We have a daughter!!
The news we had been waiting to hear, thankfully, came much faster than we anticipated. On April 7th, while driving home in the rain, I first learned of a little girl that I already loved. As the woman from our agency spoke of her, I barely could contain myself. All I could think about was when can we go get her!
As I have come to learn, “patience” is a key skill in the adoption process. I can’t complain too much because I first saw her beautiful face just 8 months after starting the process. This is about how long both my pregnancies lasted when I first saw my 2 handsome sons’ faces for the first time. The difference here is, I can’t hold her.
Without compromising her privacy, and violating our agencies rules, I can only tell you the most basic things about her in this type of social media network. I cannot share her photo, Chinese name, her DOB, or her medical condition. I can tell you she is cute as a button, will be called Mei Li (May Lee), she was born in 2012, and endured 3 life saving surgeries between the ages of 1 month and 18 months. Her post operative care was intensive, and so for the betterment of her life, she was moved from her orphanage and into an experienced foster family situation. Her foster mom transformed her life, and we owe her many, many, many thanks.
Her medical file was electronically transmitted to us, and it contained LOTS of pictures and two cute, short videos of her with her foster mom. (We’ve watched those videos about 1,000 times!) We then took that information to our pediatrician who, after 3 long days, called back to give us the thumbs up. That phone call happened on “National Siblings Day”….which is especially meaningful, as it was little James who prompted us last summer to begin this mission with his question, “When is my little sister going to get here?” On National Siblings Day we composed our “Letter of Intent” to adopt her.
Now…enter “more patience”…..
Our agency couldn’t submit our Letter of Intent until China “fully released” her for adoption. This is because this little girl was designated directly to our agency, through a partnership they have, but had not been “officially released” for adoption. Our agency knew about her, and had her file, but had to wait to send our letter until they were given the green light. That green light came on May 7th. Of course we were filled with TONS of “What ifs?” but we held on to our faith that we wouldn’t be heartbroken….and we weren’t!
So…what now? Well….”more patience”….
Our letter was successfully uploaded to the CCCWA (China’s Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption) and we will wait for them to approve our specific family for this specific little girl. They will look at her needs and our resources and see if they match appropriately. Our agency says this could take about 3 months. Once we receive China’s “Letter of Approval,” we can move forward with the final paperwork with US Customs and Immigration, and wait for travel approval. Our agency predicts we’ll travel in about 6 months from now.
Chapter 12 of our Adoption Story has special meaning for us because of the obvious….but also because 12 seems to be a lucky number for us. My first child was born in the 12th month, my second child was born on the 12th day, and my third child was born in the 12th year. Next time I play the lottery, the number 12 will definitely be included! Of course, it doesn’t matter if I don’t win, because I have all the jewels I could ever want…and they’re named, Zachariah, James and Mei Li!