This might be a rambling post, but it will hopefully bring everybody up to speed since I have been sitting on this "secret" for over a year! I also plan on using this blog as a memory book for Shepherd.
I first started looking into a second adoption before Regan even came home! We got stuck in the early stages of the slow down in China and there were many times I thought our adoption would never happen. I researched countries and decided that Vietnam was the best fit for me. Fast forward to Regan coming home and then being hospitalized. That hospital experience was the scariest, biggest learning experience of my life. I realized that I was strong enough to handle special needs (with the support of family) and I also sat in the hospital and knew that my engagement would probably never result in a marriage as I felt I had very little support on that end of things.
I had my first post placement visit with my social worker and I discussed the possibility of adopting from Vietnam. I knew I would have to wait a year to begin the process as the rule was there had to be a one year gap between each adoption. We then discussed Joel's and my upcoming marriage and how that would probably make a second adoption difficult (due to many different reasons, # of children in the home, waiting three years past marriage, Joel had a previous divorce, etc). I wanted a little boy so bad, but resigned to put it on the back burner.
In September of 2007, Joel and I were no longer together and my social worker and I had another post placement visit which we also counted towards my first home study visit for an adoption from Vietnam. I had decided to move forward in my pursuit of a second adoption! I rushed through all of the paperwork because it was determined it could be a several year wait. By February of 2008, I had the dossier complete and ready to mail to my agency to then be forwarded to Vietnam. During this entire time, there was a lot of rumbling about the possibility that the adoption agreement between the US and Vietnam was going to expire and not be renewed. The current agreement was set to expire in September 2008. The US State Department issued a warning to not begin new adoptions as they could not promise the adoptions could be completed. I had many phone calls with my social worker who thought that I would be grandfathered in and would be able to complete the adoption even if the agreement expired. She did give me the disclaimer that there was no guarantee. I would have had to take a huge leap of faith and also put up front a huge amount of money that would not be refunded should the adoption not happen. Something told me not to do it.......I could not send my dossier.
I began researching different options and came upon several roadblocks because I am single. I narrowed it down to India, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia. India had a long wait time and my social worker discouraged me from this program as she felt it was a rocky road to completion. Nepal wasn't open to adoptions yet, although my social worker really felt that would be a good fit for me. Ethiopia was quickly gaining popularity and becoming a longer wait, and Kazakhstan required two trips with one lasting a month. I also scoured waiting children lists and emailed many different agencies about different children. For many reasons, I felt that none of those situations was working for me. I emailed an adoption agency, Journeys of the Heart about three of their waiting children. They gave very little information, just three or four lines about the basics of the children. I didn't hear back from them and I promptly forgot I emailed them as I had been contacting so many people at that time.
To be continued...