Sunday, May 30, 2010
I made the decision to change agencies and countries. This is officially my 3rd placing agency (I just have to sigh when I add up those application fees!) I have a good feeling that this one is right. With the help of the folks at my home study agency, I was able to locate an agency that has a strong history in Ethiopia and a strong history placing single moms with young children. We found it, and I immediately contacted about a dozen of their references. I was amazed at the number of responses I received--all positive about the agency and their Ethiopian adoption experience. When I read the responses, talk to adoptive parents, or look at their blogs, I get more and more excited about the reality of the process! I sent in my formal application to them last week, and I am getting dossier materials together starting this week! YEAH!! I'm excited to finally be moving forward.
Friday, May 21, 2010
I did a lot of emailing, calling, and questioning this week about what the minimum 3-month hold on Kaz was really going to do. The truth is--no one really knows that the hold will only be 3 months (although most of the experts in the adoption field I've talked with DO think the change of Kaz to Hague policies will go fast). Apparently, most of what Kaz currently does is Hague compliant already.....but I still wonder how long the already-long process will be extended, and do I really have any kind of connection to this country anyway?? All of this has caused me to rethink country choices again.
I went to lunch last week with a single gal who is adopting from Ethiopia. She should be bringing home her child sometime this summer! I had a great time visiting with her, and I was amazed at how similar our thought-processes regarding adoption had been.
I had researched Ethiopia at the same time I was researching Kaz, but neither of the agencies I had worked with were taking single applicants for Ethiopia, so I kind of dismissed it. After going to my home study agency and talking with the social workers there, we got online and on the phone and found a couple of agencies that would indeed take single applicants for infants! So this is where I am now--researching these 2 agencies....contacting their references....seeing what the actual process looks like with Ethiopia. I'm feeling really positive about it at this point. I plan to have a firm decision by the end of the weekend...I'm ready to move forward with this!!
By the way--my fingerprints have finally been processed by ABI, and I should receive my clearance any day now. This means that we can complete my home study. So if I just make up my mind about agency and country, I'm on it!!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Today, I met an adoptive Kaz mom for coffee. We had a great time! We talked for nearly two hours about her kids, her experience in Kaz and since she's been home. It was wonderful! I loved meeting her, and I loved talking "shop" about Kaz adoptions. That's the top of the coaster!
THEN....I got a call from my program coordinator this afternoon...and she told me that Kazakhstan had made the decision to go Hague today. They are halting all adoptions for a minimum of 3 months in order to implement the changes in policies. I'm actually in a good place in terms of my paperwork and not having to make too many adjustments to changing over to Hague....BUT...I'm wondering how the halt will affect the process....will there be a backlog of dossiers waiting in country to be placed? Will it affect the age of the child I will be able to be matched with? How will this change affect the process? I'm confused and looking for answers. I hope to find them in the next couple of days.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Yesterday, I went to get fingerprinted for the 2nd time! The first time, the prints went to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation/FBI for clearance of criminal record/child abuse. I just submitted another set of prints to the FBI in West Virginia to release my "criminal records" to my placing agency. Apparently this process takes 10-13 weeks. I'm not sure why they couldn't just check with the first guys......I understand that I actually will do another set of prints for something else down the line...I'll let you know when I figure out why and when on that one too!
I also signed my contract with my placing agency today...had to get everything notarized, and I set up an account with FedEx so that the agency will always be able to charge me for everything they ship on my behalf.
I received the fee schedule for an adoption from Kazakhstan...YIKES!!! It's really overwhelming when you look at all the money that will somehow, someway go into this process! I got a little depressed about it last night--thinking about this huge financial commitment. It's scary. I need to stop shopping and eating out!!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the moms out there! I am so lucky to have the most incredible mother in the world....she is a wonderful role model. My mom is unstoppable! She has a special quality about her--a level of confidence that says she can take on the world! She is a fierce advocate and an unyielding bond for her family...always has been. She always told me--and all of us--that we could do anything or be anything, and she encouraged each of us to accomplish our goals. She has always supported me and continues to--in all that I do. I am so lucky that she is so smart...so strong...so loving....so open...so generous...so absolutely beautiful in every way. I love you, mom!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tonight, I had my second home study visit. It was fun! I got to talk about my parents, brothers and sisters...growing up....I relived a lot of great memories. I'm so lucky to have a family that is so loving and supportive. My social worker said--"your baby won't be coming home to just a mom but an entire extended family of people who will love him or her." That made me smile! I feel good about where I am. I will complete the I-600 form this weekend and hope to get to serious work on the dossier next week. Tomorrow, I attend the international adoption seminar at UAB. I'm looking forward to learning and to meeting some other prospective adoptive parents!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I wrote an email to an agency that I had decided not to use.....I just explained that I had chosen Kazakhstan and an agency that has had success placing children with single moms. The response I got was worrisome. She threw a whole bunch of "threats" at me--said I should make sure I ask the new agency about the possibility of singles not being allowed to adopt in the near future, the delays caused because Kaz is likely to go Hague, the incredible amount of travel time in country--8-9 weeks....it felt like scare tactics, to try to get me to come back to her agency. I know there are no guarantees in adoption...or in life, for that matter.....and choosing an adoption agency feels like such a gamble.
I hope I made the right choice...I wonder how many times in the next year or so I will question my decision....it's already an emotional roller coaster, and I've just begun!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I started the adoption journey on March 21, 2010, when I sent in an application to begin a Russian adoption. A few weeks later, there was a distressing incident, when a mother in Tennessee who had adopted a Russian boy returned him to Russia. Not only did this incident potentially slow down the adoption process for Americans in Russia, but it brought to my attention the serious problems with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects is the Eastern Bloc countries. SO...I began looking for other options for adoption.
As a single person, the options these days are not many....especially if you want to adopt an infant--and I do. I spent MANY hours on the internet doing research, talking with various adoption agencies, contacting adoptive parents, and simply exploring to come up with the best decision for me.....well...after much deliberation, I have decided to go with Kazakhstan. I mailed a new application to another agency today, and I am moving forward with a Kazakhstan adoption! I am excited and scared...but mostly excited! Today, my journey begins, and I look forward to sharing it with you all along the way!