Too much has happened in the last two and a half months to go into much detail, but I wanted to at least try to summarize what's been going on.
Getting the news about Chloe was very, very hard. Even though we knew in our heads that she wasn't, by that point she'd become our daughter in our hearts, and that's impossible to ignore. As far as we were concerned, she was ours, and that's how we grieved. We were thankful that we had a vacation scheduled just a few days after receiving that news, it was good to get away together for a week.
We took some time to just process then had to make a decision about where to go from there. We decided to take a look at the China photolisting again and a few little boys that we had taken note of back around the same time that we first saw Chloe were still waiting. Rams and I felt most connected to one little guy in particular.
The short story is that we decided to request to adopt this little boy. This time around had a different feel. Being fairly soon after being turned down for one child that we gotten so attached to, I think it was natural to guard our emotions a little bit. But we still felt like this was the child that we were supposed to move ahead with, so filled out all the questionnaires, had two different interviews with people from the agency, and waited to hear the verdict.
On Thursday, October 13th, we were selected to adopt him! Since then we have been hard at work collecting dossier paperwork, and completing our adoption education courses. Yesterday we FedEx'd about 2/3 of the dossier paperwork to Holt which is a good place to be, seeing as I had felt completely overwhelmed when I had first seen the checklist of items we needed to gather.
Day before yesterday we received an e-mail containing our assignment packet- loaded with pages and pages more forms to fill out, and an invoice for the program fee. Hustled my butt and got it all FedEx'd out yesterday as well, which was a great feeling! Many of the forms were related to travel, which made it all start to feel somewhat real. And writing our son's name on the forms made it sink in further. As time goes on- as we talk about him with the kids, discuss what it will be like to have him share a bedroom with Gideon, ask the Chinese restaurant staff how to pronounce his name (lol), talk about how to help him through the transition as much as possible, wonder what kind of things we'll learn about him and his past as we get to know him- he feels more and more like our little boy.
A testimony regarding God's awesome provision- when we first started this process, we fully expected to have to resort to a diet of beans and rice, and selling our second vehicle (and maybe the kids' bikes) to fund this adoption. But God has provided plenty of work for Ramsey and every time we have received an invoice, the money has been in the bank to pay the bill. The program fee that we paid yesterday was a hefty fee (and the last one that we will have to pay to Holt!), but the money was there, and it felt so great to just be able to write the check. We still have USCIS, travel, etc. to pay for down the road, but up to this point, the money has just been there. We have had plenty of times in the past when God has provided what we needed by some amazing miracle, at just the last moment, with not a penny to spare, etc.- so we do not take this provision for granted, at all!
So that's where we stand- dossier prepping. Things are moving forward, which feels great. Based on time-frames that we've been told, we expect to be travelling to bring our little guy home somewhere from 8 to 15 months from now. Hoping for the shorter end, of course!
And here's some really great news we got yesterday- Chloe was matched with a family yesterday!! I'd been thinking ahead to her birthday, December 4th (which also happens to be my little sister's birthday and the anniversary of Ramsey's and my first date), and thinking that it would be a hard day. Hard to think of a little person that you love so much, who has no idea that she is so cherished, turning a year older in an orphanage. Instead, I am rejoicing for her! There is a tinge of bittersweet, but that is so eclipsed by the thrill of knowing she now has a family.
So there you have it! Two and a half months, summed up. : )