Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Uphill Battle

Well Scenario one did not happen.  I am crushed.  The agency wants us to sign up with them or they will not do it.  So looking at the options pay 20K to update home study or pay $1,400 to another place to do a new home study.   We have found a really nice place to do a new home study.  She even said if we are really motivated and all of our references turn the letters in on time, it should be 4-6 weeks.  That is not the best of news but also not the worst news.  That means we will be done by Middle to end of March.  We can still pull of the adoption before June.  It will be tight and I hope Ukraine grandfathers us in if we are just over. 

Also, most people have been talking to us about the situation in Ukraine.  I find it very sad that people are being killed over the situation.  I have been following it very closely.  It currently is not affecting people applying for adoption; however, if you are in country then it may cause delays.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Paperwork Chase Continues….

We talked with Ukraine on Saturday.  It was not quiet the news we were looking for.  They need us to change some paperwork and add some new paperwork.   We did get back our updated FBI background checks but we need to get it apostilled.  All of that will put us about 2-3 weeks out before we can send everything to Ukraine.  The one enormous issue is that we have to have our old adoption agency update our dates on our home study.  Paperwork is only valid for 6 months in Ukraine.  So while our home study itself is still valid because the completion date/signature page on it is older than six months the Ukraine will not accept it, even though it’s apostilled etc…  So a note to all those folks out there looking to adopt in the Ukraine it’s best to coordinate everything to be completed at the same time!
Jeff and I switched adoption methods in an attempt to save about 20K.   The agency is not exactly wanting to update the dates because of a new change starting in June 2014.  This new rule will require all persons adopting to use an approved agency.  Signing a new date of February 2014 makes our paperwork still valid through June 2014. Apparently this presents some kind of liability issue for the agency even though we are not using them, plus I’m sure us not paying them 20K doesn't help our position.  Two scenarios will play out. Scenario one our old agency updates the dates and we are going to Ukraine in April. Scenario two, they refuse and we are set back 3 months while spending more money on a new home study.   We are really hoping for scenario one.  Please keep us in your prayers for option one to happen. We need to be done with our adoption by June if we want to avoid any more extravagant fees.

I will update everyone again once I have the answer from our old adoption agency. Wish me luck!! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Information Catch Up

Where to begin… We started our adoption journey completing hours of research.  We started talking to an agency that told us of a sibling set of 3 in Russia. Russia Great!!! Wow this is going way to easy…..  Then the real journey began…  Less than a month later, as we started our very in depth paper chase, a political backlash by the Russian Gov’t. abruptly stopped all adoptions to US citizens.   We were heartbroken to say the least. 
Back to square one…what country should we look at…should we change agencies…and about a hundred more questions and doubts arose
Hours of internet surfing and many phone calls later the country of Columbia decided to choose us next.  We say this because every country has different qualifications, rules and regulations and for families looking for a more specific adoption profile such as a sibling set, country choices become limited. 
We were excited about Columbia as my family has ties to South America.  My sister was adopted from El Salvador.  My father’s side of the family lived in Venezuela.  Of course we did not qualify for either of these countries.  In making the move to Columbia we changed agencies as our first agency did not service adoption in Columbia.   We were now set to start the tedious task of collecting piles and piles of paperwork.  Throughout the 7 months of collecting the required paperwork, the home study process, then more paperwork for Columbia we had to make several concessions each building upon the previous.   First we were asked us to take 3 kids instead of 2, we agreed… then we were asked us to raise our age limit from 4yrs to 5 yrs, we agreed… then a couple months later we had to add one more year in case a child aged out, we agreed.  Columbia the asked for another two years so now we are at 8, we did not agree.  Having not agreed to this we were told that we’d probably not have a chance of being matched with a sibling set for 3 years!!!!  We had invested 8 months to Columbia and it just was not right. Ugh! Another closed door.  
I started the search again for the perfect country and discovered that Ukraine was back open for adoptions and we qualified!!! It had been closed for a short time to the US.  Jeff’s family name is Ukrainian. I found a network of amazing people who have adopted from Ukraine. We also found out that we did not need an agency (an enormous financial relief).  On top of all this while Jeff was at work talking about the adoption his co-worker said “my sister lives in Ukraine and does work with orphanages and was looking to facilitate adoptions.”  It was all starting to fall into place finally….nothing felt more right.   
We currently have submitted all the paperwork to our Ukraine facilitators besides the FBI background check. Ukraine only accepts documents that are under 6months old. We did not know that rule so everything but our FBI checks was good. We are also currently updating a few other documents that will expire in the next two months.  We also learned everything must be signed in blue ink!
Our house has been completely destroyed. We have been kid proofing this house.  Sorry Mia and Asics but all the dog toys lying around will be reduced.  We have the kid’s room ready for any age and any gender. We are not sure if we will end up with 2 or 3 kids.  Or a football team if I had it my way. Wink.