Wow - today, #150 on Imagine's list of waiting families received a referral for a three-year-old boy! Talk about jumping the queue.
The way it works is this. Imagine Adoption has approximately 250 families waiting for a referral from Ethiopia. These families are broken down into two lists: those waiting for sibling referrals (of which we are one); and those waiting for singleton referrals. The families are listed in order of date, the critical date being the date that the family's file arrived in Ethiopia. Typically, families receive referrals in the order that their date arrived in Ethiopia. But, every family has a specific child request: perhaps for a particular gender; always with a defined age range. Thus, if a three-year-old boy is brought into one of the orphanages that Imagine works with, that child would be referred to the first family on the list that is open to a three-year-old boy. This is how families often 'jump the queue' and receive a referral of a child before others on the list ahead of them.
Without looking at all of the stats too carefully, I'd estimate that about half of the referrals since Imagine re-opened on December 16th have been for children who are age two and older. Thus, family #150 received a referral today, even though there are over 100 people on the list ahead of them. Amazing.
* Thanks for the comments! Shannon, I must say that you write the most encouraging things on my blog...every time. You are filled with cheer and optimism, and I so appreciate that!!