Saturday, October 23, 2004

Halloween Scare!!! - 10/23/2004

Is it a trick or a treat? We were minding our own business reading the China message board for our group (103) that we belong to when we saw something that caught our eye. Apparently there is a gentleman named George who has made some predictions about travel times for various groups in the past. His success level is surprisingly good, but that could be owing to the fact that he is really good friends with the director of our facilitators. Someone asked if George had any particular prediction for our group, #103. George responded with "still working on g-103 predictions...possibly Easter but maybe adjusted in a couple of weeks."

Easter...Easter 2005??? Could he mean the Christian Easter in March??? Maybe he means the Russian Orthodox Easter in June. March would be three whole months before we were prepared to even receive a phone call let alone travel to China!

After thinking about this for a few hours, we decided that surely this was not possible. Everything we have heard and read in the past 10 months has stated that China is taking between 7-8 months to complete referrals once they receive the documents. Besides, group #97 just got their referrals and group #96 is still waiting for their travel calls. That leaves five more groups ahead of us. June/July is looking like the right time. Then....

A message gets posted from Norman, the director of the agency. Norman states that he actually has orders for groups 96 and 98 to travel and is waiting for orders for group 97. He hopes that all three groups can travel together on Nov. 12th. That only leaves four groups between us and them. Uh-oh. March doesn't seem so unlikely now.

We're not ready! We're not ready! No registry, no baby shower, no baby room, no furniture, no...well, you get the point. At least at this point the child would have a name. Somewhere to sleep might be better but a name will have to do.

We have decided not to panic yet as things may yet change. We will keep you posted!

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

We're Officially "Pregnant"! - 10/12/2004

Ladies and gentlemen, start your clocks: WE ARE DTC!!!!!!

On Friday, October 8, 2004 we recieved a letter from our facillitators,USAA, telling us that we have been assigned to Group 103. A quick e-mail to those who have gone before us on the USAA web group, China 33, confirms that this letter is sent out after your dossier has been sent to China! So our paperwork is now in the hands of the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA), and we are in the baby queue!

While I waited for Tracy back on July 2nd, I chatted with Yasmine who says this is how it's gonna go:

We get the letter with our Group #
We wait 6-9 months (on avarage)
We will recieve 3 phone calls:
1) from Yasmine telling us that the CCAA has notified them that our Group has been assigned and the referrals are on their way
2) from Tracy telling us that we're parents and that our daughter's photo & info are being Fed Ex'd overnight to us
3) from Yasmine telling us that China has issued our Visas and what our travel date is.

There is about 2 weeks between calls 1 & 2, and anywhere from 1 week to 6 weeks between calls 2 & 3. When we get call 3, we'll have about 10-14 days before we leave.

That's the good news. The bad news is that there isn't going to be a whole lot to tell you for the next 6-9 months. No sonograms, no aminocentisis, no Braxton Hicks, no bulging belly, no morning sickness...just nothing - it's a paper pregnancy. So we'll share any information that happens to come our way, but hopefully we'll start having alot more to say come next May. So stop by when you can, and set a reminder on Outlook to begin checking regularly in the spring!

We'll leave you with the Dossier Prayer, which kinda says it all:

Dossier Prayer
Oh God, you know your children's needs and the desires of our hearts better than we can speak them. We pray for your blessing on this sheaf of papers, now winging its way to the other side of the world.
This stack of documents tells so much--yet so little--of who we are. Between the lines, behind the official seals, our deepest dreams are written.
God, you made miracles of ordinary things: quails and manna, bread and wine. Take these ordinary papers and use them to guide us to our miracle.
Bless the work of those who bring families together: the agency staff and facilitators; the government bureaucrats here and abroad; the orphanage officials and caregivers.
Bless the birth family whose child's future we will be privileged to share, and comfort them in their sorrow.
Bless all the adoptive parents and children who wait for their papers to move and their miracles to occur.
And most especially bless the child, born or unborn, who will be our child forever.
This dossier is the link between our lives and hers, oh God. It is the symbol of our hope--the instrument that will bring our family together. Speed it on its way, and sustain our faith during the difficult months to come.
~Julie Higginbotham, Chicago