Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Adoption Land

There's a website called China Adopt Talk that I visit daily. It's hosted by the Rumor Queen who posts information about the latest news in China's adoption program. She recently took a poll among us followers of her site to get a sense of the number of people withdrawing their applications from China due to the long wait. The results indicate that about 29% have given up. Here's a quote from RQ's post:
"As has been pointed out, the numbers for the “planning to leave” survey are likely low, as some who have their Plan B coming along nicely are no longer checking in with this site. I think it is fair to say at this point that somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of those who were logged in during 2006 are planning at this time to accept their referral when it arrives. We are edging very close to half.
At what point does this massive amount of attrition begin to show up in referrals? It seems that as people pull out the CCAA just refers less babies, keeping the days referred continuing on a downward trend."
This is just too sad for words, and so complicated in terms of how one should feel. A part of me was feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time that attrition rates might speed up the process for those of us still in line. Those feelings are in conflict with the sadness I feel for those giving up their dream of adopting from China. Then there’s the news that attrition may have no impact on referrals and I think of all the children who may be spending years longer than they should growing up in orphanages. Does it all come down to Orphanage directors having no incentive to make their children available for adoption? I imagine it’s more complicated than that (or at least I hope so). As a social worker, I have seen how the mission of helping people can get mired in a myriad of issues; funding, policy, lack of resources, competing agendas, etc. I work with young adults who have aged out of our child protective services and I see the impact on my clients from years of institutionalized living. I have to believe that no one thinks that’s acceptable.
I also am constantly checking in with myself and asking if my own need to have a child is also what’s best for her. My husband has MS and has become more disabled since we started the adoption process. I am aware of the potential ways a child might be affected by having a disabled parent. I keep coming back to all the positive things both I and my husband have to offer a child. I’ve lost the point of my rambling, I think. I guess I’m trying to make peace with the overwhelming uncertainties inherent in this situation. China is our only option and the clock may run out on us at some point. I ‘ll try to have an “if it’s meant to be” kind of perspective, but the truth is, this is a painful, anxiety-making, gut-wretching, journey were on. I wish I could jump ahead and read the last chapter to see how it all turns out… wouldn’t that be nice.