Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bad Rumors

So the latest rumor about the next batch is that they are only going to get through December 19th. That would be 5 days. This seems like it would be pretty much in line with the number of days they have been referring the past few months but it would probably be close to the least amount of referrals sent in a long time. The reason is because the 17th and 18th are weekend days so there are very few, if any, people logged in on those days. Also 15th, 16th and 19th are thought to be relatively small days. The 20th is thought to be a fairly big day but based on the number of referrals sent the past few months it was expected that they would at least get through the 20th. So the 19th would be a big disappointment. It is still a rumor at this point but the longer we don't hear anything to the contrary the more likely it gets.

Based on the online polls there are less people logged in on December 15th through the 19th than there are on the 20th. So if we assume the CCAA sends about the same number of referrals out every month it is possible that we could see only the 20th referred in the February batch. Although, I do think a one day batch is pretty unlikely. We have heard in the past that sometimes the CCAA matches ahead a little. I think if they only get through the 19th with this batch it is likely that they actually matched some families with a LID on the 20th. But they probably didn't have enough babies files to match all of the families with a LID on the 20th. Since the CCAA does not send out partial days the families with a LID on the 20th will have to wait until next month when they have enough to match the full day.

We should know for sure late this week or early next week.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bad Omen

The whole ladybug/Chinese adoption thing is kind of cute but at the same time kind of silly. Some people seem to take it pretty seriously. But I am not sure there are really that many people out there that really believe that ladybugs mean good luck or that referrals are on their way.

We got a good chuckle the other day when we were up in Gracie's room putting her Christmas presents away when we found the above dead ladybug on the floor.

It did get us thinking about the Olympics rumors that have been floating around lately. As you may or may not know the 2008 Olympics will be in Beijing, China this coming August. There is a lot of speculation out there regarding what will happen with adoptions during that time. The CCAA has not made an official statement so the rumors are all over the place. Some agencies are telling their clients that no referrals will be sent out after February or March and will start back up after the Olympics are over. Other agencies are saying there will be no travel approvals after May. Other agencies are saying that the only people whose consulate is in Beijing will be affected (The US consulate is in Guangzhou). There is also the issue of the increase in hotel and airline flight prices around the time of the Olympics. I think at the very least there will no adoption travel to Beijing during the Olympics which lasts a couple weeks. That would mean we could potentially miss the sightseeing portion of the trip.

At this point we are trying not to stress out about it too much as we really have no idea what is going to happen. But based on our LID and the potential for getting a referral in March, April or later we could very well be affected if there are any restrictions on travel. Seems like there is always something....we are just hoping for a couple big batches coming up so we can get to China before any of the Olympics stuff starts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Loot

Grace got all kinds of cute gifts for Christmas....

- The Bennetts gave her a bear scarf and headband.
- The Shahs gave her a Bob Marley lullaby CD.
- Aunt Melinda, Uncle Jim and J-dub gave her a panda bear book and stuffed animals, a shirt and a couple winter hats.
- Uncle Stephen, Aunt Maura and the MKs gave her an On the Night You Were Born book.
- Grammy K gave her some pajamas.
- Grammy and Grampy gave her a skirt outfit, a Grace Christmas ornament and a CD player.
- We got her a Chinese Lullaby CD, stacking cups and a ring toss toy. We wrapped her gifts this year and haven't had the heart to unwrap them yet.

Grace's room is getting full. There isn't going to be room for her in it soon, she better get home quick.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We hate to say it but we are kind of glad that it is over. The holidays are especially rough when you are going through your third last Christmas without your daughter. Christmas is geared so much toward children there are always constant reminders that we are still waiting to start our family. But we are moving on and looking forward to good things in the new year.

Nothing really out there for rumors on the next batch of referrals. We are hoping that they get to at least Dec 20th. We probably will hear something late next week or the week after.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Spirit

Last year with the ever extending wait we weren't really in a holiday mood so we decided to skip putting up a Christmas tree and decided to just have a low-key Christmas. We were really hoping that this would be the year that we were finally home with Grace. Here we still wait but we decided that we would celebrate the holidays this year and decorate our tree and put some gifts for Grace under it. We really think that this will finally be the last Christmas without her home. So with another snowstorm hitting us today we spent the day in the house decorating the tree.

Although Lucy really loves posing for our Christmas cards next year's card will feature another little girl. For those who didn't get one here is this year's card.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

22 More Days

Jen took another picture of her jar of glass stones at work last week. This month the CCAA got through 6 more days so Jen took out 6 more stones from the Jar. Only 22 more stones left. Every month after referrals come out we sit down and take a look at the numbers and try to project out how many more months we have to get our referral. Based on the latest batch we think the most likely month that we will get our referral would be March 2008. There is a small chance that we could get our referral in February but also a chance we could get pushed up to April. But at this point it looks like March is a pretty good bet. Although all of that could change if they do another 2 day batch next month but we don't think that is going to happen. So we will likely be enjoying April showers or May flowers in China.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Comparing the Years

A few months back I started charting out the number of days that the CCAA was referring each month and comparing with the number of days referred each month last year. I noticed a trend that a similar number of days were being referred for the same month last year. Below is a chart of the number of days referred per month back to May 2005. The downward trend that we are have been experiencing can easily be seen. I can't find the numbers anywhere for the months prior to May 2005 but from what I remember they were referring full months back then which is why the wait time was as low as 6 months. If anyone knows where to find the number of days referred per month prior to May 2005 let me know.

If we break out the years and overlay them we can see where the trend was similar and where it diverted. The number of days referred per month was eerily close for Oct 2006 through May of this year. After May we started to see some separation but comparing this year to last year we still seem to see the same upward and downward trend. I am not really sure what it all means but there is definitely something to it. It could be all a coincidence or we could be seeing the results of some unknown factors in China that affect how many babies are allowed to be adopted at certain times of the year.

December 14th Cutoff Confirmed

The CCAA updated their website tonight confirming that the cutoff date is December 14th. That is 6 more days down. Only 22 more to get to our Log in Date.


Had to do our obligatory anniversary post since today is 23 months since our Log In Date. Some early referrals started arriving today and it looks like they made it to at least Dec 14th. We should know for sure tomorrow or later tonight if the CCAA updates their website.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Numbers

There was in interesting article in the Boston Globe this morning about the decline of foreign adoptions by Americans. You can read the full article here.

A key point in the article is the numbers released by the US State Department on the Number of US Visas released to Chinese orphans. This number is really just the number of children adopted by Americans from China last year. The article states:

Adoptions from China, the number one source country since 2000, fell to 5,453.
That is down by 1,040 from last year and well off the peak of 7,906 in 2005.

So we have:

2007 - 5453
2006 - 6493
2005 - 7906

That is 16% less adoptions from China this year than last year. The difference between 2006 and 2005 was a 17.8 % decrease. We all knew that these numbers were decreasing but it there is so much speculation out there it is nice to see concrete numbers sometimes. The State department numbers for previous years can be found here .


I also charted out the number of visas issued per year back to 1991. This info is also from the state dept. website. There have been a couple down years in the past but never two down years in a row. As always a picture says a thousand words.

Another Update:

I was looking some more at the State Department numbers and I found another page that lists the numbers of orphan visas by country back to 1990. I thought it would be interesting to see this charted out as well. I charted the top 9 countries by year and then added the rest in as "Other" to get the total. Interesting to see how things have changed historically. Overall the trend for international adoptions to the US is down for the last two years. There is so much data I could run analysis against it all day but I think this is enough for now.


Still pretty quiet as far as rumors go. There are a couple floating around though. The first is that they are going to make it through December 14th with the upcoming batch. That is only 6 days but it is pretty much what we expected. The other rumor is that they were not yet mailed as of Friday. I think they will probably be mailed early in the week and we will probably see them in the middle to end of the week, somewhere around December 5th which will be 23 months since our Log In Date.