So I thought I would just update everyone on where we are in the adoption.
We completed our adoption of Abby in November 2004. The trip to China was emotionally, physically, and financially draining. But that's a story for another post... or not. Right after we came back, I was in no condition to even think of doing this again, even though my 4 yr-old nephew asked us (as soon as we got in the car to come home from the airport) when we were going to get a boy. He's used to his mama's timing on babies. Mine happen every ten years of marriage (so far). Anyway... I knew it would be a while before we decided to adopt again.
At the first of this year (2006), our church family participated in a fast and one thing I fasted was TV. So what did I do in the evenings instead of watching TV? I found the wonderful world of blogs on the internet. I had read in my Adoptive Families magazine about adoption blogs and decided to read a few. Wow! There was a whole lot of other families out there adopting from China (and other places) in all the different stages of the process. The Lord started working on my heart about adopting again. I talked to Billy about it and we started asking God for His timing and peace.
Through reading the blogs, I learned that the referral process in China was taking much longer than when we first adopted Abby. Abby's referral came about 5 months after our dossier was sent to China. In February and March, when I was reading the blogs, the referrals were taking 9 to 10 months. My prayers and talks with Billy were starting to take on a more urgent tone.
We came to a "we better get started" decision in April and sent the application to our agency in May. A lot of people asked us if we had to do all the same paperwork as we did before. YES! Everything. Even reference letters from friends, homestudy, fingerprints, police letters, birth and marriage certificates, etc. I (I say "I" because all Billy had to do was sign his name a couple hundred times) completed the necessary paperwork and by the end of June, the dossier was at our agency. We just needed one more piece of paper - the I-171H.
The I-171H is the US government's "ok" on our homestudy and our intent to adopt internationally. We had been fingerprinted at the Cleveland office of USCIS on June 19 but the homestudy wasn't sent to them til July 12. And since every person that is involved with international adoption takes 10-20 days to look over the paperwork, we didn't get our approval til August 4. I quickly faxed it to the agency. They got all the necessary endorsements on it (county, state, Chinese consulate) and sent everything to China. Now we are waiting for our official Log In Date (LID) so we know we're "in line."
I've been keeping up with a couple of China adoption blogs - one is in the sidebar. The "Salsa Lady," as I affectionately refer to her, just received her referral after waiting 13 and a half months since her LID. Wow! That's a long time. Some of the rumors are that the referrals could go out to as long as 18-36 months. The past few months, the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has been sending out referrals once a month with only about 2 weeks worth of LIDs in the referral batch. That's not very encouraging to those of us just starting out.
However, I am totally trusting in the Lord's timing cause I know that HE KNOWS BEST! He knows when and where our next Plum Blossom will be added to our family. There's no need to get frustrated with the system cause there's nothing I can do to make it go any faster. We have trusted Him to lead us this far and we will continue to do so. I'm just glad we're "in line" now. Just praying my calves don't wear out from standing so long :).