Friday, December 21, 2007

Our decision

I really didn't mean to leave you in suspense regarding our decision; we were just trying to make sure that we followed the appropriate procedures and informed all of the necessary people before we announced our exciting news.
Most of you know that we've been waiting for a referral for a little girl in Astrakhan for over a year. We felt very strongly that we wanted to return to this region, as that is where our Chipmunk and Monkey are from. Unfortunately, since late summer referrals from this region (for our agency, at least) had slowed down drastically and we were starting to feel very discouraged about this and about our agency's lack of accreditation. We were determined to stay in this region though, despite the constant nagging feeling that we felt that this might not be where we were supposed to find our HotDog. However, as the months continued we started to get the news that the push for domestic adoption within Russia had a major impact on the amount of available girls in our region and that it was most likely going to be several more months before we heard any news. While I was thrilled to hear that many of the girls were finding homes in Russia, my mind was starting to think about other possibilities.
We initially thought about switching to another region, but we would be in the back of the line, behind the other families that had been waiting for referrals, so that didn't help us much.
We talked to several other agencies that were accredited but heard from all that our wait for a little girl would be much longer than we were willing to wait.
We never really discussed switching countries because it seems almost all programs are running so slow right now.
As we were tossing around various options, I received an email from a friend that had previously adopted from Astrakhan last summer. She was just wondering how our adoption was going and if we had brought our HotDog home yet. She said that they were starting another adoption for a little girl and were adopting from Kyrgyzstan, a fairly new country for international adoptions. The more she described the program, the more it sounded like the perfect fit for us.
I took this information and started my research. The more we looked into it, the more it sounded like it was too good to be true. I talked with several of the agencies that operate in the country (there are still very few agencies working here) and was hearing the same information from each: referrals were coming at a fairly constant rate, the waits are considerably shorter than other countries right now, and we had a definite advantage in that we are homestudy ready and can switch almost all of our dossier to the new country with little additional documents needed.
We were still so nervous about pulling our dossier from Russia. We are both creatures of habit and Astrakhan is what we know, what we love. We've been waiting for over a year so we are bound to hear something soon, right?? We love our agency and would hate not to complete our third adoption with them. We would lose a small chunk of money by switching countries/agencies. We had so many reasons to stay where we were. But there were so many advantages to switching too. We went back and forth for several weeks. But we kept coming back to one thing: adopting from Kyrgyzstan just felt "right". For the past 6 months or so, we were struggling with our adoption in Astrakhan and felt like we were trying to force something that just wasn't meant to happen. Every fiber in our beings was telling us that our daughter was in Kyrgyzstan. It was terrifying, but we made the huge decision to leave Astrakhan and CHI and officially switched to Kyrgyzstan. And it was such a relief. All of our instincts are telling us this is the right move for our family. It just feels "right". Does that make sense?
So (very) long story short, we've signed with a new agency and are officially on the list waiting for a referral for an infant girl from Kyrgyzstan. I've almost finished switching all of our documents (the dossier is sooo much easier than in Russia) and our homestudy agency is busy working on the changes to our homestudy. We're moving right along. The process in Kyrgyzstan is a bit different than Russia; there is no central database listing all of the available children. They are referred to agencies as they enter the baby houses. So while there are just a few families ahead of us in line, the wait could be anywhere from 2 to 6 months. Once we receive a referral, we travel to meet her and spend 14 days bonding with her. We'll then return home and go back to pick her up about 6 weeks later. Of course, this program is new to adoptions (just opened last year) so things could change. But this is the way things are working now. Thank goodness for my friend Rachel that told me about the program; since she's several months ahead of me, she's helping me navigate the new twists and turns in our path.
Thank you for all of your support/wishes/prayers during our decision-making. We are so excited about this new chapter in our journey. I can't wait to share it with you all. One thing is for sure, adoption is never boring!

17 comments:

Janine said...

I've been checking often to see if you posted your new news. That is very exciting news! I can't wait to follow you on your journey to Kyrgyzstan. It's amazing the instinct that pulls us and leads us to where our children are. How wonderful too that the referrals will be coming so quickly.

JennStar said...

I've heard great things about Kyrgyzstan!! And I completely understand that "gut" feeling. It's what has put us into international adopting. We really felt that God was pulling on our hearts to adopt our next child. And I truly believe that we must always explore those tugs. I look forward to watching your new leg of this great journey! Best of luck to you both.

Susan & Randy said...

What great news for your family! I completely understand how you just "know" when a move is right, having been through that myself. I think I need to get a map out and find out where Kyrgyzstan is at! :) Good luck with the new paperwork and I can't wait to hear more about the journey.

Becky and Keith said...

YEY!!! I'm so very excited for you! I can't wait to see how this process goes, because my next adoption will be a girl. I'm so glad you did what you felt was right - I know the feeling! Love your new header, by the way!

Troy and Rachel said...

How very exciting and I'll be looking forward to following the process!! It sounds like a great program and we may have to check it out after we finish the first adoption - don't tell my hubby yet!! I love the new blog look also!!

Debbie B said...

That's amazing. So glad you decided to switch, it's a very hard decision to make but it sounds like it was the right one for your family. Congratz! Very happy for you.
It's great that your friend has done a Russian adoption too so she knows what you know and what to expect differently in this new program.

Shane & Marie said...

It sounds like you made a good decision to switch countries. I look forward to following your new journey!

Mom to 2 Angels said...

Just found your blog through the Yahoo Group. I may have already commented there, but we also have children from Russia and Kyrgyzstan. And we live just down the road in TN. I hope the switch has gone smoothly and you get a quick referral.

Adrienne and Jim said...

YEA! I've heard great things about Kyrgyzstan from Sira who has learned about it from Rachel. I am so anxious to follow your journey there for your little girl! You just know when it feels right, don't you? Your heart is taking you there for a very special reason, and I know you can't wait to meet her!! :)

PS I love your new blog design!

Rachel said...

Of course, I could not be more thrilled! We really will have to have a Disney trip someday with our Astrakhan boys and our Kyrgyz daughters! Good luck and we are praying things will be quick and smooth!

Tricia said...

I wonder if you are using our agency since they are also just starting work in Kyrgyzstan. One big thing that I learned in this process is to follow your heart (which always gets messed up by your head and vice versa) and don't worry what others may think of any decision you make. Sounds like you have done your due diligence and this is a great decision! Can't wait to hear more in 2008!

Carey and Norman said...

I am so glad to hear about your decision. I can imagine how tough this was to make after adopting both boys through CHI and Astrakan. I know God leads and gives us peace when it is the right decision for us. I'm glad you are excited about your decision and hope you hear news soon about your little girl.

Jane and Jim said...

I'm so happy for you! The gut feeling you're having is right on the mark - I'll bet it really starts moving for you now!
Congratulations on making one of the hardest decisions -
I'm so looking forward to reading about your new journey - it's so exciting!

Michael and Carrie said...

I did not have all of my blog links in Russia, so I just read your news! That sounds great, and I know the last few months have been so difficult for you all! I've not heard about adoptions from this country, but it sounds like a great program! What do you anticipate her age to be? Does she have to be a certain age to be available for adoption? I'm excited to follow your journey and hear more details! Congrats on your decision-it sounds like you all have a great sense of peace about it, and that is wonderful!

JEN said...

Good luck on your new adventure. Things change for a reason!
Jen

Laura said...

I'm so excited for you! You sound so happy to have made this decision. I know exactly what you mean, when you say it felt right.
Congratulations! I hope your daughter will be home soon from Kyrgyzstan. I can't wait to hear more about it.
hugs and Happy New Year!
Laura

Christen & Frank said...

YAY! :) You were gone for so long and I was thinking of you and hoping for good news. Then I was home for almost a month visiting family and came back to find this amazing news! So happy for your family!