So...what have we been up to the last 12 months. Well, you can check our adoption timeline on the blog if you like. But, I will try to summarize what we have done so far...and what happens next.
We knew adoption was going to happen and were excited to start the process soon after Xander was born. Like I mentioned in previous blogs, some countries can take years before you can bring your child home, others are more quick. But, either way, we officially started the process in July 2015.
We had decided on the country, and went with an agency that a few local friends had used, and had a good reputation. There are TONS of agencies out there, but we felt more comfortable going with a larger agency, and one who we knew had been in China for quite sometime.
So, in July 2015...we applied. We were quickly accepted by Holt, our agency, and began preparing for our homestudy. Basically, over the course of the next few months, we were on what they call a "paper chase". Birth certificates, marriage license, certificate of employment, medical exams, medical letters, letters of reference, tax documents, personal questionaries', fingerprints, background checks in every state you have ever lived in, photos, continuing education hours, multiple interviews with our social worker, a home evaluation (by the way..make sure you have a fire extinguisher and all drawers locked that could have something hazardous in it, like a candle). :)
The list goes on...we spent about 6 months getting all this done before our social worker completed our homestudy and it was sent to Holt for approval.
Our homestudy, along with many many more documents and photos, are all gathered, certified by the state, authenticated by the US Embassy, and then finally gathered together to make your "Dossier."
Our Dossier was officially sent to China on April 8th, 2016!! We officially receive the title "DTC"...Dossier to China. Once in China, the next step is for your dossier to officially be logged in to China's system. You are then "LID." This took about 6 days...
Then over the next 4-6 weeks, your dossier is translated, reviewed...and then you begin your "wait."
So...here we are...waiting! :)
Let me tell you, the process of getting to waiting is exhausting, and at times very frustrating. There can be no typos, no discrepancies, no wording that doesn't suite China's preference, lots and lots of questioning during your homestudy, lots of phone calls, lots of overnighting of documents and waiting in line for fingerprints. It is definitely a process. Don't get me wrong, I know it will be worth it...but wow, what a process.
Now what?? So, we wait for Holt to call us with a potential match. We join in on monthly phone calls to hear the latest matching trends, we communicate with the matching team, our medical needs that we are comfortable with (see previous blog) and we wait.
Right now...with Holt, the average wait for a boy is around 3 months to match. The average time to match a girl is 3-9 months. Once you accept a match...lots and lots of more paper work. Then, you expect to travel within 4-8 months of your match.
During this time, we are obviously also fundraising, preparing our family and home for another child, praying, praying and more praying.
It's overwhelming at times, but so exciting too.
We were DTC in April, so we should match between now and December. Hopefully travel between December this year and summer of next year. Of course, this could all change!! But, that is the current trends.
So, prayer for the matching process. Prayer for peace and clarity as we review potential files. Prayers for our physicians here, that they will be able to help guide us with the limited info they will be presented. Prayers for funds...adoption is not cheap. Prayers for our little girl, wherever she may be. Prayers for Matt and I to grow stronger in this process, to see the Lord's heart more and more during this, to seek Him as we make difficult decisions. Prayers for our boys, that the Lord prepares their little hearts for their new sister. Please pray with us. This is our journey...and like they say, it takes a village.