the paperchase began in february of 2005. background checks, fingerprints, birth certificates, financial statements, guardianship letters, marriage license copies, home studies, physicals, shots, recommendation letters, auto-biographies. you name it-they wanted to know! i was just waiting for the day they asked my bra size! : ) fortunately, they never did!
it only took 2 months to complete our "dossier" which is actually considered quick! we were "DTC" (Dossier To China) on 22 april '05....that was a HUGE relief and a milestone in the adoption process. a few weeks later, on 10 may 2005, our documents had reached the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) and was logged into their system, another milestone, called the LID (Log In Date) ...now for the loooong wait.
at the time, the time from being 'logged in" to the chinese system and receiving the referral was about 6-8 months. that should have put us being 'matched' and receiving our referral around november, december, january-ish of '04-'05. well, as i'm writing this, it's february 17th, 2006 and we just got our referral on january 25th. one very important lesson learned in adoption process, and a lot like the military: NEVER believe it til ya see it!
there were a few times i cried, esp when i realized we would not be receiving our referral when we thought we would; and it got SO OLD telling the same ole answer to those who asked, "so what's the latest w/ myah?" and we'd say over and over again, "no clue!" there were times we felt we weren't even adopting anymore b/c you go from doing a million things for the dossier, to absolute nothing! we were totally at the CCAA's mercy and just had to wait it out. but, i must say, God! you ARE a God of more than enough! everytime i got down, He'd lift me back up-with more strenght and peace than before! there were (and still are) many days i don't think that much about her! it's like God has built a super-fortress around my heart to protect me from being disappointed. it's amazing what He will do when you submit to HIS WILL!
anyway, during the wait-which seemed so far off back in may of 2005, and now as we look back, just TOTALLY flew, we learned so much about china, adopting, parenting and being thankful; even in the waiting. this picture of kevin reading (The Lost Daughters of China) is a pretty good visual of what we did a lot of during those months! that and talking with so many neat familes on our agency's yahoo group web board. thank the Lord for modern technology! : )