Making the Complex Simple

A few months ago I shared my initial thoughts on how we are tackling the adoption process.  I shared the process in text and graphic format:

20141110 - How To Tackle The Adoption Process

Today, I realized that while my original chart is useful from a overall perspective, it really doesn’t show the details and little nuances of the adoption process.  And of course because we never take the easy route, things are even more complicated as we have chosen to adopt internationally so we are juggling two processes at once and desperately hoping we do not accidentally step on the wrong side of the law in either countries.

I find that when I’m facing a complex process, laying it out visually really helps me to understand the process, step-by-step.  So, today, I thought I’d share a revised international adoption process chart that shows the details of how we are actively managing our efforts to get through the adoption approval process.

Note that the following:

  • $ indicate where I anticipate we will be shelling out ungodly sums of money to pay for social workers and lawyers to push paperwork around.
  • Red circles indicate significant milestones
  • The USA side of things has more flexibility right now, but this is the timeline we are striving to achieve, in part because it will help us feel like we are doing something while we are waiting on Canadian approvals.
  • I have not investigated the details of how the actual placement occurs yet because we are focusing on getting through the approval stages. I’m sure one day, I will make another one of these charts showing the details of that process.
  • I have not added continual frustration into this representation because right now, I’m starting to figure out that it occurs throughout the process and likely at the most inopportune and unpredictable times.
  • One day I will update with our actual timelines to get through each step.
  • Click on the graphic to see a zoomed in version.

20150213 - Adoption Approval Process

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19 Comments on “Making the Complex Simple

  1. The more I read the more I realize how alike we are! I love diagrams and I color code EVERYTHING! I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about adoption but I think there are way too many steps in the process. There are so many unwanted children and so many parents who want to give these children a home and love. I understand screening potential adoptive parents but the process should be simpler. Good people suffering from infertility and RPL should not have to go through more hell to have a child because other parents choose not to be responsible. The whole process makes me angry.

    During my trip I talked about infertility and adoption with a friend. She went through 11.5 years of treatments (said she lost triplets, twins and triplets again) and finally adopted. She said what she spent on treatments she could have adopted 6 kids.

    Something is wrong with this entire picture. Good people are put through the ringer if they cannot have their own children. My heart hurts because this is the road you face. I think you are wonderful and deserve a family of your own without all the red tape.


    • “The process should be simpler” – I couldn’t agree more!! Yet, I get and understand why adoptive parents need to be screened so thoroughly, but the process itself simply doesn’t need to be so convoluted.
      And, yes “something is wrong with this entire picture” – the cost of IF and adoption is just absurd. And it just doesn’t make sense to me, and breaks my heart because IF treatment and adoption is not even an option for many people, and something is just wrong with that.


  2. Love it! I totally zoomed in and read everything. What program do you use to make these charts? I’m thinking I should make one for my own situation. I think even making a separate financial-specific one would help us, as Tim and I are currently trying to figure out where we’re going to get the cash from and when. The whole process ALMOST looks manageable when you break it down into your handy charts. 🙂


    • I usually use PowerPoint. Sometimes Word, but if they are complex I find PowerPoint to be a easier.
      I’ve thought about doing a more specific financial chart too! The main reason I haven’t is that I think I’ll end up having a nervous breakdown actually seeing the real amount of money we are spending! But, I know being responsible, I should add the details.
      And you mentioned the exact reason I made the chart – the process looks manageable when you break it down into it’s little parts. If I focus on the task at hand, it becomes a lot less overwhelming. 🙂


  3. I really love this diagram. Very clear, although it does give a pretty good indication about how tough the adoption process is. I can’t wait to see your family grow, though!!


      • Yes! But you need about seven of them because the further you get into it the less it will seem to be progressing linearly!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You two just made me laugh! Yes, a “you are here” sticker seems like a great idea, but it will be a challenge as some days it seems like we take 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards, 3 steps left and then we tunnel underground in a circle for a while. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I’ve always found that it really helps me to see complex situations rather then just read them. And, hopefully this will help some other Canadian contemplating international adoption. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gorgeous chart–such a clear way to demonstrate such a complex process. Having that extra layer of international, two-countries, two-sets-of-laws-and-regs…that makes things so multi-layered. I hope that you can move relatively swiftly between the dots and get to that beautiful FAMILY dot at the end sooner than later, with minimal extra complications despite such a complex process.


    • Thanks Jess. I really hope we can get through it all without too many unexpected bumps along the way. I know it will not be as linear and logical as this chart make it took, but it helps me so much to see what’s coming next 🙂


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