We have submitted our forms and now are waiting to be accepted into the adoption program.
I have a feeling that waiting is a huge part of this adoption process and I don’t like it. When you think about it, our modern society is not conducive with waiting. Just sit at a green light for more than two seconds and you’ll get my point. When I’m waiting around my mind starts chattering which is a baaaaad thing for me. Right now the voices in my head are having a field day with money. The longer we wait, the louder they shout.
Why is my car squeaking?
Friggin ash borers and we have two huge trees right next to the house.
Never noticed that hole in the driveway before.
Where is that water coming from?
$400 for a telephone consultation?
Don’t get me wrong, ever since we made the decision to adopt, I’ve had a calm certainty about it. But the chattering voices keep probing—
“Will this adoption throw a wrench into my perfect little life?”
“Will it bring financial challenges?”
“Will it strain our family and add stress to our relationships?”
“Is all of this worth it?”
While struggling with this, I was lucky enough to attend a seminar on positive psychology. One thing I learned during this six-hour course was how money affects our happiness. In fact, studies show a link between spending habits and happiness. It’s obvious that buying stuff will not bring long-lasting joy. Every time I buy a new album on I-tunes I’m reminded of that! But did you know that people who use money for experiences rather than things are statistically happier? This link explains the concept.
I really believe that God used this seminar to help me get over my fear of money. Not that I want pity but the process of adopting a child from China will run us in the neighborhood of $30,000. There’s a tax break and I have a program at work that will help with cost but in the end there’s around $15,000 that needs to be accounted for. When Reece and I first looked into an international adoption we immediately saw that number and said, “No way. We can’t afford that.” But after researching the alternatives: domestic adoption, foster care, kids from other countries, China kept snuggling its fuzzy Panda head up to us. There are many support programs and we will eventually organize a fund raiser to help with the initial costs. I know the money will be there and even if it isn’t, it will not stop us from bringing another child into our lives. As Reece said the other night, “Even if we need to pay off the dept for fifty years, how could you put a price on a child’s life?”
I hate asking for help…especially when it comes to money. Maybe it’s because it’s my duty to provide for our family and if I’m asking for money than I must not be doing my job. Yet, when faced with the cost of this process I must learn to put my pride aside and ask. My godmother, Ann Farina was a wonderful lady who taught me about humility. She had polio for most of her life yet was extremely independent, thriving in a society where women and the disabled are viewed as second class citizens. One day while visiting Ann gave me this little nugget of wisdom. “Billy, it’s much harder to ask for help than to give it. Once I accepted my limitations, I became a good asker!”
Thanks Ann. I finally got it.
(If you are interested, I found some of Ann’s achievements online and pasted them below).
THE HAROLD SCHARPER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Harold Scharper Achievement Award is presented each year to the graduating senior or recent alumnus who has exhibited the greatest achievements academically, physically, socially, in extracurricular functions, and in professional endeavor during his/her schooling at the University of Illinois or immediately upon the completion of that schooling. It is the highest recognition that the University of Illinois and Delta Sigma Omicron, Incorporated can bestow upon one of its physically disabled students. It is indeed an honor to the recipients and a great example to the many students who will follow in the years to come.
ROSE ANN MAROIS FARINA
Ann, as she prefers to be called, is presently Loan Officer of the Export-Import Bank of the United States with offices in Washington D.C. Prior to that she served as a Loan Specialist with the Export-Import Bank and prior to that she was a Financial Analyst for :he Federal Home Loan Bank Board.
In 1970, Ann received the Merit Award for special contributions to projects. In 1971, she received a Superior Performance Award from the Federal Government. In 1973, she was nominated by the Export-Import Bank for the Federal Woman of the Year Award. In 1974, Ann was
elected one of the Ten Outstanding Handicapped Federal Employees of the Year and was privileged to receive this award from the Vice President of the United States.
Ann has compiled a remarkable series of accomplishments, many of them beneficial to her fellow workers, U.S. exporters, commercial banks, and private insurance companies in their efforts to make a maximum contribution to sound export growth.
During her time at Export-Import Bank, Ann has made a number of worksaving suggestions, improved loan officer efficiency and provided better service to the export community. She has helped design new forms of insurance and has initiated improved training programs for non-professionals and para-professionals within the bank. She has analyzed and been responsible for the approval of a number of individual export transactions, many of them problem cases. Because of her outstanding performance, Ann has been promoted twice within the minimal allowable amount of time by the Export-Import Bank.
Her employers have said of her that she is a “woman of strong determination and professional skills and competence, who has exerted a positive influence on people and programs within and outside this agency.” In 1974, Ann was elected President of the Export-Import Banks
Federal Women’s Program. She is among the youngest of those with the rank of Loan Officer.
Ann has also been very active in many civic functions and many functions related to federal employees and many employee benefit programs. She has been in a wheelchair, as a result of Poliomyelitis, since the age of twelve.