I want to explain a little bit of our process with preparing to adopt Zoe, because I know that for most people this was a huge surprise!
Shortly after adopting Lilah in May 2009, we started thinking we should adopt a little sister for her. Anyone who has been through this experience can tell you that it changes you in ways that are unexplainable and that your eyes are opened to something that few people ever see. When we had started the adoption process with Lilah, three years ago, we had asked for one girl or twin girls. Tim made a comment that we would end up with two. So in a round about way, we have. And I said to him the other day, "Here are your twins!"
We started the paperwork in January and it was a lot easier this time, as we could use a lot of what we had already pulled together for our first adoption. Yet, the paperwork took a long time! Five months. Our dossier went to China on May 25th, and we had a LID of May 28th. The rules have changed since we adopted Lilah, and you now need a LID to be matched with a child, especially from our agency, as they feel that the kids who are lingering on the list have to many medical needs and our provinces won't match us with them, in most cases.
One list comes out a month, and all agencies in North America see the new listings at the same time and scramble to pull files for their clients as fast as possible. The June list was released on the 22nd, and that is the list that Zoe was on. So after waiting for the paperwork, we were matched off the first list, so really.... it has all gone very quickly.
I think our waiting to go get her will go by quickly too... with the kids out for summer, three weeks of holidays and lots of camping, September will be here before we know it and September is when we are hoping we will travel. But it all depends on China at this point and how fast they approve us and review our dossier.
I don't expect to get much information on Zoe while we wait. I have been researching her Social Welfare Institute and there is nothing anywhere about it. I have found an address and have signed up for a very inactive yahoo group, and that is all. I have been told it is a fairly new SWI (1995) and that it hasn't done a lot of international adoptions. It is also fairly small. Guang'an has no airport and so we will stay in the Capital Chengdu when we travel, which is about 1 1/2 hours away. As soon as we get our pre approval from the CCAA (China Centre of Adoption Affairs), we will send a care package and request some additional medical information (hers is all 8 months old) and hopefully get some new updated photos of our Zoe.
The day before our referral (I knew the list was coming out) I had great peace that our Zoe was on this list, I read this verse on another blog and it just reinforced that we would see her face soon.
I rejoice in your strength Lord
How great is my Joy in the victories You give!
You have granted me my heart's desire
and have not withheld the requests of my lips
You came to greet me with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on my head
I asked you for LIFE and You gave HER to me
I trust in You, through Your unfailing love
I will not be shaken
Be exalted in your strength, Lord
I will sing and praise your might.
God answered everything I asked for about this child with a "YES". I asked for virtual twins. YES. I asked for a simple straight forward special need. YES. I asked that we would know as soon as we saw her. YES. I asked for her to be pretty (I know this may sound petty - but with 5 other pretty kids, I felt she should be pretty too). YES. I asked for her to be from a more rural area that not many people go to. YES. I asked that it would all work out time-wise with all that we have planned in the Fall. YES.
This is one more photo from when Zoe was 18 months old. She is getting ready for her surgery and has an IV in her head. But could she be anymore beautiful?