Monday, April 03, 2006 can be a difficult word in the adoption world

People get very hung up on timelines in the adoption world. Think about it- when you get pregnant you know you have roughly 40 weeks (or 36 depending on when you found out you were pregnant) to prepare for this new person to enter you life. My friend was telling her birthing story at a "Blessing way" I had the other night for two pregnant friends of mine- and it was so sweet she started crying at the point where- her water has broken and she is leaving for the hospital and she stops by the empty nursery. The realization that it would never be that quiet or peaceful in their house again- that real change was happening in the next 24 to72 hours was just profound. And my friend knew that. She understood- what I think some new mom's just don't get until it hits them in the face- that their lives are forever changed. It is a lot of what post partum depression feeds off of. You no longer are one person. You are always responsible for this other person. Your life has changed. A quick trip to the store will not be a quick trip again for quite some time.

So we, who are adopting, are focused on timelines- we often want them to be short. We also have no idea when the child will be home- its very different from a pregnancy where you know just about when it does- and you also know you will be taking home someone very tiny- a newborn. When waiting for a referral we have no idea what age our child will be- and frankly even after they are referred we have no idea how old they really are. Of course we want to see our children soon...but we also want these timelines to somehow fit into our expectations. Some families wait years for their children. There is quite a long wait if you are adopting from China- it could be a year after your dossier is complete that you get your referral and then another couple months before travel. Its much longer than a pregnancy. If you live in Canada od Australia and are adopting from Ethiopia, I have heard you can wait two years. But her, in thhe U.S., the wait times between dossier submission and referral and travel have been fairly short - and when I say short- in many cases there has hardly been any wait at all. Many of the agencies have been inundated with applications lately. I have heard that AAI has received more applications in the last 6 months than in the last 6 years- that is a lot! So the wait times are lengthening- not because there aren't children- but because there is only so much the staff of one agency can handle.

Back when we chose CWA we thought- on one hand it could go slower- because its new- and on the other hand we thought- it could also go fast because we are one of the first families- so far it is proving to be quick We got a referral as soon as they got our dossier. That was March 1st. I know another family who got their referral the same day as us and they received their court date today. It will be April12th. We did not get ours. we are still waiting for our 171h which should come this week. Then we will be in line for a court date. Then we would probably travel 2-3 weeks after court depending on when that is. Our timeline story starts with..."So we made our first phone call to CWA on October 31st. We sent our first part of our application n to CWA right after Thanksgiving. We had our final Home study visit on January 6th. Our homestudy was sent to INS on March 1st the same day we got our referrals." It has been really fast in the world of international adoption- and the fact that our sons will be home probably by June- means that - if you count the discussion when the decision was made to move forward with researching adoption- our gestation is nearly 9 months. Only we are giving birth to a 6 month old and a 3 year old! (we think!)

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