Tom Petty sure did have that one right! We wanted to wait for something to happen in our adoption timeline before updating the blog, and then yesterday we got word that we’ve reached yet another important milestone in the process: we are OOT! In adoption-speak, that means our dossier, which was logged into the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) database on 8/22/13, is now officially Out Of Translation and moved to the Review Room. Next step? LOA, baby! The glorious Letter of Acceptance from China–the last official document we’ll need before we begin the Immigration/Visa paperwork. Overall, the timeframe between your log in date (LID) and receiving your LOA is roughly 1 to 4 months, so we’re a little more than two months in and that letter could come ANY DAY NOW. So, the answer to the BIG QUESTION is that we’ll travel to China to scoop up our sweet little girl in roughly 3 to 6 months.
In the midst of all of this waiting, we’ve been preparing. Earlier this month, a very good friend of ours, Cheryl Steele, held a Pampered Chef fundraiser to help raise funds to bring our daughter home. Not only did we have a great time at her party, but lots of fabulous people placed orders, and we raised $257 to go into our AdoptTogether fund! To those who ordered, and to those who have made donations to our fund including the anonymous “Peaceful World Enterprise”, we can’t thank you enough. We didn’t anticipate the sweet offers to help, and our hearts are humble and full. There’s a lot of lesson learning and heart opening going on over here, y’all.
We also wrote a long letter to our daughter explaining as best we could what is happening, reassuring her, and letting her know about the family and friends and neighbors who are all waiting to meet her. Then we made a photo book/social story for her that had pictures of us, the front and back of our house, each room in the house, the garden, her school and classroom, local parks, an airplane, etc. Each photo had an explanation and we also tried to explain the process to her in simple terms, so she’d know why we weren’t there yet and when to expect us. Here are a few pics from the book:
The package could only be so big so with the book and letter we were able to include a coloring book and some stickers, with extras for sharing.
Later we’ll be able to send a larger care package.
Our agency also suggested we make a DVD of us so that our daughter could get used to the sound of our voices and our mannerisms, since she’s a little older, so today Lex and I played hooky (the weather was amazing!) and made a little movie. We filmed each other walking through Dragon Park, in our backyard, then Lex played “You Are My Sunshine” on mandolin and I read from a Dr. Seuss book. It turned out really well!!! Thanks to our buddies at FedEx, it’ll be at our adoption agency, Holt International, tomorrow (Thursday) and will go out in their Friday shipment to China. A new list of questions from us is also going out in that shipment. We’re dying to know her opinions and to hear her feelings about all of this! And we’ve vowed not to add one more pink or floral thing to her bedroom until we know for sure that’s her jam.