About this time a week ago, I was turning 30! I am doing okay with being 30. I feel the same as I did when I turned 25, which seemed like just the other day….. It seems like just yesterday that I was telling everyone I was now halfway to 30….this made sense in my mind, though I realize 15 is half of 30, not 25. Oh well.
Anyway, besides being a significant milestone in general in terms of age, being 30 years old also has significance to the Chinese government. What type of significance, you might ask? Well, once you have reached the age of 30, you are able to submit a dossier to China and be matched with a child for adoption. Hmmm. Interesting. Wonder why I might be bringing up this piece of information.
Well……now that I am 30, our family can officially be matched with a child from China…specifically, a little girl!
For the past 6 months or so we have been completing paperwork to complete an adoption for a girl, ages 1-3, with minor or correctable special needs from China. We knew all along we would want a girl someday, and it seems like the time is finally here, and we are super excited!!! We did go back and forth about how a girl would fit in our family…would a boy be easier, since we have all boy things and all I know about is boys? Would I be able to fix her hair? (hey, I was 12 before I could fix my own hair, just ask my mom) Are we ready for a third (and for sure most likely the last) child? Can we afford another adoption? (hello, we have never been able to afford it, but God has!!) Through all our doubts and worries, God kept saying, “Yes!”.
We then had to make the decision as to which country to pursue an adoption from- that was a toughie. Of course, our hearts will forever be in Ethiopia, as it is the beautiful home of our sons. We know that one day God will give us the chance to return to this special place, but after much prayer and thought, making spreadsheets, and talking, talking, talking, we did not feel that this was the country from which God was calling us to adopt our daughter. There were many reasons, but the one that stood out the most to us was the requirement to have to travel twice to Ethiopia. With our jobs and two young boys at home, we did not feel this would be in our families best interest at this time. So, we began praying about adopting a little girl from the China Waiting Child program, as it is a relatively quick program and there is only one trip required.
We are super excited (and I am very nervous!!) about adding a sweet girl to our family. The boys talk about their sister almost on a daily basis, though we don’t know who she is, how old she will be, or what province in China she will be from. Caleb is ready to not be the “baby” any longer, and Noah is excited to show his little sister all kinds of cool tricks No names or anything like that have been decided upon yet, but the boys have also been very helpful in adding in their picks on that topic as well.
The China Waiting Child Program is very different from the way Ethiopia processes adoptions, and I will not go into all the details, as I am not sure that I even understand all the intricacies. But, basically, once a month, usually on a Monday night toward the end of the month, China will release hundreds of children who are ready for adoption on a shared system to every adoption agency licensed to facilitate adoptions from China. Every agency has access to this list, and every agency is working to match their waiting families with a child. Once a child’s file is “locked” for a family to consider it is also blocked from other agencies view. A family has 72 hours to either accept or reject the match. Some children can be matched with families who are paperchasing, like our family (we are still waiting on a few documents to send to China), while other children can only be matched with families who currently have a dossier in China.
Tonight is actually the first night that we have been eligible to be matched due to my age! So, it is feasible that we could get a phone call tonight or in the morning with a referral to consider. But most likely, that will come in the next 2-4 months, given our age range and special needs that we are open to. After a referral is accepted, travel usually occurs 6-8 months after. We are praying we will be matched sometime before December, so that we can travel during the summer months.
We desperately covet your prayers as we wait and pray for our daughter. We pray she is being loved and nurtured, wherever she may be. We pray that already God would begin working in our hearts and her hearts to create a special bond and love between all of us. God has blessed our family so unbelievably through the miracle of adoption, and we look with great hope and anticipation to the future.