Worried. I could spend hours listing out all the things I've worried about regarding our adoption over the last 5 years and 4 months (not to mention all the worry and research that went into it prior to actually pulling the trigger and starting the process)! I'll just write about my worry right now though.
The U.S. Department of State has implemented several new accreditation requirements (some of which are foolhardy in my opinion) for adoption agencies. The current accrediting entity were unable/unwilling to fulfill them. That accrediting entity has now been replaced by a new one that has implemented huge fee increases to agencies. There is a lot of fine print, and many things that simply haven't been explained. No contracts to agencies have been provided...yet they will be required to pay the new fee structure starting February 15th (yes, next week). From what I hear some smaller agencies will be able to pass the fees on to their clients and pay as they go, but larger agencies (like mine, apparently) would be required to estimate their number of adoptions based on the last 2 years and pay that amount up front...at a fee increase of 1,000%! Yes, that's not a typo. I read that they will require fees for 4 years at a time. Currently 4 years of accreditation costs our agency $24,000...with fee increases it will be around $240,000. How is this even possible??
Our agency did let us know about this and encouraged us to contact our representative and senators. In the process of drafting what I was going to say I called our agency's office to get specific numbers. I asked them if things aren't restructured with this fee what would happen, and they said that they wouldn't be able to continue facilitating international adoptions. It wouldn't be financially plausible. For them or many other agencies. Of course there is worry and concern about what that would mean for the big picture of international adoptions (and most importantly the children that would affect), but on a personal note...the idea of another huge hiccup in our adoption potentially looming in the near future. Possibly changing agencies again. Being so close (I sure hope!) to a referral and then being relegated to another agency, along with heavens knows how many other families, and lost in the mix...and waiting even longer. Or worse. I just can't. It's just so much worry. So many variables.
I'm trying hard to focus on doing what I can do instead of idly worrying. I did a bunch of reading up on things, contacted my representative and both senators and really tried to plead my case and pass on information. I tried to put it out there on social media. I contacted a friend who is a reporter on one of the major news stations here to see if they would pick it up. I called a couple people that I knew would be personally invested in doing the same things that I am. And that's as much as I can do. Now I wait. And try not to let the worry eat me alive.
Wishing. I would be lying if I didn't admit that alongside the worry I also hold on to hope that good news could still squeak-in our way soon. Our adoption facilitator will be traveling to Haiti in 10 days. Good things always seem to happen after she travels there and follows up on things. I am hoping and praying that she comes back with news of our final payment request and that our referral will be only weeks behind that in March.
I seem to always get my heart set on a hopeful date that we'll travel. So far they have always come and gone, but they help me keep looking forward. Like a runner that just has to make it to the stop sign down the street...and once they get to the stop sign they choose a new landmark that they focus on to keep running until...and on it goes. Right now my landmark is April. I am really hoping that we'll get a referral in March and be able to travel in April. Mark & I are so blessed to have a big trip in March (to celebrate by 40th birthday) with some good friends, and then I'm taking a cruise with my mom and grandma in Europe in May (and we're taking a family trip in June)...so April would squeeze right between those. It would be hectic, but at least the kids would still be in school so it would be less of a time burden for my mom and any others that help watch the boys while we're gone those 15 days.
So, my wish is for a referral next month and travel in April. That's my landmark that I feel like I'm running breathlessly for.