Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Adoption Story Part 4d--While We Waited Year 4

Find the other pieces of our adoption story here. 
So Sunflower turned one, and we were ready to start thinking about the adoption again.  We were receiving e-mails from our agency about waiting children and looking at each one and praying for each one.  We had let all of our paperwork expire and were thinking about contacting our social worker to update it.  Switching to the Waiting Child program to have a child sooner was a bad plan, but we started praying that God would show us His plan for our next child.  Maybe she was someone already waiting.  China had already spent 7 months giving referrals for people with March LIDs, and March was not done (it ended up taking March 9 months).  9x5=45 months more to wait for referral, almost a year longer than we had already waited.  Sunflower would be 6 at that rate!  Anyway, we were trying to open our hearts and mind to God's plan, even waiting 4 more years, but before we made any decisions...

Two things happened in our extended family that made planning for a 4th child go out the window.  This part is hard for me to write because I want to just explain it all in detail (you can tell by now I'm not good at leaving out details), but it would violate other people's right to privacy.  This is really good practice for me because I know my daughter will have a story that is hers to tell, not mine.

Suffice to say (or at least I'm trying to let it be suffice for me) we spent the next year in survival mode and with lots of important and emotional time spent with extended family both mine and my husbands.  In January 2010 my step-mom of 20 years passed after a four year battle with cancer.  Time commitments started to slow a little, but the next few months were still very hard emotionally, especially March as we passed the 22 anniversary of my mother's death when I was 15.  As summer approached the sunshine helped bring us out of deep mourning (we will grieve for a long time) and the family commitments on my husband's side started slowing down a little. 

We spent the summer focusing on our little immediate family (with some extended family still) because the year had really stretched our precious kids.  Sad things are hard enough for adults to understand and process, but how much harder it is for little ones.  Our SnapDragon has a particularly hard time when others are hurting, ill, or sad.  His huge heart always wants to make them feel better.  We are still working on helping him heal from the strain of last year.  Huckleberry is much more pragmatic, able to escape into reading, and still willing to receive comfort by sitting on his momma's lap and crying.  Thankfully Sunflower was too little to understand everything and just brought life and joy into every situation.  I honestly don't know how I would have survived without her last year.  God knew what He was doing when He surprised us with her, go figure!

So Sunflower turned two during our beach vacation scheduled with celebrating the wedding of Oak's brother to his new bride.  We came home and started preparing for a more joyful fall--school, MOPS, Bible classes, volunteering at church more again, etc.  China had plodded along while we flew through last year, and for the first time since we began the numbers were starting to look better for us again.

Referral                  LID                  Length of Wait
2010-08-16        2006-05-15           1554 days
1529 days
1502 days
1481 days
1449 days
1420 days
1398 days
1364 days
1342 days
1294 days
2009-08-222006-03-24          1247 days

So it only took China 6 months to get through the month of April, and there was a big jump in LIDs from June to July--2 weeks were processed at once.  Now we only have 3 months of referrals in front of us.  So, if we take 9x3 assuming they go back to the speed in March, we are only 27 months away from referral--closer than almost forever.  If we assume 6x3 because of April and most other months except March taking 6 months in the last few years, we are only 18 months away from referral.  If we leap to the wildly optimistic and unrealistic expectation that they are now going to process two weeks of LIDs in one month, having only 14 weeks of LIDs before us, we are only 7 months away from referral.

All of this math and estimating got me very excited.  (Yes, I am a nerd.)  The calculator we were using at this very depressing but relatively realistic site even gave me a number less than two years out--July 23, 2012.  However, I was curious about the two week jump in July, so I started searching other sites and found China Adopt Talk  (nickname RQ for Rumor Queen).  She explained that there were very few LIDs for early May because of the CCAA being shut down the first week of May in 2006 so not to expect more two week jumps.  She also somewhere, though I cannot find it!, predicted with lots of caveats that referrals for August LIDs would occur in 12-14 months. It really isn't important to me which prediction is accurate--all of them were better predictions than we had been seeing for the last four years.  Every month is actually bringing us closer to our child, not adding more months to our wait.

So to continue with my estimation methods, it appears it may only take 4-5 months for May LIDs to all receive referrals.  When May is complete we will have only 2 1/2 months of LIDs in front of us.  So 5x2.5=15 and 4x2.5=10.  What?  10 more months until referral?  We can't renew all our paperwork that quickly!  Oh, wait.  We have only been in May for 3 months, so 1-2 more months before June 1.  Whew 15+2=17; 10+2=12.  We might actually be 12-17 months away from a referral!  If we complete our paperwork in the next few months, we still might not have to renew it all again.  Oh. My. Goodness!  We might some day have another daughter. 

Well, that brings us up to this point in our wait, but it is not the end of our Adoption Story.  Here is the next piece.

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