Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back from Extinction, but Returning to Hibernation

I've been around, but haven't been in the mood to blog. I've actually been meaning to but there's just nothing good to talk reallyabout. Things are moving so slowly and though we have been on the waiting list for almost 7 months, I don't see us making that much progress and there is so much confusion the past few weeks about adoptions from Vietnam in general. I feel I need to take a break from things and wait for some positive news. I probably will be around, but not as much as I have.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Turkey -

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, here is my favorite holiday video. I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I won't even say don't eat too much, because we always do; maybe a happy eating wish to all of you instead. Sorry that I haven't posted in so long, but I will.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The "S" Word

Say it isn''t true! Yes, S-N-O-W!!!! They're predicting flurries today! I'm not ready for snow yet. Not before Thanksgiving, please. At leaast wait until then. December would be better. Of course, Christmas Eve would be the preferred first snowfall; at least for me! I guess if it is only flurries, I can live with that. Snow flurries though would be highly preferred over rain though. At least, one wouldn't get as wet!

No adoption news to report. The adoption is just not-so-quietly waiting. Well, it has quieted some, but things aren't quite as intense as it was last week, with inappropiate things being said.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Awfully, Unproductive Day

This has been a terribly unproductive day. I really wanted to get a lot of work done, but I just can't focus on it and my mind keeps wandering to the situation with Vietnam adoptions. I got an e-mail, actually two from my agency's adoption caseworker and it hasn't really put my mind at rest. It's just that no one knows what effect any of this will have and it may be sometime before anything is really known. We need to have another home visit in another month or so, since the homestudy is only good for a month or so. And she suggests we can discuss our options then in more detail. I don't know how I can wait that long, but at the same time no one knows anything right now and any decision at the moment would be purely based on emotion. I'm grateful though to know that our agency is not working in any of the affected areas, so if those provinces close even temporarily, we won't be affected.

The filing of the I-600 at the time of your referral, instead of when you get to the country should prevent future families from being stuck in the country with their adopted child, but being unable to bring him or her to the U.S. by having any investigation done early on in the process. (Most times no investigation is needed after filing the I-600, because there are usually no red flags. Right now, these red flags that resulted in investigations were with only a few agencies that were in a couple of provinces.)

Hopefully, these families pleas in their blogs for people to write letters to the USCIS or embassy (I forget which they asked people to write too) will not cause these organizations to bend to the pressure and end their investigations and let the families return to the U.S. Although it is not these families fault, it is their agencies fault or the facilitator who got them these referrals. If the children were not legally available because of either kidnapping or lying to their birthparents, these children then would have birth families who love them and never wanted them to be given up for adoption. Although it would be terribly painful to the adoptive parents, these children should be returned to their rightful birthparents. Hopefully, if it is proven these agencies were involved in unethical means in acquiring these children, they will have their licenses yanked away and be kicked out of ever working in Vietnam again. Then hopefully, they will allow those ethical agencies to continue working in Vietnam and finding families for the real orphans. Well, I think I better get back to work. I had my say and think I can focus on things that I should be focusing on now. Please keep the future of Vietnam adoptions in prayer for us and all other families, as well as the children who are or will be affected.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Current Situation with Vietnam Adoption

Please check out Laurie's post about what is going on and how it may affect future adoptions in Vietnam.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Another Referral, But Holding Steady

Our agency received another referral, this time for a 3 year old boy. The family only waited 4 months until their referral! Since we have been waiting almost 6 months, this will not affect our place in line. We're no closer, but on a positive note we are not any further either. What we can conclude from this is that there are no families before us in line, who are looking for a 3 year old boy. I guess, there might be some who are looking for boys older, but probably most are looking for them to be under 3 years old. We also received a sibling group the girl is 8 and the boy is 10, currently none of our families are requesting siblings of this age, so hopefully, there will be someone who reconsiders and takes these 2 as their son and daughter.

4 families are returning from Vietnam with their new children and 3 families are completing things up there this week. There will be 4 families leaving probably next weekend also for Vietnam. After that, families will have to wait until they receive their I-600, as explained in my previous post. Our agency hopes it won't take too long, but it is possible that it could take up to 60 days more, which would mean not until next year, but hopefully everything will be in order and no lengthy investigation will be needed. Hopefully, we will have some more families travel before Christmas and New Year's.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ch - Ch - Ch - Changes

The adoption world has been buzzing with changes that USCIS is making to the procedures that we follow in order to obtain permission to bring our child into the USA. As recently as earlier this week, the process was as follows:
  • File an I600-A, which gives us advanced permission to start an international adoption
  • Receive your referral, get your travel date, and after the G&R ceremony, start the process with USCIS to file the I600 (which is permission to bring a specific child- your referred child- into the USA)
  • The USCIS makes sure that the child is legally an orphan while you wait in country, and that no improprieties, bribes, etc. were involved
  • A visa is issued, and you come home.

Now though, people have to file for an I600 after getting and accepting a a referral. This may add time to the process, but lately a few families were not allowed to return to the USA with their children, until investigation on whether unethical practices were used in getting those children. So hopefully, this will prevent unethical practices from continuing. Although I feel sorry for these families, they are with certain agencies that are having incredibly quick referral times for very, very young infants and in the process, the agencies may be employing certain unethical practices. Many times, if things look too good to be true, they are and it seems now USCIS is catching on.

Hopefully, by having to file for an I-600 before being able to travel, the problem will be nipped in the bud and these agencies that are securing young infants inappropriately will be stopped and will have their license taken away, rather than ending Vietnam adoptions for everyone. Adoptions were closed down once in 2003-2006, let's not repeat it again and punish everyone when it's only a few agencies that aren't playing by the rules.

So if you are starting the process to adopt from Vietnam now, please make sure you research any potential agencies thoroughly. There is a Yahoo Group Adoption Agency Research dedicated to providing you with information so you can make a well-informed choice. Remember if something looks too good, it probably is. Do you really want to wonder whether your child was gotten ethically or if their parents were convinced to put them up for adoption for possibly financial incentives? Remember Vietnam is a 3rd world country and what we might not think is a large sum of money, may have a very different meaning in Vietnam. You could not only be risking things for yourself, but for all of us prospective adoptive parents now and in the future.

I'm feeling a little bit better; not great, but better!