Adoption is the ultimate example of hurry-up-and-wait, and we are back in the hurry-up phase. In my mind, there are roughly 43,284 things to do before you get put on the wait list, but the adoption agency groups these things into four main categories. Moving on to immigration is a whole new category, so the fact that we have applied with them is a pretty significant step. And we mailed our application in one day before the fee increase took place, so I consider that a success. Immigration takes 4-6 weeks and during that time we have a bunch of online classes to take, we have to finish getting our papers notarized, have the agency check our papers to make sure they’re notarized correctly, get any that are incorrect redone, etc. Should be a fun few weeks. Sarcastic font.
Our home study arrived over the weekend, 11 pages of single spaced details, all you could ever want to know about the Millers. It was BOR-ING. I mentioned that there was a small issue with our home study, and I know you have probably been losing sleep over just what that issue is. Drum roll please…
We chose the Ethiopian program for many reasons, including the relatively short wait times, the young children, and the fact that sibling groups were available. We told the agency we wanted two siblings age three and younger. The agency said that three and younger truly means three and younger, so we wouldn’t get matched with a 38-month-old, for example. That being said, they don’t record or celebrate birthdays in Ethiopia, so age is an educated guess. Sometimes they’ll know something like they were born three harvest seasons ago. Doctors examine them. But the birthday is truly a guess. And it’s decided in Ethiopia. It can be changed after arriving home, but it is not an easy process. Keep in mind that from the time you are referred to the time you bring them home, roughly six months passes. So if you get referred a 36-month-old, they will be 3.5 when you bring them home.
Late last week I received a call from Nikki. She told us that they have not been getting many referrals for 3-and-younger sibling sets. In 2010, they have received five referrals of this type. And four of them were twins. There are roughly 10 people on the waiting list requesting 3-and-younger siblings. So if the upcoming years follow the same pattern, it will be 2 years before we get a referral. Two years doesn’t include the time we’ve already spent, the things we still have to do, or the 6 months between referral and travel. 2 years on the wait list increases the total time to 3 years. Major suck factor. In fact, anybody applying to the program today who wants a sibling set of two has to be open to six and younger.
So, we basically have three options:
1. Stick with our plan and accept that it will take much longer than originally anticipated.
2. Raise our ages- The older we’re willing to take, the shorter our wait time will likely be. My worry is that if we say 4 and under, the older one will be 4.5 by the time we get him/her home, and then you have to start thinking about school. Not something we had planned on so soon. Of course, the wait time is shorter because more of these kids need homes.
3. Change our plan and apply for a single baby instead- Our wait time would decrease to 10-14 months, total time 22-26 months. We would love a baby, but. But we like the idea of having siblings. But we like the idea of having more than one person in the family look different. But if we decide to adopt again, we have to pay and do everything again, rather than pay a relatively measly $3,500 fee for a second child. Lots of buts.
So that’s where we’re at. We’ve talked but haven’t made a decision yet. And we don’t have to make a decision anytime soon. We can change our minds at any time and not lose our place on the wait list, so there really is no hurry. But it’s been on my mind and I need some advice, people. What do you think??