Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Getting closer.....

I just found out that the CCAA (China Centre of Adoption Affairs), which could also be called the CVW (Centre of Val's World) these days, has just redone their web site and included a section that talks about where they are in their paperwork processing. They say that they have finished reviewing dossiers that were logged in in May (our log in date is May 31/05), which means we are now in the Matching Room!! (hard to breathe again...) We could be getting matched with our little peanut as we speak! (Between you and me, I think that my mom and the Big Guy already matched us with our little girl a very long time ago, but for now let's let the CCAA think they're still in charge of this gig.) The CCAA has been trying to get to where they can send out a full month of referrals at one time, but last month they only sent out 2 weeks worth. If they are going to send out a full month of dossiers at one time, then we could be on for a January referral, otherwise it would be a Feb. referral and travel end of March/early April. Please keep us in your prayers and keep everything crossed for us!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Well, this adoption experience, while apparently far from over, has taught me so much about adoption realated issues and process, now it seems I'm having a lesson in patience. When we first began this process, based on what all the parties involved, as well as folks who've already traveled this road have told us, we thought we would have a referral in Nov/Dec and travel to China in Dec/Jan. Oh, how naive we are. What I have also come to learn, is that the CCAA does things in their own time and no one seems to understand the rhyme or reason. Once we got a Log In Date, that pretty much means 'you've taken a number, now wait your turn'. Anyone who knows me knows that waiting is something I'm really not built for to begin with, but I figure, 'when in Rome', so we start paying attention to what referrals are coming out when. For expample, in September, anyone with a LID of Jan.28-Feb.24 got referrals. So we figured that if the CCAA is processing approximately 24 days of dossiers each month, we used that to count forward and calculate when we would get a referral with a May 31 LID. The problem with that theory is that in October, they only issued referrals for about 20 days, which meant we would get bumped back a month. We just found out that for November, the CCAA has just issued referrals for LID's from March 17-31 only. Again, I'm just guessing, but now it looks like we will be lucky to get referral in Feb. and travel in March. The latest information is that the CCAA is going to be moving to larger offices, so that move will likley slow things down a little again. Yes, it's a bummer and disappointing, but thankfully, our friends and family keep reminding us that it will happen when it's meant to and that the perfect little girl will come to us in due time. I'm hooked up with an incredible group of supportive people who have been through this process, some 2 or 3 times, as well as folks who are waiting just like us, and some of them waited over a year from LID to referral.

So the lessons I'm taking away from this are:
  1. The CCAA will get it done when they're darn good and ready.
  2. The weather is better in China in March/April than it is in Dec/Jan.
  3. Good things come to those who wait - I really gotta go with this one.
  4. Patience is not really a virtue - people just like to say that.
  5. You can't hide broccoli in a glass of milk.
  6. Cheesecake can make almost anything better.
Thanks for listening - I feel better now. Gotta go to the bakery.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pooh Corner is done!

Olivia's Pooh room is finally done - except that there's supposed to be wispy clouds on the wall above her crib and above the window, but I'm too afraid of screwing up the wall. It'll have to wait until I get a talented volunteer (or get into the wine). Anyway, we're pretty happy with the way it turned out - now we just need Olivia to give us her approval. Now on to the bathroom...

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Friday, November 04, 2005

Questions, Questions.....

Lots of people are asking lots of general questions lately so I'll answer them here as best I can, just in case you were wondering too.

  1. Is Olivia born yet? Answer: I'm pretty sure she is. While our daughter could be up to 2 or 3 yrs. old, the vast majority of children are 7 to 10 months old at the time of referral and 9 to 14 months when the come home with their new families.
  2. What's a referral? Answer: Referral is when families get notification and information about the child they are matched with. Referral usually has a brief write up discribing the child, any medical information that is available and 2 or 3 small photos.
  3. Do you get to choose your child? Answer: No. The CCAA matches families with children. I don't think anyone really knows how, but rumour has it they do the matches based on lots of factors such as physical characteristics, birthdates, behaviors ie; active children go with active families, etc. Once a family gets a referral, they do have to officially accept or decline that referral.
  4. When will you get your referral? Answer: I wish I knew. At the time our dossier was logged into the CCAA in China, the wait was 6-7 months from Log In Date to referral. Since that time, things seem to have slowed down somewhat at that end and sadly, the wait is a little longer. I'd like to say we will get referral in January or February and travel 6-7 weeks later, but I'm learning that this process can change quite quickly so we don't really know. We will certainly post our referral on this site as soon as we get anything and I'll update this site more as we get closer.
  5. Are the babies all in orphanages? Answer: Most are, but some are in foster care with local families until they are adopted. Foster care is better for the babies for obvious reasons, but also, if Olivia is in foster care, it will make the initial transition more difficult for her, but will be much better for her in the long run as she will likely have learned how to bond and attach to a caregiver or family. Bonding and attaching is generally more difficult for babies that have been only in orphanages as they have had very little personal cuddling and attention due to the high ratio of caregivers to babies. We have been busy researching, learning and preparing for these scenarios.
  6. Do you have to go to China? Answer: Yes - we will spend almost 2 weeks in China and we wouldn't miss it for the world. This will be such a great opportunity to learn as much as we can about her life before us, to see where she's from, learn more about her culture, etc. The first week will be in whatever province she is from in China to finalize the adoption process and meet all the requirements of the Chinese government. The second week will be in Beijing where the Canadian consulate is. That week is to get passports, immigration documents, travel visa for baby to come to Canada, etc.
  7. Do the babies speak Chinese? Answer: The babies speak baby. (??)
I hope that answers some of the general questions, but if there's anything else you want to know, or anything you're curious about, just ask. If nothing else, I've learned through this process that there are so many people considering adoption as a means to create or expand a family and learning has been such a great part of this process - we're happy to pass on any information.

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