Surprising Adoption News: a new file, a new country

Last year we were very excited to open our file to adopt again from Ethiopia, and now we are excited to say that we have opened a file in the USA for fostercare adoption as well.

Ethiopia was, in fact,to the third country we had tried for our second adoption. First, there was the DRC (Congo) that we pulled out of within a matter of months. I could see the writing on the wall, and sure enough, the program is closed now.

So we switched to Lesotho, a small boutique program run by a fantastic agency in BC. Due to the country’s elections, politics and eventual compliance with The Hague Convention, the adoption process slowed to a trickle. We were just poised to receive a referral, when, The agency for Ethiopia started accepting applications again.

So we made the hard choice, and jumped ship to Ethiopia. (A little summary of our adoption timeline.)

At first, it seemed like things were progressing well. But now I’m honestly not sure if anything is going to happen. We took a risk pioneering a special needs program, and it doesn’t look like it will pan out anytime soon. And the general waiting list has a very, very long wait time. Ethiopia is an outside bet, at the moment.

Anyway, the kids are getting older, and I’m feeling the urge more and more strongly to add to our family. Jason would be fine with just the two girls, but my urge to add kids isn’t going away… It’s intensifying.

We’ve had many discussions with the kids about their priorities, and most important to them is that they have a brother, and that he (or they) have brown skin. It’s very important to them that they outnumber us, and we are totally down with that. Since their are precious few kids (read: almost none) of colour in BC, and we aren’t up for a baby (I have changed one diaper in my life, and I’m not about to start now…) so that leaves US fostercare. And through a strange twist of adoption rules, we can have our file open in both the US and Ethiopia at the same time.

I’m actually very excited about adopting through US fostercare. Like most crazy adoptive mothers, I’ve spent late night trolling through the waiting child website, imagining kids faces superimposed in our family picture. There are so many beautiful kids, funny kids, shy kids, outgoing kids, and normal kids… And they all deserve a family. There are an inordinate amount of black children in fostercare, and black boys are most overrepresented.

I’d always been told that you can’t adopt through US fostercare to Canada… But that isn’t actually the case. It’s totally possible… It’s just hard. The individual child’s casework at the county level has to agree to work with one of the extremely few Hague-approved-for-outgoing-adoptions agencies that actually does fostercare adoptions. I can count these agencies on one hand, in the whole USA, by the way. And then our agency in Canada has to be cool with it, and have a good working relationship with a US agency.

Luckily, so far, the starts have aligned as far as agencies go. Now we just have to find the kid… And convince their county social worker that Canada is a good option! Lol

Wish us luck in this next leg of our adoption journey!

One (or two!) sons from America (or Ethiopia,) here we come!

8 thoughts on “Surprising Adoption News: a new file, a new country

  1. We looked into adoption from US foster care many years ago. There was a sib group of three girls that I rather fell in love with without having met but our circumstances at the time were not ideal for the placement as they had family there that they needed to maintain contact with and we couldn’t afford to all fly there twice a year. I’m really excited for you guys and excited to see how things unfold.

    • Thanks! Every case is so different, and it will be exciting to learn more about any potential matches. Mostly, case workers are interested in placing children within their county or state… But hopefully there will be the right kids for us, that the case worker will be ok with sending them to the wilds of Canada! Lol

  2. Very excited for you, and can empathize with the long and winding road of adoption. We were in our second adoption process for almost 5 years (whereas our first adoption process was completed in about 20 months!). We started with Ethiopia and when CAFAC almost went bankrupt started prep work for Lesotho, then it slowed down and we switched to Swaziland, which was poised to open for a long time… to my knowledge it never did. We finally realized that we were done… done with putting our life on hold, done with that phase of parenting (were planning originally for under 2 years of age) etc etc. I still feel pangs of sadness about it, including that our Ethiopian-born daughter will never have her “brown” sibling (her request). But life is good with 3 kids and we are so fortunate to have experienced the absolute privilege of adoption…. I wish you all the best in your journey!!!

    • IT’s really hard, isn’t it, Gloria, to be on that train for many years!

      We have local friends who have been 8 years in the adoption process, including country switches, and just this week! passed court with their new Ethiopian son. But 8 years??? It’s so so so long to be in limbo…

  3. That’s very exciting news, Arnica…and how great that you can have a file open in two countries at once. Good luck on this new path of your journey!!

  4. Hi Arnica

    I was wondering if you would be willing to share information regarding us foster care adoption. I tried to pursue this five years ago and was told it was not possible.


    • Hi Shauna! I would love to share with you some ideas about Foster care adoption, but we are still in the beginning stage. There are a lot of unknowns, and things are literally changing this month with the implementation of the Hague convention in the US.

      However, I will be happy to tell you all about the process if we indeed have a successful foster care adoption! I’m not holding out on you, I just don’t want to give you bad advice, as we are still working out all the details.

      In the meanwhile, you might want to have a conversation with your local adoption agency in your own province and see what they say no!

      Best of luck, and I will be sure to update you on the process we have followed if it indeed pans out.

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