Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another half-step forward!

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before December 31, 2005." --- Direct from the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs website, September 19, 2006.

Well, we knew we were already in review, but we now know for certain that January is in the review process. Our documents were registered (Logged In) on January 12, 2006. We have been in the Review Room for about 2 months now, but with December out of the way, it feels like progress. In the next few weeks one of two things will happen, either we'll hear nothing at all until the announcement that January is out of Review, or else we will get a call from Great Wall informing us that China either wants more information, or clarification on something in our documents.

Of course, there is a third possibility; our application could be rejected.

Thats not something we care to think about. It does happen on occasion, usually for health complications of the applicants. Our documents were all carefully reviewed by our agency in Texas, and again by their office in Beijing before being submitted to the CCAA. We passed both of their internal reviews and they anticipate no problems.

But, it's good news and we're happy to have taken a half step forward in the process.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Time for a Review

Our Dossier has been in the Review Room for over a month now, according to information we have. While several families with December Log In Dates have been asked for more information or clarifications, so far I have not heard of any January families like us getting requests.

Review is the process of verifying that everything in our dossier is accurate and meets the requirements to be approved to be matched with a child. Judgement day so to speak! Our agency assures us that there are no obvious red flags, but we have to worry and wonder anyway. After clearing the review room, there are almost six months of log in dates ahead of us in the queue for the matching room.

The current pace of referrals being issued means the very real possibility that April or May is the earliest we should possibly expect to get word that we have been matched. If this is in fact the case, then we would likely be traveling in June or July of 2007. It seems such a very long time away! Very close to two years from making the decision to apply to China.

Adorable? -- most of the time, but getting really big

Thanks Yoli, for the nice comment on the last post. Nike can be quite adorable when he wants to be. He's also getting to be quite big -- we've joked that Miaya's first word when she sees him will be "Pony?". And, he's just now about a year old, and probably weighs 10 pounds or more.

We're still waiting, (sort of patiently) for the process to work its way along to it's eventual conclusion, and a positive one we hope! To help pass the time, Kim has been swapping quilt squares, hair accessories, cookie cutters and more. Most recently, she had surgery (of a feminine nature) and will no longer have to deal with problems that have plagued her most of her life. She is recovering well, and hopes to be back to near normal in a few weeks.

As part of the China adoption process, we pledge to instill in our children a sense of pride in their culture of origin, and familiarity with that culture. We were concerned with how to find the right balance between Chinese culture and assimilation; too much emphasis on the Chinese culture could eventually lead to a sense of loss and disconnection with both cultures, and too little could have a similar effect. In discussing this issue with other parents with children from China, we've learned that keeping the communications open and using the child's questions and interests to lead the discussions, while keeping things age appropriate is probably the best way to approach this.

We know the most difficult part will come when Miaya reaches the age when she will want to know the full truth behind her abandonment and and how she became ours. The hard part will be explaining that we just don't know all the circumstances and reasons behind it all, and that there is possibly no way to ever discover them.

In some quarters, there is much contention about trans-racial/trans-ethnic adoption, and the supposed trauma in can inflict on the children. Much of this is brought out by adults who were adopted from Korea during and after the war. Many of them raise valid issues regarding their experiences, but the one thing usually ignored is that they are children of a different generation. Adoption, both domestic and intercountry/interculture is more common now and viewed in a more open light. We could not hide Miaya's origins if we wanted to, it will be very obvious that she was not born of us, and we're happy about that. We don't know her details yet, but we do know she will find a home with parents who love her and only wish to see her thrive and become the best she can. We have no reason to try to erase her origins, quite the opposite, we want her to be proud of her heritage.