Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A word to those still waiting

Two years ago today, the China Center of Adoption Affairs logged in our dossier, putting us in line to adopt our adorable Rachel Shu-Ting. At the time, prospective parents were waiting 6 to 7 months to receive a referral of a child. As you all know, we waited 14. I usually count it as two years from start to finish, though, because we started filling out the application materials in December of 2004, and we brought Ting Ting home on Dec. 14, 2006.

The lengthening wait caught everyone by surprise, and I agonized over the reasons for it (my angst was well-documented). It seemed like forever until we received the wonderful news that we had a daughter.

But our wait was nothing compared to what it's like now. Some folks in this latest referral group waited 20 months from log-in to referral, and the wait is expected to do nothing but climb. Our old friend the Rumor Queen gathered reports of estimates from CCAA officials on tour and finds that they are readily admitting the wait could extend to three years -- and that's just from log-in to referral; it doesn't include the weeks or months spent filling out applications, having a home study conducted, gathering materials for a dossier and waiting as it's sent to China and logged in. It also doesn't include the weeks after referral spent waiting for travel approval and a consulate appointment.

It seemed like we waited forever to hold our precious little one, but I realize now it was the blink of an eye. We've been home almost eight months, and it seems like nothing. But when I look at how much she's grown, I realize time is flying.

My heart goes out to those who are waiting. I know how hard it is, especially when you have no idea how long you'll wait. The idea that one day we would have a daughter -- the perfect daughter for us -- was some comfort, but it seemed so unreal, so far away, so unattainable, that it was difficult for me not to wish time away. I can't imagine what it must be like to wait nearly twice as long as we did, but if you're waiting I hope that looking at this blog and others like it offers you some comfort. Your time will come; truly, it will. Even if you can't really imagine it now.

And when it does come, I hope you'll post a note here so we can all share in your joy. Because, really, there is nothing better than this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


(Ting Ting's version of the "more" sign)

"You must be very busy. I've checked your blog lately -- no updates, Missy ;-)
--Anne, mother of Ana and Ava

"I'm getting tired of seeing myself every time I call up the blog."
-- My sister Kay

"I'm getting tired of seeing Kay, too."
-- My friend Debi

OK, OK, I'm sorry. Believe me I have felt great guilt about not updating the blog. But in the last five weeks, we have spent a week vacationing on the beach, Ting Ting was sick, I was sick, Cyrus was in the hospital, I was still sick, then Ting Ting got sick again. And Lance started a new job. And I got a new computer and am trying to convert some things from Mac to PC. And we're trying to raise a TODDLER, for goodness' sake!

I know that those of you who signed up for the FeedBlitz service are wondering why you bothered, but at least you didn't waste time checking the site over and over and over . . .

We do have some cute photos from the beach and from a gathering with some China travelmates and just from life in general, so I'll get busy and start posting . . . just as soon as I figure out my new system.

Meanwhile, I'll share some of the portraits I had taken of the kids in preparation for father's day. Enjoy!

We did get a few nice shots, although I was disappointed that we didn't get more. Unfortunately, the studio kept us waiting nearly an hour past our appointment time, so a certain someone had used up most of her charm in the waiting area.

Oh, well -- it just meant that when she crawled out of the scene the photographer was able to get this stellar photo of big brother and sister: