29 July 2008

smell smoke?

Okay, so I lied. I didn't knowingly lie to you. And, I'm not completely sure I've lied to you. (Which would mean that this post telling you that I lied is actually a lie.) But I think I've previously presented you with untrue information.

Remember this recent post about referrals? (I so enjoyed reading what others pictured The Waiting-for-Referral Place to be like!) Well. Things are different.

It used to be that you were registered and then waited for a referral.

But, there's a law that says that a family must be matched and presented with a referral before they've been registered for x days (I think x = 90...Jim?). Because so many people have similar requests for age/health requirements, it is not always possible to do this. So, either a family could be presented with a referral who does not match their requests or they are not given a referral within x days. Either the law is broken in the x-factor, or an unsuitable referral is given.

To avoid either of those situations, some regions (or some agencies...I don't really know) have started to do things a little backwards. What is actually going to happen with my dossier is that it will be translated and then held by new agency's workerman, S. (I don't think he will actually hold it in his hand all the time. I think it will be in his office.) When S knows that there is a child/ren who match my requests (I don't know how he knows this. Spideysense?) then my dossier will be registered and I'll be officially given the referral and invited to meet her/them.

I'm kinda bummed about this. I know it doesn't really matter, in this case, if the horse is pulling the cart (I was going to say troika instead to give it a Russian flavour, but thought it might be stretching the horse-before-the-cart cliche too far for it to be recognized. Opinions?) or nudging it from behind...but...it messes up my mental picture. I guess it basically works the same...that the piles I've imagined are in S's office and he has the pictures of PAP's from Tricia's war room plastered around...but...it just feels...backwards.

And, what about all the piles from other agencies? They're not in S's office. (Please--it's not that big.) So, how do we fit those people into the mental picture? Where exactly are their documents? In THEIR agency's offices? (This region has many agencies working in it.)

If someone from another agency has the same requests I do, and a match becomes available, does S, his Spideysense a-tingling, go rummaging wildly through the piles, shouting my name at three perfectly-manicured women assistants? Do they all race to find my dossier, and then pass it to S who grabs it and simultaneously attempts to hurdle the metal wastebasket and put on his jacket? When he fails to clear the bin and bangs his shin and has to hop and mutter expletives, do the well-shod women retrieve spilled paperwork from the floor and stuff it back in the folder, even as S heads out the door? Does S then sprint for the MOE's office, limping slightly, in a fierce competition with other limping, swearing facilitators whose jackets aren't quite on to get me registered before those other people? Is it just The Amazing Race after all?

And it means that my big goal of REGISTRATION! is not really for trues. I guess, instead, it's when my stuff is translated and neatly piled in S's office (surely the piles there are neater...I can't imagine those three women letting it get too messy...) and my picture's up in the war room.

But is so ephemeral. (I know that means short-lived. But it sounds like it should mean fairy-like, elusive, insubstantial, amorphous. But those words that actually mean that don't have the sound I want. Just humour me.) I don't think they'll tell me when that is. So, we won't get to have the registration party after all. I guess the party will just have to wait. Shocker, eh?


A Room to Grow said...

Typically, our agency doesn't register people in a particular region. Our dossier went to Moscow, it was translated, and then put in the fridge until a referral was found. When we said "yes", our dossier was sent to the region and registered.

Our agency says that they do it this way so that our options were open for receiving a referral from any (?) region.

I have heard that some families from our agency actually have their dossiers registered in a particular region, because they have a "waiting list" in some ... they do that in regions where they have lots of "in demand" (=infant / young toddler) referrals.

One other tidbit on this topic. When we were presented with the referrals of two girls (which ended up being three, blind-referral situation, so we didn't go), our dossier got sent to that region because we needed them to "invite" us to the region on Trip #1. We needed special paperwork for our visas. When we backed out, apparently some of our paperwork was left behind in that region, so we had to re-do some docs.

In the region we adopted from, we didn't need that special paperwork. We traveled on tourist visas.

All in all, I think this approach works to your advantage unless you want to be tied to a particular region.

Unknown said...

I started the process dumb. I went thru it dumb. For two years mind you. I thought it was best if I did not know the process. I remain, a mother of three, two years later, still dumb. So I cannot tell you how it "went" with us. Sorry. I will tell you that I also have a tendency to make words mean what I want them to mean. However, my words are much less "academic" and are typically of the ilk such as "hoobie hoobie".

Anonymous said...

Here's what I think. "S" has moles at various points along the orphanage pipeline. He puts the word out to them that he's looking for whatever your requests are. If the mole can hook him up, the mole will get a little bonus. Once he has a lead on someone who fits your bill, then the actual process can begin. It's sort of like finding a missing person in reverse.

Is that any nicer of a picture than Spideysense?

Rachael said...

Oh, if your little (is it really little?) dossier had eyes and ears, what a story it would have to tell someday. It should, for all the heart and soul you've poured into it!

One of my blog pals has a footer quote "happy is she who is able to know the cause of things." That's what I thought of when I read your post. I too wanted all the little nitty-gritty on how things were working, but I got a lot of very nebulous answers, which makes me think, maybe Dawn is on to something. I bet it goes down kind of like that.

Annie said...

Firstly - you BRILLIANT GIRL! Yes! Ephemeral means exactly what you say it means, and always has done to me, despite all evidence to the contrary.

This sounds BETTER to me! So long as S likes you a lot. Also, sounds to me like asking for daughter(s)-to-be is far better than a daughter-to-be, since you would then be more likely to "fit", than someone less open to multiples.

And, now we can all bend our mental powers towards the person of S. We must hope that S has the sort of stature and appeal in the MOE office that will obtain for him the attentions of the beautifully manicured women working there (at least that's what they were in Ivanovo!)

It always seemed very much to me that things went smoothly for us because of the very nice gifts I always brought. And still send...just "in case". Or - perhaps, out of habit. No. It is really because now these people are right up there with God for me....having given me my children. I'll feel gratitude to them forever!

Becky and Keith said...

I like Dawn's thoughts... it's all about who you know and since anyone with Spideysense knows everything and everyone I think you're in good hands!! :-)

Tami said...

I'm with Dawn. This could be a very good thing. Our Russian process was similar to this. The only difference was in a small region, and our agency had some amazing connections with the babyhouse in the main city, so we KNEW when a child fit our criteria. This new way, while it may totally blow the image you had in your mind of the process, will work just fine. Honest.
BTW - You are totally right about ephemeral...they have definitely misdefined it. ;) And its not used often enough in my opinion. I need to write a post about words with great pronunciations, but which are all too often left out of everyday conversation. Like onomatopoeia or discombobulated. I don't know how I would use onomatopoeia in a sentence, but I love how the word just rolls right off the tongue.

Anonymous said...

One of the other aparents at our agency (who adopted 2x) had said that they have 14 days to get a match. I had thought that really each orphanage worked with only one team of facilitators and you were still "in line" with other people from your agency. I know another ap from my agency had a child id'd for her but they had to wait for 5 Russian families to pass over the child before she was referred to my friend.

But in any case - I think "registering" is still an important goal for your dossier - it means it's there just waiting for a referral that could come any day....

and I will remind you again how I was told it would be another 5 months or so and the next week we received our referral - She needed a home and the other people "in front" of me in line were waiting for someone else!

So you just need to get in line Ms. Kate!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, they always say it's all about connections. That makes perfect sense with this new piece of information. I'm sure S's connections are the best, as well as his Spidey sense!

Hmm...ephemeral. I think I saw that word on www.freerice.com last night. Check it out! You'll like it!

Or it could be you just like the word because it sounds a little like elephant....

Anonymous said...

I like your use of ephemeral but I was thinking that I actually want ephemeral to have it's true meaning in your situation and in fact this stage is to be "Short-lived" and you will now be quickly on to your referral and the rest of forever with your girl(s)

Matt and Carla Morgan said...

Backward? Russian adoption? No, it's not ringing any bells for me. :)

In Ekat - you have to register (shocker?) - but, I don't recommend it right now - too unfun.

I totally would have gotten troita!

I still think you should have a party - now and then.


Oh, and I kind of hope S holds it in his hand! Precious cargo.

Anonymous said...

My process was done that way - the backwards way, so it does work. Just try not to pay attention to any of it because it will make you ill.

Jenni said...

Our adoption went the same way - we were registered in our region after the referral came through. It gave us more options for referrals - if you are registered in a particular region, then you are limited to only the children available from that region.

Personally, I tried not to think about it too much. By nature, I am an over-analyzer who likes to know what is happening and when. I also like to have back-up plans in place for any possible forks in the road. Adoption from Russia basically threw me for a loop, spun me upside down, and then left me dangling there, not sure of where I was or what had just happened.

Once you let go of the illusion of control, everything is so much easier.

Jim said...

Kate - wow am I LATE to this post!

I don't recall any federal laws dictating how quickly a referral must be made after you register. I'm pretty sure that is a regional thing. So, it is possible (probable?) that your region works just as they have described.

I also remember thinking, back in 2004, that I knew what to expect. I had carefully researched all of the information I could find and drew up a nice little timeline with milestones and anticipated dates. All of this, of course, was verified against other families traveling to the same region within the previous few months.

Then, WHAM. The federal MoE stopped sending out release letters and for the first time some agencies were not immediately reaccredited. I thought for sure we would be delayed until it was all resolved. Next thing you know, not only did we get registered in the middle of that, but our agency somehow managed to get us a release letter and a court date! This was back when agencies had more freedom in matching kids with parents.

To make a long story short, my timeline was totally useless against reality. MANY things happened that I didn't expect, but in the end it all worked out and we adopted our DD. I also came to the conclusion that it was easier if relinquished the illusion of control.

I hope and pray that things will happen quickly for you.