Friday, March 9, 2007

About Referrals

I am often asked how old my daughter will be when I get her. It actually varies. I watched the referrals come in throughout 2006 and for those who asked for a child "as young as possible", or "under 12 months," which are the common words used on the official documents, the youngest I saw at referral was 5 months old and the oldest was 14 months old.

When the referral comes, it comes from CCAA to my adoption agency. My agency will then call me. Since I have a local agency, I will go right away when I get the call and see pictures, read the information sent and sign the official acceptance. If I didn't have a local agency, the agency would phone and also send the pictures and information by email, followed by a Fed/Ex envelope. Many people take a picture of the Fed/Ex man.

As far as I know right now, in the referral will be pictures, usually not current ones, a brief medical report, province and SWI where my daughter is, her Chinese name and a general personality profile.

After I accept the referral and it goes through the process it needs to in China, I will probably get updated information and possibly current pictures.

I must warn you all now that sometimes the referral pictures are not cute. I mean, not cute AT ALL! Babies are photographed when the photographer comes. If they are sleeping, they are woken up. If they are sick, surprised, scared, have had their head shaved or partially shaved due to lice or easy maintenance, it doesn't matter.

The babies are frequently dressed is layers and layers of mismatched clothing. Babies in northern provinces or who are photographed in the colder months, look like the Michelin Man. They are so bundled up that they can't really move their arms and legs so their limbs are sticking straight out.

Some referral pictures are darling. The baby looks cute and healthy and the clothes are more Western. None of it matters because the babies all change once they are with their forever family.

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