Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Waiting and Waiting

We sent our dossier to China for a second daughter in September of 2006. It was registered or logged in (which means we officially got in line, our LID-Log In Date) on Monday, October 16, 2006. That was 6 years, 3 months and 13 days ago. And we still don’t have our referral. We wait.

I've been trying to keep busy by taking photos of the kids and documenting the last few days of the wait.

We are “next in line”, which in terms of China adoption and for lack of a better example, is like taking a number at the deli counter. You take the ticket with your number (in this case our Log In Date) and you wait for your number to be called. China has referred through October 13, 2006, but considering that October 14th and 15th were a Saturday and Sunday, we are next up.

But when? We are so close and after 6 plus years of waiting, these are the hardest, the days, weeks when you are closest to referral.  We’ve handled the six years of waiting pretty well, sure, there were moments we questioned whether we would continue, and it was frustrating, but looking back, it seemed easy compared with the last few days since we heard official word that China was matching, that someone in Beijing was dusting off our dossier and matching a little girl with us, determining that she would be Emma Claire.

Why am I on edge, checking email and FB and Rumor Queen every 15 minutes? I’ve made it 6 years, surely I can make it another few days? I even looked up the psychology of waiting. It seems once it is your turn, your time, we become less patient and the more anxious we grow, the longer the waiting seems.

This adoption will be our third international adoption and our second from China. But each adoption has been VERY different.

If you asked me at the time, I wouldn’t have agreed, but Oliver’s adoption from Ethiopia in 2009/10 was the smoothest and easiest, which is surprising because China is considered the most stable and straightforward international adoption process, one reason it still remains #1 in international adoption despite the long wait.

We only waited 6 months for our referral for Oliver, which at the time seemed like an eternity since you can get the call at any time once your dossier is sent to Ethiopia and you are matched to a child meeting your requests. We knew people that got a referral in one week and others in two months. It could come at any time after our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa. And, there is no “heads up” like China that your referral is on its way. In fact, I almost didn’t answer the phone when our agency called with our referral!

While Chloe’s adoption in 2004/05 wasn’t long and didn’t hit any snags, it was our first adoption, our first child and we were nervous and anxious and full of emotion. Up until our LID was at the front of the line, China had been referring almost one and a half months of log in dates. We thought for certain we would get a referral in February 2005, but China only referred one month of LIDs and we didn’t make the cut off. I was crushed. I was so upset when I got the email from our agency that we would have to wait until March, but that we would be next. I was teaching school and can remember reading the email and thinking I couldn’t teach the rest of the day. I did teach and I did make it until March and we did get our referral.

And now, as we are so close, I have to remind myself that if the referral arrives in February and not this month, that it is ok. We will get our referral. It’s only a few more days and we can celebrate the Chinese New Year with our referral.

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