My agency approved homestudy is finally moving to the government for approval. It should be arriving on Monday. Right now I'm probably going to delay submitting my dossier to Bulgaria until October anyway because I don't want to be stressed about finances. I can afford to submit a lot sooner but if I get a match right away the next fee is due super fast. I would rather wait to submit until I have the fees ready for the next fee. I'm hoping my agency won't have an issue with this. I'm not expecting to have government approval until end of May, then not actually having it in my hands until early June. I will then get my list for my dossier and even though I have most of the dossier already done I'm going to procrastinate for the rest so I can delay a bit longer. If my agency makes me feel confident that I will be ok I might submit sooner but right now I'm thinking October-November. It sucks, it really does, I hate that my journey is so much about money instead about things that should truly matter, but it's completely out of my control. So one day at a time, one dollar at a time.
I mailed my signed homestudy yesterday morning and it arrived today. Now my agency will mail it off to Adoption Services and then I wait. I'm expecting the wait to be at least eight to ten weeks. The government probably won't get it until the end of next week so going by that the earliest I can expect to be approved at the end of April. Last time it took eleven weeks (hopefully it will be smoother this time though) so realistically I'm looking at mid-May. By the time I get and and get organized the earliest I can submit my dossier is June. The issue right now is that if I get a fast match I will have a big fee to pay that I won't be able to do without borrowing money. I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. Right now it's looking like I won't have the funds until the end of October. There is some hope I'd be able to get it by the end of September but it's going to be tough. Right now I'm thinking of delaying submitting until the end of August. That way by the time my agency gets it, sends it to Bulgaria, and I get registered, the earliest I would get a referral would be after the September and I will be okay with that fee. Of course this is if I get a match right away. I could be waiting a lot longer. The issue is I won't know until the time comes and if I'm not prepared I'm screwed. If I save and then I'm waiting I'll just start saving the next fee. Better to be doing that than not be able to pay the fee. Sucks needing to delay but that's the reality right now.
My homestudy was approved by my agency and I received it in the mail today. I will sign it and send it back tomorrow. Then they will send it off to the government for them to approve. That usually takes at least 8 weeks so I'm not expecting to hear anything before May. The wait continues, which is ok because I'm not financially ready anyway.
Last Friday I received the draft copy of my homestudy. It was pretty much the same as the first with a few minor updates. I'm hoping that I will receive it soon and the government will have it by the end of the month. Then they wait begins for approval. At this point I'm ok with things going slowly. Financially it is much better the longer things take. My brother is coming to visit in April and again in the summer (my parents are coming for a bit then too). I want to be able to enjoy our time together, to go places and experience things while waiting. By summer I will have a better idea how things are going with the adoption and I'll know what I can afford a bit better. There was a little girl that was listed on Reece's Rainbow that I was interested in but unfortunately my agency can't get her file. Instead I will just have to try to be patient and wait for a referral. Things are moving forward, which is all I want right now.
On Saturday I had the final homestudy meeting of my life. This either works out or I'm done. The meeting was short and uneventful. It went really well and I should have the draft copy by this weekend. Hopefully the agency will quickly approve after I review the draft and they get it off to the government by the end of February. Then I hope to have government approval by the end of April. By the end of June hopefully the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria will have my dossier and I will get approval from them shortly after. I won't have proposal fees fully saved until the end of August at the earliest (with maxing out my credit card for travel) so I'm hoping to have a bit of a wait for a referral. I doubt I will get one immediately anyway. Also I should be getting a fee reduction so that might shave off a month. In that case I will have the money in time. Always something to stress about. Either it's paperwork or it's having funds in time. I just hope it will all be worth it in the end.
My adoption agency has made me shut down all social media and stop talking about the adoption. This sucks.... a lot! After having support from my readers for almost six years and from my YouTube viewers for five it's really hard to just step away and not be able to update. This blog is actually password protected right now. Why am I posting this if it's password protected, you ask? Because one day this journey will be over and I will be able to share everything with the world. I want to continue to document my journey even if I can't share it right now. For now I will continue to blog, continue to make videos, and one day I will be able to share them with everyone. Until then, I write for myself, because it's therapeutic and because I want this journey to matter.
Boy do I have a lot to update on! First off my agency for India has been completely dishonest and due to them not having a valid license for India my registration is invalid. Because I no longer could trust them (and the real possibility of them losing their license permanently) I made the decision to pull from them. Then I had to decide to go with another agency and start the (very long) wait for registration again or switch countries. In the end I decided the time to do the paperwork to switch countries was actually worth it over paying a small fortune to switch agencies to then still be dealing with the insane slowdown of India. So here I am in the process of redoing my homestudy for Bulgaria and getting that all sorted out. There is some good news in that mix though.
On October 24th I was officially registered with India. Before I started my homestudy the wait for approval was around two weeks. In the summer there was a huge slow down because of staffing changes. Now the wait is insanely long. I've been seeing people wait five and six MONTHS for approval. I feel that this is totally unacceptable but I can't change it. There are also SO MANY holidays in India. Every other week it seems like they are closed for one holiday or another. This is slowing things down even more. Now I feel that because they are so behind they are so stressed out and aren't even trying to catch up. I feel that they are deflated and therefore are just dragging along. They said they would be back to normal timelines by mid-November but there are so many people still waiting. I keep checking the Facebook group hoping to see a huge amount of people say they got approval but it hasn't happened yet. Right now I'm just hoping that it's not going to take me six months. Given how slow things are going I'm starting to lose hope that I will be a mom in 2019. The only "good" thing with the slow down is that I will have all my agency fees paid by the end of March and my travel saved by the end of July. If I haven't traveled, and it's not happening soon, by July I'm going to go home for the month. It won't cost me that much and by then I'll have enough funds that it wouldn't matter anyway. If I'm still waiting in the fall I'll start saving for maternity leave and maybe even a vacation. So tired of waiting....
My home study was approved by my agency back in June but I have been waiting for provincial approval since July. I FINALLY received it in the mail last week! It was approved October 5th but took forever to actually get it into my hands. I immediately sent it off to my coordinating agency who then sent it for authentication by the Ontario government. Meanwhile I realized my home study package didn't include a bunch of paperwork that they needed to register me with India so I had to have my home study agency send those over as well. Authentication thankfully only takes a few days so I should be officially registered with India around Wednesday!!!!! For those that don't know I had to let Penny go though. Things have just been really hard and it was a choice that I had to make for myself.
Right now I'm in the "hurry up and wait" stage that's just standard for adoption. There is literally nothing for me to do but wait in terms of paperwork. Right now I'm still paying down the current fee so that it will be hopefully paid when it's due. The next big fee will be due when I officially say that I accept Penny to be my daughter. I actually can't officially accept UNLESS I have the money to pay that fee. After that will be another hurry up and wait while paying down fees (hopefully on time). The biggest thing I'm trying to share right now is something that seems so far away but will be here before you know it. Travel. I have been allowed to set up a Reece's Rainbow grant so that I can hopefully travel as soon as I'm allowed, I would hate for her to stay in the orphanage longer because I can't afford to travel. All donations there go to Reece's Rainbow and then when I have travel dates they grant me those funds directly to the travel agent. I cannot use those fund for agency fees unless there are fees outstanding that I need to pay but I'm hoping to be able to cover all those myself before then so when it is time to travel I just have to think about that. Since Reece's Rainbow is a non-profit all donations are tax-deductible for US citizens!
How to Help with Agency Fees:
Pledge on Patreon - http://patreon.com/choiceofmotherhood
Purchase a T-Shirt - http://hopeinthemaking.com
How to Help with Travel Expenses:
Donate to the grant - https://reecesrainbow.org/126105/sponsorpenny (tax deductible for US citizens)
Purchase a Gift Card - https://www.babylist.com/micheleadoption
I am 31, single, and been on my journey to becoming a single mother since 2013. I have struggled with infertility and I am now on the path to international adoption of a little girl with Down syndrome. Come join me on my journey to becoming a mother!