It looks like it's time to revitalize my blogging skills. "Why?" you may be asking yourself. Well, because it is official. We are "expecting" again! Aaahhh! This fall we decided we wanted Aiden to have a sibling, and of course, we want another child with whom to share our love! Feeling the time was right, we filled out our application and mailed it in to Holt. We were happy and excited but overall calm. It just felt right.
Of course, that early giddiness is short-lived because the overwhelming, almost suffucating paperwork commences almost immediately: personal backgrounds, state and federal fingerprinting, physicals, getting vital documents, requesting letters of reference -- twice, taking pictures, proof of employment, police clearance...ETC! Then getting it all notarized. *SIGH* I will say, though, that this time around, it seems less intimidating. With Aiden, I remember at times thinking it was insurmountable, impossible. I guess having done it once, realizing it IS possible, and knowing what a beautiful and wonderful gift awaits at the conclusion, makes it seem less daunting.
Fast forward four months. All of our documents were compiled and we sat awaiting our biometric fingerprinting appointment so we could get our I797C. After we receive that, we can send our papers to the SD Secretary of State, then the US State Department, then on to the Chinese Embassy. We will then be what's called DTC (Dossier to China) and typically start the wait to be matched to our child.
But, God had other plans. Before we even had our fingerprinting done, I got a call from our agency. See, on Dec. 22, 2011, I decided to inquire about a gorgeous little boy on the waiting list. His needs seemed minor, and he reminded me so much of Aiden, I just had to see if he was our boy. I figured his age, only six months younger than Aiden, might be a problem, but I had to check. Somebody with our agency called and informed us that age wasn't the problem. The issue, it turned out, was that he was destined for another family.
Then, she dropped the big, beautiful bomb. That little cutie was unavailable, but....THEY HAD A REFERRAL FOR US! I was in shock. I was shaking. I cried. Now, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but I was in my classroom and students were in the room with me. Obviously I couldn't share the news, so a group of juniors left for the Christmas break wondering if Mrs. Sturgeon had finally lost it. Since this was so out of the blue, I didn't know how to relate the news to Troy. I emailed. He was busy. He told me to email him whatever I needed. I told him that this kind of news probably shouldn't be shared on the computer. He NEEDED to call me. Finally, he called. He was as shell-shocked as I was. I made arrangements to meet him up at the middle school so we could open the file together and see this little guy who could possibly be our second child. What we saw was an adorable little boy with cheeks just begging to be kissed! His medical need seemed (and still does according to a couple of docs) to be pretty mild and imminently manageable. Our biggest shocker? He is only 14 months old. We hadn't anticipated getting a little one under two, but, if everything plays out according to normal timelines, we should be bringing home a less-than-two-year-old! :-O Yikes!
On 12/27, after doctors' reviews of the file, (thank you my dear cousin, Dr. Jessica - you're amazing!) we sent our LOI, Letter of Intent, to our agency stating we are hoping to be considered as parents for this little guy!! By the way, we happen to be lovingly dubbing him Tank until we can agree upon a name. Seriously, you should see those adorable, chubby cheeks. ;) Now the race is on. All the papers we had compiled and were holding on to have since been mailed to SD Sec. of State, returned, and forwarded to D.C. As soon as we get our fingerprints approved and our I797C, we will expedite and get our file to China ASAP!
It is so hard to know your son is awaiting you in a country half a world away. Every night we say our prayers that God wraps his loving arms around this little guy and keeps him healthy, happy and loved in his foster home until we can bring him to his forever home with his forever family. Already Aiden looks at Tank's picture and says, "baby brother," and it melts our hearts. The next 6 - 8 months will seem like an ETERNITY! :-( At least now we have a face to go with the prayers we have been sending up for our child before we even knew who he was!
As with our adoption of Aiden, we are humbled by and grateful for others' prayers. We are praying, and would appreciate your prayers, that our little guy's heart condition is mild, or better yet, resolves itself. We are asking God that the governments on both sides of this process move quickly and that we will be on our way to bring home our beautiful boy sooner rather than later. Also, our prayers are that he is being cared for, loved, and cherised. Of course, we pray this for all the orphans of the world and that they, too, can be placed in their forever families.
Although this new chapter of Aiden's Adventure actually started on August 19 with the completion of an application to Holt, International (the greatest adoption agency in the world, if I do say so!), we just got to the really exciting part of the rising action. Although conflict really creates an interesting story, let's pray ours are few and far between, and it's the character development that drives our plot. Ahhhh ha ha ha! Sorry. I promise that will be the last of the liteary analogies. It's early, and as usual, the protagonist in our lives didn't let me get much sleep last night. Ok. I'm done. :) I'll be back with news as it happens!