Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Call

I know.  I left y'all hanging with that line at the end of my last post about our world being rocked again and you may have heard the news by now anyway, but I wanted to post it here anyway for posterity's sake.  Bear with me ;-)

Rewind to the day after the grass fire near our house (September 1st).  It was a busy day for us.  Amelia and I stopped by Mother's Day Out to meet her new teachers and check out her new room.  One of my fellow-adopting moms, Beth, and I chatted about where we each were in the adoption process and how Jason and I (ok, really just me) had regrouped and were back on track to getting the paperwork done for our dossier. I had just exchanged several emails with our new Family Coordinator at our adoption agency about our Waiting Child application.  I confirmed it was active and inquired whether we could be matched while we were paperchasing (doubtful).  A new Shared List had been released on Monday - of course we hadn't received a call so we were looking towards next month.  And for our family, looking toward getting our paperwork done!

Amelia and I left Mother's Day Out and headed home.  We stopped on the way to check on the horses at our neighbor's then continued home so I could figure out how and when we'd bring the horses back to our property.  Jason got home from work late in the afternoon.  I picked up Ava from school and we did a quick opening of birthday presents because it was Jason's 40th birthday!  That celebration was cut short because we had to hook up the horse trailer and bring our herd home again.  Hooking up the trailer, driving to the neighbor's, trying to load some uncooperative horses, making one trip home to drop off some horses, finally calling our friend to bring his stock trailer again (since the difficult ones DID get in there) then finally returning home, took several HOURS!  We were exhausted by the time we got home.  I think I served cereal for dinner ;-)  I tucked the girls in bed late (like 9:30) and Jason and I collapsed into bed around 10:15 ourselves. 

I was off in dreamland when my ringing cell phone woke me up.  I looked at my clock as I tried to get my bearings.  It was 11:30 pm.  What was going on?  Who could be calling me this late?  It had to be a prank call.  I looked at my cell phone and saw the (703) prefix.  My heart fluttered.  I knew that prefix.  It was a Virginia prefix and the only people who ever call me from Virginia was my adoption agency.  And I KNEW there would only be one reason why they'd be calling me in the middle of the night.  But how could it be?  We were just starting to really get some traction on accumulating our paperwork!  

I picked up the call in disbelief.  "Hello??!"  I asked incredulously.  It was Leah, the Waiting Child Program coordinator on the other end.  At least I think it was.  I was in shock and still processing what was happening that I'm not sure I remember her saying her name.  She went on to explain a little girl had popped up on the Shared List who fit our family's profile.  She was 15 months old.  (15 MONTHS OLD!!?? --- so young!!)  She had repaired spina bifida.  I remember Leah saying something about her having surgery in Beijing.  She ended the short call by saying she would be emailing her file over now and we had 48 hours to meet with doctors and decide if we wanted to permanently lock her file.  If so, all paperwork for her Electronic Acceptance had to be submitted to China within 72 hours.  

We knew the drill.  We had the same time constraints with Amelia though referrals move much more quickly on and off the List now.  The Waiting Child program has become VERY popular in the last few years as the wait for a "healthy" child from China has lengthened to 5+ years.  And by the way, these calls for referrals are routinely happening in the middle of the night (or late evening depending on where you live) now as China releases their lists the morning of their time zone.  So morning in China is the middle of the night here.

So, to continue, I got off the phone and quickly filled Jason in.  I ran to the office and was maniacally hitting the "get mail" button, looking for that email!!  Where was it!!!??  I texted my friend, Beth, to be praying.  I didn't expect she would get my text until the morning but she replied a bit later and we continued to text into the wee hours of the morning.  Jason had said he'd look at the file in the morning and went back to sleep, he couldn't stay awake to wait.  I know!! 

When the email with her medical file finally came through I did a very dangerous thing.  I looked at her picture first.  

And she is Absolutely.  Adorable.  There were three pictures in the file, one of her smiling.  Smiling!!  All the photos we received with Amelia's file and all subsequent updates were of Amelia looking at the camera straight-faced, not smiling.  For so long I wondered what her smile looked like!  So I was especially happy to see this one's gorgeous smile!  

The next few days went by quickly.  We were able to get in touch with Amelia's pediatric neurosurgeon and get his thoughts on the medical file as well as a pediatric radiologist as there were MRI readings included in her file.  While this little girl's spina bifida is more complex and potentially more severe than Amelia's, we felt reassured that what we were expecting was probably, based on what we were given, reasonable to expect.  In actuality, the doctors were a little more optimistic and favorable about her prognosis than we were anticipating.  

So, with excitement, we submitted our Electronic Acceptance (EA) on September 3, 2011.  We received our Pre-Approval (PA) from China on September 14, 2011.  Our next step is to submit our dossier (hopefully sometime in November?) and then wait for the Referral Approval (RA) and Travel Approval (TA).  There are many other steps in between those milestones but it's mostly out of my control and waiting on the US and China governments to issue different approvals and documents.  We don't know when we will travel, but if we travel in late spring/early summer (about the same time we traveled to get Amelia) I will be a VERY happy momma!  

Until we receive our RA from China, I cannot post her picture, but I can guarantee you she's as cute as button!  And I promise, I'll be sticking that camera in her face constantly once we have her to make up for the lack of pictures now ;-)

Please keep her in your prayers - pray for protection and complete healing and that the Lord would already be preparing her little heart and mind for the big changes about to come her way, Lord willing!  Ava and Amelia are excited beyond belief to know who their baby sister is going to be.  We still don't have an American name picked out but Ava and Amelia's top picks are Dora, Tinkerbell and Ariel.  Hmmm...somehow I don't think we'll be deciding on one of those.  

Check back here when you can, I'll be posting all breaking news and updates on our process here...and if/when I start a separate adoption blog, I'll be sure to post the link!


  1. Wooo hoooo! Congratulations! I'll be watching your journey with great interest and taking notes. ;-)

  2. So excited for you again! Oh, and I think Ariel would go great with Ava and Amelia! Praying for a speedy process!

  3. Hey Chanda! I am with AWAA too. Actually I am the "list keeper" on the yahoo group. That was the sweetest story! I can't wait to follow along!

  4. I am sooo excited for you! I am praying that all goes smoothly and quickly for your family. AND, I'm voting for Ariel.


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