Thursday, April 3, 2008

Adoption Status: Stalled

According to my little tickers at the bottom of the page, it's been one year since deciding to begin our adoption and 3 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days since our dossier went to Vietnam.

As I've told you before, I'm sometimes asked why I don't ever mention our adoption progress on our adoption blog. Where are the updates? My answer is always the same: There is no progress. I have nothing to report, so I talk about the idiotic details of my boring house frau life instead. It's depressing to keep trying to talk about an adoption that I'm beginning to fear will never happen.

Yes, we are still trying to adopt. Yes, we still want to add one more child to our family. In fact, I'm currently having the mid-life-crisis-baby-cravings so bad I can hardly stand it sometimes. Which is exactly why I don't like to talk about it. My "baby" is turning 7 in a week. I've never, in 18 years of motherhood, had a kid that old before without a baby or toddler coming along behind him. That's a lot of years caring for little ones. Bottles, diapers, Sesame Street... That's what "normal" is to me. Babies is what I do! lol. So this feels pretty foreign. I don't like it.

For family and friends that don't know, the situation between the US and Vietnam continues to look bleak. As I said last time I recapped this, no one knows for sure yet what will happen after September 1st when the agreement between our countries expires, but each new statement issued and every new bit of news sounds like another nail in the coffin. It's not looking good. I'm feeling increasingly hopeless, although I'm trying not to. For those interested, details on the latest scoop can be found here at Bring Our Children Home, and Christina has written about the most recent turn of events over at VVAI.

On a personal level, our agency has still NEVER received a single referral, EVER, from Vietnam. So even if the Vietnam situation turned around overnight, and all is suddenly resolved, we are with an agency that is having trouble establishing a good working relationship in Vietnam. It's very frustrating. We never hear from them. They, I'm sure, are just like me and have nothing to report, so I can't fault them for that. We have handed over thousands of dollars to them, which I'm sure would be difficult to get back, and we still have no idea what we will do in the event that Vietnam closes. It's scary.

In my last conversation with our coordinator, we discussed our other options. She said they are strongly encouraging their VN families to "dual enroll" in another program. If we chose to do that, it doesn't mean we would end up with two concurrent adoptions. We'd enroll in two and go with whichever one gives a referral first, then the dossier would be withdrawn from the other country. "We" (read that as Darrell) aren't sure "we" want to do that, because "we" want to wait to see what happens. Apparently "we" are very patient people who like waiting.

I believe we qualify for: Ethiopia, Kaz, (possibly) Russia, (possibly) China special needs, and domestic African American.

Our hearts were so set on Vietnam that we are having trouble even trying to seriously consider and talk about what we'll do. With all of these, there are so many factors to consider and drawbacks to each one. To make it all extra fun trying to decide, I've recently heard rumors of trouble brewing in Kaz and Ethiopia, too- although I don't have any reliable information on either one.

I would do the domestic AA program in a heartbeat, because I do love the idea of getting to have a baby baby again; a tiny newborn would be wonderful! But we have to be completely honest and consider what's best for the child, not what's best for the mommy. We live in a ridiculously small town that is far from diverse, racially speaking. We know people (quite well) who could make the life of our AA or Ethiopian child "difficult." I'm trying to be delicate here, but you get what I'm saying, right? There are idiots out there. Some of the same people who fawn and fuss over how cute my Chinese daughter is may not feel so warm and fuzzy about my AA baby, which brings up the interesting topic of the degrees of racism so many of us carry around every day, but that's a whole other post. Anyway, am I prepared to handle those idiots on a daily basis? Is it fair to bring a child home knowing they will have to deal with those idiots every single day? I just don't know how I feel about all that yet.

I like the idea of bringing home a special needs child who may have otherwise not found a family. Darrell and I both were sure, going into this, that we wanted an Asian child, mainly so that Bri could have that common link with her sibling- so that would be a point in the China SN column. However, how serious of a special need we feel able to handle is another matter. And we're not even completely sure we would qualify for that program.

Our main drawbacks with the Kaz program are: 1. Blind referrals, and 2. 6 weeks in country. I don't even know who would care for our kids for 3 weeks in Vietnam. Who on earth wants to be responsible for 6 kids for 6 weeks?

The biggest thing that's keeping us from acting on any of the other choices is what I said above; the fact that Darrell really wants to wait it out and see what happens with Vietnam. He feels that we believed at the time God was leading us in our decision, so we should believe it now, regardless of what the circumstances tell us. We need to be faithful and see what happens. OK. I guess that's what we'll do then. I do believe God led us into this adoption. I do believe He has another child in store for us. I just don't feel as confident that it was God who chose Vietnam. Maybe that was just us. But, Darrell is right. We need to be faithful and patient. Oh, yea! A chance to show off my strong points... :0

So there you go. There's your adoption update! In all honesty, I've been having serious thoughts about stopping this blog for a while now. I'm not a blogger. I never intended to start a blog to talk about nothing in particular, and since the only adoption news I can give is basically a rehash of a previous update, I'm struggling to find a reason to keep doing it. There are plenty of adoptee blogs, parenting blogs, motherhood blogs, etc., all doing it better. So I don't know. We'll see what happens on that, too, I guess.


LaLa said...

Oh, I am so with you on this. Like you, for us it isn't the wait it is the uncertainty of the program. I am hopeful we will both have our babies home soon!

Christina said...

I have a similar mental conversation with myself (and sometimes aloud with Hubby) about our current Big Decision - whether or not to move across the country. And I really just don't know how to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is right because God led us to it, and it's not just something that *I* really want to do. And lately I've been looking back over all our life decisions and I think less than 50% of the time, even in hindsight, can I say with any certainty that it was a God thing. And this has me rather flummoxed. So... where do we go from here??
Oh and regarding your blog - I totally hear you on not wanting to be just another blog, saying the same things every other mom-blog is saying.. but I think you add a lot with your blog, and I would miss you. :-)

Hubbards said...

I am so with you on the "we" thing. My husband has said the exact same thing to me non stop for the past several months!! We have been sitting at #5 for a baby boy for almost 7 months with what appears to be no end in sight. He is much better at waiting than I am. I am just ready to move forward as a family of 6!! I am praying for all of us waiting daily!!

God Bless~
Tina, KCMO

Kate said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm in the same boat as you. God led us to our daughter and we have to remain faithful in His plan. We have four children. CLEARLY, it is HIS plan to give us a fifth!!!

Keep the faith.

Kate said...

And by the way...

Keep up with your blog! It's fantastic!

Rebecca said...

Michelle--Please do not stop blogging I would miss you so much! I do understand where you are as you know we also started out with VN. I always pictured Catie's little sister to look just like her. God had other plans and I have to say that we are SO blessed with our girls!!! Hold on and keep praying because I know that God will show you clearly what to do! I will keep you guys in my prayers!!!!

Michelle said...

Thank you, guys, for the kind and encouraging comments! Means the world to me! Blessings!

Stacy said...

Oh, your path for this adoption is just so painfully familiar to me. I do know how hard it is to decide when or if to shift gears and try to figure out what is best for your family. Things worked out wonderfully for me, but I know what was right for me isn't the right path for everyone. So for what it's worth, I'm sure thinking of you as you wait it out. As for not blogging anymore, say it ain't so! I don't know that I've even ever commented before, but I get such laughs out of your blog and nobody can tell a story like you can! So, you HAVE to keep it up!

Tracy said...

You can't stop blogging... You have to continue to share your humor with the world. I love your Pathetic Attempts at Humor!

S. said...

No clue about the race thing, we thought long and hard too==maybe join the Ethiopia yahoo group and ask on there what others have experienced? Have your read There is no me without you? I ordered it when we strongly considered switching to E. (the day we decided to stick with VN is the day A. was born!!!!!!!!!)--but am still too much of a wimp to read it, b/c right now I am barely holding it together with 3 kids...also have you looked at Ethiopia blogs? the kids are just beyond beautiful....

But...I think the fact that we got A's approval without any issues must be a good thing for Thai Binh/us agency relations, I would think? I hope?

Michelle said...

S.~ Thank you for the suggestions. I think joining one of the Ethiopia groups is an excellent idea... IF they conduct themselves more civilly than some of the VN ones! LOL! I have not read that book, but I'll look for it. Thanks!

S. said...

Darn you, now I went and started looking at the Ethiopia blogs! It should be illegal for kids to be that cute!

About the groups--sadly no matter what the topic, civility sometimes slides (especially if it has anything to do with parenting!)...but still, the good info you get makes it worth it!

?MomOf4? said...

I am getting in on this a bit late, but i've been trying to keep myself off the internet more lately. (it's a terrible addiction of mine) Anyway, i wanted to say that I agree with the others that you should keep on blogging. Even if there are no adoption updates, blogging is a good way to stay in touch with people and to vent when you need to. All of us in the adoption process need to vent sometimes! Besides, I only recently started reading your blog and it would be a shame to not be able to keep reading and get to know you better.

I have to pipe in on the Kaz adoption thing too. I know that the Kaz process is supposed to be one of "traveling blind" with no referral, BUT... really there are few agencies that send families over to Kaz without a particular child in mind for them. Most families get photos and info on a child before they travel. They are most often afraid to say anything about it though since it's not how things are supposed to be done. I have spoken with many families through private emails who admitted to having info on their child before traveling. We had photos and medical of our son 3 months before we traveled. So, my point is that I wouldn't really let that be a deciding factor in ruling out Kaz since most agencies don't really send you without a referral.