So- It’s been a while and a lot has changed, yet it feels like nothing has at the same time. So here it is in a nutshell. We changed agencies. We changed countries. Our home study is updated and we’re applying to grants and have some fundraisers set up for the fall.
Why did we change?
We decided to change for several reasons. To help you understand… Parents, legal guardians of these children, are still unable to go pick their kids from DRC because of red tape and bureaucratic hissy fits (there’s more to it but that about sums it up). There’s a lot of waiting in 99.9% of adoption processes. 100% if you’re dealing with international only. But the government generally doesn’t withhold children from their parents for over a year with no end in sight. Just saying. DRC is not part of the Hague Convention and there are some large ramifications of that- so just know that Hague is good and that non-Hague is lots of fingers-crossed (here’s the wikipedia version for you cliff note types). But really, we hadn’t been able to move very far into the process since everything was so up in the air and when it came down to it, DRC felt more like a learning experience. Some amazingly wonderful and priceless relationships were made through that part of our process that would have not been made otherwise. That’s time well spent in my book.
We also changed agencies because the other countries our agency was trying to start programs in weren’t Hague either and/or had more safety concerns than we felt comfortable with. Learning about and including culture in our child’s life is important to us and if we are stuck inside all day, that’s not only unsettling but difficult to learn much during our short time there. And despite my push to not look like tourists, we won’t be fitting in. While we hadn’t run into any ethical or moral issues with the agency personally, there were definitely some professional ones that made me feel more and more uncomfortable with the overall situation.
Where are we now?
Through one of those relationships I mentioned, I was brought into a special group of woman who have a heart for adoption and are all in various stages of their own process. It’s a fabulous group and I’m convinced that if we ever got together in person we could do something amazing …like world peace… maybe not, but we’re intensely passionate women looking to better the world and spread the love. Through that same group, I learned of a small program in West Africa and a wonderful agency in Washington. I called and spoke with the woman in charge of that program there and was hooked. If I could send her a fruit basket, I’d send 10. She’s amazing. Like, we all need this person just to talk to kind of amazing. The overall process just makes more sense. The finances of it, though not more or less, make more sense. And why is that, you ask? Partially because it’s not a war torn country, but mostly because it’s part of the Hague Convention. Everyone involved has to meet standards for this side too, though mostly it’s recognized as a way to reduce child trafficking. So awesome country, awesome agency, more waiting.
So what’s next?
Our home study update was more… intense in it’s paperwork because of the high standards for Hague. It took longer. More things for us to, more things for other people to do and wait on. It was just more. And now that it’s completed, we’re eligible for financial aid. We just have to pray that we’re accepted. To any of them. Even the little tiny one that no one looks at because you might spend more on the paper and postage to mail in the filing cabinet the application fits in. They all take 6-8 weeks to process and come to a decision. Sounds great right? I mean, it’s an actual time line that in all honestly might be the only one that isn’t imaginary. Which is awesome. But until then, we can’t move forward so we keep fundraising. Right now I have 2 dates for mini sessions, which if the remaining slots book up, will be about 60% of what we need left for this step. Info about that is below in case you know of anyone looking 😉
In the meantime, we go day by day with work, sleep, and the ever struggle of having a social life. I’ve been reading up on baby wearing, cultural info, brushing up on some french, and occasionally finding pinterest to be a bit sub-par in their selection of 5 pins that really have nothing to do with that I typed. We’ve been working in the kiddo’s room and it’s mostly emptied of non-kiddo/adoption things. They have 2 shirts, a pair of shoes and 5 strong room decor options depending on the day. Hopefully in an update or two we can all do the happy dance with the news of a referral (matched child).
Until then, Thanks for checking in 🙂