I have been postponing this post all weekend because it is just a hard one to write....
Last Monday around 6 pm I got a note from our agency letting us know that it was possible that we may get a referral that evening. Apparently, there is a special focus list of children that are available for referrals when the adoptive parent's paperwork is in process but not quite in China yet (our situation as of this month). I read the email after work around 5:30, mentioned it to Matt around 6 and by 7:30 we had our first referral in our inbox.
The little girl's name is Yu Xin Yuan and she is about 12 mos old. The orphanage was not sure her birthday but she was found at the steps of the orphanage in late May 2010 and was about 1 mos old at that time. The referral came with 6 pictures and a full medical file including lab work.
We sent the referral to an adoption doctor who called us back within 12 hours and gave us feedback on the medical details. We spent the day praying, talking, and praying some more. In the end, the little girl had some special needs that we were not prepared to handle so we turned the referral down. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done.
A good friend gave me two pieces of advice that bring me peace -- 1) This is why we selected international adoption and China specifically. Internationally, we have the option to select a child (domestically you are more likely to have the birth mother select you). While that may seem super harsh, it is the reality of adoption. Also, we got a ton of medical information from China about the child. The information and the process were clear and straightforward. 2) There is another family just waiting for this girl and would jump at the chance to parent her...just like our daughter is out there waiting for us and we will jump at the chance to parent her.
In the meantime, we are still praying that Yu Xin Yuan finds her forever family soon. Our agency will keep us posted -- if she falls off the list we know someone locked her and if she doesn't return, that means she is being adopted.
As for next steps -- our agency said they are just wrapping up the authentication & certification of our paperwork and that they hope to get our documents to China this week. It is our hope that we could then get a Locked in Date (LID) quickly after that. The LID really just means that China got our stuff in the mail and confirmed we are now a waiting family. If we get the LID date before the June release of the database, we will be eligible for a referral in June off of the main list. If we don't get a LID in time, we would be eligible for a referral from the special focus list again in June and the main list in July. If you followed all of the above then you are an adoption expert! :-)
Not every post during this journey is the easiest to write but it's a journey we want to document so thanks for taking it with us!