So, trip went well, it was odd to not be a parent, essentially, for two weeks, and also slightly odd to come back, Baby Spouse has spent most of the few hours since I came back wanting to sit on my lap for a story. Oh, and headbutting me in the (still slightly painful) nose owing to his excitement at playing peek-a-boo under the blanket on the couch. And I'm jet-lagged. But apart from that. Mr Spouse seems to have coped admirably.
Big news. We found out that Nella is pregnant again. It is very very early but it is already massively complicated of course. We are not sure what we want to do. In particular, Mr Spouse is not sure though I am wary about many of his issues too. He doesn't feel ready for what would be a very rushed process.
He's worried about all the post-birth issues and paperwork and hassle in-country (this time with added toddler) and in particular about birth father issues as she is not sure who that is this time (and it was hard enough with the same issues with just one candidate last time). Those, plus Nella's personal issues, could mean that we go through a whole (difficult but rushed, but also quite long compared to most other matching periods) process only to fail and not bring home a baby.
He's also worried about himself personally (as he has some health issues, and says "I just feel old!", and this has come at a rather uncertain time for the health issues) and his ability to deal with all this stress again. It is also a bad time for my work but they have messed me around so much that I no longer care about that at this stage.
Nella's personal issues mean that she needs a lot of support, and she has already been calling us with various dramas. We just don't feel qualified to give her all the emotional support she needs, and we know this is a long match, and we also know that we are not really allowed to just sign up with an agency that will support her practically through the pregnancy, before we have our UK home study. She has said that she is thinking of placing the baby, and she is thinking of placing it with us if she does, and we don't want to either expend all our energies trying to explain to her what we aren't allowed to do for her - or have her think we're uncaring because we aren't allowed to do things she'd like us to.
And there is the issue of the UK home study. Last time it took about 18 months before our paperwork was ready. It should be a lot less this time, but even so the time it should take on paper is far, far too long - technically we could just be ready before the due date, but unless there is something that can be speeded up it will be very tight and very stressful. I have suggested we try and find out whether there is any possibility of speeding it up.
I, personally, would be ready to go ahead with this despite all of this. We did say that we would not adopt from the US again but part of that was the waiting and the uncertainty - we still have some of the latter - and part of it was that it would not be an advantage to have a birth family in yet another location that we were in contact with - and this wouldn't suffer from those problems, plus the new baby would be Baby Spouse's birth sibling which is really the main point here.
So I have no idea what is going to happen here. I would go ahead with it, if it were just my decision, and do our darndest to get the home study ready and the paperwork sent to the US and if it started to appear completely impractical - we'd have a home study ready for a future adoption (probably not a brand new adoption from the US).
It's really hard to talk to anyone about this, too, even other adopters. If it was just a UK case, then we would be pushed through home study, but it wouldn't matter if it wasn't quite ready in time, it would just be a case of a few days/weeks of foster care after the birth, and we wouldn't have any responsibility to the birth parents beyond perhaps a few meetings. If it was just a US case, we could find an agency and sign up with them and they could look after her while we got our home study together (which would be a lot quicker), and we could probably just have a private arrangement (though we wouldn't want to do that owing to our inability to support her properly). We would, still, have birth father issues and in-state travel and paperwork issues (I've heard of families being stuck for paperwork longer than we were, just for a domestic adoption).
But as I say, it is not just my decision. Mr Spouse is, he confesses, very attracted by the idea of another littler Baby Spouse, who would be we assume in some ways like the current Baby Spouse. But he doesn't sound very attracted by any of the rest of this.