Naggy Nancy…

I said it once and I’ll say it again. I  hate nagging. Hate it!  I don’t want to be a nag. I don’t want to nag anyone, ever, never.  Don’t make me nag you!  It’s annoying.  But our homestudy still isn’t done and it’s driving me bananas.

We had our last meeting with our social worker on December 22nd.  As she left, she told us she would email us some questions in the next few days as questions always arise when she sits down to type up the homestudy.  Well we got nothing. Nada.  Zilch.  So I patiently waited until after the holidays.  I waited exactly 2 weeks.  It took her 5 days to get back to me and after answering her reply, I have yet to hear back from her again.  So tonight, I caved.  I just nagged her again.  A naggy waggy email sent off just minutes ago.  I disguised it as trying to be helpful… i.e. just wanted to make sure you don’t have any questions I can help answer.  and by they way, how’s it coming along?… but who am I kidding. I’m being a nag.  I’m sure I’m annoying her but if she would just throw us a bone, maybe send us a draft, I would back the heck off.  It’s killin me!

I’m not nagging to nag because, again, we all hate a nag.  BUT!  But, we can’t do anything until the homestudy is finalized.  We need it to accompany our I-800 application and we need the I-800 approval (title TBD if I ever figure out what that part is) to send with our dossier.  So she’s holding up the whole freaking process.  We are officially at a standstill.  I need forward progress pronto.  Maybe it’s time to finally look at the dreaded checklist of special needs.


China Docs

This is a shot of one of the many pages of the file you get when you get a match and/or request info on one of the special focus kids on the shared website for our agency.  

So we got through the paper chase and finished our homestudy.  Just before our final homestudy meeting, I met with the international coordinator for our agency.  She’s an amazing, amazing woman. So much knowledge.  So compassionate. So wise!  We talked with her on the phone very early in the process, just to get a better idea of what countries would and would not work for us, so I knew going into this meeting that she would be a great person to just re-confirm our plans to go with the china waiting child program.  

She first walked me through a checklist of the documents we would need to compile for our dossier.  The good news is that many of them were already done during our paper chase, such as the china medical physical exam form, employment verification, The bummer is that some of those documents now need to go to the state capitol to get state certified/apostilled and then some of those, along with others, will need to go to the Chinese embassy in San Francisco to get authenticated.  

Birth Certificates – Oh what fun.  They have to get authenticated at the Chinese embassy which has jurisdiction over the states in which we were born.  That means Parker’s birth certificate has to go to the Chinese embassy in Chicago to get authenticated.  What a pain in the ass.  Thankfully the embassy here in SF has jurisdiction over the state of Washington so mine can just go with the other documents. Woo hoo, one tiny detail goes in our favor.

Application Letter – We also have to write up a an application letter.  In this letter we basically outline our intentions of adopting a girl with minor to repairable special needs who is up to 2 years and 3 months old. We promise to love and take care of her and never abuse her.  Kind of a stiff piece of writing but it’s a requirement.  

Certificate of Financial Status – just what it says… a document listing our assets, income, life insurance values, bank account balances, investments and liabilities, credit card debt, mortgage, etc.

Police Clearance Letter – We have to get a notarized letter from the local city or county police station stating we do not have a criminal record in their office.  We haven’t done this yet but it sounds pretty easy.  We show up in person, with our driver’s licenses and social security numbers, pay the 26 bucks and return in 2 days to pick up the letter.  

Reference Letters – We include 3 of the 4 reference letters we originally obtained for the agency paper chase.  We also have to include the reference letter from the kindergarten teacher .. but for the China requirements, that letter now has to get notarized.  Too bad we didn’t get a heads up about this before.  Now we have to impose on the teacher yet again, to take time to do this.  Thankfully we live in a small town and can just make an appointment at the UPS store based on what will be most convenient for her. I’ll still feel like a heel asking her for another favor.

I-797C approval – Ha!  Not even sure what this is. Maybe it’s what we’ll get back after we send in our I-800 application.  I’ll have to look into this.  

There is also some additional info about travel.  Most adoption fees are requested in U.S. cash.  So it looks like we’ll be rollin.  That’ll be fun.  And nerve wracking. Nothing like traveling in a country you’ve never been to, with a ton of dough strapped on in your money belt.  We can wire the orphange fee nd the fee to the travel agency before we go.  

They also recommend we get vaccinations for Hep A and Hep B before we go.  We hadn’t previously thought about Hep A but will add that to our list.  I had already discussed Hep B with my doctor during part 2 of my medical exam.  The order is in and I just have to show up and start the series of 2-3 injections.  We added this to our to do list because one of the little girls, whose file we looked at, has Hep B.  Yes, I mentioned we looked at a file.  We’ve actually reviewed 2 files. More on that later.

There is also a packing list included. Which is helpful and ridiculous at the same time.  I wonder if it’s as useless as the packing list you get for your trip to the hospital to birth your bio kid.  I’m not even sure I opened the suitcase up again after getting out my toothbrush, contact solution and contact case.  I learned after baby #1 that bringing all those brand new granny panties was worthless. The mesh panties they give you at the hospital are far superior, comfort-wise, do a much better job keeping everything in place and the best part – you can just throw them away!  Then, after baby #2, I did actually strap on the bra I brought along with some of those terrible, awful boobyliner pads you stick in to absorb the breast milk.  How much did those suck?!  But I was a milk making machine so I had to use them, or risk an embarrassing amount of leakage during my laps around the post-partum unit.  So packing list, shmacking list. At least this time if I forget something, it won’t result in embarrassing bodily fluid issues.  I’ll read it after the tickets are bought and the suitcases are brought in from the garage. 

The most useful document included is “Medical Resources with International Adoption Experience.”  These practices are willing to review referral information (the medical file you get on the child you get matched with).  Most require a fee and some just take a donation.  I have two of them starred and will contact them in the next couple of weeks to help determine who we will work with and set up an agreement so that when the file comes, we can zip it over to them for a quick, but of course, thorough, review before we make our decision. I think we get 72 hours. I’ll also have our pediatrician review the file and give us her $.02 as well as she’ll be an integral part of the ongoing care of baby sister. That and the fact that she’s just a great person, warm sense of support and encouragement and speaks to us like fellow adults/parents.  

At the end of the conversation I just asked her if there were other countries we should give consideration to or should reconsider before pulling the trigger and finalizing China.  We talked through India and Ethiopia as I just needed to make sure they wouldn’t be possibilities in the near future. We also talked through Uganda.  They (our agency) are running a pilot program, so to speak, in Uganda.  But the uncertainty of the process, the power that rests with the lone lawyer who will confirm or deny your adoption case, and the length of stay required ruled out Uganda for us.  If we didn’t have children already, I could see us traveling around to build a family from many countries.  But the reality is we have children who have to go to school and a money maker who needs to go to work.  Without the money he makes, none of this would be possible. So no changes to our country plans. We’re sticking with China.  

We’ve decided to go with “The Assistant Stork” for getting the state certifications/apostilling and embassy authentications.  There’s a fee to this, obviously, but it’s well worth the cost to get this very time consuming task done for us. If I did it myself, I would have to get a sitter for at least a couple of days and then trek on up to the capitol one day and then sit around at the embassy another day.  And let’s face it, I don’t even know what I’m doing so I’m sure 2 planned days would turn into 4 days total. That’s a lot of time and babysitting money and gas and frustration.  So this week I’m going to call the assistant stork to start getting this stuff where it needs to go.  

Hope this post wasn’t too boring for you.  I got bored re-reading it to make sure it all made sense.  But I can’t help it. I’m putting all the steps of the process out there. The easy ones and the hard ones, the boring ones, those that require help from others, those that require a significant amount of research or writing or soul searching.  And hopefully soon, once we’re through all of those, onto the fun and exciting things we get to think about, talk about and plan for!


Yahoo groups overload .. make it stop!

Short and sweet.  Somewhere along the way it was suggested to join the yahoo group for our agency.  Or more specifically their yahoo group for the waiting child program.  So I did, of course. The more help I can get, the better. After all, nobody we know has adopted so we don’t have much in the way of tangible resources to tap into.

I joined the group and signed up to just get a daily digest of the posts.  Good Lord!  Be careful what you wish for is right.  There are more subjects bouncing around on there than I knew possible.  This was my first introduction to “the lingo” .. all these acronyms I’ve never heard of and am already intimidated by.  Heck, I still type out each and every word of each and every text message I send so good luck on getting me up and running on this one.  Even posts from families while they’re in China about how the transition is going with their new wee one.  Seriously. These people are really into this yahoo groups business.  Since I joined so early on in our process, I decided to stop hyperventilating after reading the digest first thing every morning .. and just avoid reading it until I felt a little more confident about our process and had a little more understanding of the subject matter.  I still find it totally intimidating to read about someone’s third or fourth adoption, their packing list, and sight seeing plans. But I’m hopeful that as we eek closer to actually traveling that I’ll acclimate much like I did earlier on.  I think the expertise of some of the “elders” will always be intimidating.  I still feel like even though I’m getting done what I need to get done, that I may not be doing everything right and am, any day now, going to get one of my documents back with a big red “X” through it and an “F” written on the top.  And I certainly am not good enough at this whole thing to give anybody else any advice or feedback.  Thankfully there are plenty of those people out there, helping the rest of us along.

Just a little glimpse of what I wake up to every morning.  The shortest digests were just a few posts (Christmas time) and the longer ones reach a dozen or so.  Maybe not intimidating to you but if you’re me .. looking at how much is left on your timeline .. and you don’t even know what some of these things mean because you have yet to reach that milestone in your process .. well, it makes you throw up, just a wee bit, in your mouth.  Just when you think you’re making progress, you read one of these.  But in the end, I’ll be wrapping my arms around baby sister and this will all be a fleeting memory.  Or a recurring nightmare.

Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From: 
Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From: 
Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From:
Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From: 
Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From:
Re: HELP! I’m panicking… Please answer a silly question QUICK! From: 
Re: We got our PA :)  From: 
Re: We got our PA :)  From:
Re: We got our PA :)  From: 
Re: LOA has made it to BAAS From: 
Re: LOA has made it to BAAS From: 
Re: LOA has made it to BAAS From: 
Re: LOA has made it to BAAS From: 
Re: LOA has made it to BAAS From: 
Adoption from Shanghai From: 
Re: Adoption from Shanghai From: 
Re: Adoption from Shanghai From: 
Re: Adoption from Shanghai From: 
Re: Adoption from Shanghai From: 
Kate/Fiona- aging out girl with Thalassemia needs a family SOON! From: 
Vaccination Waiver From: 
Re: Vaccination Waiver From: 

The Binder…

The first photo is all of the documents required for the first phase of the paper chase. The second is THE binder.

Ugh. It’s huge. It’s intimidating. But it’s the first obstacle on the path to baby sister, so let’s do this!

Of course as is my personality, I read through the binder after we got the boys to bed on the same day we went to class and received the binder. I scribbled some notes and made to do lists for myself and Parker. Mine was much longer as, let’s face it .. the more tasks I gave to him = more nagging I would have had to do. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a nag. I hate nagging. I hate being nagged. There’s not a stereotypical term about describing one’s wife that I’d more like to avoid. So, my to do list is about 30 items long, his is about 10. And may have ended up at about 5.
The third section of the binder has the bulk of what I will lovingly refer to as the paper chase. It became my part-time job the last quarter of the year. Much like getting our kid into kindergarten was last year at the same time. What a waste of time that was.  This year, however, all I could think about is the little girl I will get to love someday .. and not all the parents I would come to loathe, like, tomorrow! So the “forms for the filling” go something like this:

Fee Schedule
Agency Flow Chart – when things happen, when this or that fee gets paid
Document Checklist
Adoption Services Agreement
Family Descriptions
Family Brief
Reference Letters – 4 of them – notarized
Medical Exam – notarized
Financial Statement
Employment and Salary Verification – notarized
Request for Live Scan Services
Child Abuse Clearance Forms
Agency Waiver Form
Disclosure of Pregnancy – notarized
Bank Statements – 3 months
Mortgage Statement
Fed. Income Tax – last 3 years
Certified Birth Certificates
Certified Marriage Certificates
Health Insurance Cards
China Medical Exam Forms – notarized
Arrest Record Information
Therapist Letter Guideline – if applicable
Physician Letter Guideline – for medical conditions if applicable
Letter to your child(ren)’s Teacher or Principal
Child Medical
Yep, that’s a lot of stuff to fill out, ask for, search for and nail down.
To get started we had to knock the first few things off of the above list in order to kick-off our homestudy.  This is how we got the ball officially rolling.

Fee Schedule – pay agency admin fee and 1st half of homestudy fee

Adoption Services Agreement - sign and return with above checks

Family Descriptions – This was not as easy as you may think. I got so tired of talking, well, writing about myself. It was worse than the days the boys are so rotten that I get sick of my own voice. Describe what kind of person you are.. your strengths, your weaknesses, what would you like to change, what type of family did you grow up in, your interests, how do you spend your leisure time, how do you deal with stress, talk about the relationship with you and your spouse, how might adopting change your relationship with your spouse, and on, and on, and on. Blech. My first thought was pour a glass of wine and take a crack at it. But then one glass leads to two and the next thing you know, I’m writing how much I love you guys and I can’t waaaait to have a little guuurrrl. So, I sat down at the kids table with the ipad on it’s little keyboard dock and started pounding away. I tried to sound like the person I want to be. Smart, sensible, empathetic, gracious and above all, a rock star of a mom. Because after all, I could be a total jerk of a friend and a crappy wife, but I have to prove that I can do this mom thing so that they’ll give us a kid! Mine came out okay but it sounded a little sappy and a little too braggy but it’s not like you want to write all the boring, negative stuff so I left it at that. Parker took a week or two to write his. Yes, I had to nag which ticked us both off. But we couldn’t get the home study going until we turned these in so snap, snap skippy! Turns out good things come to those who wait, or take a while. That guy totally school’s me in the make myself sound really good on paper category. Some of you may know him as the Coors light drinking, hockey obsessed narcoleptic that he is. Others may know the smarty pants work Parker who kicks ass and takes names all day long. Either way, you also know he is bright and articulate and much more well spoken than any of us ever will be. So at least one of us sounds like a decent enough parent that we may just be found eligible to adopt!

Family Brief – A 10 page document that you fill in and check selections regarding your children (ages, names, etc.), your education, employment history, health and medical info, doctor’s names, insurance information for medical, dental and life, citizenship info, the type of child you hope to adopt, and housing info, what type of house, own, rent, pool, guns in the house, all sorts of oddball inquiries.
I got all of this sent back a couple of weeks after our class and then we started in with the home study which is a cornerstone of the process as it culminates with the document simply called the homestudy which will accompany the other two pieces of the 3 part pie that gets you to your kid.  Those 3 important pieces of pie are as follows;
1. Homestudy
2. I-800 application to US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
3. Dossier to China

The homestudy is a little like what it sounds like but it should be called a Social Worker Investigation. It’s a series of “visits” from a social worker. Some adoption agencies may have you meet at their office or at the social workers office for some visits with a final visit or two in your home. Our homestudy was all conducted in our home. Our social worker asked that we all be home for the first one, that she meet one on one for the second and third visits (one with me, one with Parker) and then all of us for the fourth and final. We were so nervous for the first one. Well, I was nervous. Or maybe freaked out is a better word. Writing about myself for the family description was tough enough. The last thing I wanted to do was then have to listen to myself talk more about myself. We were all ready for the social worker to arrive. We dressed casually. Made a fire. Waited. And waited. I think she was 30-45 minutes late. But it wasn’t as bad as we anticipated. The questions were simple and the right words came easy. The boys were perfectly well behaved. Duh. They’re angels! Ha, not really. They’re great kids but we got lucky that morning. She was here for almost 2 hours. She asked really general questions… why we want to adopt, where we’re from, where we went to college, what we do or have done professionally, how the boys feel about adoption, that kind of stuff. She also encouraged us to start thinking about the types of special needs we would be willing to take and to think about the travel plans in more depth as we’re all going to China to pick up baby sister. She suggested taking another adult with us who would be able to get the boys out of the hotel and having some fun as we may be in the trenches getting baby sister to … let us touch her, eat, stop crying, etc. We hadn’t thought of that so that was a good suggestion, maybe the one bit of food for thought to come out of the first meeting.

After the first homestudy meeting we kept chugging along on paperwork. We agreed on a deadline of Christmas to get the documents submitted to our agency. I know Parker thought I was a madwoman and wished for more time BUT as a mom, I’m always thinking ahead.  If we could in any way make it possible to bring baby sister home during the summer, that would be ideal.  All 4 of us will be traveling and it will be much easier to take the trip in the summer or early fall, than smack in the middle of the school year.  And it means allowing us all more time to bond and ease into a routine than would coming home, rushing the boys back to school, waking up early, running around all day, you name it.  So if we could get part 1 done by year end, part 2 follows in a month or 2 and part 3 by month 3 or 4 … putting our travel about 6 months from then.  If I lost you, that would mean paper chase docs submitted in December, Homestudy finalized in January, I-800 application submitted in January/February with approval February/March with travel by September.  Oh and somewhere in the March timeframe we will find out just who baby sister is once our Dossier gets logged in in China. Known as LID for log in date.  The whole adoption lingo still trips me out.  I’ll talk about that as I get to a point where knowing the lingo comes in handy.  So our deadline was Christmas and I nervously, but happily, sent off the package of documents on 12/15/11. It was a nerve wracking handoff at the post office.  I should have just taken the day to drive the documents across the bay, down the peninsula to our agency… I would have slept better that night knowing they arrived safely.  But in the end it worked out and they were delivered the very next day.

We had our individual homestudy visits right around Thanksgiving. Our social worker totally screwed up the timing for mine. I still wonder if that was part of the homestudy.. totally mess with these people, stress them out, screw up their childcare plans and see how they handle it.  If it wasn’t then it was just plain rude, disrespectful and unprofessional.  She was supposed to come I think at 2pm. The boys were going to have a play date at my friend’s house. Well, she called at 1:30 to say she was just leaving Sacramento and may be late. Ya think? Sacramento is a good hour and a half away.  Long story short I took the boys over to my friend’s because they had really been looking forward to it… then Parker picked them up a little while later. The individual meeting was a little nerve wracking but I got through it. She asked all about my life and asked me to start from the beginning. Hard to wrap 38 years into a single conversation. Hard and annoying.  (again, sick of hearing about myself!) Lots of stops to let her writing catch up. Yes, I know, I’m wordy, I talk a lot, I talk fast, and sometimes in circles. A social worker’s nightmare. I think Parker’s went fine but he didn’t say much about it other than it kind of sucked and she jumped around a bit. I don’t think she asked as many personal questions but then again, maybe she didn’t really ask me them as much as I just blurted out the details of my life. I talk too much.  Always.  Always have and unfortunately, I probably always will.  Our final homestudy visit was right before Christmas. On the final visit the social worker has to sort of sketch out your property and get detailed info about your home, safety, if the kid will have its own room, location of nearest school, park, library and hospital. There was only one little hiccup during this meeting and I’m not going to elaborate on it because it was borderline offensive and it will sound a little douchey if I get into the details. We are thankful that our agency was able to put us at ease regarding the issue but we had about a week of uneasiness as they were closed for Christmas and so we couldn’t get the issue clarified as easily as we would have liked. That was the one little hitch we’ve experienced since we started the paper chase and if that’s the worst of it, then this process isn’t so bad.

We’re still waiting for our homestudy to be finalized and hope to have it in the next week or so. At the end of the homestudy, you meet with the international coordinator at our agency. I did that right before Christmas and she provided the next set of documents and requirements that will become our dossier. Just when I thought the paper chase was done! This set won’t be as much work as some of the requirements are duplicates of what we’ve already done for the paper chase, but we have to figure out if it makes more sense to do this next step on our own or use a service, such as one called “the assistant stork” to aid us in the process. Up next… yahoo groups overload, the chatter and the China docs.


Ready, set, go!

This photo is of me and my foster mother. Thank goodness I grew into my head. Sheesh.

After we selected an agency, the first step was to take the required training, which for our agency is a full day pre-adopt class. It’s lead by parents who have adopted internationally through the agency. Having just moved (there’s a lot to the story of how we got to where we are now settling in and those of you who know of our moves, stop snickering and save the jokes because we’ve heard them all!) and losing both of our babysitters to new jobs in different states, we had to find a new sitter. So we found her and we threw her into the fire by making her babysit for 9 daytime hours (i.e. the boys were awake the ENTIRE time!).
We were actually a little nervous on our drive there. What would we have to do during this class, who else would be there. Wait, and more importantly, what do we do for lunch? We showed up a few minutes early and, gasp, our names aren’t on the sign in sheet. Crap. I thought for a minute maybe we didn’t make the cut. We did, in fact, have to send in an adoption application prior to signing up for the class. Deep breath… “uhh, excuse me, our names aren’t on the list.” Reply “oh no, that never happens. Well, just write it in.” Whew!
There were about 5 couples in the class. The introduction was awwwwkward. We had to introduce ourselves and tell what lead us to consider adoption. When I say awkward, it wasn’t for us because we have kids and we’re comfortable and confident in our decision to adopt. It was awkward for the rest of the group. The wives would stammer a bit and say something like “well, I’ve just always felt I would adopt someday.” read “I am not here by choice. My body and I don’t agree and I would rather my body provide a baby but she feels differently about it.” And the husbands were the worst. Here their poor wives were trying to keep their infertility secret because why, I don’t know, there is no shame in it. It sucks. Period. It’s not fair that so many of us easily conceive while others cannot. And it makes my heart sad that these women are seemingly embarrassed by it. So anyway, the wife would make something up then the husband, who as is typical, wasn’t really paying attention to what had already been said and would blurt out “yeah, so we’ve been trying for what, honey, maybe like 4 years to get pregnant and nothing has worked so we’re here.” Yep, awkward. So when it came to us, we almost felt bad because here we are all cheery, ready to adopt! and we have to admit that we haven’t struggled at all, and in fact have 2 great kids at home torturing the new babysitter. Teensy bit awkward.
The class covers just about every aspect of adopting. The less important stuff gets glazed over. The more important stuff we talk through in more depth. Like the travel and what it will be like… it’s not sightseeing folks! You get to your country of choice and they bring your kid to your hotel then it’s man to man coverage for the remainder of your trip. Which may be 2-4 weeks depending on the country. Gulp. And your child will be grieving the loss of the life she once knew. Grieving? Dang, we just kind of assumed they’d be jumping for joy because they get love and attention all day, every day. Or maybe that they get their own bed. Clean clothes. Toys! But no, in all seriousness, life in an orphanage is all they’ve known. And it’s over at that moment they’re handed over. They may have only had a few minutes of adult interaction a day but those were precious minutes to them with maybe the one person they’ve ever felt love from. And that person is no longer there for them. Everything is different. Sights, smells, everything. They also may have shut down emotionally which means you get nothing. Not a peep, not a cry, not a word. Or worse, they hate you because you are a big scary white person that ruined their life. That’s the reality.
We also discussed the pages and pages and pages of paperwork. Some you have to get notarized, others apostilled and yet others authenticated. Okay you lost us after notarized. There was an attorney in the group and she kept right up, knew exactly what they were talking about. Basically there are three levels of verifications so to speak – first is just getting a document signed and notarized – next is getting it signed and apostilled at the state capital – and last is getting it signed and authenticated at the embassy for the country in which you plan to adopt.
There was a little time spent talking about countries. Not all agencies provide adoption services for all countries. Agencies must have some sort of relationship with a country or a specific orphanage in order to provide adoption services. One of the reasons we chose the agency we did is that they have programs for India and Ethiopia. Both countries we were interested in learning more about. At the pre-adopt class level of adoption, many couples haven’t yet decided on the country. One couple in our class was interested in adopting from Colombia as the husband was born there (raised in France) and another couple was interested in India. A third, quiet, meek couple, both Chinese, were interested in China and were visibly disturbed by the revelation that the wait time for a healthy newborn from China would be about 6 years. 6 freaking years to get 1 of the thousands, probably more like millions but the Chinese government would never admit to the number of orphans they have forced upon their people…
The last big chunk of time was spent on how you plan to incorporate your child’s culture into your life. We then watched a video on becoming multicultural. The video was awful. Sassy, punk kids all angry about not knowing “who” they are and not having an identity. Well, that is not adoption’s fault kid! I have more thoughts on this, being an adoptee myself, but I’ll save those for another post. Anyway, the video totally sucked but it did get us thinking and that’s important enough.
At the end of class we walked out to the car with our huge and intimidating binder. It was like graduating from college. Here’s your diploma, get on your way and yet you have no idea where to go or what to do because it’s so overwhelming. Well maybe that was just for me… but that’s how I felt. I had this huge task of getting all of this paperwork going and even though we just talked through it all, I had no idea how or where to get started. But as is my life, I started in on it that very night. My next post will be all about “the binder” and all its lovely forms
I’ll close by overviewing how we came to decide on the country from which our daughter would hail from. We initially hoped to adopt from India. Why? Well, there are an estimated 15-25 million orphans in India. India also has I think about a third of the world’s poor. There is some info out that says a few states in India have more poor than a couple of dozen African nations combined. That’s a lot of hungry, needy people. India wasn’t in the cards. As much as we hoped it would be we were gingerly advised that while it would be possible, that it would take a long, long time. That’s due to the fact that we aren’t people of Indian descent. India primarily wants their orphans to stay in their country and be adopted by their people. And if that can’t happen, they want them adopted by Indians living abroad. And if that can’t happen, then they may consider Indian people who are from other countries. And if that isn’t the case, then they will consider prospective parents who are of Indian descent. Lastly, if they can’t find any of the above, i.e. INDIANS! , they may consider whiteys like us. Yes I’m poking fun of us so don’t get offended by that term. The term they use for people like us is probably worse anyway.
So then we looked into Ethiopia, which was our second choice. It COULD be an option but the program has been put on hold. The story we got is that there is a backlog of paperwork. But the insider scoop is that a certain organization that we’ve all heard of and maybe given charitable donations to, caused a big, ol’ problem in Ethiopia. They basically gave the Ethiopian government a little bit of money, and by little bit, I mean in the millions of dollars range, to shut down their international adoptions. And so they did. For now. Sad.
So during a nice conversation with one of the women at our agency, we decided the best route for us would be China. She basically put us in our places and let us know that if our goal is to add a child to our family, have predictability of the process, and change a child’s life, that there are thousands of kids in China that would fit the bill. So we are proud and excited to say that we are adopting our daughter from the Waiting Child Program in China. She will have minor to repairable special needs and we can’t wait to meet her!