Today was interesting. Chuck and I suspected we may have our NVC letter come by mail today, but we both had to be at work. So we planned for Dad to go to our house, check the mail and get the letter faxed to our agency. (The quicker this gets from our agency into the hands of those in Guangzhou (GZ) China...the faster things happen to get our Article 5--the next and last step before TA.) So Dad got the mail and the letter from NVC (National Visa Center) was there. He took it home to fax it but had trouble with the fax, so he called and brought it to me at the hospital. (Thanks Poppy!) I got it faxed and my Agency got it and our I-800 form from 4-6-10 sent to GZ!!!!! From what I understand this is about all we can do--no more hoops until we have to plan the trip and last minute paperwork!
As I sit and reflect on what I just wrote, it is almost shocking that we are at this point. April 24th is 2 years since we first started the process to bring a child home from China. (Longer than that since we made our decision to do so.) I believe that decision was December 2008. Dakota was 2.5. That is so hard to believe. She has had 3 birthdays through this waiting process. It is so hard to know what she has really understood about "baby Shiloh" coming to live with us forever. At first when she was around 3, she wanted to tell people, even people who just chatted with us in the grocery store. She has prayed at dinner consistently for this entire time for a little sister that she could not see or touch. She has talked about all the things she is going to do with and for her sister. All this time for such a "little" big sister to have to wait and try to understand. We have had to tell her, we will get Shiloh after another birthday and after another Christmas and after this event or that, since saying 24months is probably something she would not have understood. She so much wanted a tiny newborn sister that it was hard for her when we first accepted Shiloh and had an actual picture....her fist comments "that is not a baby". We had to explain that sometimes China allows you to have big babies and so it sunk in and there are days she asks me how much longer and there are days she does not want to talk about China or Shiloh. While I think having a new little sister will be so much fun for her, I sometimes already know there is a hint of jealousy. (Which is to be expected.) I so wish we could take her to China but it would be hard on her with the time change, lack of sleep and weird food. Still we know bringing Shiloh home impacts her little world heavily. She will not be the full center of attention and at times I do not talk so much about China or Shiloh, as I think she does get jealous of the attention we are paying to this child on her way. Recently, we visited family and a small 2 year old cousin played with Dakota all day. Dakota was so attentive to her and carried her around and got her a snack and a drink. (Even missed her once we were back home.) I think she will be a great big sister once Shiloh is home and settled. I expect that she alone will help Shiloh's transition into knowing we are her forever family. I catch myself relishing quiet minutes with Dakota while she plays or sleeps, knowing that soon I will have two to love and my time will be shared. We have this comfortable routine and now it is going to get jumbled up a bit, but for a good reason and in time that too will be a comfortable fit!