Friday, December 11, 2009
Adoption Questions, Part 3
Do you know anyone who has done this?
Adopted internationally? Yes. Many friends and coworkers, and a few family members, too. Adopted from Russia specifically? Yes, as of last week. I met a lady from church that adopted from Russia a number of years ago, and she's already been a significant source of encouragement to me - not to mention her wealth of knowledge. She mentioned that right here in Columbus is a therapist that specializes in Russian adoptions, and in child-parent attachment. I'm so thankful for this new connection, and for the support we already have from friends and family that have walked this road before.
How did you choose your agency?
I did a lot of internet research on it, because there are a number of shady ones out there. Once I narrowed it down, I contacted a different agency I know to be legit (but isn't licensed in Ohio) and asked about the places I was researching. They that this agency has a solid reputation and has been around for a long time. Also, the fees seemed pretty comparable to others I was looking into.
What is the process?
For the next few months (3-4) we'll be doing what is known as the "paperchase." This means we have paperwork upon paperwork to do - for our government, for the Russian government, for the agency, and for the folks who do our homestudy. As a part of our homestudy, we'll also have someone come out to the house to interview us and see where we live. On one hand this scares me (what if I keep the bleach in the wrong spot?) but on the other hand I think they're basically checking to make sure we're not running a meth lab out of our basement. They'll also want to know that we're prepared for the potential difficulties inherent in adopting a child.
Then we wait. I hate waiting, and am not looking forward to that part of it! Our agency said we'd most likely get a "referral" 6 months after our paperwork had been submitted. A few days after that we get to travel to Russia for the first time and meet the baby. Trip #1 will last a week, and is basically a time for us to meet the baby, confirm that we want him, and head home. We will need many, many prayers that we can keep it together after we meet him and DON'T get to take him home on the spot.
Then we wait, again! (I feel the Lord may be trying to work on patience with me, since there is a lot of waiting in our future). 8ish weeks later we travel to Russia again for our court date. For trip #2 we actually have to be there for the better part of 3 weeks, including a mandatory 10 day waiting period (yup, more of it!) in which we don't get to spend any time with the baby. If we can swing it, we'd like to travel around eastern Europe during that time. THEN we actually get to keep the baby! We'll travel with him to Moscow to finish up some paperwork, then head back home - all 3 of us. Whew.
Post-adoption, there are a few follow up details to take care of, but that is pretty much it. Quite the ride, huh?
Are there any questions I'm missing?
Oh, and I still need baby name options.