It is May day. It's the fête des travailleurs. It's a voluntary day off for Julian - the day Mo will be unveiled to Mo herself; a day for retraining roses and digging holes; for stroking cats in the sunshine; a day of green, of podding, of fecundity and planting seeds, of small figs and furry almonds with echoes of maypoles and morris dancing on the village green back home, and a cycle ride up hill through an emerald landscape to lunch and down hill home again.
And on this day it occurs to me that many of you have shown interest and concern in our own seeding process, and that to some I owe an explanation. It is such a personal and private process I have not wanted to write about it much, but this is where we are:
We have had our dossier in Mali since February last year. In March 2008 we paid our Bamako lawyer a handsome down payment and took a trip to meet him. He was stuck in Madagascar. The trip, of course, was extraordinary. The two orphanages which we visited tore us apart - so many souls to put in our pockets and take home; too many words and emotions and books to write.....
More than a year later we are still two and still in the dark. A commission has been and gone and we were not selected. In January this year, finally, I met our lawyer - tall, charming and so handsome - in Paris and he explained that one of his clients, though she had been selected, had not responded; that if she didn't we could take her place; that he would know by wednesday; that I should call him wednesday; that he had a sixth sense about this. I did call him, on skype from a pub in London. His number was no longer in service. Five months later we have heard nothing more. I presume he is still stuck in Madagascar....
Meanwhile, through a delightful collector of Julian's paintings who has himself adopted there, we became interested in having a sibling group from Haiti, for which country I have been compiling a dossier for the last five months. Now here's the rub:
If I send off the dossier to Haiti next week we will most likely be attributed two older children (three and six maybe?) immediately. This would mean photos, love, and it would mean family at last, in our hearts. And of course a down payment of 8000$. However, the procedure in Haiti is such that we would not be able to bring these - our - children home for two years. Meanwhile, should we be accepted in the next commission in Mali, which may or may not be in October, we would be attributed a baby within a few months and would ba able to take him or her home immediately, at which point we would lose our right to adopt 'our' children in Haiti. We could then, if we so wished, reapply to the French authorities for a new agreement (a year's process with yet another home study) for those children, but with no guarantee of being accepted or the children still being available.
We have been agonizing over so many things, but mostly: How could we bear being attributed a child or children that we then were forced to reject? I am not a depressive person, but I felt myself ceasing to feel. Anything. Joy at a blue sky, pain at a cat's wound; pleasure in playing the cello....something was wrong.
Luckily, our friend who recommended the lawyer in Mali is a bit more ballsy than me and, bless her, she called up both the orphanage and the office that deals with the adoptions in Bamako on our behalf. She ascertained that our dossier did exist, had been renewed and that indeed we did stand 'a good chance' of being selected at the next commission.....
With some regret, (so much support from Eric, Conor, Gladys...) we have decided not to send the dossier to Haiti until we know about the next commssion in Mali.
Today I am loving the blue sky, enjoying my scales, celebrating the season of green and of growth, cuddling a cat...It feels like the right decision. For now.