Friday, October 2, 2009

Adoption Update: The last 18 months of waiting

It has taken me forever to get the hang of this blogging stuff...but we need this when we finally make the trip to bring Shiloh home. We want everyone to be able to follow our journey and understand this often unpredictable world of International (CHINA) Adoption. We have been at this now since the last week of April 2008. So for us, 18 months......18 long months, but this time does not count in China. The true counting begins when your 7.5 months of collecting documents from being notarized, certified and authenticated is complete and you have received your I-797C, your agency translates everything into Chinese, the entire Dossier is sent to China and China responds that you are logged in: LOG IN DATE (LID) and ours was according to China we have only been waiting for about 10 months. OK, so we accomplished the biggest task of all except "the wait......" Now, the wait is hardly an easy one to explain. Everyone asks us all the time if we have heard anything....No, we do not expect to any time soon. When we began the process we were told that "current families are waiting just under 3 years". So, we thought, OK we can do that....the real truth is that even now the wait is getting nearer to 4 years and climbing. No one really clued us in on the fact that for a healthy child from China we are in process to wait way longer than anyone can predict. (5---7---10 years???) So in May of this year, we switched to the Special Needs Program in hopes of bringing a child home sooner, but also a child who may need us more. This was not an easy decision, nor one we take lightly. We spent time researching a variety of special needs and know we can handle whatever issues our child may have. We completed our medical checklist and submitted it to our agency and were told about 15 months before we would be matched...and now that 15 months is predicted to be 18 now I wonder does the wait grow as you go for special needs too? But we are in this for the long haul. We are vested in more than money...we are vested in our hearts. We already fell in love with Shiloh a long time ago...we have prayed for her for way over a year, we have planned for her, thought of her daily, loved her, loved the idea of her...and so we wait. We wait for a child and we do not yet even know her face...but God knows who she is and so we must be patient. We have just completed our home study update recently and our agency should send our second fingerprinting request with the immigration in mid-November as our first set of fingerprints expire on 12/5/09. (Now I am a nurse and I know it to be true that fingerprints never change....I guess the message never made it to the folks at immigration.) So anyway, another half day of work to make a trip downtown for fingerprinting coming right up. The last time we went, it was not that bad. The wait was not long and no one was mean to us, though we had heard the horror stories. At least when we go this time the fingerprints will be free and somehow it is nice to feel like you are doing something to make things happen faster. A nice courtesy for us, but if we are not matched with a child before another 15 months, we will be doing his once again. (Not for free!) So basically we hurried to get all the home study information complete and turned in and now we wait for it to be mailed later...all of the adoption process is hurry up and wait!

So did you ever wonder about the documents we had to have?
Criminal Background Checks-2
Medical Reports-2
Authentic for International Adoption-Birth Certificates-2
Authentic Marriage License-1
Employment Letters-2
Initial First Home Study-1
Financial Report-1
Adoption Petition-1
I-797C-From Immigration-1
13 Documents Total and each had to be:
Notarized-by a legal notary
Certified-at the county and State
Authenticated-by the Chinese Consulate in Houston TX.

Our social worker reminded me of the quote below from Corrie Ten Boom. On an unknown journey like this, I find that it helps to remember that God already knows this entire story and how it will unfold.

-Corrie Ten Boom

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