Next Steps - Waiting!

We had our conference call today. We weren't sure what to expect.

It was both informational and encouraging.  Only slightly discouraging.

The purpose of this call was to give our China team more information about what type of child we are open to adopting.  We had filled out a six page paper on all the possible medical needs she could have. The list couldn't possibly cover everything and quite a bit of clarification needed to be done.

Things like, "You said you were open to 'limb deformities' - does this include both hands and feet...both...one or the other?" and "Are you open to hearing loss with a deformity or without a deformity?" were asked.

By nature these conversations are extremely hard.  We felt as if we were making judgment statements when we would say "no" to some things and "yes" to other things.

Although we've shared why and what we are open to - it is hard to say "no."  It is important that we are honest.  We are not judging medical conditions. We are not judging children. We are being honest. We are saying that we are not comfortable with certain conditions while we are with other conditions.

It was important that our case worker understand exactly what we are comfortable with so that she could best match us to a child. It was informational even for us to think through all that we had said "yes" to and confirm in our minds what we will be facing when we bring her home.

What does that mean now? What is the next step?

We wait for a referral. When we asked how long it might be, our case worker said a couple of things.  First she said that looking at our openness, we should expect the wait time to be 6-9 months. She also kind of said in passing that "I could match you tomorrow." So the answer truly is: We don't know.  We are open to quite a few things. It really is all up to what type of children become available to adopt.

When we asked her what type of medical needs we could expect, she was able to give us three or four good possibilities.  Having just three or four as opposed to ten or more possibilities feels much better.  

Some interesting facts about the next steps in the process - if you aren't interested, skip down to the end for prayer requests!

- Our agency receives files TWO ways. The first is the "shared list." Every two-three weeks, China releases new files to all the agencies all over the world.  Our agency literally has seconds to decide whether they can match a child or not. Last night, our agency was unable to even get one match.  In seconds all the new files were already taken by other agencies.  It is super competitive and our case worker told us that receiving a match from the shared list is very unlikely.  

- The second way is through their partnerships. Our agency currently has partnerships with four separate orphanages. Every so often (it varies), they will send exclusive referrals to our agency.  Our agency is the only one to receive these files and has a longer amount of time to try and find matches for these children.  The amount of referrals vary and the frequency of receiving new referrals is also unpredictable.  For example, our agency relieved two files two weeks ago.  Before that, none had been sent since June. It could be months before new children are available - it could be tomorrow. 

- Once we receive a referral, we begin the travel paperwork.  Typical travel paperwork takes about 3-4 months. We must apply for a visa to travel; immigration for our child; and other steps that seem a little overwhelming right at this moment.

Please pray that:

1. We will have patience while we wait.
2. Our little girl will be protected and loved.
3. God will continue to work in our hearts.
4. We will have the wisdom and open hearts when we receive a referral.

We are still processing the conference call. It was discouraging to hear "6-9 months" - but we are trying to trust God.  He still sees her.  He still knows her.  He still knows when WE will be ready for her.  I was hoping to hear, "We can match you next month!"  Maybe our family is not ready for her yet.  Hitting the nine month mark seems a little silly - but it does feel as if I should be holding a baby! 

God has lessons for us yet to learn.

We are trying to remember this truth:

Stay tuned for more information about a fundraiser opportunity as well!

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