On Wednesday, January 11, 2012 we went to our agency to have a meeting with our Director. When we arrived for our meeting, our Director was not there. She had double booked herself and was not in the office. The receptionist had us meet with one of their social workers, who we had never met before instead.
The social worker sat us down and asked us why we chose to adopt from Ethiopia. As we explained our motivation to her, she talked to us sternly in a lecture-like fashion. She explained to us that the Coordinating Agency for Ethiopian Adoptions that they use no longer is accepting applications for new matches and that our only option for international adoptions would be to look at Florida. She was very condescending and didn't really allow for us to talk. We left devastated and went for lunch to talk about it.
That afternoon, I got on the phone with Children's Services with our Provincial Government to discuss options for International Adoption and found out we had received some incorrect information from our agency. I then contacted a different agency and found out that they're currently working with about 120 adoptive parents, who are adopting children from all over the world. This new agency was offering a course on Saturday for adoptive parents starting their journey to adopt internationally.
From my conversations with this new agency and Children's Services, we had decided to cancel our application with the agency we were dealing with. I had contacted them and requested our file and asked for our "non-refundable" application fees to be refunded to us. They complied and returned our paperwork to Bob and returned the fees to my credit card.
The next day, I requested from my employer to have Saturday off so that we could attend the course with the new agency.
When we arrived for the course Saturday morning, we found ourselves in a room with 5 other couples all starting their adoption journey. We introduced ourselves and discussed the countries we were looking at. The Director of this agency discussed why international adoption is so important, what we should expect as adoptive parents, and what her experiences were as a grandmother of a biracial child and foster parent. This course was just what we needed and it was very comforting.
We did group work in the morning with the other parents to discuss the pros and cons of international adoption. In the afternoon, we met families with children adopted from: China, Taiwan, Haiti, and Florida. After this course, we felt so good and I was smiling as we drove away.
We had narrowed down our new search to Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We also have the contacts of the other couples from our course that are looking at these countries.
I'm now in the process of filling out the paperwork again for the new agency and should have everything completed by Wednesday.