Lately, I've been having a really hard time with our wait. I think the reason is that we keep getting mixed messages about how long it might be.
First, we were lead to believe it would be years before we received a straight referral, and we resolved to strongly consider children on the waiting list as the more likely alternative. But then our lawyer told our social worker that he thought we'd be the next family from our agency to get a referral, and we were confounded. I was sure he meant the referral of (a) child(ren) off the list, but my husband wasn't so certain. We asked for clarification, and it came in the most unusual form.
My agency was concerned because they have several families that have been waiting for over a year for a referral from Peru (we've been officially waiting since September), so our lawyer requested a meeting with the Peruvian authorities' new Secretary. He asked for clarification on how waiting families are classified, and if there was a list, ordered by how long a family was waiting, that could show us how many families were "in front" of us for referrals. We know that Peruvian and Peruvian-mixed families get precedence, but it would be nice to know how far back we are compared to other non-Peruvian applicants.
The Secretary explained that there is no such list, and that when they consider a child for placement, they consider all approved families that would be a possible match. If there are multiple good matches, they refer the child to the family that has been waiting the longest, and if there are none, the child is added to the Waiting Angels list. What this means is that we are supposedly being considered at every matching session, and since we are open to a wide variety of special needs, we could receive a referral at any session! (Most of the families in my agencies program are seeking a healthy child under the age of 3, and that's why they have had such a long wait.)
The Secretary also explained that the matching committee has a general impression that Americans only want healthy children, so they don't usually consider them for children with special needs. Since this is not true for all Americans (but apparently the majority), we have been given the opportunity to submit a check-list to make it easier for them when they try to find matches. We did, and since it was pretty basic, we wrote in the comments field that they should look towards our application letter and homestudy for more information on the types of special needs we feel comfortable with. With this new information, we hope to be considered more seriously at the coming matching sessions.
And now I'm a complete ball of nerves. It's obvious that my agency things that a year is a long wait from Peru; we've been waiting 5 months. We've done everything we know how to bring our openness to the forefront of the matching committee's consciousness. We know that there are a lot of families only open to healthy children, and we are open to older children with a variety of special needs. All this points to us being close to a match, but the reality is that we know there are families that have waited for over a year (not just Americans) and are still waiting.
There's a matching session tomorrow, and all week, it's been all I can do to keep my heart in my chest. I would love a straight referral. That would eliminate all my anxiety over "picking" my child(ren). In a few weeks, we will have been at this for over 2 years, and now with each month, I can feel my hope, idealism, and sanity slipping away. All I feel is older, and I'm kicking myself for not starting earlier. This will be our first child, my husband's industry is disappearing, and our lifestyle/finances will be drastically changed in the coming year(s). As I feel time slipping away, I pray harder and harder for siblings.
I asked my husband what he thought our chances of getting a match tomorrow was, and he said 12%. That's far higher than I thought (maybe 2%), and it just made me hopeful where I think hope is hopeless. I fully expect to my fantasies to be dashed by Friday, but I can't keep from hoping, wishing, praying, and putting all my energy into willing it to happen. And I know that all this is just going to make Friday extremely hard when I find out that we still have no child(ren) and will just have to wait for the next list to be released before there's even a possibility.
Thanks for letting me vent. I don't mean to be a downer, but this has been building up for over a week now, and I just had to get it out.