Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I was going to call this n-n-n-n-n-nineteen, but I was wrong
So, today is the 20 month anniversary of our dossier arriving in Ethiopia. At first I though it was the 19 month DTE anniversary, but that's because I set up the Outlook reminder wrong. So, what does this mean? Well, on the face of it, it means that we’re still waiting to be a family with a daughter. In addition to that, it means that we should start renewing our paperwork (police clearances, medicals, etc) so we can get our dossier renewed. Not that there’s really any rush at the moment, since there are still approx 75 families ahead of us in line. Did I think we’d be here at 20 months DTE? Interesting question. Well, if you’d asked me that at the beginning of our adoption journey, I’d likely have said we’d have our referral by now, and we’d be waiting for our daughter’s visa, and buying up baby clothes like crazy. And putting the nursery together. Ah, I was so naïve then. And then, 4 months after our dossier arrived in Ethiopia, the agency went bankrupt. That set us back about 5 months, but that was okay, because we brought the agency out of bankruptcy – at least our dream was still alive. The first few months brought lots of referrals, and lots of optimism. And then the referrals started to slow down. And then they stopped for a while. And my hope slowly started to fade. So I revised my thinking to – we’ll have our referral in the first quarter of 2011. Referrals are still pretty spotty, 10 months after the agency started up again, but it’s not the agency’s fault. There have been a lot of administrative changes in Ethiopia, all in the name of making sure these adoptions are ethical, not just for our agency, but across the board. There’s a lot more paperwork involved on the Ethiopian side now, and it’s taking a long time to gather, in most cases. So where before we would see referrals of children as young as 1 month old, now the youngest I’ve seen lately is 4 months old. Add another month or two for a court date (which we now have to travel too – it’s not a bad thing!) and, after a successful court date, another 3-4 months waiting for the visa to be processed, you’re bringing home a 10 month old, and that’s being very optimistic. They’re likely to be at least 12 months old, and that’s if they come into the orphanage as a newborn, and I’m not sure how often that happens. So instead of our request for an infant, we’re thinking of raising our request for a girl of up to 24 months old at the time of placement (that means at the time she comes home with us for good). The agency has recently signed on with a new orphanage but they’re still finalizing the paperwork so we haven’t seen any referrals from that orphanage yet. Hopefully they will start happening soon, so we can see what age range is coming out of that orphanage. I’d still really like to adopt a baby, to change our request to a child of up to 18 months at the time of placement, but that could be setting ourselves up for a LONG wait. I’m already barreling towards 39, then 40, so I really don’t want to wait too long to be a mom of a young child! If you asked me today when I thought we’d receive our referral, I think I’d honestly have to say – I don’t know. I honestly don’t have any idea when I’ll be a mom – and that both terrifies & saddens me. It’s tough seeing everyone have what I want. Sure, I’m jealous of people who fall pregnant easily, or even with difficulty – because they’re on the road, they’re parents. It’s a club I can’t be part of, no matter how much I wish to be.