I may be one of the few people who has looked up the meaning of WAITING (although I feel like we are currently living it too) but before you google it, here it is: the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.
Yup, sounds about right! That is 100% what we are doing!
Half way through 2018 and no referral call yet. At first I was disappointed and discouraged by this realization. But then a couple things happened. Read on, friends!
Last month we got an email from AGCI (adopting agency) that the Bulgaria program was being taking over by a new case worker/staff member. The last 18 months we’ve had a couple different people in that position so I sighed to myself and procrastinated on scheduling the requested phone introduction with her. Fast forward a couple weeks and I got another email so reluctantly I scheduled it on a day when I knew Nick and I would have a rare free moment together.
What came from that phone call? Confidence and Hope.
Our new contact is freaking fantastic. Direct and experienced, two of my favorite things in a person. She allowed us to share how we have been doing emotionally the last year, all of the changes in homestudy agencies, and that even though the waiting is tough we are realistic about where we at in the process. She validated each concern with grace and love and proved to us that she didn’t think of us as “just another waiting family”. She truly cares for our future child already and is going to fight for us to be united with them.
She also filled us in on what’s been going on in Bulgaria and why we haven’t seen a lot of referral emails (they send out emails to all of the families in the program when a family gets matched with a child) in the last year. Bear with me as I explain it, it is as complicated as it gets. Please note: I’m giving the simple version, please understand there are A LOT of working parts in International adoption and things change constantly.
Around 2015, the government decided to “separate “ the special needs from non-special needs kiddos in the system by sending the “non-special needs” kids to be cared for by foster homes while the others went to orphanages. Huge process for any country, right? Let alone a small country with limited resources. What was meant as positive movement in the system actually turned into a bigger project. A recent discovery showed that a huge amount of these kids did not get registered which means their files were not getting to agencies to match with their families. Simple words? Children who woke up each day with the thought of “will today be the day I get a family?”, were essentially unknown in the system. Any one else’s heart breaking? Ours did too.
Thank God someone realized the problem and they jumped into action. The MOJ (Ministry of Justice) is now sending staff into each foster home to update files and get those kids registered.
What does that specifically mean for us?
1. Because of the limited staff and resources, there may be less people able to help match the kids who are already registered with families. This translates into an overall slow down.
2. There is a good chance there are special needs children in the foster system who shouldn’t be but because they weren’t registered properly, they got stuck. As the staff see kiddos in this situation they might allow them to be matched with a family right away. Which will possibly speed up referrals!
Now, before you go being mad at Bulgaria that this happened, I encourage you to focus on the fact that they found ways to make corrections as soon as they could. They know this affected kids and families and are working with the resources that they have to unite families. And I, for one, am thankful for that. There are lots of countries that would have saw the problem, decided it took too much time/money to correct it and simply closed their governments and in turn, NO adoptions would happen. This is one reason we were excited about choosing Bulgaria to adopt from, they really do care for their children. Considering Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU, they do the best they can and Nick and I are confident in the country our child currently calls home.
So, no we didn’t get a referral call yet, but I’m thankful for just a little glimpse of movement in the right direction!
Alright, onto some more news. I feel like I’ve totally failed in the blog department and I truly apologize for that. I have struggled with knowing what to write and what to share when I know you (like us) just want to see those words “WE HAVE BEEN MATCHED”, and that just hasn’t happened yet.
Because of that, I have made a decision to shift some of the focus of this blog. In the coming months, I want to do posts of the following:
- Recap of our story up until this point. I know there are some people who have joined our journey recently and may not read back on previous posts. And that’s OK! It’s a lot to sort through and time is precious!
- Provide ways YOU can help! Whether you desire to help in our journey or start one of your own, I hope you can glean from some of the upcoming posts!
- Share other adoption stories and blogs. I love hearing other people’s stories–each adoption story is unique and needs to be celebrated. Stay tuned for guest blog posts! (Want to share your story? Contact me! 🙂 )
- Random life happenings that keep Nick and I busy in this waiting season. This may include family time, friend adventures, date nights, trips, or whatever! I’ve tried to do some of this in past posts but going to be more intentional about sharing how we wait 🙂
- Want to know more about the country of Bulgaria? That’s great because there will be a post on that too!
Have an idea for a post or question you want answered? Contact me!
I know I say this a lot, but we genuinely thank you for the continued prayers, questions, and support you all show us!