Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Let the Insanity Begin


I just spent close to 3 hours trying to compare China program costs from five agencies: Gladney, CCAI, CAWLI, WACAP & GWCA. I haven't even called USAA yet, a facilitator that I really want to speak to, and my head is already spinning.

There should be a central agency for the adoption agencies. Why in the world can't they all call their lovely "fees" by the same names? This is driving me insane. And if I call them and ask them to explain what "travel costs" or "adoption processing fees" are and start nitpicking with questions like "does that include food?" (I hope not - we're gonna have to bring all our own, as we keep kosher), or "does that include in-China travel and the flight to China, plus hotel plus food, or is that just the flight IN China, and the hotels but not the flight TO China or food and blah blah blah blah blah..." they're gonna hate me and think I can't afford it. Possibly. Plus I don't want to be the incredibly irritating "noodge".

Hm. I must be a little overwhelmed. You think?

I haven't even started comparing my list of questions for each agency. Do you have a doctor that travels with the group? Does he carry Valium or other sedatives? How many families typically travel in each group? Are you going to rip us off on the travel fees? Can we make my travel arrangments so that we don't have to travel on Shabbos (that would be useful!)? Are we the only Orthodox Jews that you've ever dealt with? Can you get the in province process down to 5 days so that we don't have to stay in a remote province in China over Shabbos*?

The agency that wins will answer the last question properly. I'm probably going to request that we get a referral from the SWI near Guangzhou, if that even works, as there is a Chabad there and possible hot kosher meals and a synagogue. I'm hoping we can get to a Chabad for Shabbos. Actually, since there's no eruv**, we'd have to stay at the Rabbi's house or something since we'll have a baby to deal with. Wow. That's freaky.

Hoo boy.

I'm sure they'll be more about this later...

* Shabbos is the Jewish day of rest. It starts Friday at sundown and ends Saturday night at about an hour after sundown. We don't do many types of work, cook, travel in cars, airplanes or the like, turn lights off or on, OPEN A HOTEL DOOR WITH AN ELECTORNIC KEY...you see how that can get complicated.

** Not in the mood of explaining this right now. Try googling it.


Donna said...

did you call usaa? I used them and highly recommend them. :)

Mom to Gwen of Shenzhen!

Figlet said...

Post the question on APC about Shabbos travel - I seem to recall reading at least one or two posts from Orthodox a-parents.

PinkDevora said...

Thanks, figlet (love your blog!). I've actually tried just doing a search on APC, but haven't come up with anything. But there's so much other "stuff" on there, so it takes quite a while to do searches.

When it's close to the time, I'll start posting on APC. Now I just gotta get thru the paperwork.

As it happens, we heard that someone in my area who is Orthodox has adopted from China recently, but we *just* can't find them. I guess we will eventually.