Things are moving along with our adoption, and we are getting so excited to meet Little Miss. I wanted to fill you in on what is going on and where we stand. If you have no interest in adoption, feel free to skip the adoption posts. I have read tons of adoption blogs and posts, and I want to be a resource and share our experience/timeline with others.
At the end of last June we were matched with our little girl and were told there would be a lot of waiting. (That’s no surprise because we started this process two years ago last month.) We were waiting to get the first approval from Thailand. This is basically where Thailand says yes and that they agree with our adopting the child we were matched with in the process. All along we knew there would be a long wait for this first approval. The hardest part was knowing we had a daughter, she was getting bigger by the day, and we were missing out. We were getting pictures every four months, and she was growing and getting bigger in front of our eyes but not in our arms. I guess this is how someone who is pregnant feels. Your child is growing daily, and all you want to do is meet your baby and love on your child.
We were told first approvals were taking around seven to ten months after being matched. Everyone asks me why it takes so long. Why can’t they approve us right away, etc.? Well, adoption is a slow process, and we knew going into this that the whole process would take two to three years. There is nothing we can do. The board that makes these approvals only meets twice a month, and they have a stack of files that never will get smaller, no matter how fast they work. We are not the only ones adopting. There are Australians, Norwegians, other Americans, and couples from many other countries. This board stays busy.
One thing that helped to pass the time was getting care packages ready for Little Miss. Every few months we are allowed to send items to her. We can pretty much pick what we want as long as it all fits in a one gallon ziploc bag. We were told about the cute books where you could record a story with your voice. I thought this recordable book would be perfect.
Yankee and I sat down one night and even did a run through practicing the story. The story is sweet as can be, and I even choked up on the last page. Well, as I went to put our book in the gallon ziploc bag, I read in the instructions that recordable books and noise makers were not allowed. Whomp, whomp…….Bummer….. I understand that the foster mother might not be thrilled with something making noise and having to deal with it, so, I guess it is easier to avoid all of those items. So, while we couldn’t send this book, we were thrilled to discover the recordable books because we are going to get some for the grandparents, so they can read stories to her when she comes home. Both sets of grandparents live in other states, and recordable books will be a great way they can send a meaningful gift to her. Of course, we will be using Facetime and Skype, too.
Now, let’s fast forward to this month. With the arrival of February, we knew that our window of opportunity to get first approval was here. I had my calendar marked, and I knew when the board was meeting. I was in Africa for the first board meeting in February and didn’t hear from Yankee about getting first approval, so we figured it didn’t happen. The afternoon I returned from the two week trip was a tough one. I had just traveled for 24 hours straight and was struggling with jet lag. I was about to make coffee to help me fight the urge to take a nap when I got a call from our adoption agency. “Congratulations, you have first approval.” I was speechless because I didn’t think we were getting approval at the seven month mark, and we did!!!
(If you follow us on Instagram, then you have already seen this photo. To keep up with everything, go here to follow us.)
This is huge in the adoption world. First approval means travel to Thailand is right around the corner!! We can get a call in three to five months to get on a plane and get our girl. In the adoption world that is no time at all. I was then wide awake. No coffee was needed, and I couldn’t wait for Yankee to get home – not only to see him after my trip to Africa but to celebrate this big step. Next up is another round of paperwork, and then we travel. Folks, it is crunch time. I need to finish up a few more things for her room and start packing my bags. I really can’t stop smiling. I just can’t wait to meet our little lady. To put it in regular terms, we are in our final adoption trimester, and there are things to do!!!
I have made a shopping list and have been busy buying items we will need. If any of you moms out there have anything to recommend for a toddler please let me know. (One of the advantages of adopting is that we don’t need a lot of those things that newborns require.) Her room is almost ready, and we will be giving a reveal of it really soon. Be sure to check in with us here on the blog to follow our journey. It’s so much fun to be able to share it with you.
There’s one more thing I need to address before I close. We will not be posting face shots of Little Miss or posting her real name. We signed a document addressing this with the country we are adopting from, and they have a strict no social media policy till she is legally our daughter (which can take about another year after she comes home.) We will show you appropriate photos, but none of her face. Take my word, though. She is a little cutie with tons of black hair.
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