22 June 2007

Things Moving Slowly But We're Still Here

Oh, it's been a while since I've posted. Truth is, not much has been happening regarding the adoption (which will probably be the case until we move and get started with the home study). It's been nice to meet some new people through all of this, though. I've received some email from folks looking at Uzbekistan and even a couple of email from people checking in because I have posted here--thanks, all! I've also been a bit out of it because I had my tonsils out earlier this week. They say it's much easier for kids to recover. I believe it because I am exhausted. I'm making mental notes, too, in case we have to go through this with our daughter.

(Whoa, I don't think I've even written "our daughter" before; it feels weird!)

One little bit of news is that we made out first adoption announcement to some family members on Father's Day. We had some of the in-law clan over for dinner and announced it afterward. No one was freaked out or negative (something I've been worried about in general, not just family). They asked questions about UZ and the next day my mother-in-law called my husband at work to tell him she thinks it's great news. Yay!

Then I had one of those comments I've heard about when I had to call our tax preparer for copies of some of our stuff for home study docs. She shared how her oldest child is adopted and then said she got pregnant 17 years later, "so there's always hope." Ugh. We do NOT have fertility issues. Why do people always assume that adoptive parents only adopt because they can't have biological children? I'm going to have to get used to this because I'm sure I'll be hearing similar comments often.

Well, I'm off to have a popsicle and some pain meds.

04 June 2007

It's Official: We're Doing This!

Things have been slow on the adoption front. Actually, they'll remain slow until we move to Minnesota, get settled, and get the home study underway (probably sometime in the fall). I have been reading some more int'l adoption blogs, specifically some others I've found that deal with Uzbek adoptions, and have spoken to 2 people who are going/have gone through the Uzbek program with the agency we plan on using. Both people had rave reviews about the agency and the coordinator for the Uzbek program.

So....we bit the bullet and I'm excited to say that today I mailed in our application! Can't wait to see where things go from here!

14 May 2007


In the midst of worrying about moving and deciding on an agency, I hadn't given much thought to an actually timeline for this whole adoption thing. Sure, there's the "never really knowing how it's all going to play out" thing that's part of any adoption. But it hit me that changing jobs might pose a problem with the FMLA should a referral come some time early next year.

So I called an HR person at my new place and found out I am correct. As is dictated by federal law regarding FMLA, until I've been working there 12 months I will not qualify for a leave. Since my contract doesn't begin until late August, I can't get any time off until about Sept. 1 2008. Now, because I work in education I technically do not have go in to the office over the summer. That's good. But, if a referral and trip were to come any time before, say, the end of April 2008 I'd (we'd) be screwed. If that were to happen I could only take a "general leave" and that means no pay at all. That would be hard enough (if it were even possible) but, even worse, my company would not cover insurance during that period. That is absolutely not a possibility.

What does this mean for now? Well, although we have not yet decided exactly when we'd like this to go through, it seems that now we need to coordinate with whichever agency we choose and try to ensure we turn in paperwork in such a way as to "stall" a referral. Which basically sucks.

BTW, this is just one more way my current job (that I've leaving) has managed to screw me. I don't really want to get into it here, so you'll have to trust me on this.

13 May 2007

Timeline of Our Adoption Process

[In reverse chronological order; updated as needed]

June 2007 - Sent in application to adoption agency
May 2007
- Narrowed down to 2 agencies; completed interviews with them
April 2007 - Decided on Uzbekistan with a back-up program in Vietnam
September/October 2006 - Contacted adoption agencies for information packets
August 2006 - Began research on country programs

12 May 2007

How We Got "Here"

I never had a big desire to be a parent and as I got older (spending a lot of time in grad school) it seemed less likely that would ever happen. When I met met J he felt more or less the same way I did about kids--ambivalent. We've been married now almost 5 years and are both nearing 40. We'd pretty much decided on and accepted not having kids and were absolutely happy with that decision.

About a year ago I started doing a bit of reading about international adoption. I'm not even sure why, but it interested me. I've always found the idea of adoption "comfortable." The more I read, the more interested I became. I know people who have adopted internationally, too, (including a relative) and their experiences have been positive ones. I gathered information about countries and programs. And I sat a long time with my thoughts about all of this. Why was I suddenly thinking of changing the "no kids" plan?! Where were these ideas/thoughts coming from? Was this a passing phase? It didn't seem to be.

A couple months into my research I brought up the topic with J. As I expected, he was surprised about my new-found interest in a child but not at all troubled by the idea of adopting. I say this because I know some people struggle with questions like, "Can I love an adopted child the same as biological child?" etc., but this was never an issues for either of us. It was more of "Okay, do we really want a child?" Where the child came from was a non-issue.

So J let it all sink in, I continued to do research, and we talked about stuff. Initially China seemed like the logical choice. It is a stable program, we knew people who'd gone through it, and we (okay, I) want a girl. But then we found out about China's new requirements and that, coupled with the increasing wait for a referral (now close to 2 years in some cases), meant China was out. Guatemala was/is a bit unstable now, too, because of Hague issues. Plus, I am uncomfortable with some of the problems reported there regarding "baby selling."

As 2006 came to a close adoption was not on our minds so much as our likely (now definite) impending move to another state. Still, I'd kept researching and we became very interested in the Kyrgyz Republic. It was a newer program which is always risky but we're okay with that. Referrals were not overly lengthy and only one trip was required. The one trip option versus 2 is huge for us because it would be difficult for both of us to get that much time off from work, especially on short notice. Then, at the beginning of 2007, the Kyrgyz Republic suddenly switched to a 2-trip process.

Around this time I had been reading about Uzbekistan. The program in the Republic of Uzbekistan is another new program. Only a handful of adoption agencies are facilitating these adoptions. Still, trying something a bit new feels like "us." Plus, we can request a girl, referrals come relatively quickly (or at least they're supposed to!) once the dossier is in, and only one trip of 5-7 days is required. I've been reading up on Uzbekistan and Central Asia like crazy! Since this is a new program the recommendation is to have a "back up" program in case something goes wrong or the program closes. Additional research led to us choosing VietNam as our "number 2" country. The agency we've chosen has had success in bringing home children from Uzbekistan and they also have an established program in VietNam.

In June '07 we sent in our application and are waiting to make an out-of-state move to begin our home study, although I've already found a home study agency with a great reputation in what will be our new home state. So, I guess we're on our way.

11 May 2007

International Adoption Info

This list is in progress (and just in the beginning stages now, obviously!)

I am an information junkie. I (over)research everything. Luckily for me, there are many useful websites and other sources of info out there regarding international adoption. In fact, there are even other information junkies who have taken the time to put together some great resources.

Following are some that I found/find useful. If you're already "in process" you're probably already familiar with most of these. But, if you're just starting out or thinking about international adoption, hopefully these links will be helpful. Feel free to submit a recommendation to me if there's a link you think should be included.

My Adoption Links - A fantastic collection of information (agencies, orphanages, gov't offices, etc.) organized by country

Karen's Adoption Links - Another huge collection of links covering many aspects of adoption including a comprehensive list of all adoption listservs and discussion groups

10 May 2007

The First Post

And in the beginning there was....a blog, to document what will undoubtedly be a stressful, exciting, and confusing time in our lives. I don't know how fast or slowly this will go (or even how fast we want it to go), so that means I don't know how often I'll be posting or have anything post-worthy. But I'm here!