! I am so sorry to hear about the passport. Do you feel like you have become the main character in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Things have just got to get better! I can't wait for you to bring Maddie home to her family. She is just going to fall in love with all of you! God has blessed her with such a loving and patient family. Keep the faith. There are so many people praying for you.
Love and prayers,

Kevin and Krista January 29, 2008 at 11:30 PM  

Oh, that'll be easy. ;)

Tami, praying for you and Maddie to get the passport ASAP and get home soon. More importantly I am praying that God will give you the strength, peace, and energy that you need to make it there and to be the best mom you can be for Maddie now.

You have been through so much in such a short amount of time. Although it is not fun to hear as a PAP it is very helpful and very much appreciated that you share your honest feelings in such a vulnerable way.

God is good all the time. A month ago you thought you were going home empty handed. But you were a fighter and now you have a little girl to raise in the grace of God. Thank you for sharing all the highs and the lows with us.

Can't wait to hear good news soon so we can praise God with you!

In His love,

Christina January 29, 2008 at 11:45 PM  

oh how frustrating about the passport. I would be going nuts too. I really wanted to enjoy our time in VN but it's just so much harder to bond with your child when everything is unfamiliar and you don't even speak the same language and perfect strangers are telling you what your kid is saying. Don't be too hard on yourself - this is very stressful stuff and you are doing really well - truly, you are.
Prayers that things will go better from here on out!!

Anonymous,  January 30, 2008 at 12:44 AM  

Keep hanging in there, you are doing a great job. I know it seems like it has been such a long time to you, but it won't last forever. Someday soon you will be sitting with your family all together in your home. We'll be praying for you and Maddie, soon she will want you more than anyone else. Christie

Steve and Gail January 30, 2008 at 5:16 AM  

Hang in there Tami. Who knows, maybe we will be on the same plane out of Kiev. You are always welcome at our apartment, if our kids speaking Russian isn't a problem. We are praying for the passports today. Who knows. Nothing else here seems to happen when it is supposed to, so why not a day earlier than expected. God bless.

Jenny January 30, 2008 at 7:15 AM  

Hi! My name is Jenny and I have LOVED reading your blog. Your are so funny and honest, both qualities I adore. We too are in the process of adopting from the Ukraine! Your blog has been ever so helpful in understanding what to expect while adopting. Thank you so much for keeping it real. I pray you and Maddie will be on your way home VERY soon!!!!!

kate January 30, 2008 at 8:34 AM  

hang in there. this too shall pass. really.

Ken and Joy January 30, 2008 at 10:20 AM  

Tami - Sorry to hear of everything going on. Trust me it gets better!! Kyle wanted nothing to do with me, and only want to be with every man that we were around. It was so hard, and there were plenty of days in Ukraine that I cried! But, it is so worth it when you get home! Kyle is a little mommy's boy now. :)

YOU WILL MAKE IT!!! She is such a beautiful little girl.

Bobbie* January 30, 2008 at 10:23 AM  

I can so relate to how you feel. Although my wonderful daughter came of it, I, to this day, have bitterness in me over our Ukraine experience when I begin to recount it. Looking back I know it all happened the way it happened to lead us to where we are now, waiting on a seventh adoption to take place. Not from Ukraine. Thankfully I have not felt led to return after our first experience. Now don't get me wrong... there was a good part... but it had nothing to do with the adoption process itself. I am praying for you and have been since your sister posted a request for prayer during your first trip. And I am just head over heals for Maddie. My favorite video being the one where she replaces the cap on your camera to get you off it. LOL And as far as the rejections... don't worry... those people are just familiar and speak words that are familiar. It's like having two women standing before you... one is your Mom and one is a stranger. Both are reaching their arms out to hug you. And even though one of them has been nothing short of fantastic, the warmth of the familiar arm of what you have known is where you are going to desire to go. And soon, you will be the familiar when every one and everything become unfamiliar. And within 6 months... you'll forget there ever was a time when you weren't her warm familiar place. Of course you know all this and these will just be more words until you are out of the situation you are in. Just look at the hours you have left. Yes, break it down into hours and it will go much quicker. Oh, and I too hated the weekends because weekends meant limbo... nothing getting accomplished. Just wasted days. Praying you will be on your way back to Kiev on Thursday!! And on your way home within 72 hours. :o)*

Anonymous,  January 31, 2008 at 12:51 PM  

I wondered what that sound was I heard on Tuesday from my sister's place WAY out in the Iowa countryside! But now the mystery is solved - it was you screaming about the ridiculousness of Maddie's 'lost' passport. And, boy, I sure don't blame you!! I just about screamed myself when I read in your blog that it was reposing in some other town far away. What in the world is going on over there??? It sure is a good thing you asked about it, or who knows how long it would have been? I do so hope you got it today (Thursday) and that you can get everything else taken care of before the weekend. To have to spend another 'wasted' two days would be pure torture, I think!

That is just SO AWFUL about the 'expediting' fee that you can't get back. I would be SO MAD!!!! OOOOOOh, Grrrrrrrrr!!!

Thank goodness you are getting Maddie out of such a place!

Keep your chin up - better days are coming. But thank you for sharing the bad as well as the good. It wouldn't be real if you didn't. That's why you're such a good writer and why so many others can identify with you - and I think you really should write a book about it all. -- Melinda H.

Leslie January 31, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

We had wished that you'd be able to avoid all of this. No one ever said Ukrainian adoption would be easy and for good reason! From experience I can tell you, this will be a distant memory before long. Hang in there!

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