We haven't actually posted about the adoption in a while. Not because it's stalled. Or forgotten. It's just a very. long. wait. Very long.
Our log-in-date was October 9, 2007. Which means we'll have officially been waiting for two full years come next month. We waited 6 months for Casey. 12 months for Marcie. And even if the trend were simply to double the wait time for each additional child, we'd at least be getting a referral in another month. But that's not the case. In fact, recent "predictions" put us getting a referral in 2015.
When I see numbers like that, I wonder why anyone would want to adopt from China. Since you can't submit your paperwork until you're 30, it means that you'd be getting your child at 37. Of course, as an almost-37-year-old myself, it's not that I think that 37 is too old. It's just not that young, either.
So who knows what we'll do. But for now, we're still standing in line.
We actually renewed our I-171H last spring. It was set to expire in March 2009. Because we knew we'd be waiting more than another 18 months, we had the option of letting the paperwork expire and then just updating everything, under the new Hague rules, when our turn gets closer. But it seems easier to just keep things current, so that's what we've opted for. We had to do additional parenting/international adoption classes to meet our homestudy agency's Hague requirements, but we're still filed under the old I-600A regime, which will expire again in another year.
Renewing the I-600A was a little bit confusing because our local USCIS office has changed how it does things but directing people to different office based alphabetically. Using Jason's last name, it would have meant sending us as far south in the county as possible. But because we filed under my full last name (my maiden name and my married name), we kept our "central" location, which is a couple blocks from my office. We filled out the paperwork, wrote a letter, met with our homestudy agency to get the updated homestudy, and walked in all the paperwork. They gave us a new fingerprint form, and once we completed it and turned it in, they processed the new I-600A. A little time consuming, but nothing too painful. And because we were "grandfathered" in and this is our first extension, we even got a waiver on the renewal fee.
In other news, it appears that our paperwork has finally made it through the review room in China. We didn't get any questions, so I think we're in the clear. On the one hand, I'm a little disturbed that China is making decisions on information two years old-- which will be somewhere around 5 years old when we ultimately adopt. On the other hand, I'm grateful we don't have to update it because it's a super big hassle. And the United States requires us to stay current on the information with the State every 18 months, so it's not like we can have a major life change that isn't tracked.
We don't talk much about the China adoption anymore. It just seems so distant, it's easier not to dwell on it. The kids understand it, vaguely, but it's really not worth emphasizing. Some days I think that we're just meant to be a family of four, and I'm okay with that. But deep down, I just don't feel like we're "done" yet. So we wait. And wait. And wait.