Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another update

Just in case there is someone out there (helloooooo...???) that reads this, I thought I'd post an update on the adoption.

Or the lack of adoption, as it where.

China continues to slow down. They give the ol' party line: "increased domestic adoption", "fewer abandonments", blah blah blah. Call me cynical, but I very much doubt that generations (of generations) of Chinese culture suddenly vanished in about eight months. The culture favors boys. Period. The government still has a one-child policy. Period. I have a hard time believing that in Sept. of '05, nobody was doing domestic adoption and then suddenly, just a few months later, they have a flood of people. Not buying it.

Anyway, right now it is taking them four months to get through one month. It took SIX months just to get through the month of November. They just started on December and it looks like it will take four months (it is an average sized month, November was larger).

If we apply that to our log-in date, we are still 28 months from referral. Yes, that's right. We are currently seven months from our log-in date, multiplied by four months to get through one month of log-ins.

See why China's explanation is hard to buy? When we started, the wait was 8-10 months. Everyone expected our wait to be in the 12-14 month range. We were supposed to have a new kiddo in the house by last Christmas. Instead, the wait will likely be closer to 45 months (3 1/2 years, give or take a few months). So somehow in the 8 months it took us to get our paperwork done, the Chinese people suddenly began adopting 5 times as many children? Hard to buy, huh?!

So, we're at a bit of a crossroads right now. We really haven't discussed what we will do or not do, we just agree that this isn't the program we signed up for. When we began, it was with the understanding that China had tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of baby girls that needed homes. That's likely still the case, but China isn't adopting them out.

Since we "needed" a child (and prefer, but don't demand, a girl), and they had lots of girls that needed parents, it seemed logical. Now, it really wouldn't matter if we didn't adopt from there, because there are thousands and thousands of people in line behind us........so she wouldn't go without a home.

So we have to re-evaluate and see if it makes more sense for us to try and find a way to unite with a child that has a reduced chance of finding a home. It doesn't "cost" us anything (other then patience) to stay in line with China, but we need to decide if we just coast.......or if we decide to build our family sooner, rather then later.

I'm rambling. Anyway, to anyone reading this, keep us in your prayers as we start having discussions about where to go from here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

September Morn

Actually, it's September evening, but Neil Diamond didn't sing a song with that title.

I suppose it's time for another adoption adoption (I say grudgingly). The newest batch of referrals came out Sept. 4.....and they did four days. They have been working on November 2005 since April 2007. They may not get through with November until November of THIS year, officially making the wait two years.

BUT, since the wait is still growing, we aren't really gaining ground. My best guess would be 18 months from now, perhaps longer.

Tonight AM said it would be nice to have a sister or brother. It's the first time he's ever vocalized that. I wish I could tell him it would happen before he's old enough to father his own children (yes, I know that's being a little dramatic).

This month marks the two-year anniversary of our first adoption "step". We attended our first informational meeting in September 2005. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the wait was less then 9 months at that time. How far (?) we've come since that time!

I could also bring up some recent adoption problems, but frankly.....I'm worn out.

I wish I had a pithy and humorous post for you this time, but those wheels don't seem to be turnin' tonight. I'll try again in a few days :).

Until then......

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August Update

Well, things are still slow.

That's about it :).

Okay, okay.........y'all are a demanding bunch (I think there's about three of you that read this).

Referrals came in towards the end of last week and included families logged in through Nov. 21, 2005. For those keeping track, that was SEVEN.WHOLE.DAYS!

Yip. yahoo.

The best "guestimates" out there have them finally completing November, and moving in to December, by October of this year. I'm guessing that we have another 12-18 months, from today, before our daughter comes home.

In other personal news, this last month has been extremely difficult. Those of you that read this know that my dear friend, Nici (pronounced "Nikki") was diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer in July '06. After a long and very courageous battle, she lost her fight against this awful disease on July 22.

Nici and I had some wonderful visits during her last few weeks. I feel immeasurably blessed to have shared that time with her, as difficult as it was. She had an extraordinary "event" the Wednesday before her death that can only be described as a "visit" with the Lord. She asked Him to end her suffering and for the rest of her days in her earthly body, she was virtually pain-free. That gave her the opportunity to be clear-headed and to share some final thoughts with family and friends. It really was a miracle.

I cannot tell you what it has been like to watch someone I love die. This is different then losing a grandparent. My three grandparents that have passed away all lived full lives. At first glance, it seems like Nici was taken in her "prime".

Yet I know that the Lord's ways are not mine and that His timing is perfect. I am so grateful......more then mere words can convey.....that she knew Jesus as her savior. I am so humbled that He allowed me to minister to her during her precious last days with us.

She asked me to stay involved with her children, especially her daughter, and she said she could hardly wait to meet our Bailey. I had already found peace knowing Bailey was in heaven, but knowing that she now has Nici there to be her mama (until I get there myself) takes that peace to another level. Perhaps that's fanciful thinking, but I'll keep thinking it.

Nici was a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul, an amazing mother and she will be missed more then I can possibly say. Please keep her precious children in your prayers. Their lives will never be the same.

Oh and girls......make sure you are vigilant with your yearly "exams".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Dododoooo dooodooodododo dododooooooo!!! DodododooooOOOpppffffssssstttt (that's a trumpet bugling, although that should have been obvious........with a "pppfffssstt" at the end).

Today is our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. One year ago today, the Peoples Republic of China logged us in! Yip-yahoo.

Before you get out the party horns and confetti, it should be noted that this isn't exactly "good" news. In fact, it stinks.

But, let's throw a party anyway, okay?! Party games are always a good time! This is a game I like to call "What could Lesley have given birth to by now?!". Here we GO!

With a gestation period of 12 days, I could have birthed.......30.41 OPOSSUMS!
With a gestation period of 122 days, I could have birthed............2.99 BEAVERS!
With a gestation period of 270 days, I could have birthed.....1.35 AMERICAN BUFFALO!
With a gestation period of 365 days, I could have birthed......1 ASS (no comments on who he/she looks like)

Yet I would only be 56% of the way to birthing an elephant, so that's something...right??!

Okay, joking aside. The last "batch" only went to November 7, which means we are still 218 days away from our log in date (or another 18 OPOSSUMS). It appears, for now, that things have slowed down even further. This batch was only about six days, the previous batch only about three.

We can only hope they don't actually begin to go in reverse, asking families to give babies back!

Before anyone asks, we really have NO idea when we'll get our daughter.

Now for non-adoption news. AM graduated from kindergarten with a SATISFACTORY.0 grade-point-average (since they don't give out A/B/C/D/F grades in kindergarten, I have to improvise). He is now participating in the summer "camp" program at Hope Lutheran, which he is loving. They keep him very, very busy.

We bought a pool pass this summer, so we've been a couple of times. We are hoping to make it every Tuesday and Thursday, which are my days at home. Did I mention I'm dieting again?

Um, let's see. We leave in three. more. days. for Branson with sis and company. We will be there for a week and plan to do Silver Dollar City, White Water and a float trip on the Elk River in SW MO.

Other then that, not much new to report. Keep my friend Nici (pronounced like "Nikki") in your prayers. She is scheduled for surgery soon for her recurrent cervical cancer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Raising a boy

I actually posted this (on a message board) several weeks ago, but I just read a blog written by a new boy-mom and was inspired to put it here :). It's 7am and I have to get ready for work, so forgive type-o's.

----------

I got up this morning. That went pretty well. I was a little grumpy because MotH didn't make any coffee, but I fired up the Tassimo and had a latte. Things are much easier to deal with when I've had caffeine.

AM got up shortly after I did. He was NOT grumpy. In fact, he was a chatterbox, but then he usually is. He takes after his father in the morning, all happy and crap. What's wrong with people like that anyway? You just can't trust a person that's happy when they still have morning breath.

I told him to go to the bathroom then go in his room and get dressed. That's when things quickly went downhill.

I know something has gone wrong when I hear "um, mom". I was putting my makeup on (or at least I was poised to put makeup on...... my foundation brush was in one hand, my concealer in the other. None of it was actually on my face yet. That might explain part of my grumpiness. A mother shouldn't have to face problems until she's properly concealed the bags under her eyes. I think it's in the Constitution or something)).

Okay, so he goes "um, mom". I groaned and said "yessssss??". He says "I accidently peed on the floor".

Peed on the floor. Okay, this has happened before and in our house, if you pee on the floor, you clean it up. I come around the corner and he looks sheepish. I go in the bathroom........he peed on everything. He says "I forgot to lift the lid mom, sorry".

Can someone please explain to me how one "forgets" to lift the lid? Furthermore, is the pee fountain flying all over the lid, the surrounding toilet, the wall, the trash can and the floor not a perfectly good indication that it's time to STOP peeing, lift the lid and then finish the job?

I guess I "just don't understand" what it's like when a boy pees.

Now, he initially tried to (apparently) fix the problem. That explains why the brand new roll of toilet paper (which I had JUST put on the roll five minutes earlier) is soaked in pee. He tried to unroll it to clean the mess, and it popped off the roll (the little roll-tube thing fell into the trashcan....something I didn't realize until AFTER I filled the can with pee-covered paper towels) and so he just tried to use the whole roll. When that failed, he put the roll ON THE COUNTER in the bathroom.

I admit it, I sort of lost it. I didn't scream, but I spoke in an urgent and fairly elevated voice. I went and got paper towels (a lot of them) and Windex and told him to wipe up the mess on the floor (I'm nearly vomiting....I don't do "bodily waste" very well). I went back downstairs to get more paper towels and come upstairs to find a wad of paper towels in the toilet. Yep, the toilet.

My toilet doesn't like paper towels very well. Still feeling stupidly optimistic (when it clearly wasn't warranted), I thought "maybe there aren't as many as I think there are".......and they were covered in pee, which means there is now pee in the toilet. I'll flush it and see what happens.

So the water begins to rise and I thank heavens we have a rapid shut-off valve. Have I mentioned that this is the ONE working toilet we have in the house, and that MotH has been at work since 4am....so I am now mom (albeit a flustered and not particularly nice "mom", at that moment), pee cleaner-upper AND plumber.

Two inches of the THREE paper towels that got flushed are hanging out of the little "hole" where things are typically whisked into the sewer systems, never to be given further consideration.

That is how I found myself (the foundation brush and concealer have been put down, away from the toilet paper roll that is still on the bathroom counter at this point) with my hand IN the toilet, fishing three paper towels from the innards of the toilet. I'm grateful that they stayed intact. I heartily endorse the hardiness of Bounty paper towels. They do indeed perform, and not fall apart, even handling the dirtiest of jobs.

So I get all the pee cleaned up (AM sits on the side of the tub and watches me, encouraging me "you're doing a great job, mom"), get the trash taken down to the garage (the toilet paper roll has now been thrown away), clean everything, clean everything again, scrub myself down, make sure HE gets scrubbed down and life resumes.

Tonight we will be running pee-drills in my house. AM will pretend that he "really has to go" and we'll run up to the bathroom to see if we can improve his lid-lifting times. I just need to find my stop watch to time him.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Great is His Faithfulness

Many of you have heard these "stats" before.

Less then 10% chance of survival
Even lower chance of being "normal"

Those were the "stats" given to AM when he was born.

After the doctor's decided he would most likely live, they began to share with us his "outlook". The doctor that we most respected told us, on more then one occasion, that AM would likely struggle in school. That he would have a lower IQ then he would have had if he'd been born full-term. He wouldn't be as "smart" as he would have been if born full-term.

Most of you know that about two days after AM was born, I "hit my knees", so to speak, and told God I couldn't do it on my own. Ironically, that was before I acknowledged MY need for Him.......that wouldn't come for another two years.

But on that day, God made me a promise. He told me AM would be okay. When I had some of my darkest days (in the NICU), that still, small voice would reassure me "I told you he would be okay". When I would sit by AM's bedside and wonder if he'd ever walk, kick a ball, speak, see, or pass a test.....God would reassure me: "I told you he would be okay".

AM beat the odds and came home before his due date (unusual for micro-preemies), and I thought.......Great is His faithfulness.

AM started receiving occupational therapy almost as soon as he came home. Preemies are at a huge risk for developmental delays and learning disabilities, so "therapy" sessions where a way of life from the very start.

At one, he began to receive physical therapy. He hit every milestone (adjusted for his prematurity), but always waited until the very last minute to do so. If it was "normal" to walk by 18 months, he would start walking at 17 months 30 days. He was having sensory problems during this time. I would watch him gag just by TOUCHING certain toys. Eating was a big problem and he was seen at Children's Mercy's eating clinic.

Yet each of these things he overcame and I would think........Great is His faithfulness.

At two, he began to receive speech therapy. When he started, he could only utter a few words, and did a lot of deep, guttural growling (sensory feedback). At the end of that first year, his speech therapist called him her "poster child for success".

He was speaking in sentences, and I thought.....Great is His faithfulness.

At three, AM transitioned in to the school system and continued to receive occupational, physical and speech therapy. Gross motor skills where a challenge. He couldn't stand on one foot, let alone hop. His fine motor skills were no better. He wasn't able to open containers or apply enough pressure on a crayon to color.

At four, his physical and occupational therapy was reduced to once a month. Speech continued twice a week. During this time, he was enrolled in a special speech study at KU Med and they confirmed an ongoing delay.

At five, it was decided he needed more occupational therapy then he was receiving, so he received OT and speech twice a week that entire year. His physical therapy continued at once a month. At that time, we enrolled him in karate and watched him struggle to do any of the gross motor skills the other kids (younger kids) did. If they asked him to hop on one foot, he could do one or two and then fall over.

By the time he turned six, he could stand on one foot while throwing a kick and I thought......Great is His faithfulness.

Kindergarten began at six and physical therapy was discontinued. Speech and OT continued twice a week.

Today, I had his IEP meeting.

AM's hand strength has increased. He can now easily apply enough pressure to write legibly. In fact, his writing is at OR ABOVE those of his peers (his OT tells me it's above). His cutting skills (the very scissors he could barely open to use just 18 months ago) are at OR ABOVE those of his peers.

His speech therapist cannot believe the progress. In fact, his speech is now at OR ABOVE (she tells me it's above) that of his peers. She's amazed at the large words he knows and uses correctly.

Before the meeting ends, they both tell me that AM exceeded both of their expectations. That he is doing better then most in his peer group...........the "normal" kids.

And at the end of the meeting, they tell me he is no longer "exceptional". As of today, he no longer needs services of any kind.

I have a normal, AND SMART, child.

And all I can say is...........GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Update

Let me make a confession.

It turns out I'm not really bloggerific.

Oh, I like to talk. Scratch that. I LOVE to talk.

If you were to go back and look at all of my report cards as a child, you would see that all of them share a common theme. "Nice kid, but she talks too much."

I haven't really changed much.

Yet, oddly, that "skill" doesn't seem to transfer to my blog. Go figure.

I'm going to use this post to update people on the adoption progress.

Actually, can you call something that is basically standing still progress? "Slow and steady" doesn't really begin to describe it.

China has changed a LOT since we attended our first meeting. Oh it's still a "reliable" process, so long as your definition of "reliable" begins and ends with "eventually you'll have a child".

AM may be graduating highschool at the same time, but hey, who doesn't want to be a new parent with kids 18 years apart.

The last batch of referrals only covered two days. As in one-two. Two.

That's not good. Especially considering we are 228 days PAST the last date of referrals, which happens to be Oct. 27, 2005.

Now it's important to note that nobody expects China to continue referring two days at a time (TWO DAYS!), but nearly everyone is now expecting the wait to grow at LEAST 1/2 month for every month of referrals.

That basically means it will be a long, long time before there is a baby waiting for us.

There aren't fewer babies in China (by most accounts), but China is refusing to increase the number of babies leaving.....while allowing more countries to participate in it's program. The result: same number of babies leaving the country, lots more people trying to adopt those babies.

In fact, some US agencies are no longer accepting applications into their China programs. They expect people with recent log-in dates to wait around three years. Maybe longer.

If we're honest, we'll be lucky to have a referral in 2008.

So where does that leave us. I don't know. I don't have any answers right now.

Nobody has any answers. Not our agency, not the other families waiting with us. Nobody.

So what's a family to do when they don't want their kids 7/8+ years apart in age and, quite frankly, don't want to wait another year or two to grow their family?

Again, no real answers.

So for now, just pray for us. I suppose I sound "downtrodden" in this post, and really I'm not. I know that this is part of God's plan. Never said I had to LIKE the plan, but it's His plan nevertheless :).

I will be posting something a little more "lighthearted" in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Okay, it's been over a month since I last updated the blog. Yeah, yeah, yeah....I hear you complaining (and you know who you are). Hey, I have a lot of important things to do. Things like:

(give me a sec...)

Coaching cheerleading for church (G-O-D....Almighty is He!)

I surrender (waving small, white flag). It's 9pm, I've been shopping with a three year old (my niece) most of the day and quite frankly, I'm surprised I still have enough brain cells remaining to type.

The "boys" (meaning not me, because I'm not a boy) went to Emporia today for lots of fun doing "boy" things. These trips usually involve 4-wheeling and fishing, where AM inevitably decides that one of the worms is his "friend" and mustn't be sacrificed to the fish in the pond. They are sure to come back tired and grubby.

I cleaned the house this morning. Then I went to a bead store in Overland Park......and I was able to LOOK without a little voice going "mom, did you know Spiderman can swim?" "mom, why did Herbie drive over Tony Stewart in the Herbie movie?" "mom, what do they kill to make hamburgers?" "mom, remember when Tia ate the cat's poop.....that was so gross!?"

I spent the rest of the day with LS and KJ, which is fun.......though not really relaxing, when a three-year-old is in tow.

Let's see.....

There really isn't much else going on. Last Saturday was AM's last basketball game, and my last weekend of coaching. Next Saturday MotH is planning to go to Tuttle Creek with the Land Cruiser club. He's having a hard time coming to grip with the fact that I am not begging to come along.

On the adoption front, there isn't much to report. The latest referrals came out this week and went through 10/24/05.....which is a little disappointing. I've stopped trying to figure out when our referral might come, because at this point it's so far away, and so many things could change (good or bad....or both) that it's rather pointless.

I'm signing off now. I won't promise to write again soon, because by now you won't believe me :). I'm tired, I'm not exactly sure what I'm even typing and my fingers are cold. All good, valid reasons to stop now.

See ya!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nothing new to report right now, but I wanted to post an article that some of you might find interesting. It will shed some light on the increasing wait, as well as tell you why it's so frustrating to the waiting families.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/opinion/23russell.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

While I don't have time to do a long post right now, I want everyone to keep my friend Nici in your prayers. I posted about her a while back. She is finished with her intensive internal radiation and awaiting the results of a new biopsy.

Until next time......

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

In with the new....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!!

As usual, the weeks between Turkey Day and New Years flewbybeforeIcouldblink! Every year I SWEAR that I'm going to take time off around Christmas to give myself time to do some of the things I love: baking, eating what I bake and sharing what I bake with others :). Every year, I end up not being able to take time off because it's been used before Christmas. This year was no exception.

However, we did manage to do some pretty wonderful things during the past few weeks. In early December, we went to Silver Dollar City with my sis and her family, and a family from our Sunday School class. A great time was had by all, despite that fact that about 25% of the population of North America happened to be at SDC the same day we went.

I turned 33 on Dec. 11. Moving right along.....

Oh, and I did manage to get some cookies made. And eaten. And shared.

AM received a new 4-Wheeler (ATV) for Christmas. Yes, the very same mother (me) that won't pull out of a parking lot without Purell'ing him from head-to-toe, allowed MotH to buy a 4-Wheeler. Yes, one that has an actual engine, that uses actual gas, that requires actual brakes and a helmet that makes AM look like a bobble-head. Did I mention the part about how I lean towards "overprotective"? Okay, okay........I don't "lean" towards being overprotective, I've pretty much toppled into the abyss. But MotH has rigged every safety feature known to man onto this 4-Wheeler (it even has "remote kill", meaning we can stop the engine from 600 feet away.......if he's doing something dangerous like heading towards a tree, or driving more then 1 mph). He's in more danger in his PowerWheels Jeep then he will be on his 4-Wheeler.

I got one out of the deal too, but mine is a bit like a TinkerToy set...........lots of pieces that, with a little imagination, might resemble a 4-Wheeler. MotH calls it a "Winter project". Knock yourself out, dear.

Let's see.............I've been asked for a grouting update. I began the process of re-grouting two months ago. I say "began" because it still isn't finished. Did you know that grout, if applied with bare hands, will actually eat holes in your skin? How 'bout this one: did you know that grout will fill the aforementioned holes and leave small, cement-like deposits in the extremely painful holes covering all of the fingers on your right hand (assuming you're right handed........I assume the same would be true for the lefties in the audience)?

I can hear all of you chuckling to yourself asking "why would she grout with bare hands, especially when it clearly says on the package that you should wear gloves"? Excellent question. I began with gloves on. But after a while (about three minutes), my hands got so sweaty and slimy that I spent as much time pulling them back into place as I did grouting. So before you laugh too loud, bare in mind that I sacrificed my hands in the name of productivity.

I'll be looking for better-fitting gloves before I finish. Fortunately, I only have one wall remaining. On a happier note, the other two walls look smashing.

I've also decided to paint the paneling in the family room, but we'll leave those adventures for another day.

On the adoption front, there isn't much to say. Referrals are expected in US offices sometime this week. The latest batch should go through the last part of September '05, though they may not make it all the way through the end of the month. Those families with a Sept. '05 LID will have waited 15 months for their referral (keep in mind that ALL of these families believed the wait would be in the neighborhood of 6-8 months!).

It is taking the CCAA a little over two months to complete one month of LID's. Nobody knows how Oct. & Nov. '05 will go (both record months for LID numbers). It may take more then two months to get through each of them. Common "wisdom" (meaning the most frequent rumor) is that they refer numbers, not days........meaning they refer "x" number of babies per referral batch, regardless of how many days that does or does not include. Additionally, they seem to send out referrals every 28-35'ish days, so some months may have two referrals, while other months appear to have none.

IF the current referral "schedule" stays as it is now, the wait grows by a month for every two months of referrals. Based on my completely unscientific results, this would mean the following (I'm using random early/mid-month dates and random late-month dates: I have no "insider knowledge" of actual cut-off dates): (this became difficult to read when I posted it, but I think you'll be able to figure it out)

LIDates Referral Length of Wait
9/15-9/29 Jan. 3, '06 15 mos
9/30-10/10 Jan. 30, '06 15 mos
10/11-10/28 Feb. 28, '06 16 mos
10/28-11/10 Mar. 28, '06 16 mos
11/11-11/28 Apr. 28, '06 17 mos
11/29-12/10 May 28, '06 17 mos
12/11-12/28 Jun. 28, '06 18 mos
12/29-1/10 Jul. 28, '06 18 mos
1/11-1/28 Aug. 28, '06 19 mos
1/29-2/10 Sept. 28, '06 19 mos
2/11-2/29 Oct. 28, '06 20 mos
3/1-3/10 Nov. 28, '06 20 mos
3/11-3/28 Dec. 28, '06 21 mos
3/29-4/10 Jan. 28, '07 21 mos
4/11-4/28 Feb. 28, '07 22 mos
4/29-5/10 Mar. 28, '07 22 mos
5/10-5/28 Apr. 28, '07 23 mos
5/29-6/10 May. 28, '07 23 mos
6/11-6/28 Jun. 28, '07 24 mos

Yes, what you just read above is possible..........it may very well be two years before we travel to China. We are almost seven months into the wait (already LONGER then the people waited that were getting their babies when we first started the process), which means another 17 months. We can pray that's not the case, but that's about all we can do.

Now, to make this really maddening, consider this: China "claims" that 60,000+ children were abandoned into orphanages in 2005 alone (many believe it's much higher then that). They say that there are currently 20,000 families logged in. That is 40,000 MORE children in orphanages then there are families logged in waiting to adopt one. Let that sink in.........40,000+ children. Without homes. That will probably never have homes. 20,000 people that are dying to get their children, but must wait......and not because they are "running out of kids". Some of these children will never be adopted, because they will get "too old" before their number comes up. Very, very sad and very upsetting. Sadly, China isn't alone in this problem. There are millions of children around the world that will never grow up with a family.

Back to China.......I also want to address the new "rules" that have received a lot of publicity lately. In early December, the CCAA met with a number of agencies and told them about some new guidelines that would be put in place in 2007. They hope that these "rules" will reduce the number of dossiers coming in to China.

First and foremost, let me say that these aren't new "laws", but new "guidelines". It is a much more complicated, political process to make a new law (a process they didn't go through), so these are basically enforced preferences. Essentially, they are saying that they will consider families that have these special considerations, but only after more "perfect" parents have been matched. So if there is a day when there are more babies (paper ready) then "perfect" parents seeking to adopt, these "less perfect" parents will be considered. One poll I read suggested that over 40% of current, adoptive families would have been eliminated if the new "rules" had been in place when they applied, so clearly these rules intend to lower the number of dossiers coming in to China (bad news for the 60,000+ children that will undoubtedly be abandoned THIS year!).

It's also important to note that these new "rules" ONLY APPLY TO FAMILIES LOGGED IN AFTER MAY 1, 2007. That means we ARE NOT EFFECTED. It also means that our wait probably will not be shortened, unless the reduced number of incoming dossiers means more people can work on matching babies to already logged-in families.

Some of the new restrictions are: no single women (single men were booted several years ago), BMI index of less then 40 (I have no idea what this means, but I know that the Chinese consider obesity a problem and are trying to prevent obese people from adopting), no "serious mental conditions" (they consider depression or anxiety to be "major) that have required medications within two years prior to application, as well as marriage/divorce restrictions, children in the home restrictions, net worth requirements and other items.

There is no doubt that this is will decrease the number of dossiers going in to China. There is speculation that some of the issues will be considered on a "case-by-case" basis (things like minor depression treated with meds, or perhaps situational anxiety), but the reality is that most families can't afford to invest in Chinese adoption just to find out in the 11th hour that they can't complete the adoption. I imagine that these restrictions, along with the ever-increasing wait times, will convince many families to seek easier means of adding to their families.

Okay, I'm starting to lose feeling in my fingers. Mercy, these become long posts. I suppose I should work on updating more frequently! If you stuck with me through this entire post, thank you and feel free to lay down for a while to "rest your eyes" (as my mother always called her naps).

Until next time...........