It's been five weeks since Geoff and I decided to change our child request from siblings to one or two children. The province of Manitoba formally approved our change last week and the change will be on its way from Imagine to Ethiopia shortly (it has to go through Ottawa for approval, again). However, we advised Imagine of our change on June 03, the same day that we initiated the change with our province, and Imagine assured us that they would notify their office in Ethiopia of the change immediately. In other words, if a child(ren) met our request before the provincial approval was finalized, Imagine would match us informally with that child(ren) and begin collecting the needed documentation for that child, knowing that the formal provincial approval was on its way.
That essentially means that our change has been operational for about a month now: we are open to a referral of either siblings (0-63 months old) or a single child (42-63 months old). In the meantime, based on some feedback from folks currently in Ethiopia collecting their child, it seems that there are waiting children in the orphanages who are older than babies...ie. who might well fit our single child option. Statistically, as I've mentioned before, we are far more likely to receive a single child referral than a sibling referral.
All of this to say that I think there's a very good chance that Geoff and I have been matched with a little boy already (a boy being our stated preference). I say that with hesitation and a lot of fear and, if I could have, I would have written that expression of hope in very small letters so that it's hardly 'out there' at all. Because I've all too often been down that emotional path of thinking that we're almost there; it's scary, now, to say out loud that I think we just might be matched already, because I fear being wrong and being too emotionally vulnerable to handle the crush of disappointment if we're not.
But if, just if, we're matched, then it becomes a matter of waiting for documentation to be processed before we receive a referral. That could take months yet, unfortunately, given all of the changes on the Ethiopian side in the past few months. But I guess we're not in a huge rush right now anyway because if we were to receive a referral soon (after our file officially gets to Ethiopia), we'll be stuck in the middle of the annual court closures anyway!
As much as I fear even the idea of hope, after everything we've been through in the past few years, in my heart of hearts, I'm doing it again. Hoping. Despite everything. Hoping, praying, wishing, that maybe our time is finally coming. Oh, please, God.
* Thank you for the comments coming in, and for hoping along with us!
* Claire, I read on a private blog about there being older-than-babies children sighted in one of Imagine's orphanages...not on the yahoo forum. Hope that helps a bit.
* Carolyn & Stef - that would be GREAT if we were to be in Ethiopia together - given your age range, I'd bet you're not that far from a referral...who knows, maybe you're matched already!! Here's to hoping we both have a match underway!