Friday, April 13, 2012

Adoption Update: Chanelling Doris Day

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.

Short answer:
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 earlier.

Or later.

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...


  1. i am sorry. it sounds excruciating to have to wait with no end really in sight. i really hope that you get your daughter here sooner than later - that God opens up the door.

    my recent post: the waiting place...

  2. Wow, so much waiting. It seems so sad to make adoptive parents wait so long, because that's just longer that an orphan has to be without parents. A good friend of mine just adopted siblings from Ethiopia (two boys) and they are due to arrive here in the U.S. at the end of the month. (( Her blog is )) She just gave birth to her 10th child last month, and when the boys arrive they will be the parents of 12 children! Anyway, I wish you luck in getting this adoption going. I'm looking forward to the post that introduces us to your daughter!

  3. I truly do hope that things move along on the sooner of your possible timelines. *One* day, you'll have a new daughter, and it's going to be so wonderful. When I think about it, I'm so happy and excited for all of you. But right now, ughh... it sounds very hard. Sending you good wishes <3

    I heard that interview with Doris Day too. I thought it was sweet how enthusiastic and grateful Terry Gross was to speak with her.

  4. We've had a referral for our son for 16 months. My husband has spent the past nine weeks in Africa trying to bring him home. Que sera sera indeed.

    Hoping and praying you will see your little one's face soon and have her home crazy fast.

  5. Oh, Missy. I'm usually a lurker but today my heart goes out to you. We are in the process of adopting from Haiti. Just at the very beginning but I've been following your journey from afar. How frustrating! and how heartbreaking! But, but, but, the time will come when you will hold your daughter and forget all this waiting. Many prayers your way!

  6. In the same spot with you, as usual. Someday, we will both be in a much better "same spot": with referrals, seeing the faces of our daughters for the first time, and then traveling to bring them home.

  7. I was reading your post the other day about how you always bring new babies home for Easter. Praying this will keep true for you.**hugs***

  8. We have friends who are now on YEAR 2 since receiving a referral about their Korean child. Still not home. :(

  9. Thank you for the update. Still praying for you, your family, and your awaiting child. Waiting really, really stinks.

  10. SO glad you didn't write about how this is all in God's timing, and how you are (should) be growing in patience. This is my take on it - God's timing would be that there is no lapse between birth family and adoptive family. Because He really loves kids, and being in interim care isn't good for kids. And the growing in patience? I think people who love God do (or at least should) have a deep sense of justice. It isn't just to have children waiting and waiting to come home and not have loving families. When we get frustrated and even angry at the wait, in many times I think that is reflecting God's feelings on it as well. We have been matched with our Haitian daughter for almost 1.5 years, and watching her grow up without us is painful. I think it is painful for God too. Thankfully, I know that He will redeem this in the end, but it costs everyone a lot. I have determined to "wait well" - and that looks different for everyone. Some days I royally suck at it, other days I think He carries me through because I simply can't do this well on my own. Hoping you hear news very soon. The empty waiting without at least a photo is a slow and terrible torture.

  11. I have a question. We are in the process of getting back on the waiting list after having to come off of it for several months. I talked to Kristin the other day to get an update, and she said something about a slowdown in sibling referrals. Any idea why?

  12. There may be a true diagnosis for what you are experiencing:

  13. Right behind you on the wait (we're lucky number #10 on the FBI . . . which I've put at lucky number #15 overall, not counting sibling groups). Oh, adoption math can be excrutiating. But my estimations are like yours, holding out hope for this summer, but planning for the possibility that it will be next summer. Yikes! This is hard!
    (S-DC family)

    1. Jean email me if you want me to send you the other FBI.

  14. Have you considered waiting kids with Reece's Rainbow or Project Hopeful? I know there are many waiting children with special needs and/or older kids that need families and are paper ready now. Praying for your sweet future daughter! And peace for you. I know the wait is hard!

  15. right there with you.....waiting at #38 or #40 b/c people keep being added back to the waitlist from lost referrals (different agency)and have been waiting over 9 months.....When we started 6-7 months was a good wait for referral. ughhhh!!!! Appreciated the post and knowing none of us are alone.

  16. If I may, this just plain sucks. How I remember obsessing over the FBI. :(

  17. I can sympathize with the endless waiting. I remember how anxious I felt during the nine months (which I know is incredibly short, but they still felt SO long) to bring our son home once we found him on the waiting child list. So, I can only imagine how long this wait has been for you.

    I have to echo the poster above who mentioned waiting kids. It's possible that you've heard this hundreds of times and if so then I thoroughly apologize and welcome you to delete this comment. But I find that so many agencies rarely mention waiting children and some even run a referral only program that many people don't even know there are thousands of children from around the world currently waiting in orphanages. I also realize that many of these children are older or have special needs and that lots of families don't have the capability to give them a home. However, my son was three, black and had a large head circumference. Sadly, that was enough to land him on the waiting child list so it's worth a look.

  18. Our agency does not do waiting children. At this point, we need to stay the course. To get a waiting child would involve us moving to another agency and we would lose thousands of dollars and increase our wait even more. Since things slowed down in Ethiopia, waiting children are much more scarce, most get selected the minute they are posted.

    I do want to adopt from Ethiopia again so that our children can share that bond. Next time, it will have to be a waiting child, probably a toddler boy.

    But we gotta get this one home first!!

  19. Thanks for the song! It made me smile today. We are waiting for a referral too, and some days waiting is hard.

  20. I know I know.....yes God's timing, but I agree when it all comes down to is like sticking a fork in your eye!!! WAITING is NEVER FUN!!!



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