After some soul searching, more research, and a vacation, we're putting the wheels back on the adoption wagon and are pushing ahead. First though, a moment of silence for everyone who was in process for the DRC, as by now most are aware that DRC has gotten significantly more difficult to adopt from, and has stopped issuing exit visas for children. I can't imagine being on the wrong end of that. Our sympathies to those who were on the wrong end of the recent Russian closure, and dived headlong into the DRC as well, that would be rough.
The question about our own plans is 'Where do we go from here?' Other than the countries which automatically jump to mind like Ethiopia or Russia (not China - currently that would be an 11 year wait for us), we have looked at a few lesser-knowns for international adoption, such as Nigeria, Benin, and Ghana. None of these really seemed right for us, either in terms of stability or the availability of programs being open to Canadians.
After several more brain storming sessions and emailing various agencies, we've got a winner - an agency who will remain anonymous for the time being, because they are just developing the program now. It's not advertised on their website yet, and we've volunteered to be one of the guinea pigs for it. What I will say is this - Uganda, and #2 on the waiting list. After preparing for a long wait or a tumultuous process, (or both!) for the DRC, we were both looking forward to some simplicity in this opportunity. Silly us, I'm sure life will find a way to make these hopes seem like foolish naivete. But here's to hoping.
The only speedbump now is getting our homestudy - we started the process with Adoption Options, and they graciously offered to finish out homestudy so that we could transfer it to whoever we work through. As it happens, the great hand of irony struck us, and like the saying goes, it's best to strike when the ironies hot. I sincerely apologize for that joke, but my father was a school teacher for over 30 years, and I am genetically predisposed to teacher humour.
Anwho, homestudy. The homestudy must be completed as if we are adopting through one of the programs AO offers. I don't know enough about the whole industry to know if this is common practice, so not judging. We're doing an Ethiopian homestudy, which when completed will be transferred to...wait for it....Manitoba CFS. We've come full circle, again. Upside being that after speaking with a senior social worker, we were assured that if there is a waiting child, things can be fast-tracked with CFS. If anyone else just heard a gong being struck, that was just us and irony mixing it up. This week we received an email which advised us that the homestudy will likely be done for early to mid September. Back on track.
Once the homestudy gets to CFS, they'll do a supplement to bring it up to their standards. We will send a copy to the facilitator, who will give it the same treatment. Thankfully the dossier is simple, and immigration as well. We got reference letters in triplicate for the occasion, and will have our children's immigration docs in hand when we travel - no embassy visits for us. The adoption will actually be finalized in Manitoba by CFS, because the Ugandan court grants guardianship orders only. I'm not sure, but that may be why Uganda is less popular a program.
We also signed a contract with the American facilitator agency, and had a loooong (excellent/informative/assuring - too many appropriate adjectives) conversation, which in retrospect we should have gotten a phone card for or something. 90min call from Manitoba to Iowa stings a bit.
That's life right now, sorry for the month long break.