This blog has been pretty light on content lately. It’s not for lack of material, but rather lack of time to process thoughts and then to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). I have been beyond swamped with life lately. I also seem to have lost a fair amount of my blogging spirit.

There’s nothing new to report from Ethiopia. Things are the same. The slowdown in processing cases is in effect, although we’re all still waiting to see what that actually means. So far people have been assigned court dates in the same time frame as before, but it remains to be seen whether their necessary letters from MOWYCA will be there. In addition to that slowdown, there has only been one infant referral from our agency in the last six months. That’s sort of the bigger issue in my mind at this point, since I still hold out some hope that the case review process in Ethiopia will improve over the next few months after everyone sees what the slowdown actually looks like in terms of impact on the children.

We talked with our caseworker a few weeks ago, and I asked a lot of questions about our options. We talked about other international programs, and she suggested that Russia and the China Waiting Children program could be good for us in that they have relatively short timeframes now. (But we don’t qualify for China, so I don’t know why she mentioned it.) We talked about adding a domestic process to the mix as well, although that of course would be done with our home study agency.

We aren’t too interested in adding a second adoption process right now, mainly because at the end of the day, even if we start two adoption processes now, we will only end up with one completed adoption. When you are matched with a child through one adoption process, the other process is automatically terminated. I would be much more interested in this if at the end of the day we knew we’d have two children. I am pretty much unable to think about an option that doesn’t include completing our Ethiopian process.

We also talked about what would be involved in changing our requested age range. Right now we are requesting a child under 12 months at the time of referral. When we made this decision, we knew that it would take up to six months from the date of referral to bring him or her home, and therefore, we’d be bringing a child up to the age of 18 months into our family. We are now expecting the time from referral to homecoming to be more like a year, so our request for an infant means we may well be bringing home a two-year-old. To be completely honest, that scares the crap out of us. However, there has been a steady stream of referrals of children in the 12-24-month range, and there’s no question that we would be much closer to a referral if we had an older age range.

I have been really amazed at all of the changes so many of my blog friends have been making – increasing age ranges, adding second processes, and even dropping out of the adoption game altogether. It seems so brave to me, maybe because I’m feeling like we’re pretty much cowards when it comes to what we are willing to open ourselves up to (which seems pretty limited at this point). Maybe someday we’ll feel like we can take a step in a new (or another) direction, but at this point, we’re still considering our options.

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18 Responses to options

  1. molly says:

    Hi there,
    I just found your blog–we are also in the ET adoption process–and early on the waiting list. I am seeing so many families changing programs and such, and we are also having to rethink everything. It’s so, so hard. Few infant referrals as well–gah. Hang in there!

  2. Liz says:

    Kelly, if you ever want to talk about what it could be like to bring home an “older” child, please let me know – I will send you my phone # and we can chat. I don’t want to try to talk you into something that you don’t want, and only you can figure out what you are prepared to handle, but a two-year-old, even a three-year-old, is still so much of a baby that I really don’t think you will be missing out on anything.

    Good luck with figuring out your options, and PLEASE let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you make your decision.

  3. Emily B. says:

    Kelly, it sounds like you guys are doing what you feel most comfortable with and what your gut and heart are telling you to do. That is all you can do! In the meantime, I will be thinking of you!!

  4. Erin says:

    I wish something was concrete for you right now…in the way of dates or such. Have you ever considered donor egg for plan B?

  5. Erin says:

    I meant donor embryo…

  6. Oh Kelly… it’s such a tough place to be, having to make such huge decisions that will impact your life forever. I know you’ve got to be so frustrated, but I also know that you and Craig are such smart people that you’ll definitely find the best solution possible for your family.
    Sending you love and support.

  7. Jennifer says:

    My referral was in late October for a sibling group with a less than l2 month old. When I was there for my second trip (stayed the month of March), there were a number of families there getting babies. Are you sure about the one infant referral? These babies were not part of sibling groups. I mean I am sure you watch the updates (which I don’t see now), but I wondered how all those people were getting babies if there was only one referral.. They were there for court, so they must have received referrals around Christmas…. I just wanted to ask.. as a note of optimism.

    • Kelly says:

      There was a group of infant referrals – 5, I think – the first week of December (so that’s probably the group you met) and since then, there has just been one (last month).

  8. kwatkinsinfl says:

    It’s definitely a tough time to be waiting. I’ve never wanted a crystal ball so much in my life. If I was certain that waiting would get us to our ultimate goal (eventually), it might not be so hard.

  9. Amy says:

    Another thought….would you be open to siblings, and ask for 1 under 24 months? With already 18+ months of waiting, it would bring you to the top of the list. You made a comment that made me think it would be something you’d consider. Our children are older, but we would certainly love to talk to you, as I am sure several other families could also share their stories. Good luck…and yes, we are starting, again. We are crazy to do so, but having 2 children already home has made even the initial stages so much easier.

  10. Christine says:

    Oh, I am so glad you shared this. We think about you often… and wonder… But somehow, I haven’t figured a way to broach the subject. (Cause I remember when we were facing issues with Vietnam I didn’t want to talk to ANYONE about it.

    Know we’re thinking of you often and sending you all sorts of support… even if it’s not verbal. Hugs friend.

  11. jmtorlay says:

    This is such a tough situation. All you can do right now is to continue considering your options, when you are ready you will know what to do. You are definitely in my thoughts.

  12. Robin says:

    Thanks for the update.. I’ve been wondering how you are. We are both in sort of the same position with adoption, even though in different parts of the adoption world. It’s so hard to figure out what is right and what you are open to. I hope you come to some answers soon and feel more settled in your path.. I know that is what I am hoping for about our journey.

  13. Kelly says:

    Kelly, it’s so hard to know what to do in this situation. You need to trust your gut, but sometimes I’m not always sure what my gut is trying to tell me. Maybe that is how you are feeling? Then I realize my heart was trying to tell me all along, but I wasn’t hearing it. What is your heart telling you?

  14. Kelly– thanks for sharing with us. I have been thinking about you and Craig a lot. You know in your heart what is best for your family, and you have a fabulous support network of fellow adoptive parents on here who can vouch that it is so worth it. Regardless of the age that you bring home your child, he/she was meant to be with you, and it will work out. The unknown can be scary, but you will look back someday and know that it was meant to be. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  15. You know I’m right there with you. We haven’t spoken to our case manager for a while and it’s probably time as we approach 19 months here. Let’s get together soon!

  16. CatherineD says:

    Kelly – like Christine, I think of you often and wonder… I recently met a woman who is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia, and I thought about you as she talked about all of the waiting and uncertainty. It just makes me angry and sad for everyone involved… the parents, the children… I can only imagine all the emotions you’re feeling. I’m sending positive energy your way and just wish there was more I could do.

  17. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing all this here. I think of you very often…please know that. I’m glad you asked about your options…and are exploring them…but it must be so hard. I’d have a very hard time changing plans mid-stream, for sure. I like what Kelly said about listening to your heart. HUGS to you as you figure this out…it has to sit well with you. Don’t feel forced into something if it doesn’t feel right.

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