Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Russia with Apprehension

I don't watch TV. In fact, Tim and I don't even have cable. And I don't read the newspaper or visit or any other news site. When Whitney Houston died, people on facebook told me. Jo Paterno would still be alive if I hadn't been facebook friends with Penn State fans. So anyway, to say I am not up to date on news is an understatement. Most of my news comes from what Tim tells me when we go running today and talk about anything to pass the time. So when I got an e-mail from our adoption agency saying:

We are aware of the recent news stories from Russia and the US press
stating that the Foreign Ministry has called for a suspension of international adoptions. There is a related story stating that some regions in Russia have unofficially stopped working on international adoptions.

I was suddenly a little concerned that I wasn't more of a news person. The first e-mail we got just freaked me out and didn't provide much information. The second e-mail we got also freaked me out but provided more information. Basically, here is what our adoption agency has found to be true, at the elementary level of my understanding.

In 2011 there was a "bilateral agreement" signed by Russia and the US that was meant to help facilitate international adoption of Russian children to the US. There is, I guess, legislation that is to be passed as a result of this agreement. However, for reasons unknown to me, it has yet to be passed. Russian elections are scheduled for March sometime and I suppose after that they are expecting that the new people in office will pass the necessary legislation pertaining to this document. It is my understanding that this is a positive thing for us and not a negative thing.

So, again, for reasons unknown to me, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for a temporary termination of adoptions between the two countries until the State Duma (big boss man) can pass the legislation pertaining to the document. However, it is my understanding that none of this will happen until after things have settled after the new elections. BUT, all hope is not lost because apparently, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not actually have the authority to hault adoptions (go figure) and this authority only lies in the hands of the State Duma (big boss man) or Russian President (biggest boss man). Neither of them have called for any type of change to the current adoptions. BUT, is is possible that in unity with the ministry of foreign affairs, the regional courts may decide to participate in an unofficial suspension of adoptions to the US. I guess they can do this? Go figure.

So, we're not really sure where this leaves us for a number of reasons. First, we do not know if our region Vladivostok will choose to participate in an unofficial but apparently legal suspension. I am hesitant to check with our adoption agency about our specific region because we have so long to referral anyway. Which brings me to my next point: we are currently only 1 month in to our probable 6-9 month wait (which will actually become close to one year until everything is final), so with regards to legislation being passed or not passed or things being held or not held, we have a lot of time for that to happen. This, of course, freaks me out because I feel very vulnerable to anything that may happen.

Of course, my biggest fear is that we will not get our daughter. But I have no basis for this fear quite yet. But "assume the worst" can sometimes be my middle name. My second, and perhaps more reasonable fear, is that it will delay us getting our daughter. Or, the third option is, we will not be affected at all. Of course, we are hoping and praying for the latter.

They say international adoption is a tumultuous, emotional, and scary ride. They were not kidding. We have so much invested in this. My heart has already been given to our unknown daughter. As terrified as I am about what lies ahead, I am so emotionally invested in bringing this little girl home to us. She is already my child and my family and my heart will not be complete without her.

So we hang on for her and hope and pray that she will find her way to our home in a timely manner. And we hope and pray for all the other children who are waiting in orphanages in poor conditions to meet their forever families. We pray that the bureaucracy ruling over them will not delay their time until they are loved an included in a family.

Please join us in prayer not only for our adoption for for all others in process, that courts would not suspend adoptions and that things will continue normally prior to and through the elections next month.