Big things have been happening in the Incredible Household! I know you all are dying to know what it might be, so I will just come out and tell you and fill in the details afterward. The big news is that we are now bringing home two children! A boy *and* a girl!
When we started the adoption process, we had planned to bring home one child, our son, so having the option of bringing home two children was a huge mental adjustment for us. We had talked about and thought about another adoption...a few years down the road. The timing of our second adoption was honestly a big surprise. If there is such a thing as a surprise adoption, our second adoption is probably as close as it can get!
We had been plugging along with our Little Guy's adoption and had already sent our paperwork to USCIS/Immigration to be approved to bring him home. While we were waiting on our approval, we got a phone call late one night. When the phone rang, I startled awake wondering who was calling. Who calls you at midnight unless it's bad news or an emergency? Apparently, our adoption agency does! They are a few times zones away on the west coast and I guess they don't always think about the time difference when they call us on the east coast. Plus, when the new shared list comes out, they are working on China time, which often means that they are up in the middle of the night anyway! I let the call go to voicemail and picked up the message when my heart stopped racing and I was a little more awake. The message was from the China coordinator at our agency and was very vague. I called her back immediately after listening to her message and was expecting bad news. Instead she told me that they had locked the file of a little girl who they thought was a perfect match for our family. Needless to say, I didn't sleep very peacefully that night...I tossed and turned, trying to puzzle it all out. It didn't help one bit that Mr. Incredible was snoozing peacefully right next to me! There's little worse for insomnia than listening to someone breathing deeply and sleeping calmly.
We had 72 hours to make a decision about a second adoption. We had some serious work to do! First, the soul searching-could we open our hearts to another child? How could we say no now that we "knew" her? We had our daughter's file evaluated by a doctor, and had to consider family dynamics, space, finances, you name it and we thought about it. Everything was mulled over, distilled and percolated....and then we said "yes".
But wait! It's not that easy. If you've read other adoption blogs or my previous posts, you already know that. After you decide that you would like to parent a child from China, you have to write an official letter to the Chinese agency that oversees adoption (CCCWA). This letter outlines how you and your family will care for your new child and what plans you have in place for him/her. And then you wait until they answer your letter. This can be quite painful because by the time you submit the letter, you've already made the mental shift to having another family member. The CCCWA will either decline your request or agree to process the adoption. China agreed to process our adoption so now we have six months to get all our documents (dossier) gathered and sent.
Luckily, we are planning on completing both adoptions concurrently which means that most of our paperwork is already done. We'll have to make some ammendments to our home study and that will hold up our immigration approval, but folks, we are close! I even called USCIS to let our immigration officer know what was happening on our end. Would you believe that he was a cheerful, helpful, kind soul?! I've honestly never had a nicer interaction with a government employee. Hopefully the rest of the journey will continue this way and all of our paperwork will land on the desk of equally helpful and kind people.
And, without further ado, here is a picture of our daughter