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Adoption Journey: Back to Ukraine?!?

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In part seven of her series, after exploring foster care, Tracy Mazuer and her husband may get the chance to meet the child they were hoping for.

Adoption Journey

March 5
We just went to the orientation for the L.A. County Foster-Adoption program. We walked in and saw the smiling face of our original social worker (who did our first home study for international adoption), and I had this warm and fuzzy feeling that everything was going to be alright. I'm still in a daze, though. This is a completely different world. I'm not sure I can handle the idea that a child could be placed in our home and then taken away -- that's just never been part of the plan. It's also freaking me out because we'd be starting a whole other process that could take another year or more. We're not getting any younger, and we're so invested (emotionally and financially) in Ukraine that I just can't wrap my head around starting all over again. ANOTHER home study, ANOTHER round of massive paperwork, ANOTHER set of fingerprints, MORE vials of blood (we still don't have syphilis for Christ's sake!).

March 26
Tonight we're headed to our fourth adoption class at the foster care agency. We have to come here each week for three hours to become certified foster parents -- just the words "foster parents" scares the crap out of me. I'm thinking, though, that these classes should be mandatory for ALL parents and particularly all parents considering any type of adoption. Name tags and role-playing aside, I'm really happy we're doing this.

We've told only a few people that we're considering adopting through foster care. I'm sick of people weighing in with their thirdhand adoption horror stories. I have enough problems dealing with the idea that I could have lunatic parents getting out of jail and coming to take back their kid. I don't need anyone's advice.

March 27
Holy sh*t. Holy sh*t. Holy sh*t. I want to projectile vomit with joy, if that's humanly possible. We just got a call to go back to Ukraine. Seriously? Is this just ridiculous or just fate? We leave in two weeks. They say they're going to show us a few healthy children. WTF? NOW you're willing to show us these kids? Just as we're freaking getting used to the idea of adopting through foster care, we're thrown back into Ukraine. I'm angry, overjoyed, and scared sh*tless.

About two hours later
I'm sad to be leaving the foster/adopt system. I'm confused. I feel guilty leaving behind all of those parents-to-be from our adoption class. "See ya! We're headed off to get our kid! Good luck getting through the system!"

Lately, though, I've been imagining having a Latina child. My brain has switched over from Ukraine to my own backyard. I have a completely new understanding of the foster system and I am starting to feel empathy -- yes, empathy -- for the parents who have screwed up enough to land their kids in foster care. At first I was furious to hear that the priority of the Department of Child and Family Services and their main job is to reunite children with their birth parents. Are they nuts? Now I totally get it. The trauma, the biological needs of a child, it's so complex. Amazing what some dorky-assed role-playing can do to make you see things differently.

Wait! But now I'm heading back to the land of borscht, nude pantyhose, and heavy smoking? Oh dear God. The games are about to begin ... AGAIN.

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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kris April 30, 2009, 8:14 AM

Too bad the clip is not going beyond 11 seconds, would like to see how things turn out. I will try back for that. Good to see Tracy is not so against foster care. With all the foster care horror stories she has been told, I think it has become evident that both foster care and adoption can have horror stories. At least with having gone through the foster care classes she has a better understanding. Nice to see not so much hosility, but plain emotion.

Sara Jane April 30, 2009, 9:49 AM

Well, you know I empathize for what they have gone through. But, I am also a bit irritated at the shortness of the story line. And on to the next…

MarMar April 30, 2009, 10:11 AM

I love following this story…but to whoever provides the headlines, please note that the name of the country is “Ukraine”, not “THE Ukraine.” Tracy refers to it properly and I wish the headline would do the same. A dear friend of mine is from Ukraine and has expressed that residents of the country find this a bit annoying; it’s a throwback to the days of the Soviet Union when Ukraine was just a region, and not its own nation. Just FYI.

MarMar April 30, 2009, 1:15 PM

I saw the correction - thank you! :-)

Now I can only hope that I may add a smiley emoticon for the end of this story. Tracy, thank you for sharing it with us. I know it cannot be easy to relive this, but I hope that the end will be worth it, and that you find telling your story to be therapeutic. I’ll be watching.

Reality Check April 30, 2009, 3:37 PM

Tracy I must say this journey you have taken may have been a blessing in diquise however hard as it has been. You appear to have opened your heart and stopped being so slefish and closed minded. Originally I was opposed to your adoption efforts because to be frank you were just nasty about the whole thing. Now I pray that that forever child you long for is found and continues to open your world.

Good Luck!

Justamom3 April 30, 2009, 6:23 PM

I am also watching and waiting for this couple to become the parents they want to be. There are so many children that need homes it is so sad for good people to have to jump through hoops this way. It is such a travesty.

Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll certainly be subscribing to your posts.

DneproMom May 12, 2009, 3:00 PM

I’m eager to see the outcome of their visit. I adopted my son from Ukraine 2 years ago. Young “healthy” children are few and far between. What they don’t tell you is that “healthy” is defined as treatable condition…so the odds of getting a perfectly healthy child are slim to none. Hopefully Olga and her forever family have found eachother.

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Buddha Lady September 20, 2009, 3:02 PM

My husband and I are licensed foster parents and have fostered for the past four years. We recently adopted 7-year-old twin boys and they are the absolute joy of our lives….hope to adopt another child or two down the road. I wish more prospective parents would do something to provide “forever families” for the thousands of children right here in this country, languishing in foster care because they are no longer babies. Did you know that a child over the age of TWO is considered an “older” (read: hard-to-adopt) child in our fost-adopt system?????

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