Over 1,460 days ago, I began the process to adopt Emma. Not the THINKING...the decision was made...I started the process August 5, 2005.
When I started, China only allowed 8% of an agencies families to be single. The agency I started with did a "lottery" of sorts. About twice per year, they would open up their window for single people. Usually within a day, that window closed. I decided I didn't like my odds in that as I lived a good 10 hours from the agency. So with a little research, I did change agencies to one with a waiting list...felt a little more safe that way!
August 10, 2006, I got the call to start my paperwork! I was so excited...but terrified! There were rumors then that China was going to stop accepting singles. Also, at the time, the wait was a mere 13 months. I remember worrying that I wouldn't be ready in time. I also remember many conversations with my friend, Susan, who encouraged me to go ahead and start...that there would never be a perfect time...and what if China did stop accepting singles??? So I forged ahead with fingerprints, homestudy visits, doctor visits, mounds of paperwork...and got it all finished in record time - well, except for waiting on the elusive 171-h that took forever!
I remember so vividly the day I recieved that one piece of (very expensive) paper. I was babysiting Elizabeth and it was the day after Thanksgiving. When I opened the envelope from USCIS, I wasn't even sure what it was and had to call Elizabeth's dad to confirm if this was in fact the form I had been waiting on...then I saw it...on the bottom of the paper... "FORM 171-h" I started jumping up and down, crying and Elizabeth and I gathered everything and ran to overnight my now complete dossier. And then, just over 2 months later, I was LOGGED IN on January 31, 2007.
So much has happened since then...the process feels as if it's nearly come to a halt. When I started the paperwork in August of 06, they were giving referrals to families logged in in October 2005. Now, 3 years later, they've only gotten through 5 more months...in 3 years, 5 months!! It just seems outrageous to me! There have been multiple rumors of speed ups...after the Olympics...after the new year...after China's new year...after November... After March...in the fall...that's where we are now. I am holding out hope of a speed up once we are through with the "month" of March.
So tonight...as I sit here 31 months "paper pregnant" I wonder if it will ever be my turn...