Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sorry for not posting much lately. I may not again for a little while. I've got some research, praying and decision making to do. I'm not really sure I should be posting this, but I will.
I recently learned of an agency I hadn't considered before. There are families on the forum that have understandably changed agencies as they are waiting for infants and are looking at a new timeline of 12 months before referral, no guessing when they'll bring their children home. Until recently, I've been comfortable with my decision to stay with my current placing agency. But I realized, that I should consider it seriously.
So far, I'm realizing, there is nothing "sketchy" or wrong, or bad about either group. Their approaches are completely different, but seem consistent.
I'm confident in the original groups med testing, socialization, development testing and care. There is inherent value in the lifebooks and dvd research they do on the children's history, to provide the new families. This value, of course only increases with time. I've been reading posts and blogs from these families for months now. I have a picture of what will the future holds with this agency ...is emblazoned in my minds eye. The current agencies time lines are REALLY unpredictable. Originally I was quoted a year, beginning to end if I was looking for an infant only... maybe sooner... definitely sooner if I was open to a toddler. Now, all bets are off. There are families open to toddlers that have been waiting 7+ months just for referral. I know of others that have waited only 4 or 5. So that means referral for a toddler is (in my mind) from 4-8 months (currently... what they will be in 6 months is anyones guess...). Travel times are all over the map. It looks like some are traveling in as little as 2 months others more like 4. So that leaves the time range from 6-12 months (from dossier). The wait for my child doesn't freak me out. I'm ok with that. What scares me is international adoption, as a whole, is changing EVERY DAY! There is a real possibility of singles no longer being eligible. I'm confident saying the care of the children is consistent and at highest standards, although honestly the children are only in this care center once they've been referred. I've never seen the orphanges in the other parts of the country where they children are relinquished. This group is rich in a country of less than poor. I've seen video & pictures of the medical centers, schools, care centers, even an arena (think civic center) they have built, trained staff to work at and managed as they contribute to my childs home nation. There is no doubt where much of my money is going. And yet, I have a whole life to support this country. Right now, what I'm in need of is an adoption agency.
The new group: Women with ALOT of experience. Very new agency, but not really. It was working through a different NP before splintering. They have no care center of their own. They work with a couple different currently running orphanage care centers, one is run by nun's the other run by 2 men. I've seen pictures of both... none of the pictures showed the children or staff. Which struck me as odd when comparing to the pictures and vids from the CHSFS care center. The woman who runs it is Ethiopian and appearently is in country quite often. I still have alot of questions for this group. Some of which I'm sure will be answered by simply time and talking with other families... the same way I grew comfortable with CHSFS. Other questions will require pertinent answers from the director. The one thing they CAN offer, that the other group can't.. predictability in time frame. Time frame with this group would be 1-2 months from referral and travel 2-3 months after that. Total 3-5 months from dossier (Worst case scenario 6-7 months as everything seems to take longer with me...). Which means I'd miss any court closure and any possible changes that they make to the rules after that.
So which way to go. Now is the time to make this decision, before I send in the next big check to which ever placement agency I choose. I try to remind myself that when I'm stuck at a crossroads and trying to figure out which is the right way to go... which ever is the easy choice... is probably the wrong choice.
For now, I haven't found the clarity to know which one would be easier. Certainly the paper chase would be longer and a bit more difficult in trying to start with a new group, but I need to get to a point of not being selfish in what I'm considering "easy or difficult".
This post may be more for me than for any of you out in web land, as I try to sort it all out. I know none of you have the answers, and that the answers will be found in my prayers. So now I do what I can do. Research. Reach out to those who've been here before. Pray for wisdom and know that I'll know ...when I know. It's like that joke "God, grant me patience... but please HURRY!"