Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Referral

So, I emailed our agency on Tuesday the 15th to find out if we had our Log In Date (LID) yet. We had to have this date in order to be eligible for a match from the list that was being released on Monday the 21st. We were really not expecting a referral in January but were hoping that we would be eligible so that we would move up the list and have a greater chance of being matched in February. On Wednesday, we had come home from church. Mark was actually gone to Walmart. My phone rang, and I knew it was the agency because I recognized the number. I thought that the director was calling to let me know our LID date. It was not an unusual thing for her to call late because she often works on China time. I answered, and she let me know that our LID was January 10th and that she had LOCKED A FILE FOR US! WHAT?!?! The way this kind of referral works is that the agency locks a file for a family. The family then has 72 hours to accept or decline the file. She told me that this little girl has cleft palate and that she was very surprised to find this file on the list. I immediately called Mark. I was in shock that we had gotten a referral so quickly. Did I wait to look at the file until Mark was home? No way!

I need to explain a couple of things at this point. First, I had been praying very hard that we would receive a referral in January in order to give us the best chance to travel in June so that the boys could go with us. Second, I have worked in this field for a very long time and have heard many stories about how the family saw the picture and experienced the magical "aha" moment and knew immediately that they had found their child. I completely expected this to happen. So, I opened the file and did what you are not supposed to do, I looked at the picture first. Here is the first picture I saw.

She's cute and sweet, but I did not feel the magical "aha" moment. I didn't absorb very much of the information that was in her file because I was still in shock. Chase and Dylan were still up, so I let them see. They wanted to know if that was their sister, and I told them that maybe it was. I emailed the director back and let her know that we were interested and that we would be getting back to her after we talked to a doctor. Mark finally got home, and we were able to sit down and look over everything. The file we were given contained information from November 2011, so it was very updated. The file mentioned muscular tension weakness. Without more information, we were a little nervous about moving forward. I did email our agency about possibly getting an update. The director said that she would try. She is amazing (truly), so I knew that if it was possible, then she would get one. Here are the other pictures that were included in her file. These were all taken on the same day.

This one is my favorite.

Now another thing to note. Here is the very first thing that I bought for our daughter.

The file mentioned that this little girl likes cats :-)

We went to bed with a lot of uncertainty, especially me. The fact that I did not immediately "know" really confused me. Next, I will blog about the second day. You all know how it ends, but I want to document all of this to share with Emma some day.

- Jenna

Monday, January 21, 2013

Official Dossier

This is the official stack of papers that will lead us to our daughter.

All stuffed in an envelope and off to our agency on January 2, 2013

- Jenna

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Crazy Paperchase

The crazy paperchase was on!  I checked online and found out that the Secretary of State office was closed on the 26th :-(. That delayed my plans a day, but I was still hopeful that I could get everything to our agency in order to be Dossier to China (DTC) by January 4th. I ended up spending the night at a friend's house in Austin on the 26th. I was at the Secretary of State's office at 7:55 a.m. All the documents were certified successfully. I then stopped at a Fed Ex/Kinko's and made copies. Next. I drove to Houston to the Chinese Consulate. I got there during their lunch closure, so I had to wait a bit. I found this fantastic Mexican food restaurant around the corner. This was right next to a copy place. I was really glad to find the copy place because I would be needing it to copy documents after the consulate was done with them. I went back to the consulate to turn in my documents for authentication. This was super stressful. I had heard how picky they can be about the documents. The woman at the counter carefully scrutinized my stack 3 times!!!  I thought I was going to pass out. She accepted them all and told me to come back for pickup on January 2nd. I made it back home by 7. The boys hopped in the car and we headed to Amarillo to spend a few days with my family. Luckily, Chase was able to do some of that driving. I was exhausted.

On the 2nd, I got up and headed back to Houston. All documents were picked up successfully. I made the copies and put together the complete dossier packet.  Then sent it by Fed Ex for arrival to the agency on the 3rd, praying that I made no mistakes. The agency emailed me the next day to let me know that everything looked good and we would be DTC on January 4th. Success!!!!

Next is the wait for our Log In Date (LID). After we have this date, then we will be eligible to be matched. The new list is set to come out on Monday the 21st. Most families who are open to the same type of needs that we are open to do not get a referral their first month.  I emailed our agency on Tuesday, January 15th to see if we had our LID yet. The agency called me on Wednesday night and let me know that our LID is January 10th. There is more to this story, but it is not a good idea to talk about it online yet (not even in the comments on Facebook). If you see me in real life, then I will be happy to fill you in. I will be posting more as soon as I can:-). So far, I am really liking 2013.