Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm Back!

I've been MIA from this blog for several months, which I think is probably okay because, truthfully, I think I'm the only one who reads it.

The fact of the matter is, our adoption journey has taken more than a few unforeseen turns, and each time I thought to document one of them another emerged. I couldn't keep up. The maze above pretty accurately illustrates what I went through in my mind to get myself to the place we are today.

As many of you know, the process for adoptions from Guatemala is changing. People have dedicated entire chapters of their blogs to the details and since they, in their totality, give me a headache (the details, not the bloggers) and I already have a headache, I won't delve into them. Suffice it to say it's a bit of a mess.

When we began the process of adopting from Guatemala, we knew that these issues may arise. However, we didn't think for a moment that they'd arise so soon. We were only paying attention to the U.S. side of things, which wasn't smart. It didn't occur to us (or to many others) that Guatemala would take steps that, in the end, will hopefully ensure the long-term safety of the children and integrity of the adoption process, but in the short-term will cause a lot of confusion and delay.

When the latest information on the process in Guatemala, the expected delays, and the unknowns (of which there are many many many) were presented, I had a long chat with our case manager at our agency. We were still way down at the bottom of the list for a referral. In fact, our case manager mentioned that based on past trends, by the time we were placed with a baby we may set a record for the longest time on the wait list they'd seen. Not a record I was thrilled to achieve.

So, after much discussion, thought, research, soul-searching, research, reading, and did I mention research, we have chosen to switch countries.

Many months ago (okay, two months ago, but it feels like many months ago), when this all started looking not-so-good, our case manager asked us if we'd ever thought about Ethiopia. The truth? We had not. Not for any reason in particular; we'd simply been drawn to Guatemala and our search stopped there.

But once I started researching Ethiopia, I could not stop. I was drawn in from every side and every angle. We had to ask ourselves some questions that were different from those we asked ourselves when we were considering Guatemala but, all in all, the answers didn't change. At least not the important ones.

So, the bottom line is that we will now wait for our daughter to be born in Ethiopia!!!! We are over the moon, truly. We're waiting for an official call with our new case manager to see what paperwork needs to be altered. Then we'll wait. However, the wait list for Ethiopia isn't nearly as long as it is for Guatemala and none of the issues currently present with adoptions in Guatemala exist in Ethiopia. No international adoption is without risk, but we feel very good about this change.

We don't know how long we'll wait. Grace asked this morning, "Exactly WHEN is my sister coming home? And exactly WHERE is she coming from?" The latter we know; the former, not so much. But we should have a better idea very soon.

So I'm thrilled to be up and running and documenting this amazing experience once again. I've met some incredible people already, and experienced some strange "coincidences," and each day I am more and more excited at the prospect of meeting this new little person and welcoming her into our family.

Stay tuned. There's more to come!


The Hausams said...

I must say I truly enjoyed every word of your blog. I just read it in its entirety and laughed out loud through the antics of your kids and groaned with you through the agonies of your adoption process so far. I'm so glad to know that you're nearly as insane as me! We should get our boys together. On second though, we should absolutely NOT do that because they'd probably start a wildfire or some other induced disaster in 2 minutes flat. I'm looking forward to reading every detail of this exciting journey! And, I can hardly wait to see pictures of you all together when you get home from Ethiopia! :)