Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Waiting Game

Last Tuesday (Aug 4) we went to our monthly Parents in Progress (PIPS) meeting. While waiting for the meeting to begin, we talked with a woman who is adopting a boy from Russia. She had just returned from her first visit to see her son. She travelled half way around the world, spending almost a week in Russia just to see her son for a total of 6 hours. When you adopt from Russia, it normally takes two or more trips to complete the process. This was her first trip. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to finally meet your future adopted child only to say good-bye because you're not allowed to finish the process in a single visit. I'm thankful that Korean adoptions require just a single visit.

As we do every month, the meeting began with the introduction of the newest adoptive families. There was only one family that was able to make the meeting this month. They had adopted a beautiful 3 1/2 year old girl from China just a couple of weeks ago. It was nice to hear about everything they went through and to see how happy they are after waiting 4 long years to complete the adoption process. Thankfully we won't have to wait that long (but I'll explain that in greater detail in a few minutes).

After getting introduced to the latest Catholic Charities adoptive family, the social worker had more great news to share with the group...there were five families that received their referrals from Korea in the past month. Three of the families were at the PIPS meeting. Each of them had pictures of their child that they eagerly shared with the group. You could see the pride in the parent's faces. As we looked at the pictures, we couldn't help but think what it will be like when we get our first picture of our child. The first time an adoptive family gets to see what their child looks like is at the referral. I imagine that the feeling an adoptive family has when sharing the first picture of their child is similar to the feeling a birth family has when they share their 1st sonogram photo with family and friends.

As I wrote earlier, we hope that we won't have to wait as long as the family that waited four years to adopt from China. When we started our adoption journey, we were told that after we completed our paperwork it would take 14-15 months to get our referral and another 3-4 months before we were able to travel to pick up our child. The good news is that our wait may be getting shorter. One of the five families that received their referral last month only waited one year which is a couple months less than previous families. On top of that, the next families that are waiting for a referral have only been waiting since December 2008. If they get a referral in the next couple of months it means that our wait may get even shorter. It's hard not to get our hopes up. Right now we're not sure where we stand on the wait list. Even though we know how many people at Catholic Charities are waiting for a referral, we have no idea how many families are waiting across the country. Since all Korean adoptions go through just two adoption agencies in Korea, there are many more families waiting to adopt then we're aware of.

It's hard to believe that it's been almost two months since our paperwork was approved. We know that our wait time may fluctuate over the coming months, but we're hopefully optimistic that we'll have a referral sooner rather than later. To make sure we're ready, we're going to start decorating the nursery in the coming months. Stay tuned for updates and pictures on our progress.

No comments: