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.

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