Friday, April 3, 2009

Beyond Frustrated.

Our adoption saga just seems to get worse and worse. :(

Guess what. I'm sure this will be an amazing surprise (yes, sarcasm). But, you know all those times we were assured our paperwork was in order and we were just waiting on the MOWA letter? Yep, big fat lie.

Wow, this sounds incredibly familiar.

Well, perhaps I should step back. I'm sure it wasn't a lie. What was the term the agency used? Oh yes, it was a "miscommunication" between the agency folks in Ethiopia and those in Washington. Now I feel better. [insert eye roll]

So here's the deal:

MOWA requires certain paperwork in order to issue their approval letter. Some of it (I believe) comes from our agency (i.e. info on us and our competence as parents, etc) but other documentation is needed from the region that *S* was relinquished in, the Oromia region. We are JUST NOW finding out that AAI requested the paperwork from the Oromia region prior to our December 3rd court date (as they should have).

But it never arrived.

And, over FOUR MONTHS LATER no one has followed up on it.

Apparently, the Oromia region is notorious for taking forever to process this paperwork (2 months is pretty typical). The prior record for length of time to process was 4 months. But, lucky us, we have gained the crown on the longest wait, because as of Wednesday, the paperwork had still not been received by MOWA!!


It is still up in the air on whether we have a snowball's chance in hell of passing court on the 16th. Not only does the Oromia region paperwork need to show up, it needs to come in time for MOWA to issue it's letter. And we still don't know if our newly executed Power of Attorney will be translated/authenticated by then (I'm guessing it won't, but there is a chance that MOWA won't require it - they have seen the untranslated copies).


Once we do finally pass, whenever that is, there are new problems that are extending the time from travel after court (not specific to us - just ET adoptions generally). So instead of traveling 3-4 weeks after we pass, it will be a full 6 weeks! So, if we pass on the 16th, we won't be traveling until June anyways.

June. Seriously.

What have I learned through all of this? That it doesn't matter what I do. Last time (Abi/Hana's adoption), I got very depressed and angry. I called the agency a lot (after our 2nd failed court date - I was pretty good before that). I cried and demanded answers (but didn't get any). This time, I refused to let myself behave that way. After all, it didn't help. So, I've held my tongue and been patient. And believed it when I was told that it was all MOWA's fault.

Perhaps I should've been angrier and complained. For Abi/Hana's adoption, there was "only" a 2.5-3 month wait between our first court date and our 6th (and final) date. Although we were told that our experience was the worst case scenario, we have blown those expectations out of the water this time since our first court date was Dec 3 and IF we pass on the 16th, that will be 4.5 months between. And I'm guessing we'll have longer yet.

PLEASE don't leave any comments defending the agency and reminding me that these are the risks with international adoption. I don't need that right now. First of all, I know the risks of adoption - but that doesn't make it any easier. I know I am lucky that the adoption itself is not in jeopardy. But I don't feel so lucky right now.

And I do know that not all of the problems we have had are directly attributable to our agency. However, I am a firm believer in pro-activity and communication and that has been seriously lacking. I know that things work differently in other countries and I know that the agency representatives can't go in demanding this and that, because they have to keep up good relationships so as not to harm future adoptions. I understand all of this.

But I don't think it is an acceptable excuse.

Right now, I am being told by AAI that I am right - there are no excuses - and that they are sorry. But they don't have answers yet either.

And I just want to cry.


Cory and Margaret said...

UG...all I can say is ((HUGS))!! I am so sorry that this is happening. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you and your family!!

this is us said...

I'm so, so, so sorry. We, too, found out that the reason we didn't have the MOWA letter because paperwork never came from Avi's region. It seems the process breaks down a lot at that stage and it needs to be fixed!

Marissa said...

You have every reason to feel the way you feel. Don't let anyone else make you feel otherwise. Your disappointment is more than understandable. You want to be with your daughter. Who couldn't relate to that?

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine what you are going through.

Matthew and Amanda said...

I completely agree with everything you said. You have every right to be pissed off. There is a HUGE difference between being a pushy American and simply ADVOCATING for our children. It's in the name of the agency right?!?!? So one would think they would do it.....


3GenerationsFarm said...

I am so sorry Cat. The worst thing is that this continues to happen with AAI, again and again and again. Watching it happen to other families is almost as bad a having it happen to your own family. I keep wishing they'll get it right. Also - we can't warn other families about this because the retaliation from the agency is as bad as the experience. Hang in there.

FrogMom said...

I don't know what to say Cat. This is just such sad and frustrating news. There are no words.

Jillienne said...

I wish I could say how sorry I am that this is happening again to you and that would make it all better. It is beyond words that this keeps happening to you....

You are in our thoughts!

Molly's Mum said...

I went through similar things with my adoption in China. We are now considering Ethiopia for # 2 and with AAI - please email me and let me know what you think/thought of them as an agency etc

Thank you

Leslie said...

I'm so sorry, again. I'm praying for y'all.

Stacy said...

I just found your blog but I know of your story from the yahoo group. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. I wish there was something you could do. I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

Paula said...

Just "blog browsing" and found your blog through another blog I read... we are going through the exact same thing with our children, also from Oromia. We are so frustrated and feel like we never get any straight answers as well. We've been through two court dates and our case is currently in an open status, just waiting for the fabled Missing Paperwork From MOWA! I pray every night for our twins and every other kid stuck in legal limbo while families are waiting anxiously at home. Best of luck to you.