Saturday, May 30, 2009

My "adoption clock" is ticking

I had to say goodbye to my first real live in the flesh friend who successfully adopted from Russia the other day. Their little boy lay sleeping like an angel while we chatted about life, love and the pursuit of adoption happiness. They got caught in the re-accreditation mess and waited an eternity to go to their son and bring him home. I can't imagine how hard that must have been holding his beautiful picture and waiting for 5 or 6 months to travel on the first trip... but, like taking off a bad pair of shoes that have been killing you for blocks while they cut into your feet and give you painful blisters... when they are off... it's over. Being barefoot never felt so good... just like holding your child and rocking him to sleep will make this hard time vanish in a snuggle. So here is is... pretty much June 1st... 8 months have quietly passed in my wait. It's now been well over a year since I started with the journey and it's been over 10 years since adoption has been on my mind. Like my friend Courtney and I laughed about the other day... my adoption clock is ticking. My girlfriends and I joke about 'biological clocks' but for those of you who've never contemplated an adoption clock... it ticks EVERY bit as loud lol. So, in an effort to be a bit lighter than the grumpy, irritated, crusty, boob I've been lately around here, here's what I know in the "good" camp. Perm is rumored to have referrals coming - perhaps a couple for my agency. No indication whatsoever that they might be for me. In fact, I've been advised to update my now outdated home study so that I can be officially registered in Khabarovsk. The upside to Khab is this: there are many pages of boys in my age range on the photo listing page (with all the limitatons of the site duely noted). They look healthy (unlike many in Perm).
By virtue of the location (far East by Vladivostok), there are not many agencies that work there. In the Yahoo group, everyone talks about how caring and kind and well run the orphanages are. So with that update... lets leave this on some good news. I'm in the process of having my Home Study updated and then will go through the hoops of being registered in Khab... I don't know what that means in terms of wait... does the adoption clock get re-set to zero and I start out again? My family was here for a BBQ for my nephews high school graduation last week and someone asked how things were going... before I could answer, my mother in law answered, "He might be 25 by the time he gets to Canada..." Which everyone laughed at because someone quipped about mail order grooms in the background... very funny... very very funny.

So in the mean time, I dusted off his bedroom set that's been in my garage since last October, re-arranged some of his things stacked neatly in my basement and spent some time wondering just where in the great big ol' USSR you are??? For now, it's all good.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Did I choose the wrong Canadian Agency?

Well, another month has passed. It's now almost 7 that I've been waiting in Perm. That wait in and of itself would be OK if there were communications that indicated there is momentum and reason to be hopeful... but there is not. Since late December '08 they keep saying new regions are opening and families with dossiers registered in Perm will have the opportunity to move... well, I'm still waiting for them to call with any sort of specific news other than semi monthly generic updates that go out to all of their adoptive families. I know that the photo database is not a comprehensive nor accurate portrayal of children available for adoption but it has to be representative of a good proportion of boys there... and it is not pretty. The majority of the little guys in my age range (up to 4) have visible disabilities. My agency has facilitated probably only around 6 or 8 Russian adoptions in the last year - all but one from Vlad and only one from Perm. Meanwhile, I have consulted with the other agencies and they cite having been active in completing 30+ families in 8 months. I know it's a bit of a crap shoot depending on region but they work in busy ones... not like my guys. I am starting discussions on starting over with another agency. My requested child criteria are not difficult to fill and I can't help but wonder if going with an agency who has momentum and experience in their regions trumps the cash / time I've invested languishing in a dead region with the promise that they will be working in new ones "soon" where they have no more of an idea that it will be better than Perm or that their new facilitator will have any sort of relationshps to start from... Any thoughts or advice???