Sunday, November 9, 2008
I told you guys I'd post a little info about the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands) program for you, but I'm going to be lazy and link instead. Our agency's RMI page will tell you just about everything I would about the adoption program. For information about the place itself- culture, etc., here's a link to the RMI embassy website. There is also a Yahoo group (isn't there always?) for RMI adoptive families called RMI-kids if you're interested in this program and want to talk to APs who have been there.
The really cool thing to me is that the RMI program was our original choice (before Vietnam) when we started thinking about adopting again. I had been looking at the program on our old agency's website (the agency we had used to adopt Brianna) while I was still trying to talk Darrell into another adoption. I was totally hooked on the RMI and really sure that "this was it," but one day I went to the website and saw that the program was closed. I took that to mean the RMI was closed (kind of like what recently happened between the US and Vietnam). I was horribly disappointed, because my heart was really set on it and I could see myself holding my adorable Marshallese little one (a boy, btw, I keep picturing a boy... but we'll see). Eventually, Darrell and I started to pursue Vietnam, and of course, we all know how that turned out. Just a few months ago, I found out I was wrong about the RMI. The country program was open, just not with our old agency. RMI adoptions are now handled through Journeys of the Heart. I couldn't believe it.
As much as I'd hoped to adopt from Vietnam, I'm really feeling like we're "back on track;" like this is where we were supposed to be all along. When the RMI idea originally fell apart, we assumed an Asian country would really be the best choice anyway, since we already have an Asian child, but was that what we were supposed to do, or just what we assumed we should do? Our baby was obviously not in Vietnam. I believe he's in the RMI. I am able, once again, to envision myself holding my little peanut. I feel like it's really going to happen again. I can hardly wait.
The first question from A LOT of people when they hear "Marshall Islands" has been, "Where is that?" so don't feel bad if you're not familiar with the geography. The islands are east of Micronesia and roughly 2100 miles southwest of Hawaii.
People have also asked when we'll get our referral. It sounds like the wait won't be too long. It looks to be about 6-10 months, depending on gender (the wait for little girls being longer) so being open to either will work in our favor. Our agency rep. is strongly encouraging families to get their dossiers in quickly. I've done all I can do on mine, so I'm just waiting oh-so-patiently for our homestudy and other paperwork to come back.
The best thing, in my opinion, about adopting from the RMI is that all adoptions are OPEN. Isn't that awesome? We'll have contact with the b. mother and her family and be able to continue a relationship with her. What a gift! I wish I could give the same thing to Bri.
The worst part is the amount of time I'll have to spend away from home. Darrell and I both have to travel, but one parent can return home after about 10-12 days. The other (that will be me) has to stay for approx. another month, waiting for the visa. But, I can think of worse places to spend my time...
If you would like to contribute sunscreen and/or flip-flops... Just kidding.