Friday, October 28, 2011

The Clash Said It Best (updated)

Should I stay or should I go now?

So a couple different folks suggested we ask about our numbers on the list, which was really, really good advice, so thank you.  I love this community—it helps keep the insanity at bay.  So anyhow, our agency doesn’t really give numbers regularly until you are nearing the top, as child requests can change, etc.  But you can request then anytime.  I was kind of avoiding that until after the holidays, as there has been so little movement.  Last April-ish, we were around #72 and there have been 7 referrals since then.  So doing the math on that (…carry the one….) we should be around 65 or so.  Apparently, people have left the program or changed their child requests, because our new number is 35 for an infant and around 13 for a child over the age of 1.  So if the next 35 referrals (which they expect to start in around Feb) are infants, we wait as those families are matched.  At the current rate, that will a long, long wait. If some referrals for 18 month olds are mixed in, we move up that list.  However, all of the referrals for the last 7 months have been infant referrals, so we should really view ourselves as #35.  Anything else would be icing.
These numbers were unexpected by a long shot, and were really helpful, as I feel like it gives us breathing room to make a solid decision.  We started this process over a year ago, so are pretty attached to Ethiopia and would love to continue on this road. Yet I’m not sure if I am comfy having all of our eggs in one basket.  The conversation with the agency was very, very honest, very informational and very blunt, which was good, albeit hard to hear (could you tell from my last post?  Ha).  The one piece of information we did not have was our numbers, and I don’t have any idea right now what I think about that. 
Should we wait it out and just hope for the best?  Our agency is still allowing families to enter the program (with warnings about long wait times), they are working with quite a few orphanages who may be issuing referrals again in February, and are being as honest and forthcoming as they can.
Should we dual and make our 2nd adoption (we’d like 2 kids—pipe dream, I know) from Ethiopia?  Dualing is expensive and easier said than done.  However, it’s a really good option and I’m glad it’s available.
Should we leave the Ethiopia program?  No.  Not yet.
It’s all so confusing and makes me feel like this:

(that’s my nephew, who just learned to cross his eyes from my sister, who always was a talented eye-crosser)

Update so this makes more sense:
I love comments and advice from those who have been there, so keep 'em coming.  And just to be clear, dualing adoption is basically applying to another program within our agency and seeing what happens.  Only one adoption would happen at a time (whichever referral is accepted first), and once everyone is home and a certain amount of time has passed (6 months to a year), homestudy updated and such, the second adoption could proceed.  So we would not be adopting two children at once, unless they are sibs in the same program.  This is definitely taking the looong view.  Hope that makes sense. 


  1. Those numbers are kind of awesome. And I get that the whole thing is unstable. Good that you have some time to think about things.
    Your nephew is adorable.

  2. This is the comment where I butt in and give an answer to a question that I'm pretty sure was rhetorical :) <---------- smiley face to make it clear I'm not trying to be rude!

    My advice - from adopting two kids at once - is be very, very, very, VERY cautious about doing this. I'm glad that my kids stayed together (because they are twins, it would have been wrong to split them up, etc etc) BUT - adopting one kid is HARD. Like, unimaginably hard sometimes. The kid needs all of you, and then some. Adopting two at once is a whole different level because they BOTH need all of you, and then some and it's NO LONGER POSSIBLE. Life becomes a constant state of triage. I know that it can be done successfully - I've got friends who have done it successfully and are very happy - but I don't honestly think that it's necessarily the the best thing for the kid(s) involved. I think that it *can* be fine, but if either of the kids have higher-than-average needs (which is totally unpredictable!) it's easy to end up in a hot mess. I know that's easy for me to say, because my kids are bio siblings so adopting two non-related kids at once is only theoretical. But - I don't know else to put this - parenting a traumatised kid is SO MUCH HARDER than any words can possibly say. Mine have got such minor, minor issues compared to most and yet it often feels like we did an incredibly stupid thing adopting twins. Be very, very, very cautious before signing up to do two at once if there isn't a biological link meaning that the two kids need to be raised together. Most agencies don't allow it, and I think there are good reasons for this - especially for first time parents. UK adoption laws are really strict and most of our prep was great, but we got NO preparation on how to cope with adopting two at once - it was never acknowledged that it would be extremely tough, especially on the kids, if you're trying to work on attachment. This is why I'm butting in with this - I don't think it gets much airplay. (To anybody reading this who disagrees - this is only my opinion, from my experience parenting two kids who do NOT get on! I know other people think differently and that's fine - obviously).

    Having said THAT... I definitely think you should adopt two kids! But I'd advise (um, like you asked for my advice? SORRY!) sequential adoptions rather than concurrent. It's harder on the parents to do two adoption processes, but I think it's easier on the kids!

    Phew. Sorry for that. Hope you don't mind me chipping in.

  3. I get it. It sounds confusing, though, paperwork-wise! Hopefully you are more organized than me.
    That video made me laugh.

  4. Wow, that IS a big jump in waiting. We were told to wait 18-21 mos for referral and got it in 13 - the lowered expectations helped tremendously. I was still so rattled by the IVF roller coaster that we considered dualling from the start (Korea & China), but the agency talked us out of China altogether because of the long wait (5 years now???!!). Sounds like you trust the agency and that you have options (I know its expensive...). And you have time. Hoping you get time and space to mull this over and that an answer fiinds you.

  5. This is where that "information is power" saying is so true. What a difference between 65 and 35. Really.

    I'm glad to hear someone else out there thinking about adoption #2 already. We do, too, and we have no idea what we will do.

    There are so many options, although I'm sure none of them seem right at the moment. Take your time and think it through. The right choice will come to you eventually.

  6. wow- that is a huge jump in numbers. amazing. I am praying for you guys and am anxious to hear more about a dual adoption. it's an interesting option. I have no advice, just support! you guys will follow the path that God has for YOU, no one else. your hearts are in the right place. and this video is great.

  7. I'm not too sure how dualing works. Will it speed up the process of a second adoption for you? If so, and if you truly want 2 children, then it may not be a bad idea.

    One thing I had suggested was finding out how many families total are on the list. Because if new families are being told 3 years and they are 100 on the list - the fact you are 35 or 13 means your wait will be much less.

  8. Yes! That makes a LOT of sense. Sorry for misunderstanding :) And yeah, if you're thinking of having two kids in the end, I think taking the long view right now is probably very smart. That definitely sounds like it could be a really good option to consider. A friend of mine who was in Ethiopia recently came home and said 'I think that anybody interested in Ethiopian adoption right now should probably have a Plan B just in case'. I know that sounds kind of cold, but personally I'm all about the realism and I think it was probably pretty sage advice.

    Sorry that my earlier comment missed the mark entirely!

  9. Oohh! Was I the friend Claudia is talking about? I don't know, but I do know I would say that. Plan B for sure. I think if I were in your shoes I would start a dual adoption if it were feasible. Just honestly, you don't want all your eggs in one basket. China special needs program? There are agencies saying less than 12 months fromm start to finish.... I don't know. I am sure it is a difficult decision. But if you know absolutely that you want to adopt twice, then it makes sense!

  10. My husband and lived in Ethiopia for the past two years. We recently completed a private adoption of 5 children while living there. Speaking from being in the country long term, the adoption scene in Ethiopia is shaky. Politically the country is under a lot of pressure to reduce corruption by the international community and from their own people. Adoption is a heated issue with the Ethiopian people right now. I'm not trying to scare you- because we kept pushing/fighting/praying until our adoption was finalized. Starting a dual adoption does not mean that you've given up on Ethiopia. Also, we are extremely grateful that we adopted a sibling group of four and one other son all at the same time. Our children were all in the same orphanage and they've been glad they all stayed together. My prayers are with you.