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.


Maria said...

She is absolutely adorable. My dh and I are in that next group and just received our referral from Sunnyridge on July 6th. Now patiently waiting for TA's and the last travel meeting. Our Maggie Yuanji was born March 27, 2006 (so a couple months younger than Rachel. She will be about 18 months when we go to get her. Who knew back then that not making the one month earlier DTC batch would cost us almost 9 months!? But I know in my heart that the daughter that was meant to be ours is waiting for us in China. And it did help reading blogs of your precious daughters. And of course, the Rumor Queen. Don't know what I would have done without her. At least you know you're not alone and certainly less parnoia than there could have been. It's always delightful to see your daughters doing so well and making the transition with such success. How truly blessed you are! How truly blessed we all are!

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! Hurrah!
Margaret C.

Anonymous said...

Susan, Lance and family, I always enjoy seeing the updates of Rachel Shu Ting and you all. Indavertantly I sent the blog to a cousin in Springfield that I have been corresponding with. She enjoyed reading all about your sweet daughter and thought maybe you were a granddaughter, or something. Don't know how I did that. Love, Mary Koppes