Sunday, August 30, 2009
We are DTC!!!
As of 8.28.09 we are DTC (Dossier to China)!!! This means not only are we done with the 6 months worth of paperwork that we have been working on but we are also "officially" awaiting the referral of our next baby girl. Huge sigh of relief on one hand and also a EEKK on the other. Shane, Jaili bird and I are so excited to finally get a referral and see the face of our next daughter/sister, reality has set in a little more of "Oh awesome, now we are going to need to come up with lots of $$$". (The sky is falling, the sky is falling : ) )I'm freaked and calm at the same time...I don't know how it's all going to happen but I do know that this is God's plan and He already has our daughter for us so He will make it all come together. It is a good feeling to have that peace, that He will see us through. Sometimes it would be nice if we could have a little more detail on how.
As for when we will get a referral, it all just depends. We could get a referral as soon as 2 weeks or it could be 6 months from now. We've had a few questions on how our daughter will come to us. We don't pick her out. Since we are doing the COP (child of Promise) route China releases a list of children once a month with various special needs and different ages. Our agency Holt then compares the parameters of the different parents to the age, special need, etc of the children that need families. When they have a child that meets what the parents have put on the application and special need form they "lock" the child's file. They then send all of this information to the potential parents. At this time the parents review the information and decide if this is their child. You can have a doctor review all of the medical information also. If you decide to accept the referral you then send a letter of Intent (LOI) to China saying that yes this is the child that you are wanting to adopt (basically..there is other stuff that goes along with it to). If you decide to not accept the referral the child' file is "unlocked" and the file then is available for another agency to "lock". Nothing changes with the potential parents, you just stay waiting for the next referral. There are various reasons that files are not accepted (special need to severe, child is older). It is heartbreaking to deny a referral but you know the child that God has planned for you and what you can handle special needs wise. I believe that there can be a family for every child and God will guide you to your child and your child to you.
After you accept you send your LOI (letter of Intent) you then wait several months to get your LOA (letter of Approval) this is the letter that China sends to let you know that yes, you are approved to be the parents of this child. You then wait for TA (travel approval) time frames vary to receive this but I believe that it is usually around 10 weeks after you receive LOA. After you receive your TA you are set to go get your child. You will usually leave 3-4 weeks after you receive TA. The whole process from referral until actually getting to hold your child for the first time is about 6-7 months. With Jaili girl it took about 5 months, time frames have lengthened since then though (due to different paperwork and approvals...Hague convention). Shane and I have put several special needs that we are open to so we should get a referral relatively soon. Some of the special needs we have included are deaf, partial hearing loss, ear atresia, congenital heart defect, Hep B, missing or partial arm, leg, fingers, toes, webbed fingers, toes, albinism and few others. Both Shane and I are very open to various questions about different special needs because it is nothing to be ashamed of. So if anyone is curious about special needs adoption please feel free to email me any questions. The special needs can be very minor and correctable to more severe. It is also possible that like Jaili girl, we received her referral under the COP program, and after we got home found that she had seroconverted from Hep B and is healthy in every way (she has an amazing immune system, that kid is never sick...it's awesome)Anywho, this is about the time frame we are looking at. We are hoping for a referral before December and then travel by June or so. It's all God's timing though, so who knows.
On the subject of June, Jaili bird is pretty convinced that we are naming her June. Everytime I tell her " I don't know yet honey, we are going to wait and see" she tells me adamantly that "No Mommy, baby sister's name is June. I know that her name is June, I'm naming her that" (It's sad the way she is so shy about sharing her opinions :) ) So we may be getting a picture of our little June bug in a few months. We will see.