Lately I've had several people ask me for an adoption update and I've been surprised that they somehow missed my last "update" I gave in September. And then I realized, I never gave an update in September. I asked my Facebook friends to pray for us as we were about to have a phone conference with our Social Worker, Beth, and our in-country representative, Raul. I had full intentions of writing and sharing an update and then....life, I guess.
You can ask a couple of my friends who I "attempted" to talk to after our phone conference and they'll be quick to tell you that I wasn't really making complete sentences. Those types of meetings are mentally and emotionally draining to me. Whether it's a just a tidbit of information or an entire seminar's worth - it takes me a little bit to process everything.
It's also gotten pretty hard for me to update this past year. When I sit down to write, I want to share all that is on my heart. I want you to try to be able to feel a little bit of what we're feeling on the inside while we're navigating this process. In order to do that, I have to have the time to unpack all the emotional junk, sort out what to share and what to keep tucked in my heart, write it out (preferably in coherent sentences) and then pack it back up again...all during nap time. So, it's a little bit harder now.
Now, for the update. Our meeting in September went really well. For months we've been trying to determine if the children available for international adoption, in our age range, had more severe medical/special needs or if they had mild/moderate/correctable special needs. We know our limits as a family on the types of needs that we can choose to efficiently parent and if the children in our age range were on the more severe end - we knew it was time to research other countries or adoption options.
We finally got our answer...Raul told us that there were children available for international adoption who were on the mild/moderate end of the special needs spectrum. This was good news for us (side note: it feels really weird saying, that's "good news" because, in reality, it's not. It sucks. There's a need for adoption. There's kiddos who are sick and the very reason they can't stay with their forever family could be because they lack the finances and resources to properly care for their sweet kiddos.)
The second bit of "good news" we got was a bit of a surprise. We've understood all along, as did our social worker, that Colombia didn't have a waiting list for families like many other countries. However, in this meeting we were informed otherwise and Raul said he would work in the next several days to determine each families position on the list or their "number."
Here's where I want to give a quick stat we learned that day: Colombia is only processing 1/3 of the number of adoptions this year as opposed to 3 years ago. Changes have occurred and things have slowed down substantially.
Our best guess at our number (based on some of the numbers that were thrown out in the conference call) was somewhere around #400. I pictured one of my daughters being walked down the aisle in her wedding dress while I held my newly adopted toddler son in my lap on the front row. But we were way off!! I mean, big time, big time way off. Who wants a math pop quiz?
400 - 386 = 14
That means that there are 13 families waiting for an ICBF referral in front of us. Only 13 - not 386!
We're still trying to determine exactly how this list will work...are there 13 approved families in front of us or 13 approved families for boys, 0-3, mild/moderate special needs. This number doesn't tell us how much longer we have to wait, but it is SO MUCH BETTER than #400.
We've also been told that Colombia is still working diligently at updating all of the kiddos files for accuracy and "plan" to release them in the next month and start making referrals at the first of the year. We're throwing in a couple of "grace" months and not really expecting anything to happen until February or March. It's just good to know these kiddos are being advocated for and their files are being worked on so they can be presented with the most updated information.
December 9 will mark 1 year of "waiting". Sometimes patiently and others times....not so much. I just want my kiddo home. I want to rock him to sleep, I want to play cars and trucks and build blocks with him, I want to read him a bedtime story and run into his room when he wakes up from a bad dream. I want to doctor his cuts and bruises with magical kisses that only mommies have. I want these things so badly - but not just for me...to fill this longing and emptiness in my arms. I want it more for him...because a family is the least of what he deserves.
We're ready to give him all of us, every single day for the rest of his sweet life. We are, oh so ready...