Monday, June 27, 2011

My time, God's time, China time, and why is it taking so long.

"Have you heard anything about the baby? When are you going to get the baby? Why is it taking so long?" I have heard these question for that past 4 years. One of my favorite t-shirts of China adoption says "No I havent heard anything, No I don't know how much longer it will be, Yes, make it a double." When I started the process of adoption the wait time was 9 months. Within a year that wait time had grown to 4 years. I have been waiting 4 years, one month, and 27 days. If I had not found Audrey on the waiting list I would still have an estimated 2 more years to wait. I know the arguements and the frustrations, "if these kids need homes, why is it taking so long?" Here is the best answer I can give you: I don't know. All I can tell you is from what I have learned from my wait and what the Chinese government has done.
 I started the adoption process the summer of '06. After 9 months of paperwork from my agency, but mostly Illinois DCFS paperwork, I could send what is called a "Dossier" to China. That date is called  the Date to China (DTC) and mine is March 5th 2007. The dossier consists of DCFS approvals, fingerprints, paperwork and clearances from various state and international agencies. Once this has arrived in China your dossier is logged in the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA or now known as the CCWAA) and you are officially in line. That date is called your Log in Date (LID) and everything you do from now on is based off of that date. My LID is 4/4/07. All families that are logged in on that date have the same LID and form a group - my group with my agency started with 25 families from around the world. China adoption is not just popular in America, but several European countries participate in the process, too. Each month China releases a certain amount of children for adoption and how many log in dates that number of children covers determines how many days are matched in a month...otherwise called a "batch".

 China has some rules for adoptive families to follow and rules they themselves have to follow. For example, China says that 60 percent of the children in orphanages up for adoption have to be adopted domestically, the other 40 percent can go for international adoption. Private and government run orphanages have to follow these rules but have to pay for the process out of their budgets. Placing a child for international adoption costs alot of money and paperwork for an orphanage so only a few orphanages participate in the program.

 Once a batch of babies are released they are matched to families with their particular LID. When I started the process there was a 9 month back log. I started at a time where the perfect storm was brewing. There used to be many more babies available for adoption that there were parents in line for them and families were matched in as short of a time as 4 months. Soon, with word spreading about China adoption, many people started the process and soon there were more families in line to adopt than there were babies available. Some number have been tossed around like 3 - 400 babies v/s 1 - 2,000 families waiting. It now takes 3 - 6 months to get through on month of families. As of today, families up to June 30th of 2006 have been matched with their children. Next up is July 1st of '06 and no one is sure how many days of families will be included in this batch - history has been that between 3 - 10 days may be matched in this batch. Families that start the process are now being advised that the wait is currently at 5 years and that may or may not speed up.

 What has my dossier been doing this whole time? Sitting in the CCWAA offices waiting to be matched. As you know, last year I felt the call to look at the waiting child list and I found Audrey on that list on May 13th. My file has now been pulled out of our LID pile and is being processed with her file so I can get her in a couple of months. I hope it didn't get too dusty! :) My timing would have been that I would have gotten a referral for a child with in the 9 months I was estimated to wait. China time says nope - you must wait much longer that that. God's time said 4 years, 1 month, and 27 days was all I needed to bring you and Audrey together. And I think it is perfect. Here are some images I "borrowed" from other blogs about China adoption so you can get a little glimpse into what the CCWAA looks like.
        Files that are waiting to be matched with babies to create forever families!

                    Waiting files - mine is in there somewhere!
Each file is color coded by agency - you can see why it takes so long. All of those files are a family that is waiting for a baby and represents a baby waiting for a family.
Please understand that the people working in these offices love and care for the children just as we would love and care for an American child being adopted by someone else from another country. They do the best they can with what they have and really want these kids to have forever families.


  1. Congratulations on finding your daughter! I thought I'd comment because we are LID buddies! Mine was also 4/4/07. We found our son on a Waiting Child list in the summer of '09 and traveled that Christmas. He is absolutely perfect, despite his special need. I'm so glad we didn't wait--things could not have turned out better. It is exciting that you will be traveling soon!! Best wishes to you.

  2. Wow this is a great and informative posts. I never knew all the things that made the process so long, but worth it!
    Do you think you'd be at all interested in participating in an adoption study. I'm a research assistant and I'd be happy to give you more information! Please e-mail me at if you are.
    Good luck and best wishes!!!