Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekly Update

I receive an update from my placement agency each week. This week's edition had information about the two-trip policy -- and really only to say there was no real information about it yet. They have yet to send any families over to Africa under this new policy (any family with a referral before May 9 needs to only travel once). I am very interested to get news on this and will keep you updated.

Every family I know who has gone through the international adoption process has only had to travel once, has gotten to bring their child home the same week they met him/her. I'm not looking forward to boarding the plane on that first trip back to the US, leaving my baby behind.

Given the new two-trip policy, the placement agency has had to raise some fees. And additional increase of $500 each for in-country services and the humanitarian fee. At this point, what's another $1,000? The news barely registered with me. I updated my excel spread sheet and went along my day.

What does register with me and what I'm always curious to read about in these weekly updates are the wait times. And so far, even with the adjusted wait times, families in my bracket (children under 18 months old) are still "only" waiting 18 months. Fingers crossed that none of us meet the threshold of the 16 to 22 months that is now our estimate for a referral.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Little Sage Advice

My friend posted this to her FB page, and I thought it was definitely worth re-posting.

For Family and Friends, Part One

For Family and Friends: The Trouble with Sound Bites

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One month down.....

15 to 21 months to go.

I don't know that I've gotten over the fact that the estimated wait time was lengthened, but at least I've accepted it. There's really nothing more to do than that, is there?

As my practical friend Hope said, "it gives you more time to plan, to save, to be ready..."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you, Ladies

My friend Claudia, who is making this whole asking for help so much easier. She's a champ with her pep talks, that's for sure.

And is really excited about coming up with different ways to help. Her latest?

She's selling farm-fresh eggs, from her six chickens, at work and putting a portion of the money collected towards the adoption.

I have a special fondness for the chickens, and not just because they are also doing their part to help with the adoption fund, but because I got to name one.

Claudia is my Red Sox friend; I, of course, am a Yankees fan. And so when I got to name one of the chickens, I chose the name of the greatest player to don both uniforms -- Ruthie.

And so as they lay their eggs to be sold at work, I say as their chicken dad says, "thank you, ladies."

And thank you, Claudia.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adjusted Wait Times

I received my weekly update from my placement agency this morning. I'm trying to look on the bright side of this, but I'm not really finding anything positive about it:

Twice annually, we examine the trends over time and use our best judgment based on past history and experience in the program to estimate wait times that seem reasonable for the future. We have just finished reviewing families' experience and trending over the past year, and based on that research. As of today, we will be updating our wait times to the following:
  • Current wait times for families requesting children 0-24 months: 16-22 months
So no longer a 12- to 18-month wait, which seemed like an impossibly long time to wait. And this is just for the referral, tack on another 6 months before I even bring the baby home.

*Sigh. It's chilly, gray and dreary outside -- and that's the way I feel inside right now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friends....far and near

I have amazing friends. Friends I see on a daily basis, friends I speak to weekly, or friends I only stay connected to on Facebook. But each and every one of them have stepped up (step, get it?!) to help me, to love me.

And I have a new circle of friends. My friends who have adopted from Africa, or are on the waiting list, or have received a picture of their child. And that circle grows daily, it seems. And these new friends are showing me what I'm about to experience, what amazing things I cannot even imagine.

I remember when Jo sent me a picture of her son, and the chills I got when I looked into those eyes. Knowing that someday, I would get a picture like that.

And the other day when Megan's sister brought her daughter home and I watched video of family and friends greeting them at the airport. I saw "International Arrivals" (the very first clip on the video) and lost it. I was a complete puddle.

And so while last week when I sat in the hospital with my friend and her hours-old baby and got sad because I would never be in that situation, never have people come visit me at the hospital, never see my baby this young, suddenly I realized that I have new experiences from other people that I will be sharing in.

And I watched Maleah's welcome home video again and realized that someday soon, someday in the next two years, that will be me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When I received my I600A (approval from immigration), the form said I was approved for a girl. But actually I'm leaving that up to fate -- I couldn't have chosen boy or girl if I got pregnant, so I'm not going to choose now.

At first I was worried that it was going to be a big deal to get it changed, or slow things down. But one phone call to USCIS in Texas, a return phone a week later asking me to fax a copy of my approved home study, and then one week after that it arrived. Yesterday in the mail was my newly amended I600A for "either male or female."

Hooray for speedy government agencies. How often can you say that?!