Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Happy Ending

I have personally emailed a lot of the people who we have met through this blog over the last two years of this journey. But I know I missed some of you, and I want everyone to know that even though our journey did not take us where we expected, we ended up where we were supposed to be!

Instead of renewing our approval to adopt in Mexico, we decided to convert our paperwork to adopt domestically. It all happened incredibly fast. We are happy to announce that we became parents! We have a beautiful daughter, and we are completely treasuring being parents.

So those of you still on your adoption journey, follow your heart. Eventually you will find your child!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Change in Plans

Just a few days after the previous posting, we were contacted by the DIF of the state with our dossier. They had a proposal of two options for us to consider, a sibling group or a single child. We were so excited! However, we were not told very much information about either option. We asked for more information. We were not able to get the information we needed nor a referral. It just did not feel right to us, so we decided not to proceed. A formal referral is a necessary component before traveling to meet any children, and somehow it just did not come together. So, we could not risk continuing. A referral is required by international law, and we needed to make sure all laws were followed.

On top of that, Mexico is trying to implement a new system for international adoptions. We are not sure how it is going to work. In addition to being accredited by the Hague, it was not clear to us whether American agencies also need to have Mexico national accreditation and/or accreditation in each of the individual states. The state that had our dossier decided they wanted us to use an agency that was accredited by Mexico and ours wasn't. We still aren't sure what type of accreditation they were asking for. We decided not to try to switch states, because there is still a lot of uncertainty as to the new direction of international adoptions from Mexico.

It was all very complicated and confusing. The rules, requirements and processes at the state and national levels keep changing. We went through way more than I am saying publicly on this blog. We have decided that we will not renew our approval to adopt in Mexico. We are at peace with this decision.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to Renew

The photo above really has nothing to do with this entry whatsoever. It's just
bright and colorful, and I need that right now! I love papaya. And I appreciate
how in Mexico you get lime with just about everything. I love limes too. OK, now
to get to topic.
Our I-800a is going to expire soon. We will need to renew it since we haven't received a referral yet. I have had this in the back of mind nagging me. And now I know why. There's more to it than just sending in the simple looking form, Supplement 3.

Apparently we need to have a home visit by our homestudy social worker, and the social worker needs to verify that everything is still the same as the original homestudy states. If anything has changed in our circumstances, it must be stated in a report. If everything is the same, the social worker still needs to write a report saying that nothing has changed.

We know our social worker will be sending for new clearances from the places we have lived in the last five years. We've only lived in one location these last five years, so that part is at least not complicated. We probably need other things too like new medical exams. We're getting clarity bit by bit.

So there is a bit of a panic here as we are try to figure out what we need to gather before the deadline, so our approval doesn't expire.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

Will 2010 be the year? This isn't the first New Year's where I have had that same thought. I know to not take it for granted. Yet we are still hopeful.

We have been on the waiting list for over seven months for siblings aged seven and younger. But recently we opened up the possibility of a single child. Now if a single child becomes available that would make a great fit with us, the DIF will be able to consider us. Right now it's anyone's guess! So, we will see how much longer we will wait.

A lot has changed since we started planning to adopt. We have gone from hoping for a baby to being open to older siblings to being open to whatever child or children the DIF will propose to us. Mexico isn't even the first plan we had for adoption. Then after deciding on Mexico, we thought we were going to submit to one certain state there, but then ended up deciding to submit to another. And things continue to change!

One thing has remained the same. Our goal. To become parents. What matters is making the most of the time we have with our child or children once we become a family. We have been reminded by others who have adopted before us, no matter when you meet your child or how old the child is when you meet him or her, more than likely they will be your sons or daughters for many more years than the years you missed with them.

So, we are taking it one day at a time, seeing what opportunities present themselves, and are trying to remain open. And we wonder what surprises 2010 will bring.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book About Moving to a New Home

I was in the children's section recently and noticed this book. I took this photo of it with my cell phone, so it's not the best photo. I immediately placed it on my wish list. The book is not about adoption, but it would be very appropriate for children who are faced with a big move to a new life. The book is written from the point of view of a young girl who has moved with her family to the United States from a Latin American country. She notices how things are the same and different between the two countries. She adjusts to a new culture and new way of life, even though it isn't easy at times for her. By the end of the book, the new place feels like home. It is bilingual English and Spanish. Just Like Home/Como en Mi Tierra written by Elizabeth I. Miller and illustrated by Mira Reisberg.

Does anyone know of any children's books that specifically address older children being adopted internationally? The books I have come across portray children who were adopted as a baby, and that is not what I am looking for right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


UPDATE: It appears that Mexico is starting to limit the ages that international dossiers can request to age five and older. Some states are not accepting dossiers for ages under eight, etc.

We have been communicating with the DIF, and things are progressing. We don't know when we will get a referral, as it is hard to predict. We've been on the waiting list for over 25 weeks for siblings of any gender. We know after talking with the DIF that if there were siblings cleared for adoption that were a match with us, we would have received a referral by now. The siblings that could be a match with us haven't been cleared for adoption through the courts. That process can be complicated and can take a while. We would have more possibilities for being matched if we are open to only children, large sibling groups, or older ages. The entire adoption process our preferences have been evolving, so we will see.

We know we aren't the only couple on the waiting list for siblings, because in the reception room of the DIF, we met another couple who were also waiting for siblings. It was nice to meet them and be able to exchange stories with them. They are lovely people and live in the same city as the main orphanage. There are many couples in Mexico who are also hoping to adopt, and that can mean that international applicants will wait longer for a referral.

We will eventually get a referral, we are confident of that. Of course, we are ready right now, and hope we don't have to wait much longer.

The photograph is a basket of conchas, a popular pastry in Mexico that is excellent with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. I'm craving that right now. And pickled jalapeno peppers. Is there such a thing as adoptive-mother-in-waiting cravings?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More About Adopting in Mexico

The adoption path has twists and turns and sometimes it is hard to see what is ahead or where the path will lead.
We receive questions from time to time about adopting in Mexico, and we try to answer. We tend to get asked the same questions, so I am putting the basic questions and answers here. Of course, we enjoy hearing from others who are adopting in Mexico and hope we continue to meet others in the process!

A lot of people want to know what state we are adopting in, and although it's not really a secret, we're just not comfortable disclosing it on the blog right now. We believe people should find their own path. It may not be the same path as ours. Mexico is a complicated country to adopt from in that things vary a lot from state to state. We picked our state for a variety of reasons, a big factor was that we have family there. But mainly it was a gut instinct. We have questioned and re-evaluated our decision to pick the particular state over and over. So far each time we have felt reaffirmation that this is where we are supposed to be right now.

Others have also asked whether we are using an agency or if we are doing an independent adoption. We are using an agency. We chose our state ourselves, but that doesn't mean we are doing an independent adoption. We appreciate having the support and experience of an agency. If we had chosen to, we could have put everything in our agency's hands, and the agency would have picked our state and coordinated everything. But since P is Mexican, and we are finding that we are able to communicate with the DIF, we decided to maintain close involvement. Not everyone wants to do that, but it works for us. For example, we didn't have to submit our dossier in person to the state we chose. Our agency would have coordinated that for us. But we were going there to visit family anyway, so we took the opportunity to visit the DIF in person.

UPDATE: We cannot recommend doing what we did, as in the end it did not work out.

Some people hope to discover a state that is easier to adopt from than others, or a state where they will be able to adopt the youngest children possible. If there is such a magical state, we don't know which one it is. We called every state where we have family and spoke with adoption coordinators of the DIFs before deciding on our state. We found that in the states we called there were at least 100 Mexican families already waiting to be matched, some states even had over 300 families on their waiting list. In general, the children that are more readily available for international adoption in a quicker timeframe would be older children or larger sibling groups or children with disabilities or special needs. We shared with our agency the information we learned from the states we contacted, and our agency has contact with even more states.

UPDATE: We have heard that the National DIF will be deciding which state that dossiers will be sent to. Finding your own state might not be an option anymore. Check into current regulations and processes. Things change.