Whew.....the last week has been such an emotional and exciting week! I'm not sure we have still fully wrapped our heads around everything. We are excited to share that we have accepted a referral for an ADORABLE little boy with a repaired cleft lip and palate. His repair was completed at 5 months of age, and our pediatrician indicated that his repair was "beautifully" done. She commented that his file is the best case scenario she could imagine for a child in the "special needs program." In fact, based on the information we have, she doesn't consider him "special needs" at all! His development is right on target - if not ahead in some areas! He is around 22 months at this time.
Someone shared his agency's link with me, and asked if I had heard of their special program that receives referrals of children from one specific orphanage (not the shared list). I had not, so I checked it out, but was reluctant, because his file couldn't be transferred to our agency. I asked if we could be matched to his file before we switched, but the new agency didn't think that was possible. They thought we'd likely have to transfer first, then try to be matched to his file. This wasn't very appealing at the time, because we worried his file would be locked to a different family in the process. We truly have been very pleased with our agency and loved working with a smaller, Kentucky-based organization. His little face was stuck in my mind, though, and we decided to wait for about a week and see what happened...
On Tuesday, the new agency called us and said that they had found out that we could, in fact, be matched to his file and THEN transferred. So, we would be able to secure his file just for us! We asked to see his file and reviewed it with our pediatrician that day. After seeing his sweet face, and hearing such positive news from the doctor, we knew that we had to move forward!
We have been swamped - once again - with paperwork since then. We completed a new (very lengthy) application for the new agency, had to write an official withdrawal letter to our current agency, called the US Immigration office to inquire about revising our home study (it gives us permission to adopt a girl, so we have to revise it to adopt a boy), and started working on the 12 documents we need to gather in order to submit his "letter of intent" (official request to China to be his family). Our old agency has now released us, and the new agency has accepted us! Everything is ready for them to send to China for our transfer. Once it is complete, we will submit the LOI (letter of intent) and wait for provisional approval (PA). We are **hoping** this will all happen by our Fall Break. The transfer can take anywhere from a few to several days. The PA is usually issued within two weeks of the LOI submission. Either way, we are just thrilled and thankful to be blessed with this new addition to our family.
Even though he isn't "officially" ours yet, we truly feel that the events that transpired over the last two weeks were "meant to be." We were really questioning ourselves as August passed without a match....and then our agency thought they were going to be able to lock a released file over Labor Day, and that was a disappointment. Our director indicated that she didn't know why our case was taking so long, but she knew God had a plan for us. Today one of the directors from our new agency commented that they "didn't know why this little boy's file had sat without interest for 3 months." I think we know why!
I'm not allowed to share pictures, details about his province or any other specifics until we receive the PA. When we do, I will share! If you see us in person, we can show you pictures that we have in hand, just not electronically.
We want to thank everyone for your support, encouragement and prayers thus far in this journey. We have been amazed at how many people are interested in our experience and it really contributed to our hope when we were disappointed over the last several months. We know that this little guy will be welcomed and loved by many, many wonderful people in our lives!