... and wait... and wait... We are still waiting on our daughter's file to be designated to our agency which will set the process in motion so we can wait... Uggh! It is a bit painful, but we are lucky in that we have had little things to help us feel like we are making progress...
For instance, we know our daughter's file has moved from the province (equivalent to our state) level to the CCCWA level (the China agency that oversees adoption at the country level). Apparently, if a file is going to get hung up, it will be at the province level. So the fact it has cleared that should mean we only have 4-8 weeks until we get her file... And that was over 4 weeks ago, so we could get it any day! :-)
We have a name! Our little girl's advocacy name was Alice. Which fits her personality so well (from what we can tell). She seems like such a little lady, pretty timid and like an Alice! But, guess who is having a baby in May? And guess whose mother in law's name is Alice? And guess whose baby is being named Alice? That's right - my brother? How random, right? Now, our little girl has never gone by the name of Alice or we would keep that name. It has only been the name that they give her when they were advocating for her to be adopted on websites, etc... It apparently makes it easier for perspective parents to keep children straight to have an American name...
Our daughter has a Chinese name now. Her last name is the same name of every child in the orphanage and is the orphanage director's last name. Then her first name is the same as every other child in the orphanage as well (if I understand this all correctly). An then her middle is her unique name. Please keep in mind, this could all be way off, but it's how I understand it. In any case, it wasn't given by her mother and has no specific meaning. We may keep her first and middle (and combine it) for a middle name for our daughter. But we are still deciding if it makes sense to have two middle names.
With most of this adoption stuff, we try to put ourselves in her position and act as how we would have wanted adoptive parents to act for us. So if I were adopted in China to Chinese parents, I would have wanted a Chinese name. So we figure she would like to have an American name.
I just really wanted to stop calling her Alice (since my brother's baby is going to be Alice). I still think of her as Alice even though we have decided on a name. So, I drew up a list of names for Andy who didn't seem to feel any urgency to decide on a name... So essentially I let him pick a name! And he did so well. He liked Hannah and then suggested we name her Hannah Catherine - the Catherine in honor of his mother, and my mother-in-law, Cathy. And I love it! I was like - that is great. Let's do it :-). So there you have it, we have a name!
Like I said, I still call her Alice b/c of habit, but am happy we have a name so by the time we get her, hopefully I will think of her as Hannah and not Alice!
Other things that have happened is that we have gotten updates on her medical file including height, weight, additional pictures, etc... We even got a video - a precious video of her playing. OH, I can't tell you how much that means to us.
...AND Gladney's SuperKids team is in China right now! So we got a quick picture of her from a couple of days ago and should get an updated physical evaluation, more pics and hopefully more video about her when they get back!
I also have found Facebook groups of parents adopting from China who will be traveling soon. So some of these families are traveling now, and others will be traveling around when we travel. Right now, another family from our agency is in China picking up their daughter who is our daughter's same orphanage, and we have reason to think our daughter and she are friends (they are in some pictures together, seem to have the same main care-taker, etc...). As you can imagine, we are following their journey closely!
So, wow, it doesn't feel like much has happened besides waiting, but I guess a lot has. Our case-worker told us today that they expect Hannah's file in May and that is not that far away! Oh yeah, I did 10 hours of training that is required before we can immigrate Hannah. Now, we just have to get Andy's training done :-).
So, in some ways, not a lot is happening, but in other ways, lots is.... Oh, I bought Hannah a bedspread too and am starting to think about how to decorate her room. I mean she could be home in 5 months. I am really hoping we can get her by her birthday, September 7th. It actually would be pretty great (I think) if her adoption day and birthday were the same day - right?
Okay, so back to waiting... Hopefully we have something big to report soon!