Yesterday was a pretty big day.
Gracie got her first set of stitches. She took a header into a coffee table. If you know Gracie, this isn't shocking as she doesn't walk anywhere. She runs and jumps at all times. All times.
Post stitches we asked her what she wanted for dinner. She said “Chocolate and Dip”. So we went to Cheeburger Cheeburger and let her have a milkshake for dinner and didn’t even comment when she didn’t eat the fries but sucked down an entire ramekin full of ketchup. According to the Government, ketchup is a vegetable, so my awesome Mommy status remains intact.
Additionally, it was our first of five total interviews for our home study. Once again I was reminded at how much I adore our agency and our case worker. Truthfully, because I was friends with our case worker prior to our adoption, I’ve been worried that it has hindered our adoption process. (Read: I feel like I can’t call and yell at her because she’s not at my beck and call nor send angry emails.) But now I’m seeing this desire to act lovingly towards C as a good thing. That said, once our homestudy is complete, we will be transferred to a China Special Needs Waiting Child Dossier specialist and C tells me I can haggle that person to my heart’s content.
We were given a more definitive time line (well, sort of…international adoption is rather unpredictable) and a more detailed fee schedule. (BONUS!!)
This is basically what it boils down to…our last home study home visit is February 16th, therefore our homestudy will be completed no later than March 16th. (AKA when a little over $7,000 is due.)
From there we will complete our dossier that goes to China. This will be completed and logged in no later than May 16th. (But possibly could be sometime in April!!)
Then after this we wait to receive a referral. There’s really no way to predict this as the China program siphons all of their children through a single portal that is only updated and open to agencies one day a month. There are also a handful of children that are Bethany specific because they live in Bethany run orphanages and hospitals. These children are available for referral anytime.
Because we are open to many things (don’t worry—I’ve already got a half written post about that. Spoiler alert! It includes a scene in which Sloan screams about seeing a dude’s junk.), it stands to reason that our first referral will come quickly. When we receive a referral, we will get both a photo and our referral’s medical records. China is relatively safe in terms of medical records. Some countries pad their kids’ files as orphanages get paid by the kid and the malady. Not so with China. China genuinely wants to have their children adopted, but because our medical systems are so different, there is a margin for error. But anyway, we’ll get our “take with a grain of salt and tequila back” medical records and will meet with our medical team to decide if we desire to move ahead with the referral. WE HAVE 48 HOURS TO DECIDE.
Our special needs openness form is being reviewed presently by the national China team and after we have a conference call with them to discuss the reality of what they are seeing in China and the needs that are common amongst little boys, we will have a clearer picture of our wait time. Also, at this time, they will be aware of our file and begin to throw our hat in the ring for possible referrals.
Anywhoozie, after our dossier is logged in by China, and our referral locked in, we will travel to China to get Charlie in 6-12 weeks.
If you are paying attention…that means it is possibly that at the earliest we could be in China in August?
Honestly, I am praying that we are approved for travel sooner rather than later, because I’m really fearful that we will actually be scheduled to travel over Christmas. And I reject that possibility. I’m cool with turning 35 in China around Thanksgiving. Heck, it’d be most convienient if we went in August so I didn’t have to worry about getting the kids to school.
Also, let it be noted that when it is all said and done…this adoption will cost…
DRUM ROLL PLEASE….
Between $26,704-$37,424. The range is because there are variables based on dollar values in China, travel prices, costs of our medical copays and the like, and how much we spend on food and gifts in China (so let’s assume we will be in the high end.) We will also, as we get closer to travelling, let y’all know our airline and folks who have frequent flyer points on that airline can donate them to our cause, which will hopefully take a big chunk out of that number. I’m hoping to keep it around 30. (Which is on par with how much we’ve spent previously to receive our children. Infertility ain’t cheap, but it does force one to evaluate one’s priorities.)
GASP. I’m trying to remember that God brought us here and will continue to be faithful in providing for us. There are several grants and loans we can apply for once our homestudy is complete. We will be having a yard sale in June and that will bring in probably $2000 or so.
So while you are praying for God to tell someone to approve our grant applications and possibly just give us large sums of money, please could you also add to that my speaking gig this afternoon? I will be talking to waiting adoptive families about transracial adoption and grieving an adoption that falls through. Even though I’m really too busy to do it, I will always agree to these gigs. Because nothing helps a frazzled heart than retelling once again about the goodness of God to our family. Of his faithfulness to send Grace to heal our broken hearts and empty arms.
Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.