Life's a beach. That's what they say at least. We spent some time this past week in Long Beach, NY with really great friends. What brought us there was an airplane- and the task of meeting with our Social Worker to update our homestudy. This was necessary since our Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (approval to obtain a visa and bring our baby into the United States) expires on November 4, 2007. We have to submit an updated homestudy to recieve an extention, which will be good for another 15 months. To update the homestudy we had to meet with Robin, be fingerprinted yet again to run another criminal record check, and child abuse clearance. It was such a pleasure to visit with her, her husband and beautiful daughter (brought home from China in January 2007). She is a great friend to have on this journey.
We had a wonderful visit, great food, and crash courses: High School Musical 2, the latest teen fashion, literature and shows. And I can't forget the excitement around getting your class assignments.
We are believers that things happen for a reason. The plan was to depart NY at 8:50 p.m. and arriving home around 10:30. We arrived home at 2:40 a.m. The airline gave very limited information other than "it was foggy this morning" and "we're not sure when any flights are leaving". I can paint you a picture of what it was like in the airport. Add the time of night and families with children. We imagined this happening after flying 17 hours from China. Not a chance we are willing to take in that airport. So the reason it happened is to redirect our plans to use another more friendly International airport, like Atlanta (lowest percentage of delays in last 6 months). I believe I hear a few family cheers.
While we were away on vacation we learned that the review of our paperwork had been completed and we were sent to the matching room. What does that mean? This is the final stage where families who have passed review are sent to the Matching Room. In this room are all the dossiers of children whose information has been sent by their SWIs (Orphanage) to find them a forever family. The job of the workers in this room is to make dreams come true. It is their task to match the right family to each child. No one knows exactly how families are chosen for each child - but many people think that the CCAA workers are pretty amazing in how good a job they do. This is also done in order by dates. They are currently matching families with the dates November 22, 2005-?. Our date (June 7, 2006) is now at the bottom of the pile. Which is better than not being in the pile at all.
After matching a child with their new parents, the CCAA will send a packet of information (called a REFERRAL) back to the U.S. with pictures and documents that tell about the child's life and development at the Orphanage.