Sunday, December 7, 2008

Starting our adoption journey

So, we decided to pursue international adoption. After research and discussion we decided that China fit us best. It seemed to be a much more clear cut process than most and we really liked the idea of traveling with a group. We knew it would be a long wait, but figured our kids were little yet, so that was okay. The time frame was 12-18 months and predicted to go up. We planned for two years and were good with that. We signed up with a great agency called FTIA and began our very long paper working process. We completed our homestudy in August 2007 and our dossier in January of 2008. As we watched the wait climb and climb we became anxious that we would not have our children nearly as close as we wanted. We started to talk about special needs adoption. We got as far as researching the special needs and filling out all the paperwork. Then just as we were about to start the process, it changed!! They started posting children's pictures on the Internet and we basically had to child shop and quickly lock in the child we wanted. There was not enough time for an IA doctor to look at information, and we were afraid we would end up taking on something that would not fit are family. I should make clear that this was the CCAA that started this process not our agency. The idea was a good one in that many SN children would get looked at and adopted. However, Eric and I were very uncomfortable with this process. We tried for a bit and decided that it wasn't the right direction. Huh?, now what?

How about starting another adoption. Hey what the heck more money and more paperwork. We decided to start a Kazakhstan adoption and let our China one keep going in the hopes we could finish both. We signed on with another agency (FTIA didn't handle Kaz), and we were off to the races. No matter how hard we tried we hit wall after wall. We redid much of our paperwork to get it right. Then we finally had it complete...we thought! We sent it in. It went to the embassy. The embassy person did not like the way some things were copied and we needed to fix something in our homestudy. It all got sent back! Then our coordinator mentioned that our fingerprints were going to expire, so we needed to update those before we could re submit. Meanwhile, all the rest of our documents were expiring. I about boiled over!!! I asked our coordinator about switching countries and if Kaz was actually going to work out. She basically told us she had concerns about the availability of children in Kaz at this time. That was enough for me. I wanted out of this adoption. It just wasn't meant to be. We considered using the Kaz agency to do a Russian adoption. We also went back to FTIA and asked about the SN program. FTIA started taking lists of the SN you would accept, then they did the matching for you. Yes! This was good. I asked how long it would take for a referral and they told us about 2-3 months. Sounded great to me. The best part was all we had to do was fill out a couple pieces of paper and submit them. No money, no crazy notarizations or certifications. It was really an easy choice!

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