On Monday we got the great news that our girl's official file is in! Several other families with our agency (AAC) got the same good news, so a whole batch of files must have come in at the same time. The file is pretty much the same as the pre-file we saw back at the end of July, but there are a few fun details that have been added. Some of the facts that made me smile were that her favorite activity is playing on the slide and her favorite toys are plush toys.
We had already written up our Letter of Intent (LOI), which is a letter to the Chinese officials saying we wish to adopt this girl, so our agency was able to submit that on the same day the file arrived. Now the countdown is on. Once a dossier arrives in China, it goes through a translation process for about thirty days. Then it goes through a review and match review process, which supposedly takes a few weeks. Our dossier was logged in (LID) on September 5, and the average wait until LOA is about forty days right now.
LOA (Letter of Acceptance) is the hugely big milestone step where China basically says, "This kiddo is yours!" It's at this point that we can request updated pictures and information, share pictures publicly, send her a package, possibly Skype with her, etc. We will definitely be celebrating when this happens!
Basically, to have any chance at all of being with our girl for her fourth birthday on December 28 (it's going to kill me if she has to spend another birthday without a family), we'd need to get LOA from China by mid-October. But with the Mid-Autumn Festival and next week's Golden Holiday break thrown in there, we've lost a lot of Chinese work days. It's looking pretty unlikely that we'll travel before 2017, but I'm still holding on to a tiny bit of hope.
In other news, her bedroom is coming along. Bye bye beloved music room! Zack was kind enough to move his guitars and stuff downstairs. I've picked some paint colors and found some very cheap (or free) furniture at consignment sales and on Craigslist. I'll even admit that I picked up a pretty cool white cube thing next to a dumpster in our alley the other morning! Hey, adoption isn't cheap, so I'm not above dumpster diving at this point!
And so now we wait. After LOA, it's a pretty predictable 8-10 weeks until leaving for China, so things will move quickly at that point. Come on mid-October LOA!