After delivering my Sol.licitud d’ adopicó international to ICAA I was told to wait about four weeks for news that I could start the process for my all-important Certificado de idoneidad ("Your what?!!" I hear you say—more on that one in the next post). After eight I was still waiting. I rang. I was identified immediately as "that woman who wants to adopt from Afrique" (the name I have given my West African country). I was put through to their legal section. I was told they weren’t sure they could accept my application; that, as far as they knew, an adoption had never been carried out with Afrique and I may have to change my nominated country. They were worried about the legality of such an adoption, that there were no ‘guarantees’. To top it off, the Spanish embassy in Afrique had advised them against it, quoting corruption, trafficking and an antiquated legal system.
Needless to say, I was devastated. If I couldn’t adopt from Afrique, I wasn’t sure I wanted to adopt at all. (For reasons why, please see my first post). I scoured the internet. I searched for precedents, loopholes, by-laws, testimonials; any ammunition I could find that would help my case. Nothing. The lawyers at ICAA were unyielding. They were yet to tell me officially, but I presumed my application would eventually be denied.
To make matters worse, the economic recession was just hitting Spain and my work dried up, seemingly overnight. Six months later, things had gone from bad to worse. I was broke and unemployed during a bitterly cold winter, and, in light of no word from the ICAA’s lawyer, no closer to being a mother than I was when I put in my first round of paperwork. I was heartbroken.
So I did what I generally do when faced with grave adversity and ran away. I spent a glorious Christmas in the southern sunshine with my family. I had almost given up hope of my adoption plans when out of the blue an email came from ICAA’s lawyer—they had accepted my application. I never asked why or what had made them change their mind. I simply wept in my mother’s arms and then hurried back to Barcelona.