Friday, March 24, 2006

Waiting for Spring

When I took Ethel out this morning I saw two robins playing in the snow. That's March in Chicago for you! The calendar may say Spring, but we had an inch of snow last night (and flurries right now). When I saw the robins, I thought of how when we started this process we expected to be traveling "in the spring." Later, we amended that to say we expected our referral information "in the spring." Well, spring's not here yet, and neither is our referral. And the news from China this week is disheartening.

The latest rumors (which appear to be solid) are that the China Center of Adoption Affairs' next batch of referrals will cover those dossiers logged in only through May 30. That means that in a full (long) month of work, the CCAA matched FIVE DAYS worth of dossiers. It makes you wonder why they can't move some of the workers from the review room (where they already are working on September dossiers) into the matching room! As disheartening as it is for those of us whose dossiers were logged in July 25 to know we're going to be waiting longer, it's much worse for the Sunny Ridge families immediately ahead of us -- their dossiers were mailed May 24 and logged in June 3. Those people expected to have their referrals in this batch for sure; our hearts go out to them.

One theory as to why China had so many applications in the months preceeding ours is that some other countries unexpectedly closed down to international adoptions, and families who were preparing to send a dossier to Russia, for example, switched over to China. One big advantage to adopting from China is that there is a central agency overseeing the adoptions and a set procedure that everyone follows. So while we don't know how long it will take, we know for sure that we WILL get a child. And we will get that referral right after the folks whose dossiers were logged in on July 24 get theirs. Someone joked that she imagined all the July dossiers sitting in the matching room covered with coffee rings, and that may be the case. But eventually we will be at the top of the pile!

You all know that I'm a "planner," so I could handle a very long wait if I just KNEW how long it was going to be! But we can't always understand God's timing. Last fall as I planted some tulip bulbs, I thought about how pretty the yard would be when they bloomed in April or so. I imagined we'd be home with the baby by then and the tulips would be a welcome home bouquet. Well, that's not going to happen this year. But the good thing about the tulips is I know they'll be a cheerful presence in our lives for many springs to come -- just as we expect our daughter to be.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Now we're making progress!

Yes, I realize I just posted last night to say we're waiting . . . and waiting, but now I have some good news! When I checked the website this morning for the China Center of Adoption Affairs, I found this update:

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before July 31, 2005."

Those of you who are keeping track will know why I was so excited to see this note -- our dossier was logged in to the CCAA on July 25. That means our dossier has been checked, our documents are in order, and WE HAVE MOVED TO THE MATCHING ROOM!

Sorry to shout, but this is exciting. Just knowing that we're in "the room" means we're that much closer to having our baby here with us. The last batch of referrals covered the dossiers logged in as of May 25, so they still have 60 days worth of matches to make before they get to us. So even though we're in the room, we're at the bottom of what is probably a very large stack. I still expect we will get our referral no sooner than April, but WE ARE IN THE MATCHING ROOM! We are inching closer!

We can't wait to see our daughter for the first time -- stay tuned, and we'll introduce you to her here!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Still waiting

We were disappointed last week when the China Center of Adoption Affairs updated its website to say that families whose dossiers were logged in through May 25 had been matched with their children. We're very happy for all those families, of course, but we were hoping the CCAA would get through more than 12 days' worth of dossiers in a month of matching. Even taking into account the Chinese New Year holiday, which shut down the office for a week, that's slow going.

The internet is full of rumors, of course. Some say the CCAA is likely to speed up with the matches soon, because they've just finished processing a couple of "big" months. Others speculate that the slowdown will continue -- our social worker is in that group. She told me this week that the CCAA keeps receiving more and more applications, but there are limits on how many children can be placed for adoption. That doesn't mean we won't get a baby; it just means that we will have to wait a little longer than we thought.

So we're waiting!

Our social worker speculates that with a log-in date of July 25, we could see a referral around the end of May. That would mean we would travel in July. It'll be incredibly hot, but I guess all those years in Phoenix have prepared me. I'm holding out for April, of course, but there's not a darn thing I can do about when the CCAA will make its decision, so I am learning patience.

One thing keeping my spirits up during the wait is seeing all the contributions to the 100 Good Wishes Quilt -- have you contributed your square yet? If not, you have plenty of time, and we urge you to participate! Read here for all the details.