Our dossier was delivered to Johannesburg Child Welfare on Monday, August 4th!
It's been in country for just 11 days, and already my mind is racing and my heart is doing flip flops.
Although JCW is a huge nonprofit organization, their international adoption department is quite small- in fact, there are just two women on staff. That's because JCW prefers to seek out domestic options for their orphans whenever possible - whether by reuniting them with birth relatives, placing them for adoption domestically, or placing them with a local foster family. Despite their great efforts at placing children domestically, the most vulnerable orphans - those who are older or have more serious medical needs - often remain in JCW's orphan care centers without domestic options. These are the children who are available for international adoption.
I have a feeling that our child (or children) are already there, waiting for us at one of the care centers. It just makes sense, given our parameters. We've asked to be placed with either a single child aged 0-6, or siblings aged 0-8, and are open to a wide range of medical needs.
We're waiting alongside a small handful of other families from our agency, as well as families from an agency in Belgium, and one in Finland. We have no idea when we'll get the call - it could be soon, or it could still be months away. Although waiting has always been hard for me, this time around there's a buzz of excitement surrounding our wait. I take comfort in knowing that our paperwork is there now, in the hands of the people who know our children. I smile as I imagine one of the two women on staff reading through our home study, and hope that as they do, a particular waiting child or sibling pair comes to their mind. I get goosebumps when I think of them preparing our child's referral information - knowing that one day soon, one or two of those precious darlings will learn that they have a Mama and a Daddy coming for them.
This is really happening!
And because I'm impatient, last night I sent our Spence-Chapin program director this short email:
"Out of curiosity, has JCW mentioned receiving our dossier yet? Probably not, but I just had to ask anyways."
His response made me shiver:
They have actually! They know who you guys are :)
That could mean nothing. Or it could mean EVERYTHING.
11 days in and I'm feeling hopeful.