Here's my version of that special day...
Last Monday night, I went to a basketball game with my friends, Matt and Sydney. It was a good diversion...but when 8:00 pm struck, my mind was totally on what was happening in China. I was wondering what the faces of the children looked like and if any of them would be matches for me. I was praying for my SW at my agency as she worked to make matches for families.
About 9, I left the game and called my friend, Kelly. Kelly was also waiting on a referral. We have followed each others' blogs for months and had begun talking and praying as we waited for referral. What a blessing it's been to be able to pray with a friend who is in the exact same spot! As we prayed for our girls, as they woke up for their day, my heart nearly exploded!
After that, I met Matt and Sydney for a late dinner...but it was pretty hard to focus on anything but the possibility of seeing her face! When I came home, I was really tired and was surprised that I was able to fall straight to sleep.
About 3:30, I heard Max get up and that was it...I was wide awake! So I did what all expectant moms do as they wait for their baby...I nested! I cleaned the bathrooms, the kitchen, my bedroom...all the while watching the clock and counting the hours until I expected to hear the call.
About 7:30, I laid down on the couch...feeling exhausted in so many ways. I had just dozed off when the phone rang...my friend Syd calling to check on the status. I think she was nearly as excited as I was! Kelly and I spent the next hour emailing eahc other back and forth - "Have you heard anything?" About 9:15, my dad called to check on things...while I was on the phone with him, my social worker Sarah, called to let me know that she had jsut emailed me a file.
Over the next few hours, I poured over every piece of information I had received...I stared at her picture wondering what the future would hold. I forwarded information to doctors and drove to my pediatricians office...and waited. All the docs said the same thing...she has a minor heart defect, but they were hopeful that it would not require surgery. They were pleased with her growth - although on the small side.
It began to look as if this was it...I had to send in a "Letter of Intent" by 3:00 that day...and I was ready. I finished up the letter and emailed it to my agency about 2:15.
And now...what do I do? I wait. Imagine that.
The first thing is PA or pre-approval. PA acknowledges that the CCAA has reviewed my application, and they agree to review my Dossier specifically for this child. This comes within 1-2 weeks after the letter of intent. Once I receive PA, I can post her picture...I can't wait to show you! My friends Kelly and Karen - who both accepted referrals on the same day as I did - got their PA today. I am hopeful that mine will come tomorrow.
Two weeks to two months after PA is recieved, I hope to recieve my LOA or letter of acceptance. This means that China has reviewed all my documents and approves me as the parent of this child.
Three to four weeks after LOA, I will recieve TA or Travel Approval. With this will come my appointment with the consulate...pretty important part of the whole process.
Finally, three weeks after TA, I will leave for China.
I can't share specifics yet...but I can share these little tidbits about my sweet girl...
- She's 20 months old.
- She likes music.
- She loves to take baths and play in the water.
- She's talkative...but quiet. (not sure that makes a lot of sense)
- She likes to swing.
- She's already stolen my heart!