For the last two days, I've really struggled with the wait for our Letter Of Approval.
I mean, I've been bothered by the length of our wait for a while now but I haven't really paid it much mind until last week. Last week, somehow, I had fully convinced myself that our LOA was coming. I knew our agency had a "package on the way" and that we were "due." Over-due if one looks at the current trends on the charts. Which, I was doing. More than I really wanted to and certainly more than I had during waits between milestones previous to this wait for LOA. The last update we had gotten was that we were "in review" and that the next step would be the dispersal of our LOA. PLUS, last week, I was processing the imminent departure of Shaggy to Thailand. And the thoughts of celebrating Christmas without our boy were really hitting home. I think my melt-downs into puddles every couple hours on Thursday and Friday were some kind of internal release valve letting off the steam of it all.
But this struggle, these last two days, has been very different. It was more of a niggling doubt that everything was proceeding normally. An occasional twinge of "something isn't quite right" and not really knowing what to do with it. Frankly, I didn't do well with it. FRANKLY, I've been a bit like a bear with a thorn in her paw for the last two days. (I've made reparations to my family already. They love me and graciously forgive me. I'm so blessed!)
The gals in my DTC group (DTc means "Dossier to China:" this group is a bunch of comrades-in-arms who all sent their dossiers to China in the same season that we did, banded together for information and support) have been looking at our charts, too. A couple of us who are waiting had a chat or two over the last two days about the trends and it seemed apparent to us all that something indeed was not quite right. But I have tried so hard NOT to be a "day counter" or a "chart obsessor" and to trust the process. In doing so, I completely squashed that little nudge I thought I might be sensing. I pushed aside my niggling doubts and occasional twinges. Thus the "release" valve I mentioned. Sigh. One of these days, I will learn. I will!
Last night, I went to bed and fell asleep praying for Shaggy. Early this morning (as in 3:22 a.m. which would have been 4:22 p.m. Beijing time, IF I've calculated correctly. That's regular work-day hours there.) I woke again, praying for Shaggy. As I prayed, I had a sense that I needed to be praying for our LOA. For our dossier. And of course, for Brynna. So I did. I slept quite fitfully for the next couple hours until I finally just got up and started my day.
After I made a cup of coffee and got Li'l Empress settled with her cereal, I jotted off the following note to our sweet Social Worker:
"So, we are on day 75 of our wait from PA (157 from LID).... it's now inching up to the "longer" end of the wait from the DTC group I'm a part of. And when considering that our LOI went in with the request for expedite, we're wondering what's going on. Is there any chance, if you don't get a package today, that you can investigate this for us? I've just seen too many fellow-DTC'ers moving on from LOA even tho their numbers were trending like ours. When it starts to get too "out of the trend" is when these gals start seeing problems or delays with their files. We want to be sure it's not the case with ours."
To which I got an immediate response. This is how I summarized it to our families and some friends this morning, in a request for prayer:
Seems that our trusty SW was already feeling some concern. She had contacted her "on the ground" gal in Beijing on our behalf yesterday. (She was further tipped off when LHAA got a pkg yesterday of documents including one LOA for a family on the EXACT SAME TIMELINE as us.) Here's what they think is happening: After the Eligibility Review #1 (also called Dept. 1 - which was our last up-date), it looks as if our dossier was MIS-FILED into the "Standard Program" (The Non-special needs program... which is currently running on a 6 year wait. Ummm, yeah. RUH ROH!).If this had NOT been caught this week, we'd likely be waiting indefinitely. When our "on the ground" gal inquired, she was told that the only employee who can rectify that mis-filing is the one who is assigned to our file and that employee is out for the day. So she is going back tonight (our time) to follow up and get it moving.
Our sweet SW is NOTHING if not "ON IT" for our family. When she emailed me back, she had JUST finished getting the scoop from her Beijing gal. JUST! I have spent most of today feeling so humbled and blessed. Really. I mean, I could be feeling totally disgruntled and stressed or even angry at the glitch in the process. Indeed, I was ALL of that last week. And again for the previous two days. But now that we know what we're facing, I am instead feeling so awed that God gave us such a gift in this lovely Social Worker. I'm amazed that He was trying to speak to me all along, nudging me to listen to my gut and trust my instinct that something wasn't right. By the fact that He has given me this fierce momma's heart for my girl before I even know her. And finally by how I know He is going to work on our behalf.
We are expecting an answer of some kind tomorrow. Of course, the best possible answer would be our LOA is in the mail WITH the medical expedite being honored forthwith. But I have to be honest, I'm feeling pretty good about whatever answer we get tomorrow. He is always faithful to move on our behalf, in all the seasons and events of our lives. He's even faithful when I'm trying to squash that little nudge!