~ Leap Of Faith ~

The Collins Family

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Notice Regarding Time Frames

We just received this email from the Philippines program director at Holt. It definitely isn't encouraging news as we liked the email informing us that the wait time had decreased some for the last few families that had received referrals. We are hoping that we are one of the earlier families on the list since we were put on the official waiting list before the new year. However, this portion "ICAB does give preference to those adoptive applicants where one or both are of Philippine heritage. Childless couples are also given some preference for referral of a child." is disheartening as we don't fit into either of those categories.

"Dear Philippine program families,

Please find attached an email we recently received from the new Executive Director of the Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) in the Philippines.

As you can see, due to a recent dramatic increase in applications, ICAB currently estimates a time frame increase to about 2 years for the match of a child for those families newest to this program. There is probably one main explanation for this. As other countries' adoption programs have either closed, lengthened, become less stable, or become more costly, an increasing number of families have begun turning to the Philippine program.

Due to the Philippines' smaller size and population, there are not nearly as many children who become eligible for adoption as there are from some of the larger countries and programs. We still believe the Philippine program to be a very good option. Many of you may have already noted that there are no longer very many country options for families wanting to adopt young children within a short time frame.

ICAB does give preference to those adoptive applicants where one or both are of Philippine heritage. Childless couples are also given some preference for referral of a child. Families who meet this description will likely wait a lesser period of time for a child to be matched with them. However, it isn't possible to say by how much - i.e. would it still be about 2 years, or a lesser time frame?

In light of the above, we recommend doing/thinking about the following:

1) Get your dossiers completed and sent in to us ASAP. The sooner we send your dossiers for ICAB approval, the better. If you have any questions about the dossier, please give us a call. We'd be happy to assist you in any way we can to expedite this.

2) ICAB's letter also indicated that children a little older and/or children with a special need would be matched with adoptive families more quickly. Considering this, if you wish to stay firm with the age and health parameters you originally noted in your application and dossier, it is perfectly fine. However, if you would like to expand the age range and/or health parameters you wish to consider, please let us know that as well. Please note that we do not intend to pressure you to change your current wishes, only to make you aware of this should you wish to consider it.

3) We will send an email out to everyone quarterly with an update as to what the average time frames are that families are experiencing for the referral of a child by ICAB. This way you'll have an idea how this time frame changes over time and thus how it might impact the amount of time you could possibly wait for a child to be matched with you. We are not able to give time frame expectations for individual cases at this time.

ICAB's letter also mentioned a new law they are trying to pass. Most children available for adoption in the Philippines have either been legally relinquished by a birth mother or declared abandoned in the court system. When a birth parent legally relinquishes a child, the clock starts and six months later the child is determined to be legally free for adoption. However, when a child has been abandoned, the process to declare the child abandoned in the Philippine court system will often take three or more years. By that time the child's increased age decreases his/her opportunity for placement because the older a child is the fewer families there are ready and able to adopt him/her. It's for this reason they want this law to pass - to change the process so that an abandoned child could become legally free for adoption at a faster pace.

We will keep you updated at least quarterly about the time frames and how they change over time. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience with these changes and feel free to call us with any questions you might have."

This is a letter that Holt received from the ICAB in the Philippines.

Dear Partners:

For the 1st quarter of 2008, we have noted the increase in the number of adoption applications. Although we are pleased that many of your families would want to adopt a child from our country, we are also concerned because we currently have very few children available for inter-country adoption. This would mean that there will be a longer waiting period for child placement.

ICAB and DSWD are exerting efforts to lobby for the passage of the law that will make the procedure of abandonment an administrative process which is one way to fast track the movement of children for inter-country adoption. However, until such time, we are concerned that families will have to wait for a longer period of time (perhaps from two years and longer) before they receive a child proposal from our country. Again, we emphasize the need to encourage your adoptive families to be more open in accepting children with some medical conditions and "with no background information" so that the waiting period for a child placement will be shortened. Kindly share this concern with your adoptive families.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,
Bernadette B. Abejo
Executive Director

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter from The Collin's Family

May the glory of this Easter day reside in your hearts forever. Blessings at Easter and Always! Happy Easter!
Love, Wes, Jenny, Jaidyn and Addy

PS - Happy Birthday Papa Dave!



This cute little hat matched Addy's Easter dress, but she refused to wear it this morning. However, since we have been home this evening, she hasn't taken it off.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Hooray for beautiful spring weather! We were blessed with one more day of nice weather, perfect for an Easter Egg hunt before the cooler temperatures arrive. Jaidyn, Addy, Aunt Jill, Nana, and I tie-dyed all of the Easter Eggs. I may have even found a hidden talent. My Easter egg coloring skills are pretty impressive. I wonder if the Easter Bunny is hiring?




The sleepy colors of winter
Fade fast in the dawn of Spring.
The joy of Easter's promise,
Delivers sweet reason to Sing.

Happy Easter!

~ Photo Friday ~ A Busy 2 Weeks

The past few weeks have been very busy around the Collin's house. We have had a lot going on, but have enjoyed every minute of it.

We love having Hunter, Haley and Haven living only 20 minutes away from us. We are taking advantage of having them around as they will only be close until the end of May when they move to Branson for Hunter's permanent job relocation. Jaidyn and Addy are enjoying having Haven along on some of their weekly activities.

I wish I would have brought along the sand pails and shovels. They would have had a great time playing in the rocks.

PEEK-A-BOO This is one of Addy's favorite games.

I wish I could blame the static electricity in the slide for Addy's crazy hair, but this is the way it looks most of the time. If only it would grow a little longer. I can't wait to start giving her little ponytails.

Jaidyn loves the play tunnels on the park equipment.

Last Sunday Becky and I gave my college roomate a baby shower. She is such a beautiful pregnant lady...tall, skinny, with a basketball for the belly. It was so nice getting together to share a special day together. I can't wait to meet the newest edition to the Drennan family.
Me and my college friends at the baby shower

Instead of playing a game at the shower, we had each guest create a photo album scrapbook page as they arrived. My mom is putting the final touches on hers.

This past week we received 8 inches of rain in a 24 hour time period. Here are some pictures of the gasconade river a few miles from our home. Wes worked a lot of overtime as they had to shut down areas of the highway and reroute traffic due to water flooding the interstate. We had some minor flooding issues in our basement, but my poor dad spent 20 hours straight along with the help of mom and Jared vaccuming water out of their basement. There has been lots of flood damage along the lower half of Missouri this past week.



This past Wednesday we met Grandma Penny at the lake for dinner. She treated us to El Jimador. For Easter she got Jaidyn and Addy sleeping bags. Jaidyn picked the pink camouflage sleeping bag. Gee, I wonder who influenced that decision.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Philippines Program Update

I just received an email from our agency with some general updated program information.

Wait for Match: Right now, time frames are currently lower than they have been previously. For the last 5 matches we have received, families waited an average of 13.5 months from Dossier Approval to Match! We hope that this continues to be the case.

If 13.5 months is the average then it looks like we will receive a referral sometime early into the year 2009. I am still hopeful for an early Christmas present. :)

Match to Arrival: Average wait time from match to arrival home with your child is 5.5 months.

I think this will be the hardest wait we will endure. Five months is a long time to know that your child is a half-way across the globe without you. Hopefully we will meet some families who will travel before us and get to meet our child and take some things over with them or send us back some more pictures.


Orphanage Information: When you are matched, I recommend for you to look online to get more information about where your child is living. There are currently over 35 child-caring agencies in the Philippines that we are able to get referral from, and each is very different. Many of the them have websites, and this is a great way to learn about the care givers of your child, and the surroundings they are in. However, please remember that direct contact with the oversea agencies is in violation of the IASA, so please do not contact any of them. It is just a valuable resource for you to gain info from.

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent If...

I found this on another blog and love it. So true!!!

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love & family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who've experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You've been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)
8. You'd no idea how you'd afford to adopt, but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing He'd provide. (& He does!)
9. You've taken an airplane half-way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart's for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart & family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You know what the word "Dossier" means & you can actually pronounce it correctly!
13. You've welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
14. You shudder when people say your child's so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you're the blessed one to have him or her in your life.