The day after I returned home from my visit with Debi in Washington, our social worker, Bernie, came by to recheck our house for our foster care license. There wasn't much business to conduct as far as that went; we still have smoke detectors and indoor plumbing, and we know we need to babyproof the house before we travel. I did get to show off the baby's room, which was still a guest room a year ago when she visited our house for the home study.
Bernie liked the room, and she was glad to hear of some of the preparations we are making, such as taking the CPR class and learning some basic Chinese. She also offered sympathy for our long wait, but not much new information. When I told her we were gearing up for a July referral and September travel, she said that sounded like a "reasonable expectation." I know that probably doesn't sound like much encouragement, but our agency is very conservative in what they tell waiting parents, so I was cheered that she didn't try to tell me she thought I was aiming too high!
The Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs tends to release referrals in a big batch around the end of each month, so it's likely to be another 10 days to 2 weeks before we know anything about the next group. The CCAA has matched babies with families whose paperwork was received as of June 6; our paperwork was logged in July 25. So we'll have a better idea how much longer we'll be waiting once we see how many days worth of dossiers they include in the next bunch (I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but it's all I have right now!)
Since my last report, we've learned that our agency's May group's referrals are of children living in the Jiangxi province and ranging in age from 7 months to one year. I have seen photos of three of them so far, and they are absolutely beautiful (of course). The youngest ones were born in October, and the photos were taken in January, so they are tiny little things (even though they're bundled up so much they look like the Michelin man!). Some parents got updated information in the last few days, so they can see how the babies are growing and try to figure out what size clothing and diapers they'll need. Once the parents sign on the dotted line to accept the child referred to them, they begin a round of preparations for the trip of a lifetime! They'll have another travel meeting and will start buying supplies and trying to cram it all into suitcases that weigh no more than 40 pounds (the limit for in-China flights). Sunny Ridge will get consulate appointments for them, which will determine when they travel. Once they receive permission from the government to travel, they'll make flight arrangments and get their visas and could be on their way very quickly. It looks like they'll be traveling before the end of June, and we wish them a blessed journey.
Meanwhile, we're anxiously awaiting our turn! I'm always pleased when I see someone has signed our guest book (EDITED -- In the new format, "when I see someone has left a comment", so thanks to everyone who has done that. As we get closer to our trip, we'll update more often, so please keep an eye on us!