Our First Challenge

It has arrived – and a lot more quickly than I thought it would.

As a part of the required paperwork, we are required (and rightly so!) to submit Criminal Record Checks.  In a country like Canada, this is straightforward and takes a brief few minutes.  But we spent a year living in China!  Anyone who has ever dealt with the Chinese government knows that obtaining any kind of document from China is a process – sometimes an impossible one, and always a challenging one!

In China, the document we are needed is called a Police Clearance Check (PCC).  My research indicates that we are definitely not the only people in this pickle. Many people in many countries that have had the pleasure if living in China later find themselves needing this form.

The form itself should be easily obtainable, by friends or agency (although many forums state that agencies charge huge fees and do not deliver the goods – a typical issue when dealing with an agency overseas).  However, the MCFD requires that it is sent directly to them – again, understandable under normal circumstances, but difficult when coming from China.  In addition, a friend obtaining this form as required by China would be unacceptable by the MCFD because it compromises the integrity of the document.

I absolutely understand why this form is needed, and I completely understand why the MCFD requires a direct submission – but it could prove costly, very costly.  It could also take a lot of time.  The adoption process always takes time, but this will add to that in a huge way.

Until this comes together, our Home Study cannot begin.  So for now we’re in a holding pattern.

One solution – take things one day at a time, and do our absolute best! And add our first challenge to our prayer list 🙂

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And it begins…

I didn’t sleep much the night before we dropped off our completed Adoption Application.

I do not think I have ever felt such a huge range of emotions for one event – but then, applying to adopt a one of BC’s waiting children is not an ordinary event!  And beginning the search for a teenager is even more unique!

Jean and I began this process in 2011.  We were told that the required Adoption Education Program classes could take up to a year to complete as they weren’t offered often, and certain ones are required before taking others – but it just so happened that they were in the right order for us, and we were finished 7 weeks later!

But we knew that the time just wasn’t right for us.  We put the process on hold, but continued to research and read and learn and pray and wait… and here we are!  This is the time!  And we’re so excited!!!

The Application to Adopt was pretty straightforward – mainly background information, reference information, questions about finances and work.  But I found the Adoption Questionnaire quite difficult!  It is two pages of check boxes, each indicating something we would accept or refuse in a waiting child.  We have filled this form out twice now, and each time was just as difficult!

When people ask why I found it so difficult, I find it hard to put it in words – but I’ll try.  Some questions are easy, like the type of adoption you prefer, age range, gender, number of children, etc.  But then you get into background factors and special needs that you’ll accept.  So then you’re checking boxes, thinking this would work and we could do that, but we couldn’t handle that and aren’t open to that… and every time you leave a box blank, you know that this means you won’t be adopting some child who is more than deserving of a loving family and stable home.  Does that make sense?  To put it very crudely, that form felt to me like I was shopping for a child – a completely abhorrent thought! Yet it so important during this process to be true to yourself and be honest about what challenges you feel equipped to face.

So now we hurry up and wait some more.  Our social worker was amazing to talk to, and completely, brutally honest about the process ahead of us.  Because we are looking to adopt a teen, our application to adopt will be given top priority (bcadoption.com states that “Priority is given to Aboriginal families, child-specific applications, and families interested in adopting a teen”).  The next step will be our home study, which MCFD will contract out to one of the local agencies.

I asked if there is anything we can do to “prepare” (for lack of a better word) for our homestudy ahead of time, but apparently there isn’t.  I guess it’s one of those things where we have to go with the flow… anyone have any advice for us?

In the meantime, we are preparing to educate our family, friends, and church on adoption, and how best they can support us in our journey.  We are connecting with support groups in our community, and talking to those of our friends who have been through all of this before (some of them a few times!).  We are so thankful for the amazing people in our lives!!!