If there are two words that sum up the adoption process, they are “waiting” and “excitement,” and for us they’ve usually come hand-in-hand.
In January, 2011, we both felt God’s call on our lives to adopt. Through much prayer and study of God’s Word, we began searching and waiting for God to direct us to the child He had chosen for our family. We were filled with excitement, anticipating the changes that were going to take place in our home!
In May, 2011, we saw Julia’s adorable face on RainbowKids.com. With great excitement we filled out our "matching questionnaire" and waited to hear if we were chosen by our agency as Julia’s forever family.
We didn’t hear from them until June 17th. Those were some long days! The day the phone call was supposed to come, we expected it in the early afternoon... The phone rang at 4:20. We heard every second tick by that afternoon! But the wonderful news came, and our family was “a great fit” as the case worker said. “Were we still interested in being matched with her?” Of course! We’d been waiting for this moment! We were so excited to tell our family and friends about this little girl who was going to be part of our family!
Once we were officially matched with Julia (or Ya Ya as she was called), it was time to sign on with our agency and also with a local homestudy agency. We had a problem. Both of those agencies wanted sizable checks, and we didn’t have the money readily available. All we could do at that point was to pray, try to sell everything in sight, and wait. It took 6 LONG WEEKS before we sold enough things (Barry’s truck being the biggie!) to sign on with the two agencies. God was so faithful through this particular time of waiting. Each time we would get discouraged, an item would sell, and we were again filled with excitement as we realized anew that He was leading us down this path. Just about the time we were getting desperate to formally start the process, the truck sold, God provided a different vehicle for us, and we were able to sign up the next day. What an exciting time for us!
There are several sequential steps in the China adoption process, and while they’re orderly, the timing of each step can be unpredictable. Each step is a milestone, and in the adoption community, everything is counted by days.
Immigration Approval- 67 days, Log In Date- 9 days, Letter of Acceptance- 72 days, I-800 Approval- 15 days; everyone’s wait varies and we all do lots of comparing and calculating, as if our efforts will have any effect on the wait. Sprinkle in the wait for the homestudy to be completed and the wait for all the necessary documents to arrive and be authenticated multiple times and you’ve got a lot of calendar watching!
On the other hand, each time anything happens in the process, there is a sense of uncontained excitement! Each signature, each approval, and each email from our agency with news of forward motion are cause for excitement and celebration. We’ve celebrated more over the past year than ever in our lives!
Right now, it’s with great excitement that we’re waiting for our U.S. Approval to be cabled to China, then we’ll wait for two weeks for someone to process something (I’m not quite sure who does what at this stage, but I know it involves two weeks of waiting.) Then we will begin our official wait for Travel Approval. What an exciting time that will be! That’s the wait we’ve been waiting for! At that point, the waiting will be almost over, although I imagine those final, exciting hours before we meet Julia will seem like forever. I guess we’ll have to wait and see...
John 10:10b “...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”