Sunday, December 03, 2006

More Questions Answered

Yep, I'm actually posting about our adoption for a change! =-) I heard from Lois about my questions last week, but today she sent out the big update to everybody explaining exactly where things stand.
About the Adoption...

Were you able to meet with the Director of Social Services?

Yes, on Friday (day after Thanksgiving). The director was really taken aback that 6 children had been referred through Volta Region and asked Lois if she was trafficking children! After showing her licenses and explaining how an adoption agency functions the director was fine. =-)

Were you able to turn in our dossier and application?
No. =-( Even though we sent over medicals there is a certain medical form that must be signed by our doctor here. Lois will be sending the form and we will send it back to her so that the applications can FINALLY be turned in.

For two children or just Bright?
Just Bright. No second referrals and can't turn in application until a child is referred.

Were you able to get any sort of timeline as far as how long it might be until the adoption proceedings?
The director will be "filing" for our family and two others in January. The other three children's applications will be "filed" in February. He didn't want to do all six at once. I am just so thankful that we are in the first group and my heart hurts for the two families in the second group. Lois wasn't given a timeline on how long it takes from "filing." I've also asked what "filing" is. Is he filing for a court date or filing to get things like the Social Services Investigation (which relinquishes parental rights) started?

Is the feeling that we will get a final adoption decree (I heard that the family in Accra got the interim adoption)?
Lois has only heard of 2 families get the interim adoption and everybody in Ghana tells her that the families will get final adoption decrees. She was also sure to remind me that even with assurances there is no way we can know for sure what a judge is going to decide until he/she makes that decision.

Do you think it would help our case for a final adoption if I was at the court proceedings? No. She said that the dates given for court are usually rescheduled several times before one "sticks" so if I went over there for the supposed court date it could very well be canceled.

About other stuff....

How did things go with Ernest?
He's very busy.

Is he still involved in the day to day?
As much as he can be from 3 hours away.

What is your feeling about our second referral?
Mama Eugenia has said that she won't be accepting any more young children into the orphanage for referral until some older children (7 and above) are adopted. So a second referral isn't looking good from Eugemot.

Does it look like it could take a while?
May not happen at all through Eugemot. There are possibilities through Tamale, but that could take a while too.

Were you able to make contact with any other orphanages in Volta Region?
This was a rumor I heard, but Lois didn't even try to make contact with other orphanages in Volta Region. It was the region that Tamale is in.

How are you feeling about the program in general?
She said she feels good, but really wants to get some kids home.

Is there a 6 month old baby at Eugemot?
No. So I'm not sure why that is on Eugemot's website unless Ernest forgot Bright's age? When he first told me about Bright he said he was 6 months old, and he probably looks more like a six month old considering how tiny he is in height.

Is Sarah still at Eugemot?
Yes, as beautiful as ever! Lois sent me this picture of her. Doesn't she look so grown up?
How did things go in Tamale?!
She said things went "good" in Tamale. There are many babies there in the orphanage and they have a great need for help. But the adoption that is being processed needs to go through before anymore children are referred.

Lois also posted on the Ghana group that the fees are going to be going up "by the 1000's". Yuck. She said that the attorneys she's talking to are charging much more than the original attorney she spoke with. So I've written her to ask how the fee changes apply to our family. Most of the time you sign a fee agreement at the beginning of your adoption and even if fees are changed you are "locked in" to the fees set forth in your original agreement. But I know that Lois isn't making money off of our adoptions (she really isn't) and I don't want her to go into the hole to get our kids home. We'll just see how it all works out.

Eric feels pretty gunshy after hearing that someone got the 2 year interim adoption. He even suggested that we wait and see if we can get Bright home before going forward with our second adoption. But every region is different and the result of Bright's adoption doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the result of our second child's adoption. *I* feel like it's one of those things that we just walk forward on faith and wait for God to close doors if they need to be closed.

What we are sure of is that we are committed to Bright. If it takes 2 years to get him home, we'll deal with it. I'll be a blubbering mess for 2 years, but I'll get through it!!! We have no timeline for when we may have a completed adoption and Visa approval for Bright, but my heart tells me he might be close to 2 years old by the time he gets home. For this reason I'm kind of "seeing" a baby for our second referral, but we'll just have to wait and see. Everything except for our committement to Bright seems to be pretty up in the air right now.