Monday, January 22, 2007

"Adoption Is Not For.....

.......the faint of heart".

That's what Ann, our wonderful CHI China Program Director, often reminds us.

She's right! But it's amazing the amount of will and determination you find for that little one you've never met but whose face graces the refrigerator door.

I'm sure you've all heard about the new regulations China has imposed on families seeking to adopt. We were given a preliminary list of these before the November Waiting Child list came out because China was implementing these rules for the waiting child program in November.

There had been rumors about new regulations for some time and they were all over the place. It left everyone uneasy. When the announcement came in December that China's new regulations applied to everyone whose dossiers were submitted after May 1, 2007, emotions were flying.

It saddens me to think of all the wonderful families who are now ineligible to adopt from China and even sadder to think of all the children that will never have a family.

In spite of that sadness, it was a relief to know that none of these new rules affected our adoption.

But then China didn't stop there.

The day before Mei Lin's 1st birthday (an already emotional day), China sent down even more requirements for the waiting child program. Nothing that prohibits anyone from adopting (THANK GOD!), but just more stinkin' hoops to jump through.

You may remember me mentioning the three page handwritten Letter of Intent we wrote back in November. Well, even though we detailed everything imaginable about our plan to care for and raise Mei Lin, they wanted us (and all families that didn't have specifics about their special needs child in the original paperwork sent to China - the dossier) to rewrite a Letter of Petition (almost exactly like the Letter of Intent only one page instead of three or so) and update our homestudy and have them certified and authenticated. Can you say REDUNDANT?!!

We needed to do this before we could pass review and be given travel approval.

I was SO not happy! Certifying and authenticating just stinks, in my opinion. Each document needs to be notarized, then the notary's stamp certified in the county (two separate counties, in my case, since our agency's document was notarized in another county), state certified at the Secretary of State, then overnighted to a courier in DC for authentication at the Department of State and then onto the Chinese Consulate and then sent back to the adoption agency. Some things need to be paid for by certified check and everything needs to be "just so".

After whining for an hour or so, I got off my butt and got it done. I think I made eight or nine stops at different places that day, including two stops to the notary because she forgot to sign her name to match her notary stamp (arghhh).

Then that night, after running around all day, we received word that China is also asking all families adopting waiting children to sign a Seeking Confirmation Letter before they'll issue travel approval.

S i g h...another hoop...another possible delay.

Of course China has the right to ask and do as they like. I totally respect that. Still, all of the changes to a historically rock-solid adoption program begins to feel unsettling.

Why the changes? Why is the wait 16 months and growing? That's the million dollar question. China has given their reasons and then there are a lot theories out there. None of them satisfy me.

The important thing is...God is still in control.

And there has been some good news! Some of those who've already signed their Seeking Confirmation Letter received travel approval a week later!

Maybe this means the new regulations are for our benefit...could it be?

Oh, I hope and pray it is so!

2 incredible comments!:

Amy said...

Hi, did you already get your SC form? If yes,then I bet you had better get packed! I am hoping we will get the form this week and travel just after the Chinese New Year! God willing, we will meet in China! - Amy Heymann

Patrick and Cindy said...

No, Amy, no SC form about you? You must be getting SO close!