Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Perfect Plan

If you’re new to adoption, you are probably making the same mistake we made... Let me be the bearer of bad news, if that can help straighten expectations!
When we decided to adopt, in July 2011, we researched different countries, spoke with lots of agencies, read blogs and websites and asked all kinds of questions. When we were told that a referral from Sri Lanka usually took 1.5 to 2 years, we calculated that we would have our child around July 2013.
That was our first mistake.
The timeline they give you is from the moment your dossier is received in your country to the Call. It takes time to go through the Parents Preparation, do the Home Study, gather all the documents for your Dossier and get it all authenticated! You should probably count 6 to 9 months just for that.
But there’s something else agencies won’t tell you: it never goes as planned!
Wherever you’re adopting from, whatever your situation, you should expect at least one of the following to occur during your journey:
-          Program closing, either temporarily or permanently
-          Program slowing down
-          Birthparents “change of heart”
-          Red tape and paperwork issues (from lost documents to absurd misunderstandings)
-          Changes in procedure (which may force you to re-do part of the work)
-          Agency bankruptcy
-          Medical or other worries which may force you to refuse a child
-          Natural or human catastrophe, delaying travel or suspending adoptions
-          A pregnancy, illness or change of situation on your side of the equation
-          Other perfectly unforeseen situations which will have you roll your eyes to the sky and ask “What the ^%#%@&?!?!”
I’m sorry to tell you that, but I yet have to meet one adoptive family who ended up exactly where they had planned, within their timeline and budget...
Some situations are easier to take than others. Some of us will have to re-plan their whole adoption, while others will just wait longer than expected. Some will lose sleep for a few months, others will go through the full grieving process.
I know, I’m not much fun today... But I think expecting the unexpected can help protect you in all sorts of ways. And believe me, it’s not much more fun finding out about this months into the process! On the brighter side, when it happens to you, just remember this post: you’re not alone, other families have made it through this and adopted successfully!


  1. Gen,
    I feel so badly for you. Being in much the same position as you guys I know all about the bumps in the process and you are right about adding time. It took extra time for my home study to be signed. You could also add changes in staffing to the list! I have been passed around and now my second stage fees seem to be for naught! I think you can get to my hotmail account from my blog. I'd like to know what has happened. I feel a deeper sense of connection with you as we share the same agency in Ontario.
    Take care, I'm thinking of you,

  2. Hi Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your encouraging words :)
    You're right, there's also changes in staff, and soooo many more situations that will cause extra delays! On out side, nothing else has happened other than the SL program being closed, but that's still a pain! And talking with other families has made us realize that everybody goes through this...
    I haven't found your email address on your blog. I too would like to exchange emails with you! If you don't feel comfortable sharing your email address as a comment on my blog, you can always look me up on the CanadaAdopts forums. Go to the forums page, hit "search" and, in the search by member number field, enter "8982". You should find me there... My username is gebouc. Send me a personal message with your email address, if you like...

  3. Sounds about right! Hopefully for most it will be just one or two of the smaller ones... but I don't know anyone who has escaped without something on your list!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      I really hope we only get this one :D
      Did you guys run into similar issues when you adopted?