I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Difficult Decisions

Some decisions are not came to lightly, are they? So many things to think about. It is so difficult to think that something that you have prayed & hoped about for so long may not come to be in the end. To contemplate letting go of a dream~something that you feel you are meant to do.

Thomas & I are at a crossroads as. We are up for renewal of our I-171H. (paper work for our China adoption) It expires 12/22. We are really under the gun time wise. We just moved to Illinois, so we couldn't start the process until we arrived here as we needed to re-do our home study in our new state. Yesterday, we began the process of calling agencies to very quickly get things rolling. We were shocked to find out that in Illinois the average price for a home study update is between $2000.00-$3150. 00!!! We couldn't believe it. Apparently Illinois has some sort of in-state International facilitator who oversees the entire process. So, even after our in-state agency does our home study update, it apparently as we understand it then has to go to this person. In Missouri we paid $800.00 for our update & thought that price was unreasonable. Things are so relative, aren't they. That made me think of when we first were beginning the paper chase & they told us "about nine months". It seemed like forever then~oh, what we would give to hear that now. Kind of like how we would love to be able to pay $800.00 to update our home study!

With having a LID of 07/20/07 we know that we have years & years in this line ahead of us. Realistically, there is no way around that. (The agency that we spoke to out of Chicago yesterday was more than clear that with an LID of 07/20/07 we in fact do have MANY years ahead of us in this line.) Even if there is speed up, we still have years~how many years is the unknown.

We have a few things in the works that may come to be & may not. As most of you know we have a couple of Domestic situations brewing. Nothing may ever come of them & something may~they are however possibilities that remain tucked away in the backs of our minds. We are also strongly considering a few rounds of InVitro towards the end of next year or in early 2010. We never did InVitro. We opted to take our money (no Infertility insurance coverage) & pay for the "sure thing". We thought we were paying our money for the route that would grow our family. Again, things are so relative.

We are also very interested in researching some info. on Taiwan & Korea. Our agency doesn't offer these countries, so we would have to choose a different agency & of course decide whether to stay in the China line as well or get out.

We spoke with our agency yesterday & corresponded via email several times. Yesterday I spoke with one large agency out of Chicago that has a China program-I spoke with their Director of the China program. She offered a lot of insight for us.

She told us that if we were her clients that she would tell us to let the I-171H lapse/expire & just leave the home study be for now. You see, when she quoted us $3150.00 for the home study update she explained that included the post placement visits & several other things. I told her that we didn't want that package. I explained to her that we wanted the bare minimum just to be able to stay in the China line. She was confused as she went on to say, "Who is going to do your post placements?" . She was very aware of the uncertainty of the China program & was very understanding about our feelings. I explained to her that we wanted to stay in the line, but that at this time weren't sure if this was going to come to be in the end. I explained that at this time we couldn't say whether if that were to happen that it would be a decision made by the CCAA for us or if it would be a choice that Thomas & I would make, but that either way we needed some time. Unfortunately, time is what we do not have with an expiration date on our I-171H of 12/22. We knew that we had to make a choice soon or the choice would be made for us as there would be no time to get the renewal completed prior to the expiration date.

The agency out of Chicago continued to explain why just letting it lapse was a reasonable choice for us. I questioned her about how the CCAA would react, what about the fact that we would then become a Hague case & what it would mean for our place in this line. She said that it means nothing. She said that yes, we would become a Hague case, but so is everyone else who has gotten in line since April 08. She said that wouldn't have much effect on anything. She said that it is a little more work, but nothing that can't be accomplished. She pointed out that people are still sending Dossiers daily & that they are all Hague cases as of April 08. She pointed out that it must be going just fine as the program is still continuing & that although slow, the line just keeps getting longer. She said that we would just have to do ten hours of online parenting/attachment/bonding courses from an accredited source, (We already spoke to someone who had to do this & they did it online through an agency that offered them. The cost was $100.00.) & that you have to get a background check from every state that you have ever lived in, instead of just the one from which you currently live. There are some concerns about our agency. (Which BTW, they don't have an office in the state where we live, thus the reason we have to use a private agency for our update.) The concern in regards to our agency is that they have not received Hague approved status. They have been assured that they will be granted this in Jan. 09. I checked. They are not on the approved list, but they also are not on the denied list either. As far as our place in line, she explained that will not change. She said that the CCAA does not keep in contact with the UCSIS (Is that the right agency?!?!? You know who I mean, right?). She said that we would just stay right in line right we we are today. She said that our I-171H would just be expired & that is it. She explained that if & when the line begins to move-she recommended when it appeared that we might be about a year out to then go ahead & update the I-171H & our home study (if it has not been done by then) & then we would be set. She said that many, many families are taking this route & it appears that it will work out fine.

Our agency strongly discourages us from doing this. We asked them what their bases was for their feelings & all they could say was that the Hague is just so new that they feared the unknown & just felt that we should stay current. Well, as far as we are concerned this whole process is nothing but risk & the unknown. So, for us~that is just more of the same. To be honest, yesterday I was ready to pull the plug completely & honestly had planned to today. I had said that I was tired & just spent. I feel that the this whole process has reached a level of what is almost cruelty to potentially adoptive parents & their families & quite frankly I think some government entity needs to stop it. I am not going to debate about the children & what is best for them & who are we doing this for & why are we doing it & that China never promised us anything.... I have heard that on other sites a million times. Thomas & I are not out to "save a child", we want to grow our family~period. So, prior to speaking to the Chicago agency that is where we were headed~to stop this for ourselves. We were going to pull our Dossier & just sit with things for a while. We were going to wait out the brewing Domestic possibilities, get this move under control, continue to research InVitro, Research Korea & Taiwan & other agencies & quite frankly~we were going to just breathe while we took some times to see where things are headed for the China program. We felt that we refused to be forced to hurry & do something that we weren't sure was right for us simply due to some piece of paper that was expiring. For us, it just didn't feel right. We were ready to put some of the control back in our hands.

Will becoming a Hague case have some kind of long term ramifications that no one knows about right now? Maybe. But, this is a better alternative for us than completely pulling our Dossier. Our Dossier can stay there, we can remain in the line, we can keep our LID & all the while still be thinking about what is best for us. We don't have to be rushed or forced to do something simply on the basis of the expiration of our I-171H. (Not too even mention the financial ramifications of having to do a renewal or an update three or four & maybe more times!) In our eyes the whole process is an unknown right now & is a huge risk. Am I encouraging anyone else to make this choice or saying that anyone else should take this route? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I am only telling our story & sharing our thoughts. We would love to hear from all of you & welcome your thoughts & opinions & what you have heard. We have made our decision. This is what we are doing. It is what is right for us.

We will have to update our home study for Illinois if & when a Domestic situation arises. That's fine. We welcome that time & will be glad to do it if & when the time comes.

Thank you all so much for your friendship & support. Nothing has changed for us except that effective 12/22 we will be a Hague case. That's it.


Anonymous said...

hi, I just read your original commment on RQ this morning. And stopped by to read your story.With a LID of 8/07 we are in a similar situation. I have also thought about becoming "Hague". Although our fees aren't as step in California, its still years of fees to pay-our agency continues to assure us of a speed up-hey right! Anyway, maybe post this question-'To Hague or not to Hague' in the general discussion section on RQ if you haven't already. I know its a topic thats been bounced around, but I think its becoming more and more relevant as time comes on. All the best!

ps-we are also trying to adopt from Taiwan as well. Feel free to email if you'd like. jennifer@enm.com

Mom 2 six said...

I don't have the magic answer. We now have done both routes. I600 for our first NSN adopption and then I800 for SN adoption. The uncertain is a killer in these processes.

Tamara said...

I think you made the right choice. Because of my status change, I had to do mine now, or my date will possibly bump back to that of whomever is in the review room (China is inconsistent in that). Otherwise I would have waited.

Alicia said...

I just wanted you to know that I tagged you!

Rhett said...

I hope things are getting back to normal with the new job and new city!

I was just wondering if you would mind changing the link on your sidebar from the baby blog to our family blog:
We're just trying to limit stranger's access to the baby blog through blog surfing.