I wanted to take a minute and answer some questions we've been asked:
What is his special need? He was born with a meningocele, a neural tube defect. It was repaired when he was a young baby, and he's doing very well now. He just learned to walk at age 3, but is talking and trying to potty train.
How old is he? He's 3. He and Norah share the exact same birthday, except that he is one year older than she is.
How long will this process take? The timeline looks to be about 6-8 months.
Isn't adopting a boy from China rare? No, not if you are looking at special needs. Many of the healthy children adopted are girls still, but the special need lists are full of boys waiting for homes. For a variety of reasons, the boys sit on these lists for a very long time, even when there are both girls and boys on the waiting lists. Girls are still generally chosen first.
What will it cost? Honestly, though sometimes stressful, this doesn't matter much. We believe that God will provide for us and we've never been disappointed before. I decided to edit here and take out the real cost. You can always find out on the internet. :)
One other thing.....we realize this type of journey is not for everyone. Three years ago, when we began Norah's adoption, it wasn't for us, either. We actually started in the "healthy as possible" child line and asked for a girl. We later decided that we wanted to switch to a special needs adoption. Norah was originally suspected of having a condition that would affect her right arm and possibly her heart. Turns out that she has just a birthmark.
This time around, we knew if we planned to adopt again, it would be a child that was considered "hard to place". Even a year ago, however, I could not have handled this with Will's needs. It is all part of our journey.
So, here it is....Eli's story begins. We can't wait for him to come home.
Yahoo! We received pre-approval for our boy in China last night!!! The picture above shows him with a buddy who is also being adopted. Looking at this picture makes me realize he's a BIG boy! :)
Today I spent the better part of the morning trying to put together a package to send to Eli Tao. (Yep, that's his name! Eli is the American name we've given him; Tao is his Chinese name. We *think* we'll be calling him by both for a while, but honestly....we aren't set on anything. Some of it depends on what he thinks!)
What a task....just what do you send your child the first time he hears about you?? We created a photo book with our pictures and will be sending him a small pillow with Cars movie characters on it as well as a small toy school bus like the one his big sister rides. :)
Hopefully I'll answer some questions that we've been asked in the next post. Its been sort of crazy around here!!
I seriously thought I'd never have the patience or tolerance to go through this paperwork process again. Putting together Norah's dossier was so incredibly consuming for me that I literally got ill at the thought of pursuing another.
However, it is really amazing how knowing what to expect lessens some of the burden.
It isn't without the craziness, though! Thankfully we are working with two really great agencies, who are used to dealing with stressed out parents.
Just when I thought pre-approval was submitted and all was quiet on the homefront for a few days, we received a call today saying that China needs some bloodwork. Like yesterday. Unfortunately, Jim's doctor did not draw for the bloodwork the day we had our physicals like mine did. So my labs are in, and he rushed off to the office to have labs drawn a few minutes ago. This too shall pass.
As far as the process goes, our timeline to bring him home looks like it averages out to around 6-8 months from now. We have submitted for pre-approval. Once we receive pre-approval, we have three months to submit our dossier or an extension. After the dossier, most are taking 3-4 months for a Letter of Approval (LOA). Following that, we wait a few more weeks for travel approval and then off we go!
I know we've had a lot of questions since we've announced this....I promise to answer more of them over the next couple of weeks.
For now, I'll leave you with just a picture of the cutie pie when he was a little younger.....