I am long overdue for an update. I haven't updated because it's just depressing. But I'm already in kind of a crummy mood so I figured, hey, why not.
I've no idea when we'll have our daughter home.
If you want to crawl inside the mind of an adoptive mom for the long answer, come closer dearie, I'll take you on a tour of my brain. Warning, you may find yourself with a headache and/or needing a glass of wine. To go with your whine.
First off, let me explain what a referral is. A referral is when your agency calls you with the news that a child has been selected for you. At that point, you run to your computer, and they email you photos and tell you the story of your child, his or her weight, medical status, et cetera. You then answer yes or no. If you accept the referral, you post a big happy blog post, call everyone you know and do cartwheels around your kitchen.
Once the referral is accepted, you write a fat check to your agency and then wait for a court date to be assigned, which will hopefully be in about four months. Then you fly over for court, which you hopefully pass. Then you come back home and wait for an Embassy date (short version: your child's visa to be ready) and then you fly over to bring them home. The time from referral to home will hopefully take about six months.
But it could take much longer.
Every agency is quite different on how they give our referrals, but here is how Gladney works:
Gladney does not share an official list with the families, eg, "you are #2 for a toddler boy", like some agencies do. However, at the end of every month they give us stats, ie, 'X number of families went on the wait list in August 2010' (which is when we went on) and let us know how many referrals they gave out in the past month.
My friend Grace keeps an unofficial wait list here called the FBI which is a good name for it as it is mysterious and vague and wears sunglasses.
If any of us Gladney families had a dime for every time we have squinted at that FBI, begging it to spew forth some meaningful information, clicking across spreadsheets, texting and emailing and calling friends/fellow sufferers with our theories and speculations, our adoptions would all be funded by now.
So, on the FBI, click on 'waitlist', and you can see that we are #9, which seems good. But alas, the FBI only represents about half of Gladney families (where ARE you other mystery people?? Why do you torture the rest of us with your anonymity??)
Last week I put together another mini-FBI that accounted for the mystery peeps. On that list, we are approximately #16, which seems kinda bad.
HOWEVER, eight of the families ahead of us are requesting siblings. When things in Ethiopia started to slow down, many families switched to sibling requests so that they could avoid another long process to adopt another child (my husband wouldn't let me in case you wondered). Problem is, siblings just aren't getting referred.
So, if you do not account for the sibling families, then we are about #8. Which sounds kinda good.
But could be kinda bad.
When we started this process, I believe Gladney gave out about six referrals a month and the wait time for a referral was around nine months. When you were #8, that was pretty exciting.
Then 2011 hit. And referrals have since varied from zero to three a month.
And maybe eight sets of siblings will walk in tomorrow, and we will be back at #16.
(Can I top off your pinot?)
Now, being #8/#9/#16 means this:
We could get a referral in July 2012.
Or we could get a referral in July 2013.
Or anywhere in between.
Which is why this song is currently my iPhone's ring tone:
(I heard an interview with Doris Day the other day where she confessed that she hated this song. I'm growing to hate it as well.)
I am holding to the belief that we will get a referral by this summer. And hopefully we will travel to court by Christmas. And have her home by next Easter.
I should probably put something here about how it is all in God's hands, and he is sovereign, and he chose her for us a long time ago, and I am growing in patience and holiness while I wait and trust in his goodness.
But instead, all I have the energy to do is hum
que sera, sera...