Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a date!

We got a long-awaited call this morning.   Since June 16 when we got the referral of an adorable little chubby-cheeked boy, we knew that the next step in bringing him home would be first approval.  This is when a Thai government social worker, who has been assigned your case, presents it to the adoption board of the Department of Social Welfare, and they declare whether or not you are approved to adopt this child.  It takes so long because there is a huge pile, or queue, of cases to be presented, and the social workers are very busy--some more than others, it turns out.  We were told last summer that first approval would come in December and hopefully we'd travel in March. 

Weelllll...obviously that didn't happen.  It's been a good four weeks (which is not as long as some friends of ours, who went through the roller coaster for three months!) of being told it "should" happen this week and hopefully we'll hear news "tomorrow or the next day."  Seriously, it may not sound like a big deal, but for four weekends, I've been telling people that I should have good news on Monday, and then have nothing.  It got old quickly, so it was nice to finally have something to announce today!

Our agency called and said that we'd been given first approval.  And, in fact, we were granted first approval on February 15th, but the communication has been so lousy that no one knew it.  The paperwork that is produced from this approval, called Article 16, has already been issued for us!  This is great, because it can sometimes take up to a month or more for that.  Of course, that just means that we can go ahead and start the next truckload of paperwork.  Woohoo!

The bummer is the date of travel.  I was secretly hoping for late April, but assuming it would be May.  We are scheduled for the June 6th board meeting.  I did not hide my disappointment well on the phone.  "JUNE?!?!?!" I said in disgust.   She explained that there's still a lot of backlog from the floods (everything seems to be traced back to those stupid floods), and another friend was told that there is a large number of European families waiting to travel for court dates in Thailand, and they are mostly scheduled for the month of May.

I wallowed in the bad part of the news for a good few hours.  That will be 12 months from referral to travel.  Ugh.  Asher will be at least a month older than I had expected when we meet him.  We'll literally get home most likely on the last day of school for my big kids...dumping me straight into LONG summer days with NO plans with three kids and no schedule to keep Carson and Sydney entertained for at least a couple hours a day, while I get my feed under me about parenting an adopted, traumatized, jet-lagged toddler.  Plus, three months seems a long ways away from now.  (Someone told me it is 96 days.)

But then, after sharing the news with family and friends, their excitement has been completely contagious.  We have a date!  The way Holt trips work, you meet your kiddo on the Sunday before the board meeting, so we are scheduled to meet Asher on Sunday, June 3rd!  We can officially start a countdown.  We know there is a light at the end of this insanely torturous tunnel. 

The other wonderful part of the news is that two of my friends, who have been walking this journey with me (I'd say us, but really it's the mamas who connect the most) are schedule for the same board meeting!  So we'll be in country with some kindred spirits whom I've longed to meet--and as a bonus, I get to see their Thai baby girls!

I should probably give a disclaimer that the board dates are tentative until some of this paperwork goes back and forth between the two countries.  We won't start booking plane tickets for another month at least.  But the date rarely changes, so we're writing it on the calendar.  You can too.  ;)

15 comments:

deirdre said...

Yip, Yip Yahooo!!! Can't wait to be there with you!

Catiejoyce said...

LOVE it! I completely understand the disappointment of waiting another month and all the delays, but WE HAVE A DATE!!! The countdown can officially begin. I can't wait to be there with you and Deirdre!!!! I can't wait to see that cute boy of yours. Hooray! I am already praying for our summers to be great and God to do a work in all of our kids that is nothing short of miraculous!

Jo B. said...

I am already envisioning Asher at our July 4 campout. I looked up how to say "marshmallow" in Thai. I couldn't read the Thai alphabet, but I heard the pronunciation! I'll work on it and will have it perfected by July 4. Hey, I have to do something while waiting for our new grandson, right?
Gma JoJo

Ashley said...

Oh, yeah!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!! Just wanted to throw out there that it may end up being a good thing your kiddos will be out of school. In some ways harder, for sure, but in many ways better. It will give your older kids a chance to settle too in a concentrated time environment and snatch that extra special attention they will want as they get used to how their family has changed too. It will be nice to just be able to stay home on those crazy days, especially in the beginning then doing the back and forth to school runs. Though God's plan is certainly almost always harder, it is always better. That is sooooooo special you get to be there with some other families. What a gift!!! Sharing your journey with people who "get it" is priceless.

Gem said...

this is so special that you will be there at the same time as your friends, what an amazing connection for your kids as they grow older, all these connections are so important for our kids. I am so looking forward to hearing your travel journal, and how you get on in crazy busy Bangkok. Does your agency decide where you stay or do you have to pick a hotel yourselves? We have found apartmenthotels or hotels with suites are handy

Robin and Kyle said...

YAY! So happy for you to finally have a date. And it will be extra special to travel with friends. =)

Nina said...

Thank you for the way you explain things to us. Helps me to understand more and I love that.

This is a story of miracles from the start! God is so good and goes before us. What an example to others for so many reasons. God is proud of you and your family(:

Bridget said...

I am very happy for you. My advice would be WAIT to buy tickets. Our date moved a LOT, but I think Holt has a better handle on the situation than my agency did at the time.

{Jess} said...

I too am bummed you have to wait a little longer than hoped to meet sweet Asher. BUT...I'm so excited that you've received approval and have a date!!! :) This is such a HUGE step! Still praying that all will go smoothly with the adoption process and that you will be filled with peace as you wait to meet Asher.

us said...

So happy for you guys! You have 1ST APPROVAL! And a SON! And probably one of the best things is traveling with friends! Mrs Young

woosterweester said...

Holy Canoly, can we just get to June already?!?!:) I have to admit when I first read your text my excitement was overshadowed by the summer date...HOWEVER, who am I to know better than God's timing? For some reason this is going to be perfect. And who knows! Maybe having your kids home will be just the needed thing for Asher during your cocooning time. I have NO doubt you will have an abundance of folks waiting to help with your other two while you focus on getting Asher attached. My excitement is growing with each day as I realize June is truly just around the corner. Then we will all breathe a collective sigh of relief and celebrate (at arm's distance of course so Asher knows who his mama and daddy are first and foremost) and then I'll finally get to watch this little man become part of his forever family...so thankful. What a crazy ride.

Bridget said...

Congratulations! It is the most wonderful feeling to finally have a date to circle on the calendar, isn't it? Can't wait to follow along with the next phase of your journey
-Bridget and Ted

Jay and Chandra and Penny Regan said...

Yeah! I'll be thinking of you, because it's a special day for us, too. June 3rd is Penny's birthday! She'll be turning 17 on the day when you'll first meet little Asher!

Amy Bentz said...

So very happy he is FINALLY coming home!

starrchasers said...

Congratulations... so excited for all of you!