The time before we actually see little Rachel's face is growing short, so I thought I'd give you an idea how it will work. I don't want anybody to miss anything!
First of all, we'll hear that the China Center of Adoption Affairs is sending out "referrals" for dossiers logged in for a period of time that includes our log-in date of July 25, 2005. (I usually get word through a blog of a woman calling herself the Rumor Queen).
At some point, the CCAA will update its site with official word, but thanks to the internet adoption community we usually know sooner than that.
Once we hear referrals are on the way, Lance and I will spend several days jumping every time the phone rings. One of those phone calls at last will be our social worker, Bernie, calling to tell us we have been referred a child.
This is the part where our agency operates differently from others: Bernie will tell us our child's name, where she lives, and her date of birth. But that's about all we'll get for a week or 10 days, until the documents are fully translated to English. (Other agencies provide the photo that day or the next, but Sunny Ridge doesn't want us falling in love with the photo before we can get the full packet of information).
Finally, a LONG week or so later, we will drive to Sunny Ridge to get our FIRST PHOTOS of Rachel! Bernie also will give us that very important packet of documents containing medical information and other facts about our baby. A doctor in Chicago will review the information for us and then tell us if there is anything that should concern us. We will then sign some papers letting the Chinese government know we intend to adopt that child.
Once everyone in our travel group has accepted their referrals, Sunny Ridge will mail the documents back to China. After that, we have to wait several week to get permission to travel. Sunny Ridge will then schedule our appointment with the U.S. consulate and book our trip. Travel likely will be 8-10 weeks after we receive our referrals, but we might not know exactly when it's going to be until just a couple weeks before our departure date.
I almost forgot the most important part -- I will be updating every step of the way! Stay tuned for the first glimpse of Rachel’s face and vital statistics, as well as details on our trip.
This web site has been a wonderful way to keep people updated, but I think we’re going to move to a different address soon to get a little more flexibility. I want to move to a blog format so we can post more photos, and so we can post them alongside our text instead of in a different place. I don’t want anyone missing any part of our wonderful adventure! Once the blog is set up, I’ll post that information here, too.
So keep visiting -- you don‘t want to miss that sweet little face (or her fetching referral photo outfit!)