Friends and family are always asking for news and updates on Zoe. It hurts getting asked over and over again when I have no news, only day dreams of where she is or what she looks like and questions like is she being fed enough or being held. But it also makes me smile, knowing that so many people love, pray for and are concerned about my little Zoe, too. She hasn't been forgotten.
We started our journey for Zoe long before her conception. Her conception in our hearts was our 7 year anniversary- September 7, 2009. That's the day we signed our agreement with our adoption agency and began dreaming about her.
After 7 months of chasing papers, medical visits, background checks, finger printing, and home studying, we shipped our precious dossier (fancy word for "your life on paper") across the ocean to China. We got our log-in-date (LID) on March 19, 2010... the day our "waiting" officially began.
Your "waiting" period ends when you receive a "referral" which is basically a picture and brief medical history of your child. About 6 weeks after that you travel to China to pick up your baby and 12 days later you are legally a forever family and back home to start life anew.
When we first logged-in, the waiting time was a heart wrenchingly long three and a half years. Today, it's five and a half. Tomorrow it might be seven. I'm partly convinced this is just another Chinese torture technique.
We really want Arella and Zoe to be close in age and that just doesn't appear to be happening on this ever lengthening road. But we know Zoe is in China, of that we're certain. So we started exploring another option- the Waiting Child Program.
A child is classified as a Waiting Child in China if:
- The child is between the ages of 8-14, with no diagnosed special needs.
- The child is up to the age of 14, with any level of diagnosed physical, medical, or developmental special needs.
We had to be really honest with ourselves and ask tough questions. It was almost like starting the adoption process all over again. We talked to our pediatrician (who also adopted from China!) about all the different diagnoses and her recommendations. We prayed a lot. Then we began to check off boxes of ailments that believe we can help little Zoe handle.
Tough part over? It's only just begun folks!
So I mentioned earlier that through the normal waiting route, once you receive the referral for your child, it's about 6 weeks until you travel to pick her up. Well, lo and behold, when you are matched with a waiting child who generally needs medical aid, it's going to be 6-9 months before you can travel to pick her up. This. is. going. to. break. me.
I read through every detailed little step you go through after being matched to figure out why it takes so long (mostly bureaucratic stuff of course). There are, however, a few things we can do to help speed the process along. We have some paperwork that has expired, so we have to refile and get re-finger printed. But of course to refile for the re-finger printing, we have to redo our home study. (We're waiting to hear if we can just update the home study or if we have to completely redo it.)
If we can get all of the paperwork on our end up to snuff, when we get matched the wait might be a little less, maybe 3 or 4 months. So I've asked them to hold off trying to match us until we can get our paperwork redone. I know Zoe is in the orphanage whether I've seen her picture or not, but once I see her face, I know I won't be able to wait long. My heart is fragile over Zoe; it aches constantly.
I love that I have my sweet Arella to keep me busy while we wait, but sometimes she makes me yearn for little Zoe even more. I'm beginning to see how God is knitting my family together, and I just long to see His masterpiece in full!
Maybe one day our girls will look a little something like this.