Thursday, November 26, 2009

Abu Dhabi - Dublin - Chicago - San Diego - Tijuana

This week has been one of those completely frenetic up and down experiences. Last weekend, when we were despairing at the possibility of ever hearing from DIF about when we could go for our home study interviews (with psychologist and social worker), suddenly an email arrived saying, you can have your interviews on...the following day. In Tijuana. A 30-hour flight away. Not even remotely possible that one without a teleporting machine.

We requested interviews between 28th Nov and 3rd Dec about two months ago, knowing that we would have a week holiday then, and suddenly they decide to issue us with appointment dates on the 21st November. It just seemed a bit ridiculous. Anyway, we asked Aida to beg the DIF folk to postpone for one week, which she said she'd try to do. By Friday evening in Tijuana we'd been told that we'd have to wait until Monday, as the coordinator couldn't get hold of the psychologist or social worker to arrange dates.

What followed were three very stressful days wondering if we'd be flying out a week later, unable to book tickets just in case we couldn't, worrying as there's the biggest public holiday this weekend and half of Abu Dhabi are flying out at the same time, and to top it all off, our internet disconnected itself and would not reconnect.

For three days, we sat and waiting, Maya and I nursing stinking colds, doing all our interneting at work and kind neighbours' houses, waiting, waiting, waiting, and checking online tickets to make sure the prices weren't skyrocketing while we had to wait.

Tuesday morning at 6am (TJ Monday 6pm) we got the news that yes, we could have our court hearing and DIF interviews all next week! Some miracle in Mexican bureacracy terms.

Since that moment we've been doing everything in super-speedy fast-forward mode, rushing to book flights, pack, sort out cat feeder, find cold weather clothes (which tend to get stashed into dark crevisses in wardrobes in this country and forgotten about until a flight to a cold place springs up), buy some gifts, clothes for our new baby(!), arrange car rental, accommodation, get over our colds, call up Etisalat for the tenth time to yell at them for being so slack about fixing the internet, keep making appearances at work, try not to let the stress completely take over and just collapse in a pile on the floor, etc, etc. And we managed it, plus managed to get our front door handle fixed (no more entering the house through the study window, yes, really!), get the printer fixed. The only down note amongst all this was Ahmed catching our cold, which Maya and I have now managed to shake.

Now we're off in two hours and the reality of actually going to meet Sammy is starting to hit. Little man. Who got his first tooth a day or two ago. Wow. A boy. Our lives are so 'pink' right now, but that is set to change. Camera is at the ready to take masses of photos of this baby who is about to have his world changed radically! Bossy big sister Maya is on her way to show him what's what.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here's Samuel

Samuel - aka 'Baby Baby', our code word for him when we were still in shock about him and simultaneously trying to deal with the traumas of Maya's adoption - was born on 13th June this year.

Here he is in Maya's former bath...

...wearing Maya's former jumpsuit...

...staying with Maya's former foster family

I solemnly swear to you kiddo: when you are finally home, I promise to get you your own things so you're not relying on your big sister's hand-me-downs!

In the last six months of Maya's adoption, we were dealing with the beginnings of the likelihood that we would adopt her biological brother, who was born just a few weeks after we left Mexico. As it turns out, it's all gone ahead, and this beautiful wee boy, who looks just like a bouncing version of Maya with more hair, is currently staying with Mirna and her family, while we wait for (take a guess right now which government agency, or institution, or person is holding up the process this time? Given our previous track record it could be DIF, could be the court, the judge, the BM, the visa office, or just the man on the street)...ta da...DIF to give the green light and issue us with dates to appear for our interviews for the homestudies.

Amazingly, BM has already been to court and signed off (that one final stage of Maya's adoption that was so agonizingly long last time), we have the other judge this time, who is allowing us to appear in court pretty much any time, we got our FM3 visas from the Mexican Consulate in Dubai in half an hour!!! Sorry, italics and bold just to highlight to enormous difference between this time and last, which took six weeks of hand-wringing misery in Tijuana right at the start of the process. The only sticking point now is #@!%$# Lic. Solis at DIF, who is busy painting her toenails once again and not committing to making decisions. All other DIF officials seem to be pushing to get our case through, but ultimately they have no power. Anyway, we sit and wait, once again.

Major differences this time: Samuel is staying with Mirna, and we are staying in Abu Dhabi, during the process. Initially we wanted to protect ourselves emotionally, since it wasn't a given that this adoption would go ahead. Also, taking another long stretch of extended unpaid leave from my job isn't really an option, financially. Luckily, I should still scrape in with 4-5 months of adoptive leave before my contract finishes in June, so I will get some time off - the adoption had better be well and truly finished by then, though!!!

So yes, Baby Baby turned out to be a beautiful boy, we chose to call him Samuel because... it was about the only boy's name we both liked! Maya sees photos of him and says 'bebe', and we've been telling her she has a little brother and that we'll all be going to Mexico to see him soon & go to court & DIF, and hopefully, a month or two later, go back to Mexico, to bring him home. I never like to mention time estimates on this blog, as they never seem to work. All those attempts at positive visualization in Maya's case went so horribly wrong that I can't bring myself to predict anything much this time. Just hope that Solis will be suddenly transferred to the Ministry of Silly Cows or something and just get her sticky fingers out of our case.