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Saturday, April 29, 2006

New post, lots of rumors

Just a reminder that we're at the new place now. Lots of rumors posted, much of it based on info from the CCAA's recent world tour.

Friday, April 28, 2006

This will be the back up blog now, I guess

I want to keep this blog active so we can use it for a back up. My new server has 99% uptime, but just in case we have something major happening in that 1% that it's down it will be nice to have another place to go. Plus, I want to keep this one active so I can keep the archives. So I'll need to post to it occasionally I think.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A new home

Baby steps. For now we have a blog. Once we're good with that I'll look into adding a forum for us.

Referrals are being posted

Some of the May people tell us that referrals are starting to be posted to their DTC group.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another agency's speculation, and more questions about the move

Someone using one of the big agencies was told that they believe the extreme slowdown of the past two months is mostly due to the move of the CCAA office and them being short handed in personnel. This person has an early August LID and was told that they thought she would have her referral in August. Do any of you have any personal contact with someone who may have been at the CCAA office recently? Maybe one of the people at HTS or LWB? Or maybe Brian Stuy or Jane Liedtke might know something? Jane was the one who broke the news that the move was planned for April. Or maybe my most gracious contact out there may know something more? On March 29th my contact stated that they had moved a good portion of the office over, but that there was still a whole lot of activity happening around the move. So now that I think about it, perhaps that may be the big jump we saw in the number referred this time compared to last time. And, if they were still working on the move in April (but not as much as they were in March), then we really could start seeing an increase soon. However, if that is the case, then I would expect them to go faster than an August referral in August. According to our numbers they can do that if they just continue doing about the same number of referrals they referred last month. The contact information shown on their website shows: Address: Zhong Min Plaza No. 7 Baiguang Road, Xuanwu District, Beijing, China Postcode: 100053 Google's cache of the page says the same thing, but it is from April 18th, so the cache isn't that old. Anyone know if this is the old or new address? And why does this have to be such a mystery? What would be so hard about the CCAA posting a notice on their website as a news item "The CCAA move to our new facilities will be complete by April 10th. Agencies should send all correspondence to our new address at XXXX after this date". (and before I see a rumor that the move was complete on April 10th, I just pulled that date out of the air, no basis for using it over April 1st or July 15th). Speaking of which, I wonder if any of the agencies may have some input on this. Are they still mailing dossiers to the same place? Are their liasons in China going to the old place or the new place? Has anyone asked their agency about it lately? Update: Someone has a brochure given to them last summer with the same adress. This means the address on the website is still the old address.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Poll

I've created a new Poll, giving each choice 3 business days. At a later date I will do another one that goes out farther, but this one will be nice to have when the next referrals come out. I know I'm going to get a lot of comments and emails saying "my LID is in October, how do I record mine?" Well, you can't. Not yet anyway. When we are done with this poll we'll do one that goes out farther, for right now we need this detail. You'll note that I can't vote in this poll, either. So don't feel bad. This one gives 20 choices, and doesn't appear to use pop-ups. So even though it's not as pretty, it should do the job we need it to do. Please pay attention when you vote - the radio button you want to mark is before the date you want to record. Also, once you've voted you just need to click on the "View" button to see the results again - please don't vote more than once. There are a few safeguards against this, but best to not do it anyway.


Above is a summary of the conclusions I came to in the previous post based on two of the polls and the numbers from the June DTC group. Once again, these numbers are based on them doing the same number of dossiers in the coming months that they did this month and there are no guarantees that this will be the case. Here are a few reasons that this may not be the case:
  • They will be off for their May holiday.
  • It's possible the orphanages sent in all of the ones they have been withholding (if they have been doing so) after the meeting earlier this month, so maybe we can't expect there to continue to be this many.
  • It's possible some of the orphanages did play catch up but others did not have time to do so. If this is the case then we will see one more big month and then it will go back to somewhere higher than it was last month but not as high as this month.
This tells me that with a late September LID I can hope for a 12 month wait since based on the second scenario I would presumably get my referral in September. There is hope, but I'm still not going to tell friends and family another hoped for date.

The Promised Analysis

Just so we are clear on dates, here is a calendar of May and June of last year. Also, here is a recap of the past four months 4/26 - 5/13 arrived Jan 25 (11 business days) 5/14 - 5/25 arrived Feb 27th (11 business days) 5/26 - 5/30 arrived March 27th (3 business days) 5/31 - 6/6 will arrive April 27th (4 business days) Now to look at poll numbers. I'm going to analyze the two most meaningful polls on their own merits, and then combine my analysis of each poll into one hypothesis.
Let's do this one first.
Since we don't know how big the 7th might be in relation to the 3rd and 6th, we'll borrow that information from the June database. The 7th is equal to about 18.5% of those three days so we'll assume that 7 of those 40 days are the 7th. So for the purposes of this poll, we'll assume they did 94 days in one month. Should they do the same amount of dossiers next month, that will put them through June 21st with the next batch (end of May) and then when they hit July 11th they will have done about half of what they can do in a month, so they'd (theoretically) get a good bit farther. ----------- On to the next poll. 5/26 - 6/3..109..25% 6/4 - 6/12...38...9% 6/13 - 6/21..53..12% 6/22 - 6/30..55..13% 7/1 - 7/14...35...8% 7/15 - 7/31..70..16% 8/1 - 8/14...11...2% 8/15 - 8/31..27...6% 9/1 - 9/14...23...5% 9/15 - 9/30..16...4% The numbers from the June DTC group show 5-26 to 5-30 as 75, and 5/31 - 6/3 as 200. That splits that 109 number into 5/26-5/31..30 5/31-6/3...79 If I do the same thing to the 38 then I get: 6/4-6/6...10 6/7-6/12..28 So, I will restate this poll as: 5/26-5/30..30...7% 5/31-6/3...79..18% 6/4-6/6....10...2% 6/7-6/12...28...6% 6/13-6/21..53..12% 6/22-6/30..55..13% 7/1-7/14...35...8% 7/15-7/31..70..16% 8/1-8/14...11...3% 8/15-8/31..27...6% 9/1-9/14...23...5% 9/15-9/30..16...4% This immediately shows us that they appear to have done a lot more referrals (number of referrals) this month than last month. If we figure how many they did this month at 89, then that means the end of May referrals will be through 6/21, the next would be through 7/14 and the next through a couple of days past 8/14, and the next would get beyond 9/30. Except that when you get that far out the poll has become less scientific, so we'll just figure those last two at a month at a time, for this poll. ---------- And now I'm going to do the same thing based on the June numbers as well. Last months referrals would have been 75. This months will be 233. A glaring difference. Did the meeting with the orphanage directors get more paperwork rolling in? If they continue to do the same number of referrals in the coming months then: End of May... thru June 20th End of June... thru July 8th ------- That's three different scenarios. I will put them all together into one hypothesis in the next post. This has been a lot of math. I'm not claiming to have not made any errors. If anyone wants to check my math it won't hurt my feelings at all if you point out an error.

CCAA site updated!!!!

This means that I have made it through the review room. And they managed to get through June 6th. Congrats to all of those who made the cut! As promised, later today I will do some analysis based on the polls to see what I think this means for the next couple of months.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Based on the anon comments, we can expect the next cut-off to be somewhere between the 2nd and the 9th, with there being a good chance it is the 5th or 6th. I'm headed to bed so I'm turning anon commenting back off. Once again - I thank everyone for your input.

Several items

  • A Canadian agency has told someone with an early July LID that they will probably see their referral at the end of September.
  • One of the big agencies is now telling their people 10 to 14 months from LID to referral.
  • Someone with a June 2nd LID was called by her agency and told she has been matched and referrals will be sent in the next day ortwo.
And, last but not least, I'm turning anon posting on for a little while. Surely someone else has heard a rumor?

Mailed Wed or Thurs

Someone emailed me that their DTC group has a rumor that referrals will be mailed Wednesday or Thursday. No idea what agency this came from.

An APC post saying June 6th

A post to APC is saying Spain (ACI) confirmed June 6th to someone who called them. Nothing new, but it's all I've seen today.

Nothing new

I'm not seeing anything new - not rumor-wise, anyway. Someone emailed me a picture of Director Lu having a tea party with a little girl. He visited a family home in Iceland and had a little tea party with their daughter. Very sweet photo. The family mentions they will be using this photo in their next dossier. Anyway, I'm still around, just nothing to report on right now.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another list of things

Just reporting on stuff. Most of it conflicts with something else.
  • An agency that I'm not very familiar with has told someone with an August 5th LID that they should expect their referral in October.
  • Another agency has told their people that they expect the next group of referrals before China closes for a week for their May holiday, but that they do not expect travel approvals before then.
  • An agency reports that they asked the CCAA about the slowdown during one of their meetings and that the CCAA said they feared the waiting time could double, but they made it clear that a waiting time of 2 to 3 years would be unacceptable (my note: doubled from when? the six months that it was? or the 11 months that it is now? Doubling it from now puts it at two years, which they said would be unacceptable... so maybe they mean from 6 months, which puts it back inline with the 12months thing)
  • Another agency says, after talking to the CCAA at a meeting, that their clients should prepare themselves for a 16 month wait.
  • And, this comes from two people - that China is cracking down on religions that they view as cults. I'm told that they are turning down people who are Jehovah's Witnesses. Can anyone else confirm or dis-confirm this one?
The only real information I see in all of this is that for some reason one of the agencies does not expect travel approvals before the CCAA breaks for vacation, and then the new information about some religions viewed as being a cult. Oh, and the part that the CCAA thinks that a 2 to 3 year wait would be unacceptable. Which means they know they have to get back to whole months at some point. And since they are still not talking about a quota, I gotta think they have a plan to make that happen.

Friday, April 21, 2006

More of my thoughts

When my husband and I first started investigating international adoption, long long ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the CCAA seems to always have the best interest of the babies at heart. And I still think that this is the case. Not only from looking at their process and guidelines, but now I know people who have met with the various directors and other employees of the CCAA and all of these people talk about how they came away feeling that you could really feel the concern for the babies they were responsible for. I have been critical of the way the CCAA handles the flow of information, and of the way they seem to have been hit unawares with the flood of parent dossiers even though they should have known about them when they were logged in. I have had my share of venting, and will probably do so again. But, I do ultimately think that the employees of the CCAA have the best interest of the babies at heart. I also have a feeling that if there is a purposeful slowdown going on, that it came from the Chinese Government as a decree that the director(s) of the CCAA must follow. I don't know that this is the case and I'm not speculating that it is.. I am only saying that IF they are slowing things down on purpose, I would bet it's not a decision the CCAA made. Now, as to the discussion of why there is a slowdown. The thing many people seem to be overlooking is that we have evidence that there are less (a lot less) referrals being made per month this year than there were last year. The reason is said to be a lack of paperwork for babies. So the next question is - why is there less paperwork? I've seen various reasons:
  • The CCAA didn't plan well (I don't really buy this one)
  • The Hunan situation (I think this is a big part of it)
  • Less healthy babies being abandoned (I think there has been a change in demographics, so perhaps some of the orphanages that previously submitted paperwork for a lot of babies no longer have as many babies, but perhaps other orphanages that previously didn't have as many now have more but aren't approved to send in paperwork)
We also hear that they have a lot more paperwork from parents, but the thing that keeps sticking out to me is that they are sending less referrals now than they were last year. Even if they had the exact same amount of paperwork from families, they would still be falling behind. The slowdown is not because there are more parent dossiers. The extent of the slowdown is worse because of this, but even if they had the exact same amount of parent dossiers, there would still be a slowdown. Plus, if you keep in mind that the numbers of parent dossiers goes up pretty dramatically EVERY year, so they have always planned for that and haven't been phased by it for the past several years - well, this just means the fact that there are more parent dossiers does not seem (to me) to be the reason for the slowdown. I've had a couple of people email me about what I think is going to happen after this batch. For a rough estimate of what I think, see the bottom part of this post. Once we are sure of a cut-off for this batch I promise to do an in-depth re-analysis of the numbers and go out several months. But, to answer a specific question, I do think we are close to the point that they might be able to start doing more than two weeks per month and maybe even somewhere around a whole month. Probably not this month. But if they manage to get past the 6th then maybe next month (or maybe not), and the next month I'd say probably (based on the numbers from the polls). As for the talk about a quota. When they put it in place last time each agency was allowed to submit a percentage of the dossiers they had submitted over the past year. I have said many times that if they were going to follow their past patterns they would have put a quota in place this time last year. I don't know why they didn't, unless they thought they could keep up. Perhaps if they hadn't been blindsided with the problems in Hunan they could have. Since they aren't putting one in place now and apparently have no plans to, I have to think that they either have a plan to get caught up, or want it to keep slowing down. Which takes us back to the question of whether it is intentional or not, doesn't it.

Several items

  • No final validation, but a few agencies are reporting the CCAA will be closed May 1-5.
  • The US Consulate in Guangzhou will be closed May 1-3
  • Spain seems to still be reporting the cut-off at June 6th. Some reports say they are reporting June 6th as being a "safe bet" and are saying it could go farther.
  • The medium sized agency that was reporting June 16th was basing it on the number of referrals they have received for the past couple of months. If they receive that many referrals this month then it will cover that far.
  • Multiple agencies are reporting that referrals were not mailed out on Friday.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Just for the record

The CCAA site is up and still shows 5/30 and 8/31 on both the English and Chinese language pages.

More from Spain, and something from a U.S. agency

Apparently ACI Madrid is saying that, for sure, they will include at least up to June 6th. They say they will arrive very late next week. ACI Seville is more cautious, feels they will do through June 6th, but says it won't be confirmed until they are sent. ----------------- A U.S. agency has told someone with a 5/31 LID that they should receive their referral Wednesday.

If you can't figure out how to sign up for a username

A couple of people have emailed saying they could not figure out how to sign up for a username.
  • On the comment page there is a place to sign up - click that and it takes you to a sign up page.
  • Choose your user name
  • Choose a password and enter it in both places
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  • Enter your email address
  • Click the "accept the Terms of Service" box
  • Then click Continue
  • If you don't want to create a blog then just type in your login name since you know it will be available and then type out the security digits - if you want to create a blog then think about what you want it to be called before filling this part out.
  • Click continue again at the "choose a template"
  • Click start posting
  • And then just get out of there and go where you want - you can now log in with this login and password to leave comments

Just to be clear

I am not saying LID's for the next batch are going to be through June 16th. Let me try saying this again: This is a rumor that I am reporting on that comes from a reputable agency that I hold in high regard. But right now the only rumor I'm placing a lot of trust in is the one that says LIDS will go through June 3rd. The rest I'm just watching to see what else developes. I am way mega excited about this June 16th rumor. But just as I posted the "Don't Panic" post the other day, now I'm posting a "Don't get too excited just yet" reminder. If you have a June 5th or 10th or 15th LID, please please please don't start assuming you are next. Let's watch this and see what else we see and hear. Yes, you are now a maybe where last week you weren't even much of a maybe.... but please, let's let the rumors play out just a little bit more. * This post brought to you by people posting all over the place that I've said referrals will go through June 16th.

The Polls

Here are links to all of the polls. You will also find a link to this post in the sidebar with the calendars.

Would be very exciting indeed

One of the medium sized but better known agencies told a client that they expect the next batch to go through June 16th. This was emailed from the person's real email address, not a freebie account, which gives it some credibility (i.e. not a prankster). Still, this falls into that "I'm afraid to believe this" category. We've gone from hearing "maybe only half of May 31st" to "all the way to June 16th". Usually rumors work the other way, start out good and then get progressively worse. If they get through June 16th then the 12 month thing could happen.

At least to June 3rd - another confirmation

A smallish agency has confirmed to their June 3rd people that they will be included in the next batch. I presume that their next batch is a pretty long ways off, since they are a little bit on the small side. So, this isn't to say they are only going to cover up to June 3rd, just another confirmation that they are going to get at least that far. I would rate this one pretty high, not shaky at all.

Conversation on Spanish Board

Someone emailed me a conversation from the Spanish board. What it boils down to is that someone using Andeni was told that they do not know anything about the next cut off, they expect referrals to go out before the CCAA breaks for vacation, and they expect to know something the week that they are actually mailed. (So, next week sometime, I would guess). Someone who uses Seville was told the cut should be June 6th and that they think that with a June 30th LID they will travel in August. (Does anyone know how long it is from referral to travel for the Spain folks?)
There is also a note that someone feels Seville thinks that June 6th is a safe bet, but that it could go farther. There is also a feeling from some people that referrals will be sent this week. --------- Now for what I think. I'm not sure we're seeing enough rumors yet for them to be sent this week. I'm thinking Andeni is probably right and they will be sent next week. I'm not going to guess on the cut off.

Talk about confusing

I have lots of emails - every single one of them starting out something like:
"Hi, we are using XXX agency" (where the agency name is different in most emails)
and then about half of them end with something close to:
"and they say the wait is going to be around 12 to 14 months"
and about half of them end with something like:
"and they are preparing us for a wait that could be much longer than 12 months"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Some good news, for a change

Someone sent me an email that says that someone posted to one of the DTC groups that her husband had the opportunity to speak with Director Lu when the CCAA delegation was in Denver last week. He was told that with a LID of 12/9/05 that they could expect a referral between November and January. So, 11 to 13 months. That does sound like they are planning to stay "around 12 months" doesn't it?

June 6

Someone with a June 6th LID posted on a Spanish forum that they were told by their agency (ACI) that they will be included in the next batch.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to registered posting

I think we've garnered about all we can on the rumor front from anon posting, so it's time to turn it off. I'll turn anon posting on one evening to see what we can get from the people that aren't online during the day. As always I thank all of you who have expressed your thoughts and opinions nicely - even those that I don't agree with. Or make that especially those that I don't agree with. I have a big respect for civility.

SN discussion / saving kids / 12 month max

First a note about being nice. You can disagree with someone and still be nice. That's a very good thing to do, as it promotes discussion and we all get to see how other people feel about things. So, if you disagree then that's fine, just give rational reasons why you disagree, and be nice about it. Please. -------------------------- I keep seeing people talk about how most of the SN children have such minor needs, but then I look at the lists and see kids with heart defects and majorly deformed limbs and usually severe cleft issues and I never see kids with just a birthmark (they may have a birthmark along with another problem, but never just the birthmark). And even the cleft affected kids aren't the minor special need that many make them out to be. I know of someone who adopted a cleft affected child and the child has major kidney problems (apparently the same genetic problem that effects the mouth also effects the kidneys). Plus, this child has had years of speech therapy and still cannot talk right. Yes, the surgery made her look okay, but there are many problems that are not going away any time soon. Also, she will need surgery on her mouth every couple of years until she stops growing since the surgery makes it look okay now, but it won't grow with the child.
Not all families are prepared to shuttle a child to two or more speech therapy appointments a week for several years. Especially when both parents work. Throw in the extra surgery every few years until the child's mouth stops growing, and then the stress of where the kidney problems seem to be leading, and it's a really big deal for this family. They were prepared for some speech therapy and the surgeries every couple of years, but they were not prepared for the speech therapy to be a permanent thing, nor were they prepared for the kidney problems.
Many families do have the resources for this, but many do not. Yes, all children deserve families. But in my opinion they deserve families who are equipped to care for them both emotionally and financially. Not families who intended to adopt a NSN child but were pushed into the SN program. --------------- I don't need to post my feeling on adopting to "save" a child because I did that yesterday on my other blog. --------------- Someone asked about my contact who said the CCAA has no intention of going beyond 12 months. I still put a lot of weight on this person's words. I'm also seeing agencies who are staying close to the 12 month time frame and then other agencies who are pushing it out past that 12 month time frame and I am trying to put everything together to come up with what is most likely the truth. And, my opinion at this point is that maybe the CCAA does not intend for it to go beyond 12 months, but maybe they aren't going to be able to stop it from happening, either. And mainly I say that because they are going to have to really kick it into high gear in order to keep it below 12 months. I hope they can pull it off, but I just can't depend on it anymore. I've told friends and family too many "probably" dates, I can't do it again. Now I just say I don't know. No way am I going to say "oh, we'll have our referral in September at the latest because they aren't going to go past 12 months". I just say it could be this fall, could be next summer, or anywhere in between.

Rumor Thread

Since I think the rumors may start flying I've turned anon posting on. So, for now, there are three ways to get a rumor out.
  1. Email it to me. This way you can give me the agency and I can let everyone know if a rumor is coming from one agency or multiple agencies without giving the agency away.
  2. Post it with your name - you choose whether to list the agency or not.
  3. Post it anonymously. Again, you choose whether to list the agency or not.
The thread below this one is for chitchat. Ya'll should know the rules by now. Be nice, no proselytizing, etc.

Chitchat thread

Anon posting is turned on. This thread is for the stuff that is not a rumor.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Remember, we're still at the point in the month when we can't rely on the rumors. Until we have three or four agencies all saying the same thing we shouldn't put much confidence in them yet.


Someone was told by CCAI that they only expected to get through their June 3rd LID group with the next batch (to include the June 3rd batch). Does anyone happen to know when CCAI's next LID group after their 6/3 group might be? If their next group is 6/18 then that might not be a bad thing. If their next group is 6/5 then it's not so good. UPDATE: Looks like CCAI's next batch is June 9.

From another agency

This info comes from one of the really big agencies. They are telling their people the wait is probably 10-14 months at this point. They are suggesting their clients write letters to our congresspeople to get the USCIS to extend the length of time for which the I171H is good to 24 months. They also have told their clients that the CCAA is working on matches and that there is someone in-country who can sign off on them. They estimate matches will go through at least the first week of June. Their newsletter says that if the matches only go through June 8th, it will take three months to get through June. If the next set of matches goes through June 15th, the rest of June will be matched next month.

Some answers

I haven't been able to run down a "for sure" source of the June 6th rumor. One source says some people with June 6th LID's were notified by their agency they would be included in this batch - no word of the agency. Another source says that it was posted on a Spanish board somewhere. I know that June 6th isn't all that "good", but it is much better than the "half of May 31st" rumor. That's all I was saying. I completely get that it still sucks. I'd just as soon not talk about the roof or other repairs. It's a huge pain in the you-know-what. The tree company did shred the tree up into mulch though, so I'm good on mulch. But, thanks for asking. Homestudies expire in some states, not in others. Your social worker will probably be the best person to answer any questions about the home study. Either your social worker or your agency should be able to help you with info about how to get your fingerprints redone.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

June 6th rumor

It looks like there are rumors floating around that the cutoff will be June 6. This is different. A bad rumor (only half of May 31st) before a better rumor. Usually they start out pretty good and then get worse.

CCAA site, CCAA delegation

We must have bombarded the site again. If the pattern continues then it will be back up between 7:30 and 9 tonight. Enough time for them to arrive at the office, realize it is down, and bring it back up. The CCAA's world tour will be in Iceland from the 19th to the 22nd. Anyone have any information about where they'll be after the 22nd? Update: Sounds like they are headed to Ottawa Canada after the 22nd.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My Crystal Ball

I get a couple of emails a day of people saying "Our LID is X and I really need to know when we will travel because of Z and I'm just wondering when you think we will travel". And I never know how to respond to that. The comment that my Crystal Ball isn't working very well right now seems a bit smart assed, but it's the shortest easiest way I can think of that I can say "I'm not psychic and I just really don't know". I'm sorry I don't know. But, I don't. If we didn't have our very nice person with some information I would be convinced we are in for an 18 month wait. However, this person's belief that the CCAA does not intend to go over 12 months makes me think that we have hope for a 12 month wait. I admit that in the back of my mind I'm wondering how they are going to do it. I can see how they could maybe keep it below 14 months, but 12 months just seems like a big hurdle. That's not to say that they won't manage it, just saying it seems like a really big hurdle at this point. I've stated before that I will have some opinions based on how far they get with this batch. This is because for the first time we have good detailed numbers ahead of time. I had decided in this post that if they do two weeks this next time that the under 12 months thing may be do-able. And then I did an update that said it still might be possible even if they do a little less, because they may soon have a lot more paperwork for babies coming in. And in this post I made the following statements based on numbers from the polls.
  • If they do May 31st alone at the end of this month then I will assume that it is going to take four months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 2nd then I will assume it will take three and a half months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 7th then I will assume it will take two and a half months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 10th then I will assume that it will take two months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 15th then I will assume they will get through July 11th on the next batch.
But remember, those guesstimates are based on the CCAA continuing to receive about the same amount of paperwork on the babies. If that number goes up, then they speed up. So that's it. My best guess at this point.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Someone posted to APC that they got their LID and that their agency also received referrals today. It got my attention, but I'm wondering how it would happen that we wouldn't hear about referrals arriving until 8:00 at night. Doesn't seem likely. Does it? UPDATE: I have news of at least one person who received a referral today. No word on their LID or their agency at this point. Apparently this one was a Special Needs referral, so never mind. Still not sure about what the person on APC was referring to.

Rumors. Finally.

  • One of the large agencies notified their clients that they believe the CCAA is working on their next batch of referrals which they believe includes May 31 and the first week of June LID's. They say they have no further information as to whether more June dates will be included.
  • Another of the big agencies sent an email to their clients saying they expect the CCAA to send referral at the end of next week. This agency did not know which dates would be covered.
  • And yet another of the big agencies sends out a hard copy newsletter via snail mail. In this newsletter, they make the statement that the "number of referrals released each month has decreased"

Some responses and observations

Two people have complained that they posted a comment and it never showed up. It must be a blogger thing, I didn't do it. The CCAA updated many of their pages in August. When that page first changed a few people found the Google cache of what it had said before, and it had said the same thing. I wouldn't read too much into that. Unless they change it, of course. If you want to see what the wait has done going way back you can look at the graphs on this page. The big difference in the wait going up this time and last time is that last time as soon as they realized it was going to get out of control they put the quota in place, and then the wait went gradually up for a year and then came down rapidly. When I say it went up gradually, I mean that they did three weeks a month several times during the year. Or, maybe they did a whole month but took five weeks to do it. If we really wanted to compare this slowdown to that one then I would have expected them to put the quota in place in, say - June or July of last year when they saw there was going to be a problem out in the future. And, if they had done that then we'd know the wait would be going back down soon. But we're a year past when they should have put a quota in place, if they were going to. I've tried to think of why this may be - I can come up with a half a dozen reasons, but I don't see evidence to make me lean towards one over the others. If you look on this page again, and scroll down a little, you will see the rate of referrals. It appears that January and March are way down, but February was in the normal range. The positive person inside of me is hoping that the CCAA had a nice heart to heart with the orphanage directors at the meeting and that they will get lots of paperwork in so they can match lots and lots of new families. The pessimist inside of me is laughing at the optimist inside of me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Someone asked if I think the CCAA shows favoritism to different agencies. Before I answer that, lets talk a little bit about guānxi. Or, better yet, let me point you to some other pages to teach you about guānxi. That way you won't have to take my word for it. Are you back? Do you understand what guānxi means now? Ask yourself - do you think some agencies get preferential treatment? Don't you wish you knew which agencies have good guānxi?

Facts (minus the theories and rumors)

I try to make it clear when I present a theory or a rumor. But it appears some are still not understanding the difference between fact and theory. So, lets try to come up with a list of the facts as we know them. No theories or rumors here, just facts.
  • One year ago the wait was 6 months. At that time the CCAA did about a months worth of LID's every month, keeping the wait about the same.
  • Most of January 2005 LID's received their referrals on July 29, 2005. The June people assumed they were 5 months away from their referral. It is now 9 months later and the June people do not have their referral.
  • On October 3rd referrals arrived for less than three weeks of LID's. We were disappointed, and hoped they would catch up the next month.
  • On November 10th, more than a month later, they did two weeks worth of LID's.
  • They hovered around the two weeks per month mark until the most recent referrals, when they did 5 days worth.
  • The CCAA tells us via their website on November 29, 2005 that they have more parent dossiers and less baby dossiers and this is why things have slowed down.
  • The CCAA took on a lot of extra responsibilities in the late summer/early fall of last year - including being responsible for domestic adoptions and being the governing body over all SWI's (not just the ones in the international program, as before).
  • We learn from the State Department that the number of referrals are down 9% from the previous fiscal year during the same period of time.
  • The review department is currently working through months faster than the matching department.
  • There were problems in Hunan and some staff members were pulled away from their everyday jobs to deal with them.
  • There are inconsistencies with how some health issues are being handled
  • People are being denied for health issues that were not a problem last year
  • Changes went into effect in late 2004 or early 2005 that made it easier for families in China to adopt domestically.
What am I missing?

What the agencies are saying

I decided to take a look at what the agencies have on their websites for people looking to adopt. AHH you will wait 9 months for a referral Bethany healthy children: 10-11 months after dossier log-in date CCAI Appx. 10-14 Months CHI Referrals are taking approximately 10 - 12 months. Dillon Wait time for a referral of a child averages 10 -12 months GWCA approx eight (8) months after dossiers are submitted to China HFS Current wait time for referral is between 8-10 months That seems to be a decent sampling of the first half of the alphabet. If anyone has an agency that shows something way off from this, please either email or comment with the URL. I know some of the overseas agencies are pushing things out to two years for their current clients, but do any of them show that for prospective clients? If so, I'd be interested in seeing some URL's for your agency's information, if you don't mind. I will add your URL's onto the bottom of this post as I get them. If I get any. (Please note, I'm only interested in URL's that are not password protected) Formons une famille (Canada) approximately 10 months FTIA approximately 10 to 11 months Wide Horizons can currently take up to 12 months WACAP After we send your documents to China, it takes about 12 to 18 months to match you with your child Childrens Bridge Your child will arrive home approximately 12 - 14 months after your adoption file reaches China

More anecdotal info

Someone who recently returned from China talked with their coordinator in China. They asked her if she was seeing things slowing down on her end of the process. She said yes, last year before the slowdown they were handling 10 groups a month, now they are handling 4 groups a month. Maybe the "2/3's less" really did mean they are getting a third the number of referrals this year compared to last year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Boy Glut

This was not my terminology, this was the term used in the email I was giving a synopsis of. Someone asked me about it in the comments, and I responded with:
The "boy glut" term wasn't defined in the email, but I was assuming they were referring to the fact that China has more boys than girls, and that eventually there will be millions of men who will not be able to marry.
And now people are emailing me asking me to clarify the meaning. I don't know what else to tell you. That is the term they used. I've given my best guess as to their use of the word. I just assumed they were referring to the fact that China has lots more boys than girls. I guess I mistakenly assumed that this was a well known result of the one birth policy. Are ya'll assuming it means something else?

My thoughts on the State Dept info

Before anyone gets upset with me for having opinions - I'm just making some logical conclusions and then (later) some wild guesses. I do not claim to have any knowledge other than what I have shared with ya'll, so my opinions and guesses are just what I can come up with based on this information combined with what we already knew. The first thing I get out of this is that the State Department figured out what we already knew. The agencies don't know much of anything. Each agency seems to think something different is going on. I find it telling that he gave three reasons he heard from agencies for the slowdown, and one of those reasons was that the CCAA is doing it on purpose. Our agencies may be telling us this is not the case, but apparently more than a few of them do think this may be the case. We also now have confirmation that the CCAA is being stricter about some health issues but that they aren't being very uniform about it. That's kinda scary. Again, one of the draws to China for many families is the cut and dried approach, if you fit into "these" guidelines then you will get a baby, no need to wonder if you will or not. Some people are finding out that is not the case after all. Very scary, actually. As for the Olympics - when it was first announced that the Olympics would go to Beijing everyone just pretty much assumed that adoptions would stop (or come to a near stop) during that time period. No one said "I wonder if...", everyone said "well, you know this means..." But now people are starting to second guess that. It is still my belief that adoptions will slow down in a big way for the period leading up to the Olympics. It is my hope that the current slowdown is not gearing down for that to happen. I find the talk about orphanage directors being scared to send paperwork in quite alarming. I hope the CCAA is addressing these concerns. I remember a rumor that some big meeting with all of the orphanage directors was coming up soon - anyone remember when that was supposed to be? Might it have been before the director headed to the US? Maybe it was the first part of April. I wonder if Brian Stuy will be able to find out any info on what took place at the meeting. And then the last thing to keep in mind on this part of the email is the statement from the agency that their numbers are "down by two-thirds from this same time in 2005". I'll look at that a bit closer later on. As for the reply from the CCAA, I think we can learn more by what they didn't answer than what they did answer. As I pointed out before, they don't feel that the CCAA is slowing down adoptions in order to help to balance out the "boy glut". They did not say they don't feel that they are slowing down in preperation for the Olympics, or that they aren't slowing down as a result of the Hunan issues. And, it was stated clearly that the official was going to ask the CCAA about the discrimination issues, and yet that isn't talked about at all in the reply. Likewise, the discussions about health issues not being treated the same isn't talked about in the reply. The consulate official does say that they aren't personally seeing a decrease in the number of handicapped or mixed race couples, but they do not say what the CCAA had to say about it. And lastly - Visa issuances for the period from October 1st through March 31st are down by 9%. I would be willing to bet that the numbers from October 1st through December 31st weren't down all that much, but the numbers from January through March were down by a lot more than 9%. Remember, the agency said their numbers were down by 2/3. That probably means they are about 30% less than the were last year for the same period. But what it sounded like she was saying was that they are at 66% less than last year. But that sounds a bit excessive. Of course, it is taking three and four months to get through a single LID month, so I suppose it's possible. The important thing for me to realize is that on one level, it doesn't matter why it has slowed down. It has, and there is nothing we can do about it. However, and this is why I'm here... if we can find out why it is slowing down more and more each month, then we can better understand whether it might speed back up again.
  • If the slowdown is to gear everything down before the Olympics then it isn't likely it will pick back up.
  • If the slowdown is because of too many parent dossiers then there wouldn't be less babies being adopted, so I don't believe that is the cause of the slowdown (as I've stated before)
  • If the slowdown is because of less baby dossiers then we need to know WHY there are less baby dossiers before we can make a determination on the future.
  • If the slowdown is because of the Hunan issues then we can assume things will pick back up at some point. Maybe in the next couple of months. Maybe next month, depending on how the meeting went (if it has already taken place).
I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. Wanna hear my WAG? I'm thinking that perhaps they were planning to slow down just a little for the Olympics, get it to 10 months and hold it there a while. And then they got slammed with the Hunan issue, and the orphanage directors started not sending as much paperwork in. When the ramp up to the trial started many orphanages stopped sending in paperwork until they saw how the trial worked out, and then when they saw how it worked out they decided to continue not sending very much at all. And who can blame them, if they unknowingly signed off on a baby that was later found to have been swapped with another orphanage (or worse) then they could lose their job or even go to jail. So, we have ended up with five days worth of referrals going out in a month's time because orphanage directors are afraid to sign of on the paperwork for the baby. And that on top of the half-months slow down that the CCAA had started in anticipation of the Olympics has really gotten them into a jam. If that is the case, then I would assume they would do something to make the orphanage directors feel better about sending paperwork in, and that we should start seeing half months again until we hit the year mark and then whole months again. The only thing that doesn't fit into this scenario is the part where they are denying one couple of a health reason and letting someone else adopt with the same health reason. I have an incredibly pessimistic theory, too. But I don't want to see it in print. I like this one. It fits with most of the data, and gives us hope at the same time.

From the Consulate - Part Two

To start with, let me say I've had a couple of people tell me that they've been told that the State Department is now getting involved with things regarding the wait. I haven't reported this because, frankly, our State Department can't tell the CCAA to speed up. All they can really do is insist on enough transparency that they can feel comfortable with the fact that babies are legal orphans and eligible to come into the U.S. on whatever Visa it is they will come in on. It does appear that they are acting on our behalf and asking questions though. So, on to the rest of the email. The rest of the email goes on to say that an official with the Consular Section agreed to engage the CCAA on the supposed points of discrimination listed above, as well as the timeline issue. This part is a bit odd to me. The consular official says that he does not get the idea that the CCAA is creating the wait on purpose, and then goes on to say that the "boy glut" could not be helped by them slowing down adoptions so he doesn't think they are slowing it down on purpose. My personal input here is that there could be other reasons the CCAA would slow things down on purpose, and it seems odd to me that it is phrased this way. The consular official says they have heard from both agencies and potential parents about their concerns with the slowdown. He says that the CCAA says it is due to less babies being available for intercountry adoption. And, I'm going to do an exact quote of the next part.
Visa issuances for the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2005 - March 31, 2006) were down by about 9% when compared to the same period last year; this has nothing to do with issuance/refual rates, but rather, w/ a decline in the raw numbers. They have not seen declines in CCAA-approved handicapped PAPs or mixed-race couples, and in fact they have handled at least three cases in the past year in which both United States citizens PAPs were African-American.
-------------- That's it. I think that this tells us, once and for all, that the CCAA is sending out less referrals this year than they were last year. I've been wanting to see quarterly numbers from the state department, this is close enough. I'm going to think on this for a bit before I do another post with my conclusions based on this email.

From the Consulate

Perhaps we will get more information out of the JCICS conference than I had originally thought. I have a letter that has originated from the US Consulate. It is long, and I do not feel comfortable posting it in it's entirety anyway. So, here is my synopsis: The US Consulate official spoke with several agencies, compiled their notes, and then spoke with the CCAA. I am going to call the Consular Official the CO, for lack of a better way to refer to him (or her). The CO has spoken with a dozen contacts in the adoption community over the state of Chinese adoptions. He talks about how there is a consensus and a growing concern that the CCAA is taking longer and longer to turn around application dossiers. He couldn't get agreement on why this is - some attributed it to 1) a bureaucratic issue 2) more dossiers from PAPs 3) conscious effort by the CCAA to purposefully make the wait longer. Next he talked about the unspoken change in guidelines - some agencies are having people turned down for 1) history of drug or alcohol abuse 2) physical handicaps 3) multiple divorces 4) being overweight. Other agencies are not having this problem. One agency spoke of the CCAA denying petitions for mixed race couples. Another agency spoke of someone being denied because of a history of depresseion and current use of antidepressents. The CO says that an attorney spoke to her about the newly enforced or enhanced restrictions and spoke of his concern that the criteria the CCAA is using in practice (as opposed to what may appear in Chinese law) are neither well-publicized nor uniformly applied. The CO states that this does appear to be an issue based on what he has heard from agencies. The CO says that almost everyone agreed that China is going to restrict intercountry adoptions in the time period leading up to the 2008 Olympics. Some agencies expressed their belief that the current slowdown is the beginning of an effort to make Chinese adoptions less attractive. It was pointed out that adoptions from Korea in 1988 almost stopped (not completely stopped, but slowed down a great deal). There was talk that China is concerned that intercountry adoptions could become a focal human-interest story when the world's media descend on Beijing. The CO says he was told by an agency that rural orphanages are more reluctant to send paperwork on babies whose beginnings can't be confirmed with 100% certainty. Orphanage directors are concerned they could be sacked or face jail time if paperwork gets through for a baby that is later found to have been kidnapped. This was attributed to the lack of babies' paperwork at the CCAA. There was some talk of domestic adoptions, not much that I think means much to us - stuff we already know, mostly. There is one interesting piece of information in this paragraph though. The CO says that one agency told her that their referral rates are down by two-thirds what they were at the same time in 2005. ---- The rest of this email is the response from the CCAA. I will post that information in another post.

New Waiting Child Program

Someone posted that the CCAA delegation here in the U.S. had mentioned something about a change in the waiting child program. Apparently there are at least three agencies who are part of this pilot program. Everything is submitted via the internet, and waiting families receive PA in as little as 72 hours (though it seems that some are taking a week). One person emailed me that the TA process is still an unknown, while another said that TA's are expected about 4 to 6 weeks later. Major High Fives to the CCAA on this one. Getting the special needs children into their families as quickly as possible will be a wonderful thing. I hope they can pull this off and keep the times this low.

CCAA Medical Board

I've never heard of this before, so I'm guessing maybe it's something new. It sounds like when there are medical issues that the CCAA is unsure of that your dossier now goes in front of a Medical Board who makes the decision. Someone with a 7 year old liver transplant was recently denied by the Medical Board. No information on whether there may have been other issues.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

May 31st LID's

I've been emailed offlist with the name of the agency. A tiny one I've never heard of, but I did find some info on them with a little searching. Maybe the CCAA is going to pick one agency a month to send a half batch to? Kind of a referral lottery? I know - not very likely. But, if this agency gets theirs and no one else does then that will be two months in a row that one agency has received a half batch.

Quick Rundown

It looks like I picked up a good time to be ripped from the cyber world kicking and screaming. Here is what I am seeing.
  • The JCICS is having a big conference at the end of April, and some people are speculating that when the agencies get together we may get some news out of it. I'm not sure I'm buying that, if there was any news surely they'd share it with their clients? Still, we can hope I guess.
  • It doesn't look like we've narrowed down exact dates the CCAA Representatives will be travelling. Since the director must sign off on referrals, it's kind of important. It looks like they will be in Canada on the 22nd, so this is going to be a pretty long tour.
  • Someone said their agency got some 5/31 referrals today. How long has the CCAA Director been in the US? If he signed some Friday and then left I guess they would have shown up today. But, wouldn't we have heard about it already? I don't know - need more info on this one.
  • Some agencies are just giving current wait times. Some are giving times of 10 to 14 months. Some are warning it could go out to 20 to 24 months. I still don't really think anyone knows. I'm hoping my contact was correct that they don't intend to go past 12 months.
  • There was a message posted on the July DTC group at 11:30 Sunday night, saying it was (at that point) Monday morning in China and her agency had heard from the CCAA and then called her to tell her that they have not matched any of June yet, they were still working on May 31st. I call bullshit on this one - what agency calls people at 11:30 on Sunday night?
  • Someone with a LID of 10/10, was asked for more information recently.
  • Someone with a LID of 11/5 was asked for more information.
And last but not least, someone sent me a translation of something from a Danish adoption agency's website. Here is my synopsis of her translation.
A delegation from this Danish agency met with CCAA in Beijing on 4/7. They were told they are currently reviewing August and will post to their website when they are through with September. Next they went to the matching room where they were told that files from May 31st through the end of August are in the matching room. But they wouldn't say anything about how many children were to be matched, nor would they give an estimate of how many would be matched this month. They also could not get any information about when the CCAA may know this. The message says they "hope and believe" that May 31st will be in the next batch, but are "rather uncertain" if those with 6/3 LID will receive a referral. The delegation members were told that in 2003 the CCAA received about 1000 dossiers a month and in 2005 they received 2000 a month. The delegation asked the CCAA about the rumor that the CCAA was considering stopping international adoption. The CCAA answered that they will not stop international adoption. The delegation asked about how many children were being adopted domestically but were told the CCAA could not answer that question. The note ends saying they got good concrete information about the paperwork process, but that they are none the wiser for how long the wait will be in the future. The delegation came away with the impression that the wait will be significantly longer.
So, that's what I got from a very fast look. I'm not sure we know anything now that we didn't know Friday.

I'm back!

Making an internet junkie go without a computer this long isn't a good idea. I have lots of catching up to do. Give me an hour. Or two.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I'm sure most of you know that the south was ravaged by storms Friday and Saturday. We were not hit by a tornado, but we did have a tree fall through our roof and into a room. Our family is fine. No one was in the room at the time, but unfortunately the computer was. I'm pretty sure computers aren't supposed to get wet. I was advised to not turn it on, but to take it to a repair shop and let them see what they can do with it. The repair shop is being nice enough to let me get online for a few minutes. I'm pretty sure my day today is going to be spent dealing with insurance and contractors. Feel free to post your rumors here, and hopefully I'll be back soon. I do have a bit of a different perspective on life right now though. Maybe even a different perspective on the wait. More on that later. I'm going to miss the tree though. It was a great shade tree.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Some good news

I have a very late September LID. It took three almost four weeks for them to log me in, and it was another 6 or 7 weeks before I knew the LID. And I think most of ya'll from that time frame have a similar story to tell. I have an email from someone in The Netherlands that people who were DTC 3/23 were logged in 3/29 and that people with a DTC of 3/30 were logged in 4/4. And they know this on 4/7 That is quite an improvement. Hats off to the CCAA for working on this end of things.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bad bad bad

I'm not paying attention to this one. I have my eyes firmly closed so I can't see it. But, there is now a whisper that the next batch may just include part of the 31st, not all of it. I refuse, absolutely refuse, to believe this. But, it's out there, so I'm reporting it.

That was fun

I like to turn anon posting on every once in a while just to see what we find out in the way of rumors. Did we really find anything out with this round of postings? I don't think so. Some agencies are saying one thing, others are saying another thing. SSDD. There don't appear to be any rumors of substance out there, so I'm going to get away from the computer for a while - meaning anon posting has been turned back off.

Spreadsheets and such

I have received a few spreadsheets here and there, but have not posted any of them in their entirety. I did use the totals from the June DTC Spreadsheet and put those up, but I purposefully did not include any of the specific agency information on it. I have been careful to not post specific, detailed, information. I'm trying to find a balance between disseminating information and respecting detailed information enough to just give a synopsis. I have had an email asking me to take down the spreadsheet that came from a specific agency. I do not have their spreadsheet posted, so I cannot take it down. I did mention it, in this post. But I did not name the agency, nor did I give any specific numbers. And honestly, I wasn't going to mention it at all, but there were some comments that listed how many this agency had for May 31st and I just wanted to point out that I didn't think that really meant anything. I have gone in and deleted those comments, even though I did not make them. Can someone point me to a specific URL that needs to be taken down? If I have mistakenly named the agency, or given out more than I should have, please let me know.

Another Icky one

Someone with a late June LID was told by their agency that they expected it to take the CCAA three months to get through the month of June. No word on which agency this was. The thing is, I'm wondering if some of these agencies aren't just trying to predict based on past performance. Or if they actually have word from the CCAA.

CCAA coming to America?

I've seen this enough to know it is likely true. I'd like to try to nail down when they are leaving China and when they will return. And, most importantly, if the director will be coming. Referrals can not go out until the director signs them. So, if the director is coming then a batch will likely go out just before he leaves China, and then the next batch about three or four or five business days after he returns.

My opinions

Ya'll have brought up some interesting points. Usually I just report rumors and maybe make a judgement on how reliable it may be. I think it's time to make a list of the conclusions that I have personally come to.
  • I do believe that May 31st is big. I don't remember where the original rumor came from -but we also have several polls that show us this. The spreadsheet that the June DTC group put together also shows a lot for May 31st (compared to the other days). I can look at the original tonight and see what agencies those numbers are from.
  • I think some of you are looking for one thing that has caused the slow down, and I believe this slow down is caused from a variety of factors. Someone (don't remember who, sorry) called it a "perfect storm", and that term just may fit.
  • I think that there are more parent dossiers. But, I think this is a small part of the problem.
  • I think they are receiving less paperwork from the SWI's. There are many reasons thrown around about why this might be, no one seems to be 100% sure of the reason. We have ascertained that there are plenty of babies available, just not paper ready babies.
  • I think that when the CCAA took over extra responsibilities last fall they had trouble redistributing the workload.
  • I think the Hunan situation has also contributed to the slowdown, for a variety of reasons.
  • I believe that less babies are being referred every month than were being referred per month last year. I have no hard data on this, but it's my belief. I would love to see a quarterly report from the State Department, but in the past they've only done their report at year end. It's also possible that less babies are being referred to the U.S. and more are being referred to other countries, giving the appearance to us in the U.S. that less babies are being referred.
  • I don't know when they will get back to doing what they were doing. If they ever will.
  • I also believe that if they want the program to continue they must do something, soon, to fix this. They should be proud to be considered the "standard" in how international adoptions should be conducted. I hope they were proud of this, and I hope they work to regain that reputation. If that means they need to put another quota system in then so be it. The current situation is untenable. Families need to have more of a window to be able to give their places of employment. We should ideally have no more than a three month window that we could possibly travel within.
  • If they indeed do not want the program to continue for much longer then they should continue doing what they are doing - being unpredictable and nonresponsive.
And lastly, I have decided to drop all expectations for what they may or may not do this next month. I am instead telling myself that perhaps now that we have what we hope are good numbers that we can get an idea of what they can do in the future based on this next batch.
  • If they do May 31st alone at the end of this month then I will assume that it is going to take four months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 2nd then I will assume it will take three and a half months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 7th then I will assume it will take two and a half months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 10th then I will assume that it will take two months to get through June.
  • If they do through the 15th then I will assume they will get through July 11th on the next batch.
One final word to those who want to sing the CCAA's praises to us - start your own blog if you aren't happy with what is being said over here. Yes, the CCAA has done a wonderful job in the past. But right now they are holding 45,000 or so people in emotional bondage and they should not be surprised that some of them are unhappy about that. Yes, I know. You want to know where I got the 45,000 number. If they have a backlog of a year and they have been getting 18,000 dossiers a year and each family has 2.5 people in it (some have no kids, some have a bunch of kids) then that is how many mommies and daddies and big sisters and big brothers there are who have no idea how or when or IF they will ever get to add this precious child to their family. If you want to figure grandparents then just add onto that number even more. I know there are no absolutes with international adoption. But China has been the standard for being reliable and predictable, and they are quickly blowing the predictable part of that.

Icky rumor

Two items posted. The first says their agency (no note of who their agency is) is expecting a batch of referrals that will cover May 31st. They do not say when they expect this batch. If they expect it next week that's not so bad. If they expect it at the end of the month. That's terrible. The second item (different person, different board) says they got an email from their agency warning that there is a rumor floating around that May 31st might be the only referrals that come in April, and that they should just mark it as a rumor right now and the agency would let them know if they hear anything else. I'd like to know why we're hearing from all of these agencies that the CCAA is working on June, while other agencies say they will only mail May 31st out this time.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

All of the polls

Free for All

Anon posting is open. The thread below this one is for rumors, this one is for whatever else you want to talk about. Just a few guidelines: 1. No discussion about religion. Not even to tell me you're glad I'm not allowing it. Nothing. Please. 2. Be nice. 3. Let's keep discussions to China and adoption. Please don't talk about other people (see rule number 2)

Several things

  • There is a spreadsheet floating around - it shows number of dossiers for each LID date for one of the big agencies. This agency has a very small number of May 31st LID's, but I don't really think that means anything. Most of the of the numbers closely mirror the ratios from our numerous polls - but for those time frames that don't, I don't think it means anything. In statistics you need a big sample, not a single source sample. Flip a coin four or six or eight times and it's probably not going to be 50/50 - flip it 100 times and it will be much closer.
  • Apparently CCAI has posted that they don't know what the time frames are going to do. I'm pretty sure they are one of the agencies that has been holding onto the 10 to 12 month thing, so this doesn't bode well. I respect their honesty, though.
  • I haven't seen anything else that might point to the CCAA getting a batch out sooner since the last batch was so small. Have ya'll seen anything that might point to that?
  • Rumors are few and far between. I'm going to turn anon posting on for a bit. Let's keep the rumors to this thread, I'll open another one up as a free for all.

Another agency speaks.....

... but I'm hogtied to try to figure out what they said. Someone forwarded me an email from their agency. The agency managed to send 359 words about the wait, and only one sentence on what this means.... and I have no idea how to read that one sentence. I'm thinking this person was a politician in a past life. In a nutshell, she says that she wants to share what she knows about the increase in referral wait times. She then says that the CCAA was given more in-country oversight of the orphanages at the same time that there were an increase of dossiers from foreign families wishing to adopt. The CCAA slowed down the referral process "presumably" so they can do a thorough job of reveiwing dossiers and working with all of the Chinese orphanages that have been added to their system. We are told that "CCAA's excellent handling of international adoption remains in effect as they expand their responsibilities." We knew all of that already, but it's nice to hear it again. We really want to know about OUR wait. I'll do a direct quote on the next part:
What this means is that our families, who are currently experiencing a 12-month wait between LID and referral, will continue to experience similar wait times in the foreseeable future.
This great big long email for one sentence of meat, and I have no idea what to make of this sentence. Are they saying the wait is going to stay around 12 months and not go higher? What is the foreseeable future? Two months? And then what... it jumps to 16 months? Or stays at 12 months? Thank you very much to the person who sent this email. I really do appreciate it. I'm just not sure what to make of it.

Why do fingerprints expire?

All of us (in the US) are most likely going to have to have our fingerprints redone. Which is silly. My fingerprints are the same this year as they were last year. For us, this involves paying the fees again, both of us taking a day off of work, and a 6.5 hour round trip drive. The thing that bothers me the most is the wasted day off from work, as that is one less day we'll be able to stay home with our new daughter. But, the other parts aren't so great, either. It ends up being a lot of money. I wonder if it would do any good to start a letter writing campaign to our Senators and Representatives? Ask if the fingerprints can be good for 18 months, so they would expire when the I171H does. Or, actually, maybe the fingerprints could be good for 20 or 22 months, since some USCIS offices are taking three or four months to issue the I-171H. The idea of fingerprints expiring is still silly to me, but if they must expire (and this being a government thing, apparently they must), then at least let them be good for a little longer. If China is planning on keeping the wait around a year, then this means everyone is always going to have to redo fingerprints. Sounds like it would be worthwhile to try to get it changed.

More review room info

Someone from Spain with an 11/8 LID has reported that they were contacted for more information.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Two emails

The first email did not disclose the name of the agency. This agency said that the CCAA is "just now" starting the June dossiers. (This conflicts with reports that they were started last week). The agency said that the earliest 7/4 LIDs should hope for would be a late May referral, and that it could possibly be the end of June. The second email said that GWCA has informed them that the timeline is lengthening to 12 months and that the CCAA is saying it could go beyond. I think we're about to go into the "conflicting stories" portion of the month. I am convinced that they are going to do more than just 5/31 this time. We have multiple sources saying that they are working on June now, and we still have a couple of weeks until referral. If you look at our June LID Poll, this bodes well. I'm just going to keep my focus on that right now.


I'm getting a crash course in page formatting. I've spread the page out and moved things around some so hopefully there will be less scrolling. I'm not 100% happy with the format just yet, but I'm tired of working with it, so it will be this way until I feel creative again. I've also added links at the top left to translate the page into other languages. I tried to find links for Dutch and Swedish. I found several sites that would do it, but they won't let me create hot links. Any link I create is just for a snapshot of the page as it is right then. If anyone knows of a translating site that will allow hot links like Google does, please let me know. I've also added a search button. And the poll is gone. I'm pretty sure those pop-ups were from Bravenet. If you get one after I've taken the poll down please let me know. If we're going to do another poll I'll find another provider. I have checked this out on Firefox and IE this time and it looks okay on both. If anyone can't see all three columns please let me know (and also let me know what browser you are using, please).

June LID Poll results

I'm tired of Bravenet's pop-up so I'm going to close the poll. Here are the final numbers. If we go by this poll then we can assume that if they get through the 2nd with the next batch that it will take two more batches to get through 7/11. If they get through June 10th with the next batch then it will take them one more batch to make it through 7/11. As of now, I'm trying not to pay too much attention to the "400 on this day" or "900 for the whole month" numbers. I like it when we are given numbers for two months from the same source at the same time (like the 900 for May and 700 for June), because that gives me a ratio to work with. But, as for actual numbers, I think that anytime we try to plug them into an equation we aren't plugging comparable numbers in and that throws everything out of whack.

Monday, April 03, 2006

News from Spain

Update: The original source of this email is Mary, Momof2boysinOH, and was originall posted here. ----------------------- This also comes to me in an email. What the Spanish agencies are telling waiting families:
There were 900 dossiers logged in during May of 2005 (it's unclear if that number just accounts for dossiers from Spain or if it includes other countries) and 700 in June of 2005. The expectation is that July is a lighter month and hopefully the CCAA will play some catch-up at that point.
This is a quote from the director of a Spanish agency:
Although the CCAA continues to work at its regular pace, the wait time has extended because there are more adoptive families applying, the number of available babies has been reduced due to the country's growing economy, and domestic adoption has also increased. We ask that you please have patience with us because it looks like the wait time will be increasing to 12 months which we have always explained is what the CCAA intends to be the maximum wait time.
The first news would tell us that June is roughly 3/4ths the size of May. That is wonderful news. I'm starting to have hope that they are going to get through June in two months (or maybe two months with just a few days on the third month) and then get back to whole months. I'm afraid to hope this, but it's sneaking in, anyway. The second news is more of the "12 months max" thing. It's nice that we continue to hear this. Both of these are pretty good news. I believe we are in the time of the month when we get good news... that would be right before it turns into bad news. I'm not falling for it again. Or, I'm going to try to not fall for it again, anyway. Oh, who am I kidding... my hopes are up and there isn't much I can do about it.

Referral revoked

Someone in the 5/17 LID group has been contacted that their referral has been revoked because the child was adopted domestically. They will be getting a new referral. This is not the first time I've seen this, and it's probably something we should all be aware of - that this is a possibility. The child is not "ours" legally until we spend time at the provincial Civil Affairs Office legalizing everything. My understanding is that when we send in our acceptance (of the referral) the CCAA notifies the SWI that the baby has been matched. The SWI then responds that the baby is still available and that nothing has changed with the baby's health or any other status, and then the Travel Approval is sent. Even four or five years ago we occasionally saw someone notified a couple of weeks later that the baby was no longer available (back then because of a change to health status usually) and that they would be receiving another referral. While we were waiting last time someone I knew was notified before TA arrived that their baby had pneumonia and was very very sick and the CCAA offered another referral - the couple said no, they wanted this baby. I believe that the final statement from the CCAA was that if the baby was well enough to travel when they arrived they would be given this baby, but if not they would be given a different baby when they arrived. By the time they got there she was in much better health and they were able to bring her home. In the past year this is probably the third time I've heard of a referral being revoked before travel. It appears that it is now also happening as some of the babies are adopted out domestically. Our agencies warn us to not fall in love with a photo... but really, that's a pretty impossible thing to do.

Interesting Review Room Hypothesis

From an email - this one goes that they have sped up in the review room because of the new restrictions they are now following. The CCAA received a lot of feedback from agencies that it was very upsetting for people to not find out they were rejected until 6 or 8 months later. So, the new goal is to review the dossiers sooner. We were thinking they were getting so far ahead in the review room so they could do some big matching batches, if this is true then maybe not.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

More on the review room

Someone posted a comment in the consulate holiday thread that says:
No rumor, just a comment. We are DTC 9/9, LID 10/10 and just received a request for more information from the CCAA.
Thanks for the info, and I hope the info they needed is something simple that won't be a big problem.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

US Consulate in Guangzhou - Holiday Schedule

I found this page showing what the holiday schedule is for the US Consulate for the May holiday, they will only be closed May 1, 2, and 3 (that's Monday through Wednesday) and will reopen Thursday. Still no word on when the CCAA will be closed.

Valium, Xanax, Ambien?

I didn't do anything to help with sleep on the plane ride last time. Going over I wish I had, because I didn't sleep well and we arrived in China during their morning hours and stayed up all day and went to bed that night. I've heard of people using Valium or Xanax to help them chill out on the plane - but those aren't really sleep medicine's, are they? Some people talk about them like they were using them so they could sleep, though. I know Ambien is supposed to be a sleep medicine, is there any benefit to taking it instead of a Tylenol PM? (yeah, I know you don't need the extra tylenol, but we're talking about one plane ride to China here, not something to be used daily). There was no way we could have taken anything coming back, not with a new baby, and I know that will be no different this time. But going over, my little one now instantly falls asleep in a moving vehicle, so I'm sure she'll sleep on the plane. It's me I'm concerned about. So - any input from ya'll on which is better? Or, do I just do one of the OTC PM meds and forget the prescription stuff?

From a comment below

Someone posted to the Rumor thread

My agency says they are expecting June referrals any time. We are a 9/6 LID and I am hopefully planning for a late Aug. referral.

I am just guessing that they aren't expecting all of June referrals anytime, but the May 31st referrals and some of the early June ones? Anyone else hearing from their agency that referrals are expected anytime? Anyone want to email me privately what agency (or agencies) are saying this? If it is more than one, then that's pretty exciting.