Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love.

I can't stop looking at her. I get so excited when I see her little face. I get that butterfly feeling. Her picture was the last thing I looked at last night before I went to sleep and the first thing I saw when I woke up this morning. How can I love her already? I do not even know her. I just do. I am her mother. I never knew a picture could generate such strong feelings and emotions.

Friday, February 27, 2009

We have a referral!!!

We are so excited!! Pam called us today with news of our daughter. I am still in shock that we finally know who our daughter is now. It is so surreal. It has been a whirlwind today since Pam's phone call. I keep looking at Lily's pictures and can't believe it is true. We have a referral!!!

She is so cute. She has the cutest little face. I can not wait to hug and squeeze her. She brings a smile to my face every time I look at her. The really hard part begins now, waiting to go get her. Hopefully this next phase of paperwork goes quickly and without any glitches. We probably will be traveling to China in early to mid summer to get her and bring her home. I never wished for time to fly so fast as I do now. She just turned two years old. I don't want anymore time to go by without her. She needs to be with her family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hope for a referral/match

Pam from HAS emailed today saying her representatives in China are hopeful referrals/matches will be restarting sometime in March. Everyone say a little prayer for us that we will be matched. We can not wait for the day we finally know who our little Lily is. (Yes, 99% chance her name is going to be Lily. We took a family vote and Lily won!!)

We have learned through this process that international adoption never goes as planned though. It would be GREAT to be matched in March but only time will tell.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More waiting.........

Yes, more waiting. I spoke with Homeland Adoption Services (HAS, our agency) this week. Not very encouraging news. The wait times are getting longer and longer for referrals. The non special needs wait is up to about 7 years now for a referral. The special needs wait is also being prolonged. No one can give us an answer as to why. There is a lot of speculation though. Some feel it is combination of reasons. Political being one. China does not want to be seen as a country who abandons their children so they are making it more difficult to adopt. Some areas of China now allow families to have more than one child so less children are being placed in orphanages. More American families are trying to adopt from China also. There just are not enough children to be adopted. The special needs programs are having longer waits now partly because families are switching over from NSN to SN programs. Basically supply and demand.

Anyway you look at it, it leaves us with a lot of uncertainty. Our agencies now are saying they do not know when we will get a referral, possibly in the next 6 months with any luck. International adoption world wide is becoming more and more uncertain. Many programs and agencies are closing. Not very promising. So we just have to wait and pray..............

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting!

I spoke with Pam yesterday (Homeland Adoption Agency Executive Director). Still no news of any referrals. We are trying to wait patiently but it is very hard. Over six months of just waiting is really starting to get to us. At least with the first six months we were gathering documents, meeting with the social worker, and getting Lily/Lila's room ready. (Yes, we are undecided on her name. Or I should say I am undecided. Anthony and the kids are set on Lily but I am leaning toward Lila. I think we will make that decision when we see her pictures). We really did not expect to wait this long for a referral. Unfortunately things are changing with China adoptions. The wait times are getting longer and longer for a referral/match. With the conventional program, non special needs, the wait times are up to about 4 to 5 years. That is insane. Hopefully our wait won't be too much longer. In comparison, waiting over 6 months for a referral isn't that bad. So we just have to wait. We will wait no matter how long it takes. Hopefully it will happen before I get to old and people think I am her grandmother! LOL.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Introduction

Hello to everyone following our journey. We have been on this journey to adopt a little infant girl from China with minor medical needs since February 2008. I can not believe it has been over a year since we started this whole process. For those of you who need an update on our story and the happenings of the last year since we started this adoption process, here we go...........

My husband, Anthony, and I have been happily married for over 13 years. We met in high school and proceeded to date through college and a few years after until we got married in 1995. I can not believe we have been together for over 21 years. That sounds like an eternity!!!!!!!! I don't feel like it has been long. I can remember those early years like yesterday. We have been blessed with finding each other and having made a great life for ourselves. After a few years of marriage we had our son, Gavin who is now 11. He has brought so much joy and love into our family. He is such a great kid. Sophia was born 20 months later. What a blessing to have a daughter as sweet as her. She is now 9. Both of our children bring so much love, fun and craziness into our family.

After Sophia was born we enjoyed a busy time with two little ones close in age, work and life in general. Time passes so quickly and before we knew it they were getting so big. I had always had the desire to add just one more child to our family. Anthony was happy and content with two. More time passed............ and that feeling or need of mine to add another child to our family was still lingering. After many discussions and a lot of soul searching we decided to adopt a little girl from China. How excited was I!!!!!!!! Anthony too!!!!!!!!

Many have asked why not have another biological child? We had always been open to adoption even before we had Gavin and Sophie. My friends and family can remember years ago us talking about adoption. I just always new in my heart it would be a part of my life at some point. It just fits. It's right. It feels meant to be. I can not believe we are so close to fulfilling this dream.

After many phone calls, Internet searches and research we decided to contact Good Hope Adoptions in South Dennis Massachusetts which is on Cape Cod. We also live on Cape Cod and this agency seemed perfect. We went into this adoption process first thinking we would adopt from Kazakhstan. After doing a little more research and guidance from Good Hope we decided on their "Xingfu" program out of China for "special needs" children with minor medical needs. Good Hope is affiliated with an agency in Nyack, New York called Homeland Adoption Services that is running the Xinfu Program. ( Xingfu means happiness). The waiting time seemed much less for this program and with my Neonatal nursing background we felt this program was right. Now the paperwork begins!!! UGH!!!

After MONTHS of gathering paperwork and home study visits by our social worker we were finally getting closer to our new little girl. When I say months, I mean months. What a long process that was. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, police reports ( of good conduct of course), work verification, insurance verification, medical exams, HIV testing, pictures, personal references, mini autobiographies.................. The list goes on and on. Once all this was done everything had to be sent to immigration. We had to get fingerprinted and cleared by the FBI. All of our paperwork (dossier) was then sent to China in late August 2008. We have a Log in Date of 9/10/08.

We are now waiting for a referral of our little girl. We have been waiting for about six months for a referral now. We just have to wait until The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) sends us a referral. The wait seems endless. CCAA has a list of all the medical needs we will be willing to accept. By this I mean she could have a cleft lip or palate, VSD or ASD (ventral septic defect/atrial septic defect), prematurity, birthmarks etc... All things that are considered minor medical needs.

Our adoption agencies are hopeful we will have a referral soon after the Chinese New Year. Hopefully we will finally know who our precious little girl will be. After we receive the referral, and if everything goes without any glitches, we will be traveling to China in late spring early summer for two weeks to FINALLY go get her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!