Monday, February 28, 2011

Next Steps

So many of you family and friends are excited to see us getting closer to the top of the list! Your encouragement and excitement and support is so wonderful!!! I thought i might explain the 'rest' of this journey to you all so it doesn't get too complicated. Even though we are getting 'closer', we still have a long way to go:

1. Paper chase - well, our homestudy update is complete and we have filled out all the necessary paperwork. Right now our homestudy is at the Ontario Ministry of Family and Children - getting approved. We need to be approved by them to adopt - again. They did this already - 2 years ago, so it should be a rubber stamp, we hope. It should take about 6 weeks and its already been there for one week. After that our file or dossier needs to be notarized and authenticated - it travels from Ottawa to Toronto and then back to Cambridge. That takes about 3 weeks. During this time we are not eligible for a referral - booo - but that's ok because we probably aren't that close anyway. Once this is all done it goes to Ethiopia and sits and waits on our referral.

2. The Referral - we get matched with an adoptable child!!! Our request is either gender (Mike is sure its a girl and I am sure its a boy - who will win???) under 24 months. We will get 'the call' from our agency and they will send us photos, medical info and back ground info on this child. We then have to have our Dr. check it out and our Adoption Practitioner check it out. We then accept or reject this referral. Usually referrals are rejected due to physical/illness issues. If we accept, then we move on. This acceptance process can take a few days depending on when you can get appointments with Dr's and the AP.

3. Court - once we have accepted the referral, the agency applies for us to get a court date. It usually takes about a month to hear when your court date will be - and it can be any where from a month to 3 months till you get that date.

4. Appear in court. We will then travel to Ethiopia to appear in court!! When we get there, we will travel to the orphanage to see our baby. We will get to observe him/her - but not touch or take photos. Then, a few days later we appear before a judge, who will ask us a few questions and hopefully make us parents. After the successful court date, our child will be moved to our agency's baby house - then we will get to visit the baby once - for a few hours. At this point we will be able to hold and cuddle and take pictures of our wee one. Then my heart gets ripped out and we come home... We actually hope to do some sight seeing and major shopping on this trip as we will be childless and able to travel easier. This trip might be 10 or so days.

5. Wait. Then we wait on a new Ethiopian birth certificate with our child's new last name, and then the visa wait. Right now the visa wait is taking anywhere from 2 weeks to 16 weeks. Yes, that's right 16 weeks.

6. Visa is in! When we get the news that the visa is in - we catch the next flight to Ethiopia. That's right - the very next flight - hopefully that same day :) well, soon after anyway. We go to Ethiopia and bring home our child. We are hoping that this will be a quick trip - probably 5-7 days. We will probably visit the child on the first day there - hang out and let him/her get used to us. The next day they child usually comes into your care. Sometimes, it might take longer if it seems the transition might not be smooth.

So, that is what is still in store for us. Even if we get a referral this year...we might not have the baby home this year. It could happen - but we know not to count on what should happen in this process. It is exciting to get closer to the 'top' of the list and this 10 week wait till our paperwork is in order is bugging me. I mean, we started in August to get this stuff together, it seems like its taking forever... But i have a feeling that once its all done we will get a referral soon after.

ps. - the above information is not binding or for sure - its what i understand of the process and what i have experienced and know to be mostly true :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Moving on up

There were 3 referrals announced this week!!!! That is a 3 place jump closer to the top for us. It is starting to get exciting again! I was just sitting in the baby's room thinking of things to be done and getting excited again. Oh my, can it be? Will it soon be our turn???

Friday, February 18, 2011

Confession Friday

I Confess that i have the day off today and have zero motivation to get anything done. Last week I was a busy bee and today i would love to curl up on the couch with a good book.

I Confess that we got invited to a wedding next month and i have absolutely nothing to wear. I do not own a dress that will work in the winter.

I Confess that i dread looking for the dress. Luckily my 15 year old niece will be shopping with me. At least we will get something kind of 'cool' or in style. Hopefully... Worse than the dress will be finding shoes for my wide feet.

I Confess that last Friday we thought we had all our paperwork together and so we quickly mailed it off to our agency. Monday morning we received a new form that must be signed and notarized... It just never ends.

I Confess that its a beautiful 'spring' day here - the sun is shining and the snow is melting. All we have now is that yucky, dirty brown snow and so i hope it snows again. The world is so much prettier when the snow is clean and white.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess that its Friday and i have the day off!! Beautiful bliss!! I have next Friday off too - i could learn to like this :)

I confess that my excitement for today has included cleaning and laundry and cooking a real dinner instead of 'something fast' and possibly some ironing - exciting stuff. Mike came home at noon and will do some painting this afternoon!

I confess that it is exciting to get these things done in the day time instead of in the evening after work

I confess that i should have thought about how big our house is when we bought it. I thought a big house would be great - it is - until you have to clean it.

I confess that i went to aquafit this week for the first time in many years. It was good but my calves are still paying me back.

I confess that i feel so bad for Ruth and the other families who did not pass court today. Things change and new 'rules' happen and all of a sudden it's a red tape nightmare.

I confess that we got the last piece of paper we need for our update. It is being sent off to Imagine today!!

I confess that this whole merger thing has still got me anxious but its another lesson in 'going with the flow' cause we just don't have a choice. More info will be nice to set us all at ease.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reality Check

Funny how just when i am starting to feel positive about the adoption, that you get a reality check. Yesterday we found out that Imagine is merging with an existing adoption agency in Ontario. Hmmm, interesting. They say that things shouldn't change and that it should all be good. Hmmm, interesting.
So many things run through my head.
How can a small agency just take on so many new clients and serve us all well? I am sure the existing clients aren't too pleased, I know I wouldn't be.
Will this make a difference in our adoption? Maybe things will be more efficient. Maybe things will be less efficient. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It just goes to prove that we have no control over this whole process. That is the most frustrating thing to me. We have absolutely no control over what is happening in our lives. So many people make decisions that effect us and we have to deal with it.
I do feel bad for the Imagine employees. They will be let go and i am guessing the new agency will need to hire more folks to deal with all of our files. But will these people have experience with E?? I am really hoping that our file can be renewed and sent off to E before the change over happens. It would be even better to get our referral before the change over happens but that is a bit overly optimistic.
Sheesh - i am just a bit stunned by all of this. You just have to wonder what will come next. Change is always hard - no doubt about it. But like i said earlier- I just feel so helpless in this whole thing - just along for the ride. Hopefully those making these choices are making good ones for all involved... I do realized that we need to be grateful that our adoption is still continuing at all after the whole bankruptcy thing.
When we started this crazy ride i had no idea how many twists and turns we would take. Not sure how many more I can handle. I am really hoping that this new change will turn out to be a good one and nothing will be interrupted and all will continue to move along as planned. Please let it be so.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the upswing

yep - its true. I feel like i am on the 'upswing'. We have seen some movement again with a few referrals. Congrats to Tammy and Sid and big sister Josina!! Its great to see our name climbing higher to the top of the list!

We met with our AP this week to sign off on our Home study update. Now all we are waiting on is our HIV tests. They should be in by this week and then this paper scramble will be done...for now. I know its never really ever done...

It was great to have dinner this week with a friend who has just returned from court. What a great time we had looking at pictures of her son and imaging what it will be like for us to take that trip! What a treasure to learn from others who have experienced what we will experience! It was very reassuring to me- yes we can do this- yes we can see our baby and then get on a plane and come home. She told me it was easier leaving knowing how well they were being taken care of and the very apparent love they staff have for the kids. Those things make it easier but its still so very hard. All of a sudden it was 10:30 - time flies when you have so much in common!

It's starting to feel like we could get our referral 'any time'. My friend reminded me that they were at #15 when they got theirs and so you just never know. This is a new kind of crazy that we are entering. Can it really be happening after all this time? Hard to believe. Could this really be 'the year'? Hard to believe. Is there actually going to be a kid in that dusty crib we have had for sooo long? Its hard to believe - but we do believe and its getting exciting again. It's that sick to your stomach kind of exciting... Mike's dream really is becoming real to me and so i believe...