Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday!  We are off to grandma's house where twin beds, one bathroom and a fireplace that heats the house to a cozy 105 degrees await us. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No Friggin' Way

There are days that I feel like this whole process is crappy.   And today is one of them.  Such a rush of emotions as I sit here wondering how much longer is this going to take.  And the other question pops up quite a bit too.  What if it doesn’t happen? 
Our agency has come to almost a complete standstill with referrals.  And although our official numbers are in the high 20’s, that doesn’t give me any confidence that we will have a referral in the next year.  And it appears our agency has increased average wait times to 24 months.  So while that does put us on track for receiving a referral next year (2 year date in November), the pessimist in me whispers that those anticipated wait times are on the low side of the actual wait.
Oh another question comes to mind.  How much longer can I go on?
The investment in this process – not just the money, but the emotions, has been overwhelming at times.  All I want is one child.  One chance to be a mother.  Is that so much to ask for? 
What precipitated this pity party?  Got a lovely letter yesterday from our local home study agency.  They have decided to impose a monthly administrative fee of $125 on waiting families.  This charge will continue until you are home with your child.  If you don’t pay, they will close your file and/or discontinue working with you.  Is it just me or is that a bit coercive?  Either you pay or you have to start over with another local agency.  And there is nothing about them refunding costs we have already paid to cover post placement reports and validation/finalization of the adoption.
It stinks.  And of course it got me to thinking, how much longer.  A year for a referral?  4-6 months to bring our child home?  Do you realize how much money that comes out to?  I’d rather spend that money on donations for our child’s orphanage than to give it to an agency that apparently operated on the assumption that all adoptions would be complete (yes court and all) within 12 months (that’s what they say in the letter).
What planet have they been on?  Seriously – wait times for Chinese adoption have been years for as long as I can remember.  When we signed on with them – oh and I might as well name them such is my fury at Adoption Alliance in Colorado- when we signed on they did everything they could to encourage us NOT to sign with AGCI and to sign with another placement agency.  Why is that significant?  Because at the time their recommended agency had a two year wait.  So their justification for this “administrative” fee (adoptions are taking too long to complete we could not have anticipated this) is just an excuse.  That is a lot of money for families to pay each month for “administrative” costs.   
But they were ever so gracious to include a contractual addendum along with their letter.  Sign and return they say agreeing to pay this new fee or else we will close your case.  Why would I sign this?  I know enough about contract law to recognize when something isn’t right. 
Oh and I didn’t mention the perfect timing of this letter.  We have to begin updating our home study next month. So we need to make some decisions.  Don’t pay and risk our file being closed.  Will that hurt us when we receive a referral and need to have our social worker sign it?  File a complaint with some entity.  Go to another agency to complete our home study update and ask that Adoption Alliance refund what we have paid them to prepare our post placement reports and validate/finalize the adoption.  Or ….?? Any suggestions.