We officially are approved! We passed! Everything is clear!! We are definitely going to adopt a baby girl from China!!
I turned in the last of our paperwork today and we got word from Bethany, our case manager, that we are officially approved. The next step is to go through the home study. This will consist of one home visit and and two visits in the office with a home study case worker. During this we start our immigration paperwork and dossier paperwork. The immigration paperwork is filed with USCIS (United States Center for Immigration Services - I think that's what it stands for) and just lets China and US know we are bringing a resident from China to live in the US. The dossier paperwork is kind of an advertisement about us to the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). The CCAA is the nationwide organization that handles all adoptions in China. The CCAA will go through our dossier then match us with a child. They will look at pictures of Lyndal and I on separate sheets of paper and try to find a baby that looks like us. (We're gonna get one with a big nose, aren't we? Ha Ha! - that's Lyndal's joke) It sounds wierd that they try to match a caucasion family with an Asian baby, but remarkably they do a very good job! I am very happy with this process in that I could NEVER look at a file folder of pictures of baby girls and pick one to be ours, I would pick them all. Or I would find one for everyone I know. The CCAA is caught up with everyones dossier to June 15, 2005! They seem to do about a weeks worth of dossiers in about 3 months!! There are a lot of people wanting to adopt baby girls from China, there aren't as many babies that are "paper ready" even though there are A LOT of children in orphanages, and domestic adoption is on the rise in China. This gives us some things to pray about.
Now that Ethan has turned a very ornery 1 year old, our baby girl can be born at any time now. The last batch of referrals that came in (babies matched with their families for Dillon, our agency) were 6-10 mos. old. My thinking is that since we haven't turned in our dossier yet and since the CCAA is running at about 11 mos., she will probably be born around December or January of 2007? I could be completely off base, especially since I'm not much of a math person! At any rate she is probably growing in her mommy's tummy right now! Despite what I think, God knows every hair on her head, her birth mommy's head, and her birth father's head, and He is going to surround her with love wherever she is. She will know she is a chosen one right from the start. I pray for her birth parents a lot and this horrible decision they are going to have to make, that they have a peace about them and just somehow know that this is the right decision.