Today is my half-birthday.
This is not normally a day that would ever really warrant much attention or special focus, but this year is different for one big reason.
China's requirement to apply for adoption is that each applicant has to be at least 29 1/2 years of age.
Today marks the day I reach that age. What did we do to celebrate? WE SUBMITTED OUR APPLICATION TO OUR AGENCY!!!!
Yes folks, this is really happening! Ready or not, here we are!
I've had butterflies in my stomach all day thinking about this, and now that I've hit "send," I'm overwhelmed with such a wide variety of emotions... relief, anticipation, excitement, worry, stress, nausea... you name it!
Two nights ago, we also submitted a preliminary Medical Conditions Checklist, commonly referred to as a MCC. The nice thing about that document is that they let you update it as often as you'd like. Because it's the submission date that technically holds your spot in line for a child, we wanted to at least get ours "on the books", but it will certainly be something we will continue to research and work on as we go. I'm hoping to enlist the support and advice of my friends and family in the medical field to help me navigate through some of the conditions we aren't familiar with.
What now? Well, at this point we wait to hear back from our agency to see whether or not we've been approved.
We also have to submit a separate application to our Home Study agency, which I will start work on over the weekend. We have a houseful of family members staying with us this weekend, so I need to focus my energy on getting the house ready for guests the next day or two.
Tonight my sister asked me if I was really ready to become a "mommy." My response was "well, in some ways yes, in other ways no... but the ways in which I do not feel ready I don't think I ever will... so here goes nothing!" It's really the little things that get us so excited, like the thought of this possibly being our last Christmas without a little one the house, and the thought of seeing our beloved dogs bond to our child, and family walks around our neighborhood that get me the most excited.
As soon as we have an approval back on our application we will be kicking in to heavy fundraising mode. We'll just just a couple of months to come up with almost $5000 to cover our first agency fee as well as hour home study fee. I have a few ideas for fundraisers that we plan on doing. The first one will be a T-Shirt fundraiser, followed by a yard sale/bake sale/pop can drive, and then we will also likely be doing something to send out with Christmas Cards. I'm hoping not to have to do too many event-style fundraisers, as I know our home study is going to pre-occupy most of our free time outside of work, but we will see what happens. We're committed to doing whatever it takes to bringing home our son or daughter as quickly as possible.
This also means we make dramatic changes to our budget. June and July included our last trips that we will take, most likely until we go to China to pick up our child. We spent a week camping in the Upper Peninsula, and enjoyed every last minute of it. We will also do everything we can to save money wherever possible, including not eating out, avoiding spending money on unnecessary house projects, new clothes, etc.
Well, that's all for now! I just felt it would have been silly not to write a post on this VERY important day in our journey, and I know it's been a while since my last update. We've been busy enjoying summer, taking care of our fur-kids, and doing as much research on China and on adoptions as possible.
If you have any questions about the process, or about anything related to China Adoptions, please let me know in the way of a comment and I will be happy to do a post that tries to answer all of the questions I get in.
Please pray for us these next few days as we wait to hear back from our agency.
If you'd like to learn more about them, you can visit their webpage at: www.ccaifamily.org