To my fellow international adoptive parents, wherever you are in the process, this is to serve as a disclaimer, and in defense of the "questioners". Keep in mind that nearly all who may ask me one of these questions has NO experience with international adoption. Do not judge them for what they do not know.
Welcome to my frustration:
- Any news on the adoption, about Willow or about the baby? Nope...no news! Currently they are matching babies with families who were logged in _ _ _. We were logged in 02/16/06. They average roughly 2 months to get through 1 month of LID's, but for the past several months have gone considerably slower. We wait.....we will see. And by the way...when you ask me the same question next week, the answer will be the same! Maybe you can change your question to "what date LID's are they matching now? (just to let me know that you have been paying attention).
- Why Willow? This is the name Tom and I have chosen for our daughter from China. An "unusual name" you say? Well if it is necessary to classify our babies name, I would prefer a "unique name". No, there is no deep meaning behind it. Willow will have Tom's last name, not mine. I kept my maiden name.
- Why can...insert latest celebrity name....Angelina, Madonna, etc...just go get a baby right away and you have to wait so long? Well, this is really 2 separate questions. The reason we have to wait so long is a complicated situation with many different theories that I will address in several future posts. But I can say that NO MATTER WHO THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS ARE, if they are adopting from China, they are waiting just like everyone else. If you look my first post, I gave a simplified explanation of how the process works. This is the process for all prospective parents who adopt from China. The only "celebrity" that I can recall adopting recently from China was Meg Ryan. And from all accounts, she waited in line just like the rest of us. Now, for the other countries, international adoption processes differ by country. Angelina's last son came from Vietnam. Vietnam opened again to international adoptions late last year after being closed down due to corruption in the system for some time. The process in Vietnam is completely different than that in China but seems to be running relatively smoothly since it re-opened and hopefully for the waiting children will continue to do so. Keep in mind with international adoption, the vast majority of people who are wanting to adopt want an infant AYAP and a girl. Wait times vary greatly for boys and/or older children. Is the wait longer than we thought, wished, want....most definitely. But all we can do at this point is have faith that when the child that is meant to be our daughter, the one who is Willow is ready...we will get "the call".
- How old is Willow, how old will she be when you get her, is she born yet? We don't know, we don't know, we don't know. We have requested a girl AYAP. China government rules prevent any infant from being adopted prior to the age of 6 months. So by the time we travel, the youngest would probably be around 8 months old. We anticipate probably between 8 months and 18 months. Our best guess would be at this point yes she has been born....but again, that is just a guess based on when we are estimating that we may get a referral.
- Why did you pick China to adopt a child from? Hmmm...quite the controversial question to some. Well, for US, at the time that we started this process, we were not comfortable with private domestic adoption due to the potential of the adoption not being completed. We have all heard the horror stories. Adoption from the public child welfare system was out of the question due to the failure of these organizations to put the welfare of those children that they are suppose to be protecting first. This left us with the option of international adoption. We did a lot of research, found out which countries we were eligible to adopt from (each country has its own rules), narrowed it down by eligibility, did a lot more research and came to the conclusion that China was the best choice, at that time, for US to make. Even with the extended wait times in the China program, the program is still one of the most stable, uneventful, predictable programs. It is not coincidence that more adoptive children have come from China than any other country for many years. It's a good international adoption program.