Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Adoption Explanation complicated by Home Study Agency Problems

I know that by the end of this process I will have explained the reasoning behind our decision to adopt and the reason that we chose China hundreds of times.  I know that there will be people that will agree and disagree with our decision. I know that I have an AWESOME support system!  I also know that there will be days that I just want to say “Just because we feel like it” instead of going through the whole story.

This weekend I had the opportunity to educate one of my coworkers on the process of adoption from a foreign country and why this will take so long.  I knew when she asked how long it was going to take that she was sincere in wanting to be educated.  She and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for some time, so I was happy to explain the process to her knowing that she may consider it for her family in the future.

I started from the beginning of how Ray and I came to choose China as the place for us.  Then I got to the real meat of the conversation.  What happens next after you decide to adopt internationally.  The step of choosing your adoption agency and what is involved with that choice.  Choosing a home study agency and what is involved with that choice.  How many documents must be requested, collected, and notarized even before the home study can take place.  The process of the “paper chase” and what is involved with that.  The fact that we live in Oklahoma and our state includes an extra step in the “paper chase”.  The fact that the documents then have to be critically reviewed by CCAI three times  before they are approved for translation and binding before even leaving the country.

And all that has to happen JUST to get “logged in” in China and start the official wait.

She began to see why I sighed every time one of our other coworkers asks “How long is this going to take?” or why my response now tends to be “100 years”.  Right now that is how it feels.  I feel like it will be another hundred years before I get to announce my match date or my travel date.

The fact that I am having home study agency complications doesn’t help the matter either. When we hired our home study agency we were told that the time from hire to home study was approx one month depending on how long it took for documents to return to the agency (background checks, reference letters, etc.). At one month from hire I called to check in with the agency to make sure that we were on track with getting all of the info back.  Just to make sure I didn’t need to re-request documents or hound our references.  I was told that she hadn’t even had time to OPEN THE ENVEOLPES!  YES you read that right!!!!!  She hadn’t opened the envelopes!  She proceeded to tell me that she normally carried a case load of 8 families but was currently working on 15 families and that she just hadn’t had time to get to us.

WHAT IN THE WORLD!  I guess that I should be happy that this many families are able to consider adoption at this time, but I guess I am too selfish for that.  We are at a stand still until she “gets to us”.  I can’t even START the paper chase until this is completed- there is no point.  I would still be waiting for the home study report to get through the paper chase anyway.  That phone call took place 20 days ago, and today she is not answering her phone and she hasn’t initiated any communication in that 20 days.  I am frustrated!

I am a firm believer in the fact that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  Usually we don’t realize the reason until much later in the future.  I just feel sorry for anyone who happens to ask this week- “How much longer?”.  I don’t know if my frazzled nerves can handle giving an appropriate response.


Anonymous said...

I completely sympathize with your frustration! Someone very close to me adopted two children internationally, and the process was long and frustrating. I'm glad to say that it was all worth it, and the children he adopted bring great joy to the whole family. Hang in there!

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about your frustration, I keep you in my thought and hope things will start to move swiftly for you soon.