Late winter always seems to drag its heels making way for spring. But this year the cold weather was even more unrelenting than usual and the warmer weather took its good ol’ sweet time coming. It was a meteorological recipe for epic cabin fever. Our kids didn’t even bother with getting the sleds out for the last two snows. (Sledding is a relative rarity in Maryland.)




Nevertheless, with respect to all my fellow sunshine-loving friends, March and April flew by for us. Not too long ago, there was snow on the ground and then we blinked.

Suddenly April was gone…


and it was May.


Time has blessedly, thankfully and mercifully sped by.

Still, these past few weeks we’ve been trying to keep our minds and hands busy because otherwise we go nuts. We have geared ourselves up for the long haul of waiting and watching the calendar pages turn while we sit helplessly and not-so-patiently across the globe. I remember this time during Isaac and Sam’s adoptions well. Staring at their pictures, positively willing the powers-that-be across the ocean to sign off already. To release them to us. Dying for an update or new round of pictures to be delivered to our inbox that might console our hearts. Resisting the urge to check flight prices and availability just one more time. Blubbering my way through ‘gotcha’ videos on YouTube. Praying at the start of each new week that we’d hear an update on some progress. And thinking all the while of the many ways that we are just plain cray for voluntarily doing this. Again. It’s almost too much for this old battle-worn heart to bear.


The Letter of Approval (LOA) is the next document/milestone we’ve been waiting on. It is a document granting formal permission from the Chinese Center of Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) to adopt the designated child(ren). It usually takes 2-3 months to receive this all important letter after the referral is accepted. Some families wait a few weeks while others wait several months for this all-important document. We have been waiting on two such LOAs: one for each of our babies.

In short, the LOA is the long pole in the tent.

Happily as of today – after a 40’ish day wait – the digital copies of said letters (one for each kid) are now showing up on our agency’s database. This is called a ‘soft LOA’. Once we receive the actual hard copies of the document (which should be a few days from now), it’s called a ‘hard LOA’. The remainder of the process is slightly more predictable from here on out.

All of this translates to the fact that we are now within 10-12 weeks from travel to China. A July travel date is now very likely. This has been a sudden but welcome surprise since we were expecting the LOAs to be issued closer to June and travel sometime in August or September. But complain, I will not.

Adoption Timeline soft LOA

My list of nesting tasks suddenly has gotten shorter. Catching up on the kids’ scrapbooks probably ain’t gonna happen. Nor will certain sewing projects I’ve been putting off. But the baby clothes have been pulled down from the attic and now await sorting and some room rearranging will be taking place over the course of the next few weeks to make room for double cribs to be set up in our bedroom.

Did I really just type “double cribs”?

It’s surreal.

We are one giant step closer to bringing our babies home.


3 thoughts on “LOA

  1. AWESOME!!! Just AWESOME!!!!!!! I am THRILLED that God is moving things along for you! 😀

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