Dear Family and Friends:

Welcome to our journey to Lucy. We began our journey in Nov of 2004 when we contacted our adoption agency. We first had to fill out an application to see if we qualified. One of the main issues was our age, yes, we are OPAs (older parents adopting), a rare breed, but it's becoming more common. Anyway we made the cut to our happy relief. The agency said that we would have to hurry and start the process immediately.

Many months of paper chasing, notarizing, fingerprinting with the FBI and the CIS, (Citizenship and Immigration Services) home study with our social worker, moving to a larger home to accommodate Lucy. Finally when everything was finished, we sent all of our paperwork and home study to the CIS. This was our first wait. After many months of waiting we finally got the okay from the CIS saying that we passed their standards as fit parents to adopt.

The next step was sending our dossier (all our paperwork and home study translated in Mandarin) to China (the CCAA, China Center of Adoption Affairs). Once there it gets in line to be logged in to get into even a bigger line. Once we have our log in date (LID, which is Sept 8th, 2005), we wait in line to get into the review room where they review your dossier with a fine-tooth comb.

Once out of the review room you get in line again, this time to be matched with your baby called the referral. Once referred, you get a picture, bio and medical info on your baby and if everything is in order you send in an acceptance reply, (most everyone accepts). After that you wait for CCAA to send your travel arrangements (TA) and consulate appointment (CA), which takes about 5 to 6 weeks, Then you go to China and pick up your baby, as simple as that.

When we first started the process the wait was only 6 months from LID. It has now been extended to 14 months. We will be at 14 months Nov 8, so that will bring us to two years since beginning the process.

We may get our referral at the end of Nov or the end of December. Worse case scenario would be a referral in Jan of 2007, which would take us to a 16-month wait from LID. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our referral will come in Nov. We can't wait to see her picture.

When we first started the adoption process one of the first things on our agenda was to move into a bigger home so Lucy could have her own bedroom. That was two years ago. Since then because of circumstances beyond our control we've had to move 2 more times, so Lucy has had 3 bedrooms all set up and decorated, and of course each time we've had to up date our I-171H with our social worker. Anyway, as luck will have it, we again are moving, (We told our agency and they couldn't believe it, but this time it is a very welcomed move. We decided to buy a fixer-upper, a cute house built in the 60s, and once again we are going to have to up date our I-171H.

Anyway the house is very old and very rundown, so we have taken on the project of remodeling the home, being our own contractors. We just started this process a couple of weeks ago, so we are trying to get it done before our referral and little Lucy will have had 4 bedrooms before we ever got her home. But we are planning on living in this home for a long time.

We are waiting anxiously for the next referral to see where the next cut off date is. There is already a rumor that August 23rd may be the cut off date, but we are hoping that it goes beyond that. With a Sept 8th LID, we are getting closer. Maybe a referral in late Nov. Fingers crossed!

James and I want to thank all of you for your love and support. This has been a most amazing journey for us.

Love, Sue and James