Lilypie Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still with the angry * UPDATED

It's kind of fitting that I've open & closed the month of September with an angry post regarding our file. To summarize, it's the same crap, different day. We are no closer to getting our stat dec that we were 30 days ago, and I can't express how much that sucks. Instead of re-hashing the whole thing, here's the email that I sent to the agency this morning. To give you a little background, I stopping dealing with The Idiot about a week ago, and the new guy I've been dealing with, Mr Nice, is very nice & has been helping tremendously. He's the reason we got the email from Helpful Lady, which will hopeful result in the debacle coming to an end. And yes, I copied the director of the agency. All names have been changed to protect the innocent, and The Idiot, and to protect myself from legal action.

"I am very upset at the handling of our file since it transitioned to your agency in April of this year. At that time our file was with the ministry in Ontario, waiting for approval. This approval came through on April 19, as communicated to me by The Idiot. This was the last informative email I received from The Idiot. I have been told numerous times by The Idiot that our file was complete, that nothing was outstanding, that there was nothing missing that would be delaying the statutory declaration. Apparently I have been lied to, and I do not appreciate it. Please see below for a summary of my correspondence with The Idiot (I can provide copies of these emails, if you wish). Before you read this, please note that our original stat dec with the original agency took 3 weeks to be issued.

April 19 – received email from The Idiot that ministry approval had been received.
May 4 – emailed The Idiot to enquire as to the status of our stat dec.
May 10 – received reply from The Idiot indicating that our file had been updated waiting for the stat dec.
May 24 – emailed The Idiot to ask about stat dec, was told that it had been issued & that MoT were awaiting its arrival from the Ethiopian embassy.
June 8 – emailed The Idiot to ask if stat dec had arrived from embassy, was told that our file was sent to be notarized & the stat dec was being processed. I asked why I had been told on May 24 that the stat dec had been issued.
June 14 – received email from The Idiot noting that our file was updated & was getting authenticated. There was no explanation of why I had been told that the stat dec had been issued when it hadn’t.
July 20 – emailed The Idiot to ask about status of stat dec.
July 21 – received reply from The Idiot that stat dec had gone to Ottawa, then to Ethiopian Embassy, that new agency was awaiting its return.
August 26 – emailed The Idiot to ask about stat dec. I asked why it was taking so long, and if there was anything missing from my file. I was told that all documents were in order.
August 31 - At this time, due to a post in an August update, I also asked if there was a fee involved with the stat dec. I was told that yes, there was. Please note that this is the first time I was notified of a fee for the stat dec.
September 1 – emailed The Idiot several times to find out the cost involved & whom to make out the cheque to. I was told by The Idiot that the fee was $131.00 & that the cheque was to be made out to the Ethiopian Embassy. I confirmed this with him several times, as I had heard that other families had been charged $282.50 & that their cheques had to be made out to the original agency. I was assured that the charge was $131.00. My husband sent out the cheque on September 3. At that time he requested a receipt from The Idiot, but we have never received this requested receipt. At this time I do not know if the cheque has been cashed.
September 19 – emailed The Idiot to enquire about status of stat dec.
September 20 – was advised by The Idiot that the stat dec had been issued, that he knew this because he had produced it himself. I asked The Idiot if our updated file was on its way back to Ethiopia now. I did not receive a reply.

This ends my correspondence with The Idiot on the status of our stat dec. I started dealing with Mr Nice after September 20, and I must say that he has been nothing but courteous & helpful. That brings us to today, and your email asking for notarized documents (which we are happy to provide, and would have been happy to do so 5 months ago, had we been asked to have them notarized). I will require confirmation from you (Helpful Lady) that the charge for the stat dec is $282.00, and not $131.00 as we were previously told. If the charge is indeed $282.00, I would ask you to return the cheque for $131.00 that we have already sent to your office, specifically The Idiot.

I would also ask that our file be handled my someone else than The Idiot, as I have found him to be very slow in responding to my emails, and when he does respond, he usually does not answer my questions. When he does answer my questions, I am given wrong information. This is not acceptable, as I am sure you will agree. I look forward to a better relationship with the (new) agency than I have experienced so far (please note that this statement does not include Mr Nice, I have no complaints about him!)."

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?!? Today's email was the breaking point, and it's a good thing that I get into work earlier than most of my colleagues, becuase I cried my eyes out this morning, mostly from sheer frustration. With every month that passes, I feel like I'm getting further & further away from being a mom. This sucks.

Update - I received an email from Nice Lady on Friday (after I left work, but whatever, at least she responded same day). I'd sent an email earlier in the day asking her to courier me the paperwork (that needed notarizing) at the agency's expense, because of the LONG delay in getting this issue identified & resolved. She has done so, so hopefully this will all be resolved by the end of the week, so the stat dec can be issued by the end of the month (preferably by the end of next week). My hubby is going to hand-deliver the paperwork to the agency on Thursday, hopefully, and I'm sending him with a list of hard-hitting questions. I had a dream last night that we got our referral, so apparently my subconscious still thinks this will all work out, but we were referred a boy instead of a girl, so even my subconscious thinks the agency isn't done screwing up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's a sad, sad situation

Since we started our adoption, lo these many (almost 4) years ago, we’ve been part of an online adoption group. This group has been invaluable during the process, and was especially beneficial in rallying the troops after the bankruptcy back in 2009. The women (and men, but it’s mostly) of the group have never been shy in sharing their ideas, their expertise, their opinions, their feelings, their questions, & their answers to your questions, and to me, it’s great to have a group of people that know what you’re going through. They’ve either been through it themselves & can offer knowledge & wisdom, or they are going through it with you & can offer commiserations on delays & other issues, or they are a bit behind you in the process & you’re offering them assistance on things you’ve already experienced. That’s just a lot of words to say that it’s a community of like-minded people, and that can be priceless, when you’re waiting & waiting & waiting for your referral (or your court date, or your visa). You may never meet these people in person, but you feel like you know them, via the interwebs.

We lost one of our group this week. A woman who had waited years (with her husband) to bring home their son, a wee boy who just turned 1 year old this past July. They’d only been home with their son for 4 months when she passed away, weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer. That’s weeks, not months. This is such a tragedy. Not only has a husband lost his precious wife, someone with whom he’d been through so much, a little, little boy, who has already lost so much in his short life, has just lost his second mommy, someone who waited so long for him, someone who was going to love & nuture him for the rest of his life. I just can’t get this family out of my head. I didn’t know them personally, though I recognize the man from some of the bankruptcy meetings that we attended. Brain cancer has taken far too much from too many people this year, and it has to stop. I don’t know how, but it has to stop. Why does it always seem to take the young (or the relatively young), those who have so much live still left to do. Why does it seem to hide & grow in secret, masking it’s symptoms as things that could be “nothing”, until it’s “something” and it’s too late & it’s inoperable? It’s not right. It’s just not right. For all the money that’s spent on wars & government dithering (see the debt reduction debacle in the US lately), and consumerism (who needs multiple lavishly appointed houses & scores of automobiles, and helicopters & private jets & jewel-encrusted dog collars, etc) (not that I am exempt from consumerism – I have always liked to shop!), we could be pouring that money into cancer research, so families can stop having to say goodbye to their loved ones, can stop having to live through months of chemo & radiation & fatigue & financial issues. What’s it going to take for that to happen? Who do we have to lose for the line to be drawn in the sand – here, no further.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So much angry, so little time

So, it’s been over 4 months now since we received our approval to adopt (from the provincial ministry of child & youth services), and still, STILL we do not have our statutory declaration, which is needed to complete our file. Sure, they’ve told us that, should a referral come up for our family, that the lack of a stat dec will not affect our ability to accept the referral. It IS needed for court, though. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re not anywhere close to a referral, let alone a court date, but even so, in this crazy, uncertain world of adoption, when you chase paperwork for weeks & sometimes months, any outstanding paperwork (especially something that is out of your control) will drive you crazy. Considering that our first stat dec took 3 weeks to be processed, I think I’ve been pretty patient in the wait for this second stat dec (for our updated file). I haven’t been emailing daily, or even weekly. I email once a month, on or near the date we got our approval (the 19th). And so far, for the past 3 months, the answer has remained the same. It’s with the embassy, and will be sent back to the agency when it’s completed. Every month, the same answer. Considering that, 2.5 years ago, it was possible to complete a stat dec & send it to the agency within 3 weeks, what in the hell is happening now? This isn’t just slow, it’s glacial. And now? Now they’re telling us we have to pay for this new stat dec! I am positive that, with Imagine, you only had to pay for a new stat dec when you were making changes over & above your standard “it’s been 2 years, you don’t have a kid yet, or even a referral, so it’s time to update your paperwork” update. Turns out, I was WRONG. We do have to pay. Again. Some more. When they were going to decide to tell us is anyone’s guess. This, on top of the upcoming Ethiopia program fundraiser that we really want to attend so we can meet the Ethiopian head of the Imagine Ethiopia program, which costs almost as much as the stat dec will cost. The proceeds will go to sustaining the Ethiopian program, but what? Do they think that families who are trying to adopt are made of money? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not angry at having to pay for the stat dec. What I’m angry about? That I had to ask them if we had to pay. At no point were we informed of this requirement. If you need me to pay money for something, don’t you think you should be letting me know that? I have asked the agency on several occasions if we were missing anything, and each time I was told no, everything is in order. I am so flippin’ frustrated & angry about all of this, you have no idea. We have done everything asked of us, and it seems like we’re just running in circles, chasing our tails, getting nowhere. And I cannot tell you how much that sucks. I’m at one of those points (again, some more) where I feel like this is never going to happen for us. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a childless couple, I just didn’t think it was in the cards for us. Time will tell, I guess.

And yeah, the Great Wisdon Teeth Extraction of 2011 went off without a hitch, just in case you wanted to know.