This is my 200th blog post, and it’s a good one:
Christian and I are “paper pregnant” again!
We submitted our application to adopt from Vietnam to our new agency and started our homestudy in November. Our completed homestudy was submitted last week and we celebrated our place as the 44th family on the waiting list. We were fingerprinted for our I600A on Tuesday. Our agency estimates it will be 18 months until we are matched with a child, and then another 6-9 months before we would travel, so this “paper pregnancy” will last until some time in 2010. Our only request is that the child we adopt be younger than Zoe, so as not to disrupt birth order. Our thought is that by the time the adoption is completed, Noah will be 4, Zoe will be 3, and we would be open to a healthy boy or girl under 3 (but I just have this feeling that it will be a boy about 18 months).
So this is great news, right? Well, yes and no. We’re so excited at the thought of having another child, but if you read my last post, Will Vietnam adoptions continue?, you might know that now is not the best time to be starting an adoption from Vietnam. We knew when we began in November that there were issues, so we waited to tell our friends and family. We thought (hoped) that we would wait until March, the agreement would be resigned, and there would be good news all around. Now we know there is nothing magical about March. Monday the Department of State said, “…it is unlikely that the agreement can be renewed in its current form,” meaning that the current agreement probably will not be resigned. There’s no guarantee that a NEW agreement will be signed before the current one expires in September, and then there’s no guarantee that an agreement will EVER be signed.
We ended up telling our families this week. Christian and I talked about waiting it out until September, but I just don’t think I could have made it that long. It was harder than I thought it would be to make it this long. It’s funny how often I have had to censor myself because it has almost come up in conversation. I’ve almost said things like, “When we were talking to our social worker last week…,” or “Christian and I were talking about baby names the other day…,” or, “I just have to run by the police station to get my background check and then I’m headed that direction.” When we were at my parents’ for Christmas and Zoe was getting jealous that Christian was holding someone else’s baby, Christian said, “See what’s gonna happen, Honey?” I smiled and replied, “What do you mean? What’s gonna happen when?” He realized the slip and said, “Uh, if we’re ever around someone else’s kids.”
Other country options for us include Thailand, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, but we would so love to adopt from Vietnam again. We loved our experience there, and are excited about the prospect of going back. We have a great Vietnamese-American Association in our area, and we have an Indiana Families with Chidren from Vietnam group. We’ve attended mass at a local parish with a large Vietnamese community and we’ve found a yummy Vietnamese restaurant.
We think it’s important for our kids to have exposure to their birth culture, and adopting from a second country will make that more difficult, especially since there are not the same kinds of resources available in our community. Adoptions from these other countries are not as common as adoptions from Vietnam, so there is not the same kind of adoption community near us.
I am already sad at the thought of not going back to Vietnam. I am trying to put things in perspective and remember how devastated I was when we found out that we were not eligible for China. I cried for a few days. But now I see that we were supposed to go to Vietnam. I can’t imagine not having Zoe in our family.
I know that we can wait it out for a while and then switch. September isn’t THAT far away, but then there’s no guarantee we will know anything by September. I am starting to feel the pressure to make a decision. We’ve always wanted our children to be close in age (we didn’t intend for Noah and Zoe to be as close as they are (10 months apart), but that’s a story for another time). I really don’t want the next child to be more than two years younger than Zoe. I don’t want Noah and Zoe to be so close and then have the third end up being a younger “only” child.
The timeframes for Thailand and the Philippines are about two years now, so I don’t want to wait too long if we are going to go into one of those programs. Also, I fear that more and more families will pursue those countries if Vietnam closes, and their waits will get even longer. That’s what happened to Vietnam when China changed its rules and Guatemala shut down – families rushed to the Vietnam program until it was practically bursting at the seams. Plus, I just don’t think I can emotionally do this for more than two years. It’s a manic-depressive roller coaster that can just consume your consciouness. I hate it when people joke that adoption is the “easier” way to go. I have had a child by birth and I have adopted. They can each be filled with fear and uncertainties. Neither is easy. Trust me.
This is one of those times when I just wish I had a crystal ball. I don’t do uncertainty very well. I don’t like living in limbo. I like having a plan. I know we will be happy whatever the outcome is, but it would be so much easier if we knew what that meant!
Any thoughts or words of wisdom?