Where is our baby? Where is our fourth baby? I think the answer is, only God knows.
I heard from Lois today. It was a short, choppy, fairly undetailed reply to my really long, detailed quetsions--but it was a reply and for that I am thankful. I heard Lois is sick and I suppose that might have something to do with why she was so short.
Anyway, the bulk of the information I got in the email was regarding our second referral (or lack thereof). She is trying to get Mama Eugenia at Eugemot to agree to just two more referrals (one for us and one for Barbara C), but of course there is no way to know if Mama E will give in or not. Lois said that IF Mama E says okay and we get another referral through Eugemot it doesn't have to be two trips. But for us it would be two trips because I can't stand the thought of Bright staying in the orphanage for 6 months after his adoption is complete waiting for our second adoption to become complete. We'll go get him when he's ready even if we don't technically have to. IF we get a referral through Eugemot I still don't know what fee we will pay. Originally our fee agreement stated something under $1000 for a second child, but now fees are going up and I don't know if our fee agreement stands.
Another avenue to our second referral is the orphanage in Tamale. The people in Tamale won't give out other referrals until the adoption that's taking place right now is complete. Supposedly, when referrals are able to be given out, there are several babies in need of families. This is very attractive to me since I still long for a young baby, but really...it's not as if Tamale is some proven track to get children home quickly. We just don't know. IF we were to go the Tamale route our fees for the second child would NOT apply. We would need to pay the full fee like we would for a single child. Even this wouldn't be *so* bad but the fee in Tamale for a single child is going to be SUBSTANTIALLY more than we paid for Bright's adoption from Eugemot (old fees will not apply). I don't know if we could afford that and even if we could I don't know if that's the route we would take. If we paid the Tamale fee we might as well look into a few other options that are open to us at around the same fee range.
The third avenue we can look into is domestic adoption (again). There is a great non-profit agency (as in not a single person is paid!) here in Tulsa that charges a total of $6000 (including legals) for domestic newborn placements. The wait can be up to 2 years, but at this point a "sure thing" wait for 2 years doesn't sound so bad. At one point we applied to this agency this last summer (thinking of #4) and the director called us, thrilled to take us on as clients--so we know we would "get in."
Other avenues include simply keeping my eyes open in every possible direction for this slippery kid that we can't seem to ever identify and keep hold of! I'll look at photolistings a million times...check out the special needs orgs that might have kids waiting. We just have so little budget for our fourth child that our avenues are limited.
So...I've listed some of the ways that our fourth child might come to us, but I know that the Lord knows of infinitely more avenues. Eric and I both feel like we're just supposed to keep our eyes open and have a "wait and see" attitude. We're not feeling lead to jump ship and sign up for Tamale. It just sort of feels like at some point a door has to open for us. In the meantime we'll try to sit back and wait for our Bright to come home.
P.S. I got the documents from Lois that are needed to turn in our Application for Adoption in Volta region. You would not believe this dink little 1/3 page document! It's just a sentence that says the doc has cleared us to adopt a child. Not even a notary needed. And THIS is what is holding up our adoption for another 6 weeks even though we had a very detailed and notarized medical to turn in with the application. Africa--gotta love it. ;-/