These faces say it all

We are still waiting to hear about referrals this month and I am trying to stay positive, yet cautious, about the cut-off. I will post something as soon as it is official, but in the meantime, check out this adoption video that is sure to bring you to tears...I know it did me.



The latest rumors suggest that the CCAA is currently matching babies for the next round of referrals. I thought it would be helpful to post a little info about matching - at least what we know about it. It is still a somewhat mysterious process, but every family seems to feel that they were matched with the perfect child for their family, so it works! We will hopefully hear about the next cut-off date in the next week, as the CCAA usually gets out a batch before they leave for the Chinese New Year holiday (which starts on February 7). We hope and pray for a good-size batch of referrals, getting us closer to our baby and the trip of a lifetime.

This info is taken from the Rumor Queen site and the photos are taken from another agencies web site. In the photos you can see stacks and stacks of dossiers, waiting to be matched, and a few of the people who work in the matching room:

First, they review the baby dossiers and make sure there are no issues with them. We are told that they then count up all of the baby dossiers that are eligible for matching that month and then look to see how far this stack will go in the parent dossiers without sending out a partial day, and they pull all of those parent files. That is the likely cut-off date. Sometimes something happens and they don’t get this far. Sometimes something happens and they get farther.

Next they match orphanages up with agencies. This orphanage has six babies, this agency has six families. These two orphanages are in the same province and have a total of 12 babies, this agency has 12 families. When they are through with this is when (I believe) some agencies start to get information about the cut-off date. Or at least it is when they used to start getting information. And then they start matching individual babies to individual families.

At some point during this part of the process most agencies used to hear from their person in the matching room to let them know how many referrals they will be receiving and from what province(s). Some agencies shared this information with their clients. Some chose not to. Recently I’ve gotten the feeling that many agencies are still getting this information but they are being given orders by the CCAA to not share this information with the families.
Just as in the review room, each matcher is assigned certain agencies and is responsible for communicating with their agencies. Some matchers tell their agency the cut-off date, some matchers tell their agency “you have X number of referrals arriving”, some matchers give their agency a list of that agency’s families that will be receiving a referral. And some matchers don’t say anything at all to their agencies.

The next question that comes up is generally how the matchers match families and babies. I’ve heard from several people who have had the opportunity to speak with someone who works in the matching room. The various conversations seem to all agree that they first look for something that stands out: a matching birthday, a baby who looks a lot like a parent, or a baby who likes music and a parent who teaches music. Several matching people have stated they match by bone structure of the baby’s face and the parent’s faces (this is why they need our passport photos, so they can compare our mug shot with the baby’s mug shot). Some have stated that they used Chinese astrology, also. Once they’ve matched the obvious matches they then start to look at things like age of child requested. The age requested is not a priority for them, they feel they are matching families and not filling orders.


Two long

I have been trying to come up with something profound, or funny, or meaningful, to say about the fact that we just reached two years in our wait for Lily Kate, but for the life of me, just can't. As I've said before, we never imagined that we would still be here, hoping and praying for a referral, but life is never quite as we expect, is it?

I was really struggling with this a couple of days ago and turned to my friends in a online group of families using the same agency as us.   I was feeling really down and they had just the right words to restore my failing hope, faith and sanity.  I am so grateful for these wise, warm and witty women.  I really hope that we have the chance to meet at an upcoming agency picnic and take the photo we have talked about, with all our families together.  Knowing I can open up to these ladies has made a big difference during this wait. 

And then there's Susan...an inspiration and comfort, someone who understands perfectly what I am going through and always has the right words when I need encouragement.  I hope you know how often you and Riz are in our thoughts and prayers and we pray for Sophia as we do for our own sweet daughter; they are waiting for us, together, somewhere in China.

So, nothing monumental or earth-shattering to say about this milestone, just here we are, still waiting to see her face.  In our heart of hearts we know that it will happen this year, and all this pain and frustration will fade away when she is in our arms at last; we can hold on for that. We know she is out there and needs us, and God's time will be perfect and His grace sufficient to keep us going until then.