OK... I'm providing some responses to frequently asked questions. I'm sure this list will grow!
Q. How old will your child be when he/she joins your family?
A. Dunno! Our agency says that between 1 and 2 years old is realistic and possible. We are young -- 32 and 33 is young for adopting, but um, middle-aged in terms of natural parenting. We've heard that the Polish adoption authority tends to place younger children with younger parents. But who really knows the magic placement formula. We do know that most children placed in orphanages have had to remain on a national registry for some time (6-8 mos.+) before becoming available for adoption. I think that is because they want to have this time to be sure that terminating parental rights is appropriate and see if there is some placement possible by an extended birth family member. Our agency has placed children as young as 8 months, although over a year old is much more likely. We have checked the 0-3 box.
Q. Do you get to choose your specific child?
A. Nope - our child will pick us! OK…well, at least the Polish adoption authority will match us. Our understanding is that they meet periodically and place children with adopting parents and then send a "referral" to the parents. This referral will come with pictures, medical information and any other info that they can send. Then, we will have time to think it through and talk with a doctor about any medical concerns. If we are comfortable, we accept the referral. If we are not, we can decide to wait for another referral.
Q. Will you be getting a boy or a girl?
A. Dunno! Whatever happens, happens. We thought about this for about 2 minutes. Then we checked the "either" box. In some circles I hear that boys are generally more "available" than girls…but that is not necessarily the case. We'll roll the dice on this one.
Q. Why Poland?
A. The beauty of responding to this question here is that I've written a blog entry on that one below. See January 25, 2007.
Q. Do you have to go to Poland?
A. Yes, twice! The first trip will be to officially meet our child, they call this a bonding trip. It is also when we will have our first court hearing to state our intentions to adopt the specific child. The court will then set a final court hearing about a month later. Then, the second trip will be to return for the final court hearing and bring our child home.
Q. How long does this process take?
A. Approximately one year. Our agency says they like to see adoptions completed within a year. I've seen some take less time, and many take more time. A lot of it depends on if you accept the first referral that you are sent. If we do, I believe we could travel on the first trip by the end of this year, or beginning of next year. If we do not accept the first referral, it could be well into next year when it is all completed.