Yes, I am finally posting an adoption update. Don’t get too excited though – nothing really majorly good but there are some developments in the on-going drama that is our road to China so I thought I would share.
The most important stats first – if you recall our LID (Log In Date – the date our paperwork was accepted by China and by which our “place in line” is held) is 4/25/2006. As far as we can tell, China has made referrals to families with LIDs through 3/20/2006. The reason I say “as far as we can tell” is that the CCAA – the Chinese governmental agency in charge of adoptions – no longer publicly publishes the dates of referrals for each month. So the only way to know for sure how far they have gotten is from the agencies themselves – the CCAA has an on-line system that only the agencies have access to that says how far they get in each batch. Fortunately the Rumor Queen has been getting the information from her sources so we’re pretty sure how far they have gotten.
So, that means we are 36 LIDs away from our referral. Again, don’t get too excited because China has been averaging about 5 LIDs per monthly batch of referrals. Obviously this means some months have more than that and some have less. There is an outside chance, however, that we could actually see our referral this year and we will almost certainly (nothing being absolutely certain in China adoption) by early next year. Woot! That’s always supposing there isn’t any more of a slow down though – but things have been fairly stable at this rate for a while now so we have a good feeling about it. (Knocking on wood!)
In the meantime, we are redoing our USCIS paperwork again, which means a new round of homestudy paperwork. Because we let our original USCIS approval expire (do to abortive attempts at concurrent adoptions and just plain not wanting to spend time and money on things that were not forwarding our China adoption) we now fall under the Hague Adoption Convention requirements, which aren’t really that much more stringent that what we’ve already been through in all honesty. It just takes longer to get an approval than under a non-Hague process – not all countries are signatories but China is. Which is a Very Good Thing. We’re trying to really rush getting all our stuff in, both because we don’t know how long the approval will take and because we don’t have to re-do a few things one more time if we can help it. (Folks doing letters of recommendation, please get them in ASAP! Excuse the nag.)
We had our latest social worker visit last Sunday for the homestudy update and of course this was proceeded by another patented Janice cleaning frenzy. It really doesn’t matter how many times they tell us not to worry, I am going to worry about how my house looks when a person who gets to make decisions about our fitness for parenting comes over. Well, the house looks pretty good and I feel like I accomplished something, so despite the stress I put on myself it was worth it.
Now because things cannot be interesting enough in our lives, in the midst of this, we got notice from our placing agency that they are closing their doors! Mind you the email came last Monday and informed us they were closing as of June 30th (Yikes! That’s today. Goodbye, Harrah’s!) Just over a week’s notice. Nice, eh? Needless to say this was not a development with which we were particularly happy. I don’t really know the whole story but we’re a bit ticked by how this was done. We know that things have been harder for China-only agencies and since Harrah’s was essentially a China-only agency – their only other program was Vietnam which closed a while ago – we kinda suspected Harrah’s was on the rocks. But we were really hoping they would get through until we were done. And frankly the lack of communication on the state of the agency (and many other things but nevermind) is… annoying. (Understatement of the year there.)
The good news is that Hague Convention has requirements for transitioning clients when an agency goes out of business so we will a) NOT lose our place in line and b) be transferred to a new agency. Our new agency is CCAI. We are actually quite content with this – they were our second choice when we were originally chosing an agency but they were more expensive and larger so we preferred Harrah’s. We thought a smaller agency would be better for us because we wanted a very personal experience. CCAI has been extremely good about the transition. They have been very communicative, setting up a conference call for those with open files for instance, and sending individual welcoming emails to their new clients. The bad news is that they cannot take over our files for free so it is going to cost us more money. Sigh! Well, it’s small in the scheme of how much more we’ve spent till now that we though we would so we’ll take it. All in all, it could have been a much, much worse situation.
And lastly, we’re rethinking family names. We’re still wanting to create a new family name – it seems appropriate but are now not sure what it will be. Updates to follow as we come up with something.
So I hope that satisfies ya’ll for now. I wish I had something more positive to post but I think (knock on wood) we really are getting close to seeing our child’s face. Any prayers or energy toward that end are most welcome.
In other news, Oma is still hanging in there. It’s up and down, day to day. Again, prayers and energy most well. And be sure you tell your family/friends you love them today, folks. You never know what tomorrow brings.
I love you all!