Friday, August 11, 2017

Adoption Update

driving somewhere between Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP
the road to our destination is rarely as straight as this: there's always twists and turns and ups and downs and changing scenery to distract us along the way

It’s been awhile since I talked about our adoption plans.

We were waiting until May, when Mr M’s work schedule calmed down a lot, to start our paperwork, but ended up not having the time to do so before we left on our road trip.

Now we’re home and getting caught up on things like emails, and one email caught my attention. It was a newsletter from an adoption agency and it mentioned some kiddos that had been matched with families this week. It also mentioned some info on China’s recent changes to their adoption policy. Since we’re super early in the process and not in a position to be grandfathered into anything, I thought I’d better find out what those changes were. They went into effect while we were gone and I’d missed them completely.

I followed the link and found some less-than-welcome news.

A number of changes were made, but there’s one that impacts us: the youngest child in the adoptive family has to be at least three years old before the dossier can be submitted.

Our cute little Ocean just barely turned two, so we’re a year from turning in our paperwork.

However, there’s a lot of work to be done before we can submit our paperwork, so we don’t actually have to wait until next summer to get started. I confirmed this with our adoption agency, and they recommended starting the process seven months before Ocean’s birthday.

So the current timeline will look something like this (we can’t really pinpoint anything because there’s way too much we don’t have control over):
Jan 2018: start filling out paperwork, do home study, get everything ready to go
July 2018: submit completed dossier to China
Sometime in 2019 (hopefully the first half of the year): travel to China and bring home our little girl

A number of changes were made to their adoption policy, but there were three that stood out to me: the minimum age that I mentioned earlier, a cap of 5 children already living in the house, and you can only adopt one child at a time, unless they are siblings.

I’m not sure of the reasoning behind the last one, unless it’s to limit adoptions. They’ve also made it so you can’t reuse paperwork from a previous adoption and you have to wait a year in between submitting applications. Though I guess adopting just one at a time, and not too close together, would make it easier to provide the attention and care the child will need.

I feel like that’s the case with the minimum age and the maximum number of kids rules: to make sure adoptive parents aren’t overwhelmed and have the time and energy to properly care for the adopted child, as well as any other children in the family.

On the one hand, it’s a bit frustrating since I’m an impatient person and I wanted to be able to move forward with things. On the other hand, it gives us a bit more time to get in a better position to pay for an expensive adoption and to get my businesses to the point that they don't need quite so much hands-on attention from me.

Having the timeline taken out of our hands also removes any stress we might have about when we’re moving forward. And it also allows us to make some plans for next year or so. We were hesitant to make any plans because we thought we’d be making a trip to China sometime in the coming spring-summer-fall. With that off the table for now, we can move ahead with other plans for the summer.

So that's where we're at for now. Once we start the paperwork and home study I'll probably talk a bit about them, but that's a number of months in the future. Lots of other things to do in the meantime!

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