Sunday, October 15, 2006

Alyzabeth An... Slow Boat To China.

When we originally started the quest for Alyzabeth An the process was projected to take between 12-16 months total. Total, as in starting the paperwork, receiving the referral, traveling to China and traveling back home with Alyzabeth An. Yep, those were the good ole days...

So for family and friends we thought we would take the time to share with you where we are in our adoption adventure. For all you fellow parents-to-be, we're sure you have had to have this same talk. Indulge us if you will. Thank you.

If you recall what seems like eons ago when we first announced we were adopting, we said we hoped to have Alyzabeth An home before this Christmas. Well you can forget that. We're hoping we have her with us by next Christmas. I wish I were kidding about that last statement. In simple terms, the time line of getting all your paperwork submitted and approved has stayed the same, usually the longest that takes is around 6 months. The slowdown is occurring from that period of time between LID (the Logged-In-Date) and the Referral. The LID is nothing more than the official recognition by the adoption agency in China formerly acknowledging receipt of your request to adopt. Once "logged in" and processed through the Review Room, where the Chinese adoption authorities determine everything is A-Ok, the referral would have followed within 4-6 months and you would have traveled 6-8 weeks after that to China. Those were the good ole days. Total time line once again, between 12-16 months.

Things are different today. I'll not drone on about all the reasons being speculated as to why things have slowed down like they have. It's nothing we can change anyway, so we live with it. Each. Slow. Agonizing. Day.

So, back to where we are today. We were LID as of January 27, 2006. We are presently in the Review Room. This is more than a little nerve wracking. The Review Room is where it can all come to an end. The Chinese adoption officials can, for whatever reason, decide to deny our adoption request. We have been in the Review Room for over a month now. We could be there for a few more days or a few more months. This too has slowed and this too is something we have zero control over. So we wait. Clueless as to what is going on. Nothing we can do but wait and pray we make it through. This is a good time to remind you why we are somewhat antsy. We are on the outer band of "age qualification". In other words. You can't get any older and still adopt in China if you are Ford. Alyson, being younger, gives us lifted hope.

Now, saying we make it out of the Review Room (and you'll know when we do because that roar you hear from Florida will be us, not a Gator, Seminole or Jaguar stadium celebrating a touchdown), we will then progress to the Matching Room. Talk about slowdown... This is where the Wait has taken on an all new proportion. What was taking 4-6 months in the ole days is now taking upwards of 16 months with projections of up to 24 months following your LID date. Remember, our LID date is January 27, 2006. Add 16 to 24 months to that date. That is when we can reasonably expect to have Alyzabeth An home with us.

Click on this Referral Estimator developed by our good friends Dave and Sandy at Wren's Story (and shared with the infamous Rumor Queen) to see an easy to read projected referral time line based on your LID.

As you can see from the Referral Estimator, how long we have to wait is dependent upon how many days are included in the monthly referrals determined by the China Center of Adoption Affairs. The number of days included in a referral can range from 1 day to a full month. Once again, this is something that is totally out of our control. The number of referral days issued do not follow any kind of pattern or rhyme nor reason what so ever. It is what it is. So we wait...

And that's about it. To summarize. We're in the Review Room. Hope to be out soon. Then we wait for the Referral. Once we have the Referral we wait for the TA (travel authorization) and then we head to China. Adopt our daughter and head back home.

Until then, we Wait...


Connie said...

....and wait, and wait.

Nice job explaining a not-so-fun situation.

Melissa said...

I Love You BOTH VERY much!!!!! We will wat with you & love Alyzabeth An oh that MUCH more!

Melissa said...

I meant "WAIT" not wat.....sorry. Yes, it is tough getting older!

rubyiscoming said...

Yup, we wait. Ford, a well-written, honest post. I think I'll just send my family and friends here who may need an update :)

Anonymous said...

That was very eloquant and I'm not sure I could have said it any better. All I can say is that pretty soon, we'll be out of the Review Room and soon we'll be seeing our daughter's face for the first time.
The pace may be maddingly slow, but we're making progress.

Hang in there,
- Dave Curewitz

Don and Be said...

Dang, you said it good. We should take up a collection from everyone in the 'waiting room' and hire a few more workers at CCAA. I'm right there with you on the age thing as well - Be is 8 years younger, so we have some grace in that category. Anyway, keep the faith - my best to you and Aly. Let's do lunch when you come to O-town.


PS - did you get my e-mail on the wine advice?

Alyson & Ford said...

Thank you all for being so supportive. That's a great thing to have...

Don: We're stopping by the Wine Warehouse tomorrow after work and I plan on asking them about the wine. I'll email you with what they suggest.

About lunch. We're checking our calendar and will let you know the date we are looking at for coming to the big O. We absolutely must meet for lunch. We can't wait.

Kim: I'm still wondering about the spitting thing :)

Dave: Thanks for the kind words. We're riding shotgun with you...all the way to China.

Melissa: What can I say. Family is a wonderful thing. We love you.

Connie: You are so nice to read our blog and to be so thoughtful in leaving comments letting us know someone is out there sharing this with us. Thank you.