As anyone who knows me in real life will attest – I love holidays. I often joke that the only reason I married someone who wasn’t Jewish was so that I could celebrate Christmas as well as Chanukah. That isn’t true but I do love twinkly lights and reindeer.
Anyhow, that’s my excuse for not updating my blog lately. I’ve been doing a bit of baking, a bit of obsessive gift ordering (checking Amazon ever few minutes because you never know when the gift you want to buy will go down by 14 cents!), a lot of wrapping and too much trying to keep the kitten from unwrapping all of the presents under the tree.
But while I’ve been doing that, a bit of a war has been waged on the Bulgarian adoption listserv that I belong to. Very uncharacteristically, I lurk on these boards. I’m not sure why I don’t post. I guess because it just won’t feel completely real before we’re actually registered and because I have no experience and nothing concrete to offer.
Anyhow, so about a week ago, a woman posted that she was on her way to pick up her child in Bulgaria. And the gist of her message was that anyone waiting for healthy children might have been misled by their agency and that those prospective parents should contact the Bulgarian arms of those agencies to get the “real” story.
As you might imagine on a board where some people have been waiting YEARS (and I meant many years) during the Bulgarian slowdown for their adoption to come through, there was a bit of a group freak-out. The only thing that kept me from joining the fray was (1) I don’t remember email address that I used to sign up to the list (!) and (2) what is considered “special needs’ for foreign adoptions isn’t always something that those of us with access to high-level medical care and insurance will consider “special needs”.
But one good thing that came from it all was a reply by Earth Mother from our agency. She is usually a good correspondent to the lists but our agency has been working towards their permanent Hague accreditation and she has a very large family of her own, etc… so things have been quiet of late. Her reply included an email she received from her counterpart in Bulgaria saying “I have meeting with vice ministry of justice on Monday and I will know how many exactly are the healthy children on register…MOJ expect on March /6 months after new Family code – which started on 01 October that we will receive so many children to their register. Remember that the new code just began and that children have to be registered six months to come available.”
No, nowhere here is a guarantee. But it seems like the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria is keeping true to their promise to overhaul the system for the better of the children and the waiting families. If there are no more hiccups (see below), I’m hoping that we’ll be registered with the MOJ in March so we might even have a more accurate time line at that point (although I can almost guarantee that something will badly conflict with a mandatory work conference that I need to be at in December of 2011).
As for our current status. The very friendly (!) FBI helpline assures me that it’s still to early to freak out about us not being registered in their system yet – even though I mailed our fingerprints off in Mid-November. I’ve been expecting some sort of letter from USCIS but…….
I got an unexpected call from our agency’s Executive Director this morning. He was checking on our previously discussed issue with guardianship, and letting me know that the changes in the Bulgarian family code means that two of the forms we need to send in have changed and that he’ll send me the new ones. AND…that he received a call from USCIS saying that there is a letter missing from our home study. I DO vaguely remember seeing it in the packet submitted from our SW (who is currently on vacation) but USCIS says they don’t have it. The ED is going to e-mail it over to them and then send a hard copy. He just didn’t want me to worry if I got a letter from USCIS saying that it was missing.
I DO realize that this is what we’re paying the agency for. But at the same time, it feels really nice (for a change) to know that someone is looking out for us and really working to make this happen. It’s very easy to feel alone in this process (even more than with assisted reproduction where you’re meeting with doctors and nurses all the time) and his call – while it means a delay in truth – gives me a warm, fuzzy, holiday feeling. This may actually happen after all!