I suppose I blatantly gave away the subject of this post in the title. Not to mention the overall tone and topic of the blog. Our adventure has taken plenty of twists and turns, and we're currently looking at complicating our lives to a wonderful degree. I say complicating because that is what children do - but wonderfully so.
Yuliya and I discussed adoptions on what I believe was our second date. To be precise, Yuliya asked what I thought of adoptions, and I said that I was open to having my own biological children, but would prefer to adopt. She heartily agreed. For her, this was a deal breaker in potentially marrying someone - something I didn't know at the time. This stemmed from her visiting orphanages in Ukraine, and the conclusion that it would be selfish to have her own children when there are so many in need. This is culturally frowned upon in Ukraine. It simply isn't done and isn't considered an option or worth doing. For her, this formed part of the realization that she could never return to Ukraine and live there.
For me, the realization came more intellectually as a result of my own studies of global social issues. Our attitudes towards adoption are an excellent microcosm of how our attitudes towards life have formed - mine as a result of thought and study, and Yuliya's as a result of what she has seen and survived.
The first natural step was to study the issue - this is how Yuliya and to a lesser extent I tend to approach an issue. We have learned a few things thus far:
If it wasn't for A Love Beyond Borders, we would sorely wish we were American. Working through American adoption agencies, adoptions can literally be a half to a quarter of the wait time and half the cost, compared to what Canadian agencies can offer. With a Canadian agency, we would be looking at a cost increase of 25% and a two+ years wait, going up depending on the country we adopt from. Thankfully we found a fantastic American agency which works with non-US citizens.
Not all country's adoption programs were created equally in terms of processing times, ages available, travel requirements, and cost. Some countries require prospective parents to come and visit the adoptive child three times before finalizing the adoption, including stays of up to three or more months. The ages of children available from various countries can range from infants to teens.
We came upon the possibility of the Democratic Republic of Congo while researching the possibility of adopting from Ethiopia. In the course of an information session with the local office for Adoption Options, they mentioned the DRC program. Upon further research, we learned that the DRC has a much shorter processing time, and lower cost (hooray!). The cultures there largely preclude women from drinking or consuming narcotics, which means an almost zero chance of FASD (double hooray).
Fortunately for our plans, the DRC processing time is currently at a year, at most. Yes, we are a little terrified by the fact that we could have children for summer of 2014. So we're currently chest deep in the research phase and wallowing towards the homestudy phase.
It's funny to look up American vs. Canadian experiences on blogs and videos on youtube. A common theme for American adoption blogs is "It took sooooooo loooong we had a lesson in waiting and patience" after waiting eight months. Canadians usually wait two to three-plus years, for adoptions in the same countries. Maybe the difference is that queuing up and waiting quietly is the real Canadian national sport.