We're ready for Christmas at our house -- we have the tree up and decorated, the stockings hung, the presents wrapped, the Christmas carols playing. All we're waiting for now is children! Lauren and Brandon will be here Christmas day, but the little one won't be arriving until spring. Still, we have a stocking up for her, as you can see -- plus stockings for the four of us and the three animals. It's difficult knowing that our daughter is all the way over in China instead of here with us, but we have a feeling we'll be making up for that next year!
Originally we told you that we expected to have our referral -- that's the photos and basic information about our baby -- by late January or early February. Things in China have slowed down a bit, so now we're thinking it'll be March before we have a glimpse of her (and likely May before we travel). Our agency tells us that in the 11 years that they've been helping people adopt babies from China, the wait times have ranged from three months to 2 1/2 years! So they -- and we -- still think that a nine-month wait from our dossier being sent over until we have her in our arms isn't that bad. Those of you who have biological children had to wait the same amount of time, after all.
It's hard to tell why the wait times have slowed down a month or two since we applied, but it appears that the Chinese government received an unusually large number of dossiers in March, April and May. Ours was sent in July, so all the ones ahead of us have to be matched with babies before we get our turn. So the same number of children are being adopted, it's just taking a little longer because there are more people in line. And for all we know, it could speed up again next month for no particular reason. We'll keep you posted on what we know.
We hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and a blessed new year!
Susan and Lance
P.S -- Don't forget to send your contribution for the quilt! (you didn't think I'd forget that, did you?)