It is just a rumor at this point, but someone posted on one of the adoption groups today that Vietnam will not give referrals to US agencies after June 1st. This information came from her agency, although I don’t know which agency that is. Another person posted that VN won’t accept dossiers after June 1st. If the former is true, we are out of luck because there’s no way we would be matched with a child before June. And, whether or not the latter is true, things aren’t looking good. Word is circulating that Vietnamese orphanages are stalling their referrals to US adoption agencies and giving them to other countries instead. This is apparently a backlash against what the Vietnamese perceive to be intrusive investigations by the USCIS in Vietnam – unannounced visits to hospitals, unapproved investigations at orphanages, etc.
So, I’m in an adoption funk. I’m wondering if this adoption is going to happen. Should we cut our losses (some financial, but mostly emotional) now and look for other options, or should we continue to wait it out?
It really p*sses me off when people tell me that adopting is easier than pregnancy. It gets under my skin and has really become one of my pet peeves, but I realize that people who say it just don’t know. Before we adopted Zoe, I said it myself. I thought that it would be easier than the fertility treatments and the throwing up every day. But I assure you that it was not. It was an agonizing emotional roller coaster, even though Zoe’s adoption was relatively “smooth.”
So, what are our other options?
1. Pregnancy: This seems like the easiest option for us right now. Remember that “easiest” is a relative term here. Getting pregnant would require injections, vaginal ultrasounds, blood work, ovulation charts, monitoring hormone levels, and money. Then there’s the actual pregnancy. Maybe I would not spend another nine months tossing my cookies each day (yes, the ENTIRE pregnancy – I only gained 17 pounds), but maybe I would. Maybe my face would not be that lovely shade of green for 40 weeks and I would not have daily paralyzing nausea, but maybe I would. Maybe I would not have to sleep in a recliner for the last month so that I didn’t choke in my sleep on my own reflux, but maybe I would. Maybe this child would not be born with MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance). Maybe he or she would sleep for more than 4 hours in a 24 hour period. Maybe he or she would not require emergency room visits, consultations with specialists, medications, or expensive formula, but maybe he or she would (actually the pediatric gastroenterologist told us that more than likely another biological child WOULD have MSPI). However, after saying all of this, please let me emphasize that I am deeply thankful that we have this option. I appreciate that there are many people who are adopting because they cannot get pregnant, and would gladly go through what I outlined above to have a baby. Noah was absolutely worth every minute of it, as I know another baby would be. Even though getting pregnant “the old fashioned way” isn’t an option for us, I am sincerely grateful that we know we could get pregnant again with a little help.
2. Adopting from another country: Our options here have become very limited. We are ruled out my many countries because I have taken anti-depressants. We thought we would be eligible for the Philippines, but have since found out that they prefer childless couples. We are eligible for Thailand, but it is a small program. Many people have already switched to the Thailand program from China and Vietnam, so our agency has placed a hold on accepting new applications. We don’t know when they will take applications again. Ethiopia is still an option, but I am hearing some not so great things about that program. It is a new program, and they have been inundated with applications as wait times have increased for other countries or eligibility requirements have become more stringent. They just don’t have the infrastructure yet to support the growth of the program, and that has opened adoptions there up to some of the same issues of corruption that are a concern in Vietnam, so we’re concerned about the ethics and the stability of the program. We have ruled out many other countries because we would only be able to be matched with an older child. We would like to adopt a child younger than Noah and Zoe to preserve birth order. Other countries are ruled out because they require six weeks or more of travel, which isn’t a viable option because Noah and Zoe are so young. It’s also not financially feasible.
3. Domestic adoption through the foster care system: I really don’t feel like this is a practical option for us. There are two routes, and each has its own issues. One route is to adopt a child who is already eligible for adoption. I checked the Indiana registry, and there are no children under two years who are currently eligible for adoption. There aren’t even any children under six, and the few six year olds I saw were part of sibling groups. The second route is to adopt a child whose parental rights are in the process of being terminated. In this program, we would become foster parents to a child until he or she was eligible for adoption. This route scares the hell out of me. I don’t think I could handle caring for a child that we may not be able to adopt, and I don’t think it would be fair to Noah and Zoe to get them attached to a child who could potentially be taken away. In addition, every child on this list has mental or physical disabilities, has been sexually or physically abused, has been neglected, has fetal alcohol syndrome, or tested positive for cocaine at birth. These kids certainly deserve homes, but Christian and I just don’t have the ability or resources to handle that right now. I know people who have gone this route, and I admire them, but I just don’t know that I have it in me at this point in my life.
4. Domestic newborn adoption: This is an option, but a birth mother would have to choose us, and there’s no guarantee that would ever happen. We’ve been told that we might not be as appealing as a childless couple would be. We we’ve also been told that the fact that we have a biological child might hurt our chances (but the fact that we have a child who was adopted might help, so maybe it evens out). This can also get expensive since we could potentially end up paying birthmother living expenses, as well as medical expenses if she doesn’t have insurance or Medicaid. This route could potentially be the most expensive (it could be as much or more than a Vietnam adoption).
If only I had a crystal ball!