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Revisiting China

Posted Feb 13 2011 5:50am
It is still hard for me think about the fact that we came soooo close to adopting from China and then withdrew. (To read about our decision to withdraw, you can click here .) For those of you who are newbie readers, we were on the list to adopt from China when Isaac was born. We stayed on even after Elijah was born, and then, due to the incredible growth in the wait-time, decided to withdraw.

But at MOPs on Thursday I met a fellow adoptive mom. She ended up adopting a special needs son from China when the wait time grew so incredibly. (We were unable to switch to waiting child because of the ages of the boys when we pulled out of China amongst other reasons.) Her log-in date was April 2006. Mine was April 2008. They are not anywhere near processing April 2006.

Meeting her flooded me with memories of what could have been. It is still painful for me to think about our China adoption. I wish so badly we could have seen it through. But I also know we did the right thing.

Here are some facts I have recently gathered about the China adoption wait which has confirmed in my heart that we made the right decision
  • People receiving referrals to their child today will have waited approximately 3 years (3.5-4 year total wait) when they were told one year. (It is estimated that we would still be five years or more away from getting a referral.)
  • People putting in their dossier today can expect a wait of EIGHT years.
  • There are only two things that can reduce wait times for people who are already waiting: either the CCAA must process dossiers faster, or some of the people in the queue must drop out.
  • It is unfortunate but true that supply and demand don't track with each other. The number of people who work at the CCAA is determined by China's budgetary processes, like any other government agency. The number of Westerners who want to adopt is determined by public perceptions of how adoption from China compares to other adoption programs and to other methods of building a family. While visibility and acceptance of adoption from China has vastly increased, the number of people employed at the CCAA has not changed at all.
  • China has 669 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to our (now removed) dossier. 669 doesn't seem like that many, but China currently processes about 4.6 days of dossiers each month.
  • Using one online calculator, the best guess for how long it would take for OUR dossier to come to the front? February 2019! I kid you not! That means every single year, from now until 2019 we would have to be getting new fingerprints and homestudy updates. This was what most concerned JB and myself. We had already spent a good bit of money. But the money that it would cost to make these updates for 5 or 10 years would be the equivalent of what we had already spent. We felt we needed to cut our losses when we did. We felt that the extra money we would be paying could be spent somewhere else -- in helping others adopt or adopting again ourselves.

Anyways, just wanted to share. This information confirmed that JB and I guessed right and it was time to "get out" before had to spend another thousand dollars to updaet our dossier in 2009, right after Elijah was born. It still hurts that it had to be this way, and I often wonder why God lead us into China instead of another country where wait times were considerably lower. But we continue to move forward, step-by-step. What I do know is that if we had gone a faster route, that child would already be with us, and we would be facting the prospect of welcoming a fourth child into our family. (Woah!)

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