One thing is certain in the world of international adoption - nothing is ever set in stone. There are no guarantees, and if anyone tells you there are, they are lying. The big news this week is that our agency, Imagine, has entered into an agreement to merge with another agency, Mission of Tears. On most levels, I think this is a good thing. Mission of Tears has been in business for almost 20 years, and from what I've read, is a reputable agency. This also puts our agency on a more stable financial footing, which can only be a good thing. A couple of things worry me a bit, though. Taking on the Imagine case files will likely treble the MoT caseload, and we don't know that the current staff can handle this huge increase in cases, which may affect communication & the efficiency thereof. Also, there was a statement in one of the press releases that intimated that MoT has the right to decline to work with any file/request they deem "challenging". Our file is, for all intents & purposes, a "normal" file, we are both still fairly young, financially stable, and in a stable relationship, however there is always the possibility that my weight will become an issue, though I pray that it does not. And finally, the agreement (which takes affect in 3 months) means that the Imagine office will close, putting all the people that worked to bring the agency out of bankruptcy out of a job, as far as we know at the moment. Having said all that, I am happy to have received this email, rather than one saying that, due to the decrease in referrals, the agency was closing due to lack of funds. That would have broken my heart. I've been putting off starting the baby's room until I saw the second status report from the bankruptcy trustee, and now that I've seen that & received the merger email, I am feeling more confident about breaking out the paint & setting up the chest of drawers.
I must admit, I was starting to get really worried about the viability of Imagine in its current form, considering the downturn in referrals. November appears to have been an anomaly, with its 18 referrals. Due to requirement for more paperwork on the Ethiopian side for the children being placed for adoption, there have been only 2 referrals in January & 2 in February so far. All our paperwork is collected & sent to the agency, so we are hoping for an increase in referrals soon. We still need to wait for ministry approval, but hopefully that won't take as long as it did last time. All in all, I remain cautiously optimistic about this adoption. Optimistic enough to purchase an adorable stuffed sheep (about the size of a cocker spaniel) for Wren's room. We've christened him Reg, which is a good solid Aussie name, because what's more Australian than a sheep?