My Adoption Story - Part 3

Aug 13, 2013

[A blogger recounts her journey in trying to adopt a child from Pakistan as a single woman. This is the second entry in a several part series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.]

International adoption. Is it overwhelming? In a word: YES. As a single woman on an adoption journey, I have anxiety-ridden days where I worry about every possible thing. My mind is a constant whirl of "what ifs" that cast a shadow over the smallest of details.

On the brighter side, I have just received word from the ministry that my home study application has been approved. I can now start the most important (and complicated) phase of my adoption journey: travelling to the Edhi Orphanage in Karachi, Pakistan.

Many of the babies that end up at the Edhi Orphanage are born out of wedlock, unwanted pregnancies involving unwed mothers. Although the Edhi Foundation has installed jhoolas (cradles) outside all of its offices throughout Pakistan, many infants are found in garbage dumps by passers-by or police officers, who take them to the orphanage. Some babies survive. Many do not.

As I prepare to travel to the Edhi Orphanage, I read and research everything there is to know about Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife, Bilquis Edhi — together they have been helping the destitute and the sick for more than 60 years. With over 250 centres across the country, they take in orphans, unwanted babies, the sick, the destitute and the homeless. They are considered "national treasures" in Pakistan, doing the work that the state does not.

Unlike other international adoptions, things work differently in Pakistan. It's not about climbing your way up a waiting list, drafting emails, or creating artful "photobooks" that showcase your home, extended family and friends. It's about travelling to Pakistan and sitting down with Mrs. Edhi, sharing how much you want to be a parent, your hopes and your dreams. With years of experience dealing with would-be parents, she is said to be a smart, savvy woman who has a gift for reading people. She makes decisions based on intuition.

I often wonder what I will say when I meet her? What will she ask me? Will I be eloquent and coherent, or a jumbled mess of half-finished sentences? I also wonder what she will think of my "singleness." Will this put me at a disadvantage in her eyes? Ultimately, I am going into this with the belief that I am meant to be a mother. I will strive and try and do the best that I can - but with the understanding that timing and fate also have a hand to play.

In future posts, I will blog about my departure for Pakistan, my first meeting with Mrs. Edhi, my visits to the orphanage and time spent in the country.

The most exciting part of the journey is yet to come. Wish me luck!


Upcoming: In Part 4, our blogger prepares to leave her life in Canada and go to Pakistan to meet the woman who will decide if she can adopt a child.   

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