Most months in the weeks leading up to referrals there are definite milestones that we can use to tell that we are getting closer to referrals. First the crazy rumors come out, then the really bad rumors. Some months there aren't many rumors at all. This month there haven't been any really crazy rumors, they all have seemed to be focused between Jan 9th and 13th. Although this time around how far they get is not as significant to us since we know we are next.
Once the rumors settle in we usually hear that matching has started and then within a few days to a week that referrals have been mailed. Once they are mailed some agencies can track packages from China and will notify the waiting parents that they are expecting something in the mail. Usually around the same time that referrals arrive, Travel Approvals from the previous batch arrive as well. Agencies don't usually know what they are receiving, they just know that they have a package coming from China. Sometimes waiting parents get really exited that the mail from China is referrals and it turns out to be travel approvals.
Today we heard that Travel Approvals started arriving. Let's hope that referrals are not too far behind.