Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Two steps forward...

That's the expression right?  "Two steps forward.  One step back."  Sometimes I mix up expressions, because I am not detail oriented, so forgive me if I am doing that here....

But this sentiment sums up where we are right now...

I feel like we have actually been very patient this journey, but will admit this waiting on her file "wait" has become extremely long...   On Facebook, there are these great China Adoption groups that group people based upon where they are in the process.  So, on there, someone was talking about timelines for getting LOA (Letter of Approval) once you were LID (Logged in Dossier).  LID means you have submitted your paperwork to China.  And Letter of Approval is China telling you, you have been approved to adopt the child.  When you are LOA, you are official and you know you will become the child's parents...   Apparently, a lot of people are "matched" with a child prior to getting their paperwork done and submitted (LID).  But, then there is another crowd, like us, that gets all their paperwork done and then waits for a referral (or file).  We have our referral, but not the official file and that is what we are waiting on.

So, these Facebook groups are great, because others are going through the process and many of these steps take a range of time depending I guess on how many people are currently applying, the amount of employees China has processing paperwork, holidays, etc...  So it's nice to hear, from LID to LOA is typically taking 53 days for people who are matched prior to LID.  But the upside of being LID but not being "matched" is that China has our info, is translating it and hopefully already reviewing it.... so that when they get our file, they can quickly "approve" us to be Hannah's parents.

So, I asked that question on this group - what the timeline was for people in our situation and two people responded that they got LOA in a week or less once they got their file!  That is amazing news. We were expecting the next step (to get LOA) to be 2-3 months and now it sounds like that could be only a week.  And the step after that is to get immigration/travel approval which is typically 8-10 weeks.  That means we could be traveling in 12 weeks or less if we got her file today!  This made us so happy!  Two steps forward, right....

But then came the step back.  After the high of getting Hannah's update, we also were encouraged to hear that we would be getting her file "any day" now.  So, as you can imagine, I have been checking email and hoping to see the email saying we can finally move onto the next step!

We were told we would get her file in Spring which was then clarified as being May - worst case early June...    Well, it's definitely early June now and no file to be seen.  We asked for info on what was going on and got the depressing update that the original time estimation did not include accounting for 3 China holidays in April and May.  And that several employees had taken holiday at Hannah's SWI slowing down the paperwork.  Uggh!!!!  This wait has been the longest.  It's now been 5 months since we first saw her picture.  5 months!  And nothing more has happened.  She continues to get older without a family when one is here waiting for her.  It is so frustrating.  It seems so silly.  6 months in the life of a child age from 2 to 3 is big.  What does this mean for her long term?  Children are resilient, but we don't want her to have to overcome things that she shouldn't have to just b/c we all have to wait.  I know people say the Hague convention was good in many ways, but in many ways, it just seems like it makes it harder for children to get families that will love them.

And we weren't able to get an ETA on when we would be getting her file.  I assume worst case it should add a month because 3 holidays cannot be more than 1 month, right?  So I am still hopeful for late June. I will die if it is July and we don't have her file.   I do best if I just put it out of my mind, but then I feel like I forget to pray for her and we want to have her in our mind.  Mack has been talking a lot about our sister and it is so cute, but I am scared to talk too much about her until we get LOA because what if for some reason, we don't get it?  So, pray for us to get her file.  Pray that we can go get her and provide her the home she and every child deserves.  And pray for the other families that are also waiting for this batch of files (apparently 7).  And all those families after...  I imagine if ours are delayed, then the next batch is also delayed.

Oh, and lastly, Hannah's name will be Hannah Catherine Sykes, but we were toying with calling her Hannah Cate as her regular name.  I kinda love the double name for an everyday name, but I also think it is long and hard for a little girl to write.  No one else seems to like it but me...  So, if you have any input, let me know!