In the spirit of my past entries, I am going to start with a rabbit trail.
It's finally moving towards the -10c to 0c range, which is nice. We can go out with toques instead of fur lined ushankas, and the car doesn't need to be parked in the back and plugged in every night. It even smells like spring is around the corner. There are more birds at the feeder, and the red squirrel which we have been plying with nuts all fall and winter has stopped storing them and just eats them as soon as we put them out. He's a zippy little guy, on his first winter by himself. Fun fact about red squirrels, the females bequeath their foraging territory to their daughters, and the males are out on their own, and have to compete for new territory. This little guy started hanging around mid summer. There are a lot of grey squirrels and larger reds around, so he had a hard time, getting kicked out of trees and chased around. In the course of putting nuts out, we also found that the local crow population loves peanuts as well, and they figured out how to carry three in their beak at a time. We see him once or twice during the week, and whereas he was a scrawny little wisp in fall, he's chubby and thick now, with the characteristic red tufts on his ears. We spent about $10 in peanuts subsidizing his supplies this winter, and it seems to have paid off.
Now to the matter at hand.
Yuliya and I have soured on CFS somewhat since we started this whole thing. For those who have worked with them, we now understand why so many do not choose to go the CFS route, and we will be following suit.
To be brief, getting information has been frustrating. Our primary contact until being assigned a social worker never gave Yuliya or myself the same piece of information twice, despite being asked the same question at different times by each of us. I was on the verge of attempting some amateur divination to scry the location of our social worker when we received the letter some two weeks after the date on which it was supposed to be sent. From it we got the contact number for our social worker, who admitted to having done very few international adoptions. His response when asked about the timeline for a homestudy for an adoption with the DRC was "Yeah, there's been more people lately asking about adoptions from the Congo. What's up with that? Why are people interested in the Congo?" Think Mitch Hedberg at half speed, and you've got this guy nailed. We then almost fell over, when we were told that after our education seminar in May, it would take 3-6 months for our criminal and child abuse registry checks to be completed. In reality, we knew it would be a maximum of seven weeks for both. Then we did fall over, when he said that it would take 8-12 months to start, not complete a home study. Taking that with the fact that six weeks after applying no one knew a thing about our file, and that was basically it for us.
We called Adoption Options and have an appointment to get our file started there next week. While this only represents a $200 setback at this point, it's also a month and a half lost in preparation time, and after all the calls about the timeline, it's amazing to me that no one thought to actually ask one of the social workers who has done international adoptions about how long things take. As an aside, we were told that adopting with the DRC was no problem. Our actual social worker said that they don't work with non-Hague countries.
Then again, for those familiar with the stereotype of Manitoba CFS, this sadly fits the pattern.