The Tomasik Adoption

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Adoption is not rainbows and butterflies

As we enter our third weekend in country I have learned that adoption isn't all wonderful sunshine and roses. It is doubt. It is worry. It is frustration. It is beyond difficult, and beyond compassion.

I worked so long and so hard to adopt "Kory." I spent sleepless nights worrying where the money would come from. I sat up painting at night to try and raise money. I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. And we were blessed with amazing donations from friends, family, and complete strangers alike.

The time came. The thing I prayed for for so long, travel dates. I was over the moon with happiness, and so excited to leave the US and meet Kory.

And here my family is. We are in country.

We have missed so much at home. We missed our beloved baseball team winning the World Series for the first time since 1908. We missed the election. I missed the funerals for not just one, but three former students whom died while I was here. I missed time with family and friends. I missed work and my students.

More missing. I will say goodbye to my husband and bio. children the morning of Thanksgiving, and will sit in a tiny apartment all alone with Kory that day and for several days later, most likely not feeling very thankful for anything.

Every single day is tears here. Every single day.

I talk with my mom at home. I talk with friends at home. Everyone says things will be easier soon. Everyone reminds me that I wanted this, that I worked so hard. Everyone knows that what I am doing is a great thing, giving Kory a family. I should be so proud.

Kory is great. He is a good boy, and super cute. He is also near impossible to communicate with. He is also like watching the neighbor kid that will never leave. I like him because he is a child, but I don't love him. This is not talked about among the adoption circles and groups. Nobody talks about how you won't fall instantly in love with the child that will soon be yours forever. Nobody tells you to guard your heart against depression. I was told Kory might not bond to us right away, I wasn't prepared for me not feeling that parent bond with him. I am terrified I never will.

This needs to be shared. People need to talk about this.

Please pray for me. Pray for my family. Pray for Kory.

Compassion is wearing thin, and I still have so much longer to be here.

Soon we will be in the US again, Kory and I will join the rest of our family there. Until then, it feels like a million years....

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Just waiting.....| Reece's Rainbow

SO I know that it has been quite awhile since I last compiled a blog to update our adoption progress. Its not because I was being lazy or that I had other things going on. I just don't have anything to update. We are waiting for our I800 approval, and I learned we need this before we are even permitted to meet "Kory." The length of this process is upsetting and rather emotional for me. The possibility of having to travel 6 weeks to P during the school year, and have to bring all my kids with is becoming more like a reality for us. Missing work, and my kids missing school is something that weighs very heavily on me. I am not a stay at home mom. I have a career, and my students need me. I am upset and discouraged that our needs as a family are completely overlooked in this process. We could be in P this summer, literally for months and it wouldn't make a difference since I have summer off, and my kids don't have school. There is no hurry, and there is not considerations for the adopting family's needs whatsoever. In fact, I have been told that it would seem "pushy" for me to keep asking for special considerations, and could in fact delay our process even more. I had a conversation with my husband last night whom is becoming more and more upset at this process. He seems to be hanging by a thread with what he will put up with.

 How do other families do this? Can others take off 6 weeks of work, pay for their houses and bills, and then also pay to live in another country for 6 weeks? Do other families pull their school aged children out of school for 6 weeks? Thats a LOT of learning lost. In fact, that exceeds the allotted amount of days a child can legally miss school.

I understand that certain paperwork needs to be completed, and the process is what it is. However, the fact that our needs are pushed aside, and in addition, asking for consideration to be made is seen as "pushy" seems super insensitive. We will bring "Kory" home. It just doesn't make sense how things are set up to work. My frustrations are mounting by the day.

I am hoping that I have more positive news to report soon. I hate to be such a downer about it, but I think others need to know what this process is like, especially those that are thinking about adopting.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Miracle | Reece's Rainbow

Today started very tough for me. I woke to the alarm clock ringing and I immediately felt weird. I stood up out of bed and felt my head spinning. I thought maybe I just was still tired. I haven't been sleeping well as I have been stressed out thinking about how we might come up with the money we needed to pay our agency and foreign fees that were quickly becoming due. I tried to shake it off, so I got in the shower knowing that it was too late to call in for a substitute teacher for my class for the day. I hate to leave other people scrambling in my absence. I took a shower holding the walls for support, fearing I would fall. After I got out, I dried off and laid on the floor of my closet. The walls were literally spinning, and I thought I was going to lose it any second. I called to my husband to help me. He woke up and carried me to the bed, and I called in sick to work, emailed everyone I needed to, and asked my husband for his support. He knew there was no way I was going to care for our two year old son, Eli, so he called in sick to care for us. He is amazing, loving, supportive, faithful!

 I literally didn't leave my bed, and for the first time in months I did not check our progress on our FSP on Reece's Rainbow. Usually I check every single day to see where we are, and to also look at our little boy's sweet face. I did, however, check to see if anyone else showed interest with a new fundraiser that I thought might generate some interest, and when I saw that nobody new had commented, I became a little sad, and bumped it to the top of the page. It is hard with so many families trying to fundraiser and raise money for their adoptions. So many times it breaks my heart to see other family's struggles. I always help others out whenever I can, but admittedly today I just felt sadness for our little boy, for our struggle, which I do know sounds completely selfish. I commented on the post, to which Andrea, the creator of Reece's Rainbow asked if I had checked out our FSP today.

 Today, the first day in about six months was the first time I had not, but immediately I knew someone had bumped our FSP up, and here is where the miracle comes in! I clicked the Reece's Rainbow button on my phone, and then typed in Kory's name in the search box just like I had done every day since we had an FSP. I scrolled down, thinking in the back of my mind how awesome it would be to see a jump, ANY jump. I was not prepared with what I saw. Our FSP had jumped up by $10,000!!!!!! I immediately began crying tears of joy! Someone, an angel (what my husband and myself are calling this person) had just paid the rest of our fees through one extremely generous donation! My husband walked in and saw me crying and thought something was wrong.  I showed him and he was just as shocked at this kindness as I was. We wondered what just happened????? Was this possible???? We called our children in and showed them what a lovely gift we had been given, we wanted our children to know the kindness of others. We prayed a prayer of thankfulness to the Lord. I can not explain how grateful we are. Months of worrying and stressing out, and just like that it was taken care of! The focus had shifted. We are freed to think about, and focus on, Kory and his needs. We give all the glory to God, because surely whoever gave us this wonderful donation is a soldier for the Lord!  With this wonderful gift is a knowledge that we need to pay it forward. With this gift I promise that I will not stop helping orphans find forever homes and loving families!!  This day started off much differently then it ended. Tonight I feel grateful.


Thank you beyond words.  Thank you for helping us bring OUR son home! Thank you showing us that we don't live in a world of darkness. GOOD IS ALIVE!

God Bless You!

Love The Tomasik Family







Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SO I was corrected on my last blog that Canada is in fact very open to children with special needs. The article was misleading, and actually I am grateful of that. I would rather be wrong, and admit I am wrong, then to think an entire country would discriminate against a child with a disability. Yay Canada!

As for the update on our adoption of Kory, we are in the hurry up and wait phase. We sent all of our paperwork to the agent last week, and she forwarded it on to the Ministry in P last week.  Now we wait for the paperwork to be translated, and for P to give us a travel date. I continue to pray for a date that works the best with my family. I also learned something new this week, and that is the judge can demand that ALL of my children be present for the court date. That makes things a little more difficult. It will cost a lot more money to bring all the children, and it will also be a lot more stressful to have all of the children on a plane for a 9 hour flight. YIKES!! I am very stressed out just thinking about it. I am also stressed out thinking about how we are going to fund the rest of our adoption. We have paid about half of our fees. My husband will often catch be distracted and ask me what I'm thinking about, and 100% of the time it is the adoption. I will be sure to keep our blog up and running about travel dates and fundraisers.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Update | Reece's Rainbow

We have officially completed all of our paperwork for the adoption. We got our approval letter from United States Customs and Immigration, and the FBI determined that we are not criminals by analyzing our fingerprints.  I love what the approval letter states from immigration, that we are approved to adopt a child from P with Down syndrome, birth to 3 years. It made me smile when I saw that. Finally we have gotten the government's permission to bring Kory into our country. It honestly made me proud to be an American at that moment, which may seem weird to some people, but America approved a child with a disability to come into our country and live here for the duration of his life. This made me proud as I recently read that Canada denied a doctor citizenship due to the doctor having a child with Down syndrome. Yay America!!!



Today after work we will go to the bank and get everything signed in front of a notary, and then my lovely husband will make the trip to Chicago to the Secretary of State's office to get all the notary's stamps approved, and seal the paperwork with a big shiny sticker, indicating that all the paperwork has been completed with integrity. Then we send the paperwork a.k.a "dossier" to the adoption agency, and our agent adds some papers from their organization proving they can do work with P to do international adoptions...a.k.a. "Hague Accreditation." I have learned a lot through this process!!!!!

Then P will translate the documents, and the Adoption Ministry will approve the adoption and tell us when and for how long we will travel. Please pray that we get two shorter stays instead of one really long stay!

This is the hurry up and wait portion of our adoption. BUT, this may be good for us. We need to raise $12,000 more to bring Kory home.

If there is anyone that has a heart for our adoption, I have posted several fundraisers that I am currently doing to raise money. If you can do a matching grant, that would be great to. That means that you would pledge to donate a certain amount if Patrick and I can raise a certain amount. Another person that adopted had a $5,000 matching grant, and if she raised $5,000.00 someone gave her a $5,000.00 donation. That would help us out more that you know!! If you have any other ideas on how we might raise some money, I am all ears.

There may be people wondering why I am fundraising, and there might be some that don't understand why my husband and I didn't save the money first, then pursue  the adoption...well, the answer is very simple. We didn't plan on adopting a child. But, we saw a need, and we felt we could help. I asked the adoption agent about the fees at the very beginning of the adoption process, and said there was no way we could afford it out of pocket. She said that hardly ever do people have the funds in hand. MOST OFTEN people need to raise the money. So if you are thinking that our case is rare, it most certainly is not. The statistics are ridiculous. 90 something % of people consider adoption, less than 5% actually go through with it because of the cost. Patrick and I are not that family that needs to have a child to satisfy our need of being parents. We are adopting to satisfy Kory's need of having a family.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Current Fundraisers | Reece's Rainbow









These are our current fundraisers...I have been hand painting paintings for donors, and it has been very successful for us.  I currently have a wait list of about seven people wanting paintings. This is a great fundraiser for us, but is difficult for me to complete as every painting is extremely time consuming, and takes hours and hours away from all the other things I need to get done in my life, like making dinner, and writing IEP paperwork, and bathing my children...that kinda thing! I am so super grateful that I have the talent to do these paintings, and am surprised I can still do it after so many years of not using my 13 years of Art education. I wish I could crank them out faster!!

The second fundraiser is a photo tile. I take a real photo and attach it permanently to a tile, the one shown is a 12x12 tile. I also have one I am working on with fabric and ribbon that looks very nice. This craft takes far less time to create, and looks really nice when displayed on my kitchen counter. It is also a great way to display my several photos of my children, but still match the decor of my home. I will be sure to update a photo of the newest tile I am creating.

The last fundraiser I have is the puzzle pieces. This is to help us raise funds without having to take a bunch of time to do so, and also to show Kory someday that there were a lot of people that were a "part of the puzzle" to bring him home. If we can sell the puzzle pieces, then that would cover one of the several flights that we need to purchase. The idea is to frame the puzzle and hang it in his room when he gets home.

With our approval received from USCIS (Immigration) this week, we are getting closer and closer to the time where all of our fees are due. We really need to see our donations increase, and the money start to come in. I have faith everyday that we will get where we need to be, but we do need help. I can't think of anything else I can do to raise money, short of asking my Pastor if he and the church would be willing to have a fundraiser at our church.  Suggestions welcome!!!! The clock is ticking away....

Thank you if you have already donated to our adoption. If you have not, maybe I can offer you one of our current fundraisers???

:)

TICK, TICK, TICK!!





Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy National Down Syndrome Day | Reece's Rainbow



                            MARCH 21ST IS NATIONAL DOWN SYNDROME DAY!!!


Tomorrow is National Down Syndrome Day. This is a day to raise awareness for Down Syndrome and help the voices of those living with Down Syndrome to be heard. You can help by posting on your social media pages showing your support for those living with DS. You can also help by donating funds to local organizations such as Gigi's Playhouse, and the National Down Syndrome Society, or even our adoption of Kory.    :)

 In honor of this day I felt that I should include some facts and myths about those living with Down Syndrome. All of these facts have been taken from the National Down Syndrome Society. 

MYTH: Down syndrome is a rare disorder. 

TRUTH: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, or around 6,000 births per year. Today, there approximately 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the United States.

 MYTH: Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families. 

TRUTH: Translocation, a type of Down syndrome that accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases, is the only type of Down syndrome known to have a hereditary component. Of those, one third (or 1% of all cases of Down syndrome) are hereditary.

 MYTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents. 

TRUTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old simply because younger women have more children. However, the likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother, especially after age 35.

 MYTH: Parents will not find community support in bringing up their child with Down syndrome. 

TRUTH: In almost every community of the United States there are parent support groups and other community organizations directly involved in providing services to families of individuals with Down syndrome. You can find a list of groups at http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Local-Support. 

MYTH: All people with Down syndrome have a severe cognitive disability. 

TRUTH: Most people with Down syndrome have a mild to moderate cognitive disability, or intellectual disability. This is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Be considerate of the extra time it might take a person who has a disability to get things done or said. 

MYTH: People with Down syndrome cannot be active members of their community. 

TRUTH: People with Down syndrome are active participants in educational, social and recreational activities. They are included in the typical education system and take part in sports, music, art programs and any other activities in the community. People with Down syndrome are valued members of their families and communities, and make meaningful contributions to society. Down Syndrome Myths & Truths For more information on Down syndrome and NDSS, visit www.ndss.org