Friday, April 15, 2011

A Visitor This Weekend

Bright and early at 5am this morning Aunt Flo came to visit. AF's appearance may explain why I have been on a major crying jag for two days -- or, ever since our appointment with the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Hormones can really mess up one's emotional state. I'm just thankful that I didn't breakdown in tears during our appointment at the agency.

Yesterday I listened to the Des'ree song "You Gotta Be" while on the treadmill. I kept repeating it as part of the chorus really hit home for me: "you gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger, you gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together." This should be my mantra while going through the adoption process. I've really got to get tougher and stronger to deal with these agencies while DH and I have our marital life scrutinized by strangers.

Yesterday I emailed an out of town agency that handles open adoptions. DH and I went to one of their workshops last November (just over a week after we moved back to Canada). I received a reply today that we could go ahead and register with the agency before our homestudy is completed if we are finished our sessions with our social worker. This has really brightened my day, but the only drawback is that we need to write a birth mother letter, a profile with photos, and get 5 reference letters. The reference letters may be the problem because it is one thing to ask friends to be a 'reference' and it is quite another thing to ask them to put this in a written letter format and have them follow through with it.

Oh, well, guess I must try to be harder, tougher, and stronger if I want to survive this adoption process with both my sanity and marriage intact. Fun days ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Levels of Frustration

This morning I realized why infertile couples choose not to adopt, or give up on adoption. DH and I had an appointment with a woman at the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Our social worker had suggested that we could get on a waiting list for international adoption while pursuing domestic adoption, so we decided to look into it.

Our goal this morning was to get basic facts and find out how to get on the waiting list for the country we are interested in, which is Vietnam as DH's good friends from childhood are Vietnamese and they are more lenient with adoptive parents' ages. Since Vietnam recently ratified the Hague Convention on international adoption the 'big' international adoption agency in town has adoptions currently on hold. The woman mentioned that we could possibly get on the call back list in 2012. We asked what the difference was between the call back list and the waiting list and she said they were the same thing. Then we asked if we could get on the call back list and she said they were not adding to the call back list until she could go through the list of names she already had, but she would keep us in mind or we could keep inquiring, or keep checking their website. DH and I were completely baffled by this response as there is no logical process to getting on the call back list as it is all left to chance.

This 'big' international adoption agency in town is going to begin processing domestic open adoptions as soon as it receives a license, which is any day now, but, we can't get more information from them until they receive the license. The woman did tell us that the agency would require a 2k non-refundable retainer when we 'register' with them, but she would not answer DH's question of whether this retainer is included in the agency's estimate of total adoption costs.

DH and I were frustrated after we left the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Especially after finding out that they require us to take a workshop with them after we just finished our PRIDE course a month ago. My other frustration with them is that the woman pushed special needs international adoptions. At this point I had to share my late sister's story and how I spent half my childhood being dragged to hospitals and doctors appointments along with my sister. But, the woman seemed to gloss over my history and said that "if we really want to parent" that these international children are available for adoption without a wait list. She then said we could specify what kind of disability we would accept for adoption. So, how does one exactly prioritize what kind of disability is acceptable? That one makes my stomach turn. I am also irked that we came in asking questions about a specific nation for international adoption, and we were side-tracked to special needs adoptions.

I cried when I got home. When will it get easier? First infertility, then fertility treatments, then recurrent pregnancy losses, then kafkaesque adoption procedures and agencies. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned how international adoptees do not automatically become Canadian citizens when adopted by Canadian citizens. We must apply for citizenship/sponsorship for the child when he/she is brought back to Canada, and therefore must obtain (and retain) a passport from his/her birth nation until the process is completed. I wonder how much more frustration I can deal with before I break.