I'm getting a ton of questions about our phone call, Kylie, Steve's job etc. so I thought I'd do a big ole post today to try and answer them. If you have a question I didn't answer here, just leave it in the comments or email me and I'll answer. Maybe. I know so many of you FB'd, texted, emailed and RQ PM'd me and if I haven't answered I'm sorry. I have told the story to a hundred people who I know from real life to my internet pals and I am dead serious when I say I cannot remember who I have told what. Those that know me know I'm an open book so any question goes. So, here we go...
1. When do you go get Kylie? Well, not anytime soon unfortunately. Now that we know WHO she is, we have a LOT of paperwork to do. If you are curious about the steps from here on out, hop over to my RQ friend Courtney's website. She explains it all. I'll be explaining it here as we go, but if you are curious ahead of time. The answer to the question is we don't really know. We'd be lucky to travel before year end and at that, it would be RIGHT at the end of December. I'm guessing more likely January/February timeframe. As we progress through the paperwork, we'll know better. But the paperwork involved not just us, but the US Government, Chinese Government etc., so we are waiting on lots of things out of our control.
2. You are always referencing RQ. What does that stand for? When I reference RQ, I'm speaking of some posting boards I frequent for those adopting (or have adopted) a Special Needs child from China. It stands for Rumor Queen and I have many dear friends over there. When I was going through IVF, I found a posting board for that too and made friends (shout out to the Mamas!!!) there who I actually traveled to meet IRL and STILL keep up with! If you are going through anything in your life, there is a chat board for support and I'd encourage you to seek it out. These women are FULL of wisdom about the process and I have made GOOD friends from there. They encouraged me to change agencies, told me names of great agencies to check out (including Lifeline) and the board lit up with congratulations when I announced we'd been matched. So when I mention RQ or my RQ-ers, now you know. SHOUT OUT TO MY RQ FRIENDS!!!
3. What IS the next step? After we decided we would accept this referral, we have to send in a "Letter of Intent" or LOI saying it is our intent to adopt this child. We had less than 48 hours to do so before her file would be unlocked and released back to the adoption world to grab. This is why we had a pediatrician specialized in international adoption ON CALL. If you are adopting or thinking about it, I can't stress this enough. It's NOT just for kids with special needs. We are using Vanderbilt's International Adoption Clinic. Anyway, once we decided to accept her, we filled out a bunch of paperwork and sent it to our agency. They then forward it to the CCCWA which is the agency in China which governs adoptions. They will review the LOI and issue a Pre-Approval or PA. So the PA is what we are waiting on now. It could take up to 2 weeks to receive it, but many times it comes quicker. We have to get it before we can move on.
4. Could you have refused to accept this referral? Yes, we sure could have and people do it every day. They might find something in the medicals that they just aren't prepared to deal with. The agencies try very hard to get the child for you the first time, but sometimes there are things out of their control or that only a trained medical eye could pick up. Those of us in this community do NOT think badly of any parent who refuses a referral. It's the worst situation to be in and it was the fear of that which kept my feet on the ground until we heard back from our doctor. And refusing a referral doesn't bar you from getting another. Agencies WANT you to get the right child for your family. This answer relates only to special needs adoptions in China. I don't know what the "rules" are for other countries.
5. What IS the referral? What does it consist of? The referral is when your agency thinks they have found a child to match what you are open to accepting. When you do your homestudy, you have to tell them the age, gender, special need (for this program) that you are willing to accept. When we got the referral, we received 5 photos of her, her Chinese medical record and then an English translation. They all came via email. Part of the English medical record is a narrative about where she was found, what they think her age is, what she enjoys, how she's developing etc. So even though we hadn't yet spoken to our MD yet, pretty quickly after reviewing that part ourselves, we knew
6. What will you call her? Her first name will be Kylie and that was decided on a while back. The middle name has been decided on, but we are going to wait and announce that publicly when we are able to show her picture on the blog. I will tell you, it will be part of her Chinese given name with a twist.
7. When can you post pictures? Ah yes, I get this question a lot and I don't blame y'all. I cannot post her picture publicly until I have our PA. As soon as we get that, we'll post her pictures and her name here. I did post them to FB because that is not a public place where just anyone can see. I can also email them, but please don't forward them etc.
8. Who named her? When she was found in China, the orphanage she is at named her. You can see her name meaning on a previous blog, but I removed her Chinese name until PA. I'll put it back then.
9. Where is her orphanage? Jiangsu Province. You can read more about that area here.
10. How do you know how old she REALLY is? We do know a note was left with her, so perhaps it said when her birthdate is. There were physical signs she was a brand new-born. If you want to know what those signs were, email me, but I don't feel comfortable posting them here.
11. What about her cleft lip and palate? It's likely her cleft lip will be repaired in China before we go get her. If so, we'll be notified (I think) and we'll post here about it (we would hopefully get updated photos). Her palate is unlikely to be repaired there, though it is possible. So, we'll schedule that when we return home with her. No, it will not be fun and it will require ENTs, Plastic Surgeons etc., but we are prepared and will have a great team of doctors on standby when we return. Some of you have asked what the "palate" is. The palate is basically the roof of your mouth. This is a great website to read about CLCP. There are ton of others so just Google it if you want to know more.
12. Who's going with you to China and how long will you be there? Steve can't travel with Katie to China for a variety of reasons. Plus, with the new job, he'll want to save his time off for when we return. Steve's sister, Deanne is going to go with me to China. Jenna would love to go and I would love for her to go. It just depends on her school schedule and when we travel. 4th grade is a tough year and missing 2 weeks of school could be a bad decision. If we happened to travel during or through some part of Christmas break, that would be FABULOUS (though Deanne would probably not love it! :) ) and she would DEFINITELY go. Otherwise, we are just going to pray about it and talk to the teachers etc. And we'll be there from 10-14 days.
13. Is there anything else wrong with her? NO! At least not from what we have been given in the medical records which are only about 2 months old. Developmentally, she's right on target with her age. Physically she's a little small, but considering her challenges with eating and her being in an orphanage where she doesn't always get one on one attention, this is not at all surprising or cause for concern. The lab work results we were provided were reviewed by our MD and all look fine considering. We'll know for sure when she's home and they can do a thorough examination, but as of now, she's perfect.
14. Will you need baby stuff? Um yes. And believe it or not, I've already had a sweet friend (shout out to Jill!) ask me that! We really didn't anticipate having such a little one. We have SOME clothes but not anything that small. I got rid of ALL of our baby stuff years ago when it became clear to me we weren't having any more children (and God laughed!). So I ask you locals to keep your eyes open for the big stuff like high chairs and car seats. Consigned/Used is fine.
Well, I think that's enough for now. I hope you enjoy...I know it was long. Now I have to get up off this couch and get started on my to-do list! Jenna is still sleeping, so I'm gonna try to get the kitchen clean before she gets up! Happy Saturday!