Final countdown

Huge numbers of referrals are being posted to the Yahoo groups.  I’ve quit counting.  By 6 pm, along with all the new daughters, there had been two boys and a set of twins referred.

This afternoon, our agency told us that our referral would be delivered to us on Monday by 5 pm.  That’s envelope in hand.  There’s no more waiting for phone calls.  There’s no more wondering when the package will arrive.  This is it.  By 5 pm Monday, we’ll know what the face looks like that goes in the picture frame over there on the left.

Confirmation

Lauri got a call from the agency this morning.  Referrals are definitely on the way.  Our travel meeting in Pennsylvania has been scheduled for next week.

Status advisory

I don’t have conclusive evidence, but I think there’s enough indications to say with a high level of confidence that referrals have been sent from China.  If I’m jumping the gun, it can’t be by more than a day or so.

Here we go.

Still waiting

We are still waiting, and not very patiently. The latest rumor is that referrals will leave China some time this week. I hope it’s true, but I try not to put too much stock in the rumors. It doesn’t matter how soon they come, it won’t be soon enough. The waiting is getting very stressful.

We have been working on the baby’s room and trying to get things together for the trip. Some days, it seems like we get a lot done, other days it feels like we are moving backward. This weekend was very busy. We had a graduation party, a birthday party and two days of painting. By Saturday night, we were both exhausted. We went to Barnes & Noble to get a gift certificate for our friend’s son- and we wound up standing in the children’s book section going through books and deciding which ones we want to get for Alex. We had a great time! Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the things that have to be done that we forget to enjoy the process. After an hour or so in the book store, we were ready to get back to work on Sunday.

We finally got the first coat of wall color on the walls- I love it! Alex’s room is kiwi green- picture mint green with an attitude. Once we get the white trim painted, it’s going to look great. That room really needed a vibrant color.

We picked out a neutral color carpet (lambs wool) so that it would not compete with the green. We found a nice soft carpet that will be great for Alex to crawl around on- and it has a 25 year stain resistant guarantee. The saleswoman was giving us the sales pitch, and I told her that my biggest concern was that it be soft enough for the baby to crawl on. She looked me right in the eye and said “if I was your kid and you put this carpet in my room, I would be jumping for joy.”  With that, we made arrangements to have the guys come out to measure her room. The carpet should be in within the next week or so. Once that is installed, we can put the crib together and organize some of her stuff. We still don’t have any bureaus and we haven’t redone the closet, but we are making progress.

Mom and Sheri are eagerly awaiting news. Every time I call them, the first question is “is she here yet?” -like they think I might forget to call them when the news comes. Believe me, the whole world will know about it when we finally get “the call”.

Chasing rumors

There’s very little solid news at this point, but Lauri and I have been hearing rumblings about the infrequency of the updates.  People, last time you got recipes for s’mores–when will you learn?

Maybe you’d like to know how I extract these little informational nuggets?  Well, it starts with reading 150-200 emails per day sent to 6 different Yahoo “groups”.  Which reminds me, I have to pick up my new reading glasses this week.  I can’t imagine why my prescription has changed.

Most of the emails won’t have any relevance to us at all.  Occasionally, there’ll be some good travel tips that I cut and paste into text files for us to refer to later.  And, very infrequently, there’ll be information about pending referrals–someone talked to someone else who heard from a friend that the CCAA is doing something or other.  I make a note of those, and see if any confirmation shows up.  Usually there’s no follow-up.  Sometimes there is, but it’s just somebody paraphrasing the original information.  And, most rare of all, there are simultaneous, unrelated emails containing similar information, with actual attribution (“the director of my agency spoke to his contact at the CCAA”), from people I recognize as being reliable in the past.

That’s when I consider the information worth passing along.  So here you go, as a reward for reading all that:

Reliable sources agree that referrals should be coming by the first week in August.  There’s some confusion over whether that means next week, or the week after–but that’s the nature of rumors.

Interestingly enough, the rumors which have turned out to be the most accurate in the past have originated from a mysterious source in Spain.  Why Spain?  Who knows.

And, through diligent research and dumb luck–I have located what I believe is the mysterious source.  Can you guess what the tiny little problem is?  Right.  My Spanish could be described as a little rusty, if by rusty you meant “non-existent.”  No worries, though–Google will translate entire blocks of text from Spanish to English.  Like this:

Tomorrow Friday we will try to confirm with the CCAA the information according to which to August principle the allocations of the poquito will arrive at the families that is of December, January and probably someday of February.

And now you know what we know, without the eye strain.

What we know, or think we know, or just guess

I had July 14th in the pool, so it looks like I’m out…

The last round of referrals (covering dossiers logged in through roughly 12/23/2004) arrived around the 14th of last month. If the CCAA followed their “usual” routine, we’d expect to see the next set around a month later. The problem is, “routine” seems to be out the window.

I’ve seen reports that [DEAD LINK] heavy rains and flooding in Beijing knocked out power to the CCAA’s offices, leaving them without computers. If you’ve looked at these pictures, you can understand why the computers are essential. I’ve seen other rumors that some or all of the CCAA staff were out of the office for a period of days. For all I know, they’re having a bonfire in the parking lot, making s’mores and singing “Kumbayah.”

There is one bright spot, however. Travel authorizations are apparently arriving for the people who received their referrals in June. Traditionally, referrals for the next group have closely followed the travel authorizations for the prior group. So, keeping in mind that “tradition” is no more persuasive right now than “routine”–at least we have an idea where we are on the timeline.

Best guess? By the end of July. There’s just no sense trying to predict with any more accuracy right now.

Weekly(?) update

Well, it looks like things are finally moving to the next step. This afternoon I got a pre-call from the adoption agency. Our social worker wanted to be sure she had work phone, cell phone, and home phone numbers that are up-to-date. She also wanted fax numbers and e-mail addresses. Sound like simple questions, right? WRONG. As soon as I realized who was calling, I drew a blank on all the numbers and e-mail addresses.

I thought, “Jay would have done better on this little quiz.” I called him to get his e-mail address and cell phone number. I told him I had just received the pre-call–it got very quiet. I asked Jay if he was still there, and all I heard was a deep breath and “it’s really happening.” It’s nice to know that my mind wasn’t the only one that turned to mush. Jay had to stop and look up his cell phone #.

The next call we should get will be the call from the adoption agency to confirm that the referrals have left China! We thought we had been busy for the past two weeks. Well, it looks like we had better kick things up a notch! We’ve accomplished a lot in the past 2 weeks, but there is still a lot to do.

We’ve been working diligently on the baby’s room. We stripped all 3 layers of paper, but the remaining adhesive has been a challenge. The paint store recommended applying a skim coat of compound over the walls, but that is well beyond our ability. We have wracked our brains and asked everyone we could think of for advice. Jay’s brother Howard suggested that we try a coat of Kilz to seal the adhesive and then apply the paint. We did a test patch, and it worked like a charm. Good job, Uncle Howard!

We interviewed several pediatricians and finally made a decision. We chose a pediatrician who has experience with international adoption. He is also a pedicatric clinical instructor at Yale.

We’ve also made some progress on the furniture front. The crib was not due in until October, but fortunately it arrived early. We still don’t have the dressers, but at least Alex has a place to sleep.

Today we started the daycare search. I got a lot of preliminary info and we are going to look at several facilities in the near future. We haven’t made any decisions yet, so if anyone has suggestions–feel free.

Well, I think that’s everything for now. We will add updates as things happen.