This post should have been posted over a week ago, when I wrote it but I don't really want to rewrite it. It is now pretty much definite our Vietnam adoption wont be happening. Our agency got its last 3 referrals this past week. As of a couple weeks ago, we were down to #78 on the list and now are probably 2-3 positions further down the list, but that probably doesn't make much difference anymore. As of 9/1/08, the dossiers with all the documents we gathered and had notarized, certified, and authenicated, will be sent to our agencies. We've known for over a month or so that we would pursue an adoption from Ethiopia, if Vietnam didn't work, but since we needed to renew some paperwork, we decided to hold off, so we could get our free renewal. We currently are waiting for DCFS to approve our homestudy update, which our social worker did in June. Once our homestudy update gets approved, we can send in for our free renewal with CIS (the former INS). Then we have to wait for an invitation to get our fingerprints retaken (Like they've changed in the past year and a half.) Once we get our renewal approved, we will finally be able to send in for a country change for the adoption. . This should also be free since we renewed the 171-H paperwork first.
Hopefully, once we have the renewal, we will be able to start our Ethiopian dossier. I wish I could start on gathering the paperwork, but they do not want to provide us that information until we are formally in the new program. We want to start on this as soon as possible, because although our agency has had an Ethiopian program for only over a year, it has become very popular and with the closure of Vietnam, it will be even more so. Plus our agency has not yet been Hague-certified. Ethiopia is not a Hague country, so they can work with agencies that are not Hague-approved. (The Hague Treaty is pretty hard to explain, so I won't even try for those of you who have no idea what it is, but as long as our agency isn't Hague-certified the only country new prospective adoptive parents can adopt from are Ethiopia and Russia. Technically, we will be considered new since we will have to start over with another country. Russia is a more expensive country to adopt from with 2-3 trips to Russia that needs to be taken before you finally can bring your child home.
I don't even want to think of what we have spent and much of it has been more or less flushed away. What a waste of money, not too mention time. We started well over 18 months on this, 14 months of which was on the waiting list and for what? NOTHING! We are not getting any younger and I will be turning the big 4-0 in a few months and Kevin is 45. Our parents do not yet have any grandchildren and most likely any child we adopt will be the only grandchild they have. Yes, I am feeling very cynical tonight. I truly feel our agency should not only allow us to switch countries, but but should allow us to get in line ahead of people who have only been waiting a short time. The longest some people waiting to adopt from Ethiopia is 6 or maybe 7 months at the most; that is nothing compared to 14 months and there are many others who have been on the waiting list for much longer. It is one thing if you chose voluntarily to change months ago, when there were first rumors, but now pretty much everyone has to either switch to another country or just wait it out and hope Vietnam allows for American adoptions again in the future. Last time the country closed to the U.S. that wait was almost 3 years, so making us have to wait that long is crazy and is not an option with us either in or about to be in our 40's.
UPDATE: We did get our letter of endorsement from DCFS and I sent for our free renewal on Saturday. We are now waiting for our return receipt notification that it was received and then for the dates of our fingerprinting. And yes, we are now #75 as of 7/24/08, for whatever that's worth!!