October 20, 2008 cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories 0 Comments

by Cathy, mom to Camie from China with cleft lip and palate

We received a letter from our Agency at the end of December (2006) saying they were going to have a ‘Pilot’ program for 5 Special Needs baby’s waiting to be adopted and if we were interested to fill out the information and send it back in. I believe our agency sent the letter to all their clients and they were only 5 available baby’s. Mind you our agency had never used a Special Needs or Waiting Child program before so it was all new to them as well.

We got the letter New year’s Eve weekend and we were on our way to my Mom’s in Oregon. So we had to wait until we got back and after the Holiday to call and find out everything we needed to do to possibly be chosen to adopt one of these special baby’s. We filled out the list of special needs with help from our agency and sat back and waited to hear if we would be chosen.

On January 9th, 2007 (I’ll never forget the date) our agency called and asked that we come in ASAP to review some of the profiles. We jumped for joy! I told our agency we would come in the next day. I didn’t even think that I should have talked to my manager first to make sure it was ok to take the day off. So I called my manager right after we spoke to the agency and let her know the news and would it be ok to take the next day off to go to the agency? She said, “of course!”

On Jan 10th (another day I’ll never forget) we went to the agency with great anticipation that this might be the day we will see our baby girl. With all of that excitment it had snowed the night before. It was absolutely beautiful as we were driving to the agency.

When we arrived we asked if we wanted to see all 5 profiles or just the girls. I wanted to see all of them and Cecil said, “just the girls.” He explained to me later it was to keep me from getting overwhelmed and having to make a decision that much harder for myself. Ok, so he knows me too well, what can I say?!

We saw two profiles and I had one that I felt connected to right away. I waited to see what Cecil thought and he was fine with either girl. So we let Cindy know which girl we wanted but would consider the other girl as well. Our agency said she would get back to us and let us know if we were even selected as one of the 5 families. Yes, it still wasn’t for sure we would be one of the 5.

The wait over the weekend was the hardest. We got a call on Monday Jan 15th around 4:20 in the afternoon saying we were chosen and we will get to request the 1st baby girl that we had looked at.

We had to talk to a doctor first about her special need since she has a cleft lip (repaired) and cleft palate. We also had to write up a care plan to send with our LOI (Letter of Intent) to let the CCAA (China) know we would take care of her needs.

On Jan 27th, our LOI went to China! We were told it would be about 100 days before we would hear if we were approved or not to adopt our baby girl. So we went on with our everyday life ( as best as we could) waiting to hear if we were approved.

On March 5th we got the news we were approved! Only 36 days instead of the 100 we were originally told, woo hoo!

So we acutually had to sign a Letter of Approval (LOA) and send it back to China to let them know that YES we want this baby girl!

We were then told it would be 5-8 weeks before we would get our TA (Travel Approval) to bring her home. That’s it, 5-8 weeks and she will be ours! A week later we heard from our agency letting us know it was only going to be 2-4 weeks to get our TA! Oh My Gosh! It’s coming quick now, we are so happy!

So with that said, 2-4 weeks that’s nothing right? Let me tell you, this has by far been the hardest wait of all we have been through. Waiting for our TA. Well it finally came on April 4th! I was thinking we would have gotten our CA (Consulate appointement) as well but no luck. It would be a few days to a week before we have our appointment. When we get that date, we will then know when we get to leave for China to bring our baby girl home!

Cecil’s going to have the best birthday present every this year, his birthday is on Wednesday the 11th. Being told when he get’s to bring his daughter home!

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