uncharted territory

On Thursday we received some bad news from our agency. I’m not going to share the details here, because while I certainly share a great deal about our adoption with family, friends, and others going through the adoption process in this very public forum, I do want to maintain some privacy for our daughter. The news in sum, though, was that our agency has determined that the required birth family interview at the Embassy is not possible in our case at this point in time.

That’s a major problem. MAJOR. It’s actually one that our agency has never had to address before. We are in a bit of uncharted territory, and boy, it does not feel good to be dealing with so much that is unknown at this late stage of this long and arduous process.

Our agency has submitted a request to the Embassy explaining the situation and asking for the Embassy to use alternate ways to complete their investigation. (This has apparently been done in limited circumstances for families with other agencies.) We have not yet received a response, but our agency has started to gather some documentation that they expect the Embassy to request. I would like to note that Craig and I feel that our agency is doing everything they can for us, and we are again grateful to be working with such a respected agency. We have every confidence that they will help us resolve this situation, but we also know that the decisions are not theirs to make. Also, I would like to add that our case manager (who is also the program manager) is fantastic. She is forthcoming and honest and she is also tremendously empathetic. We now have a standing weekly phone call scheduled with her but we also know that she will provide us with any other information as soon as she gets it.

So, in the best case scenario, the Embassy will be willing to complete their investigation in some way that does not involve a birth family interview. They will request information, our agency will gather and provide that information, the Embassy will review it, and they will issue our clearance. This could happen within the next few weeks. The worst case scenario is that the Embassy will decide that they cannot clearly approve our case and they will send our case to the USCIS office in Nairobi, Kenya. The Nairobi process takes months and months, so of course we want absolutely nothing to do with that.

I am really struggling to process and deal with this news. I have spent the better part of the last four days in tears. My stress and anxiety levels are through the roof. I can’t focus on anything; it’s hard for me to even do something mindless like watch television because all I can do is think about our daughter. We just want her home, and the knowledge that we could well be months away from that is terrifying and devastating. She needs us. We need her. She deserves to be with the family that is quite literally aching to bring her home.

Our hope at this point is that the Embassy will be able to complete their investigation without sending the case on to Nairobi. Anyone inclined to send positive vibes to the universe or pray or do whatever it is that you do in times of struggle, please, by all means, do your thing. We could use all of the support we can get.

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33 Responses to uncharted territory

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I will be on my knees praying that this investigation will be completed quickly! My heart aches that you are having to go through this. We all want that precious daughter home and in her parents’ arms for good!

  2. Shannon says:

    Wow! I am so sorry to hear this! This is so unfair to you guys and to Baby K. I will definitely send positive thoughts your way and keep you, Craig, and Baby K in my thoughts.

  3. Julie says:

    Prayers sent and know that you are so much in my thoughts. What a devastating situation for you all. Take care of your heart and lean on others (including me, even though I know we don’t know one another well) as much as you need to. xoxo

  4. 2plus2mom says:

    I am so sorry.

  5. jmtorlay says:

    I have no words. I’m going to continue hoping for the best possible scenario and send lots of positive thoughts/prayers your way.

  6. Sue says:

    I refuse to believe it will be months! I am so sorry you are dealing with this shit.

  7. Beth Stewart says:

    I am so sorry you are facing these additional delays. I will pray and pray that they are brief and minor and that you can find some peace somehow in the midst.

  8. Rob Stewart says:

    Praying for you guys too.

  9. Doug says:

    So tremendously sorry to hear this news. Here’s hoping that someone with the power to do so pushes a “common sense override” button somewhere. It’s time for your family to be together.

  10. christine says:

    Kelly… I have no words…

    You’ve got lots of prayers and positive thoughts coming. Please let me know if you also need a shoulder to cry on. I’ll totally become a phone talker for you!

  11. Kyra says:

    I am so sorry. My heart just sank to the floor. I obviously don’t know your situation, but in case there is anything from our situation that may help, I’m posting this: http://agnostic-adoption.blogspot.com/2011/12/emotionally-surviving-canceled-court.html
    Do you think this is because you’re adopting from a new region for WHFC?
    We had the same case manager as you. You are in good hands.
    Let me know if there is anything we can do to help.

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks for the link – I remember when you posted it. You certainly know what this Great Unknown scenario is like (and it’s great to know that everything worked out for you eventually, of course). I love your list and I am working on most of it already. I am nursing a back injury that just won’t let up (I know stress has to be a major factor), otherwise I’d be running marathons every day (okay, maybe not marathons, but you get the drift). It is killing me that I can’t exercise, because that would be a perfect outlet.

  12. Kim says:

    That’s awful. Just so awful.

  13. sue says:

    i’m praying for your family, my friend, but also big prayers for things to go through in weeks!!!! i’m so sorry. i can’t imagine how this must feel.

  14. Liz says:

    Oh, Kelly….I’m so sorry. I believe you are in good hands with WHFC and Dr. T, and that this will be resolved in a way that is fair and ethical for all parties…I hope it’s a speedy process as well.

  15. Holli says:

    I’m so incredibly sorry.

  16. Sandra says:

    I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry, I can only imagine the pain you are in.

  17. molly says:

    I can’t express how sorry I am to hear this news–it’s just unbelievably difficult. I can’t imagine how you are coping at all, and am so, so sorry this has happened. Fingers crossed for news soon. I’m so sorry.

  18. Kala says:

    My heart just sunk for you. How horrible and difficult to grasp. And to be in uncharted territory is not a comfort either. ((HUGS)) and hope you get some good news soon. You deserve it!

  19. Alan says:

    Oh, Kelly! We are thinking of you guys…

  20. Karlie says:

    Kelly – Sending endless positive vibes — out to you and your family! Hoping and praying this is resolved very soon.

  21. The Busters says:

    Oh Kelly, I am holding back tears. I am so sorry. I hope you get some good news soon. You, Craig and baby K are in my thoughts and prayers!! Sending much love to you!!

  22. Theresa says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I do want to say that a few families in my agency have been sent to Naroibi – and while it was scary for them, every family passed. And it did not take months. It took perhaps 2 weeks if not sooner. We’ve also had situations where finders cannot be located or local police are not cooperative, and still it was able to work out. I am sure your agency is on top of it. I know there has to be alternate evidence that the embassy will accept. Was there a video [perhaps or could one be taken? It is a heartbreaking situation and I know you just want her home.

    • Kelly says:

      That is helpful information on the timelines, Theresa. Our agency has only had a couple of cases go to Nairobi (and they did ultimately get their clearances) and the one person I know had her case stuck in processing for six months.

  23. Jenny says:

    oh GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! we have friends that were just sent to Nairobi today :(. BUT with our agency, many have cleared Nairobi in a couple weeks so if that does happen, you never know. but yeah, this sucks all the way around. so freakin’ sorry.

  24. Christine says:

    Oh, Kelly, girl. I am here for you. I’m so sorry. Please, universe, bring home our little baby K.

  25. Amy says:

    My heart breaks for you and Craig. You are in good hands with WHFC, and we all know Dr T will do whatever humanly possible to bring your baby girl home. It will happen. Hugs.

  26. Meg B says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. So very sorry. Like many others have said, you chose the right agency. We were one of the first families to have the Embassy birth family interview (before it was customary). I was so nervous. I couldn’t stop projecting the worst case scenarios… WHFC’s Ethiopian team will do everything they can. We’re all thinking of you.

  27. Irene says:

    I’m believing for scenario #1 – the embassy will continue the process without birth family interview. And soon. That is the prayer I’m sending to my most powerful God.

  28. Oh Kelly, this makes my heart ache. I’m just at a loss for words. Please know that I am praying again and again and again for you and this situation and your sweet girl. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

  29. Mary Beth says:

    You are in my thoughts daily. Sending an abundance of energy your way…energy to fuel you during these endless days and energy to the people in charge to speed up the process.

  30. Janet says:

    Oh, Kelly. My heart just aches for you. I cannot even imagine how much this hurts. I am sort of at a loss for words. I have been thinking about you so much lately…and certainly will continue to do so. I will send all good karma & prayers your way…and hope this is the final delay on this long journey of yours…and hope you can bring Baby K home very soon. Hugs.

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