LID is significant because it means that our hard copy of all our precious papers made the long journey across the ocean and on to someone's desk. It is also the date used to calculate the average wait until we receive our "Letter of Acceptance" (LOA), China's final approval of our match with Titus, which gets the ball rolling for our travels!
Typically, the time frame from LID to LOA used to be about 90 days. However, since the computer upgrade in January, the wait has been cut to an average of 50-60 days, with some people getting a freakishly quick acceptance at 28 days! From LOA to travel is usually about 8-10 weeks. So, we're looking at about 4-6 months until travel. There is always a lot of language like "usually" "sometimes" "average" "about" "approximately" when we talk about timeframes with international adoption. So, while we now have the date that we count down FROM, we don't know the date that we are counting down TO. So actually, I guess we are counting up instead of counting down. Either way, each day is a day closer to the day we'll meet Titus, which will be his LAST DAY as an orphan.
Never missing a chance to make myself laugh, I thought the phrase "put a lid on it" was very fitting for this time. The English euphemism basically means to be quiet. Quiet is a whole lot of what we'll get during this stage of the process. So, until we receive that prized LOA, if you ask for an update we might be able to tell you if our documents are finished being translated, but other than that there aren't a lot of little steps at this point as far as anything official. We won't hear anything new until we suddenly BAM! POW! SPLAT! have the LOA.
We will not, however, be "keeping calm". This will be a very busy season for us as we work hard to earn and raise and complete more grant applications for the completion of our funding. We will also be "nesting", getting our house ready for a new little one and making sure we have everything we'll need for his arrival at home (which, right now is a lot of deep cleaning and purging unnecessary items!) More importantly, we'll be preparing our hearts and our children's hearts to bring him into our family. This has been happening all along and we are being very intentional about including Titus in daily conversation, talking about expectations and difficulties we may encounter, role playing situations that the kids may experience with their new little brother. We are also spending extra intentional time enjoying our children and family as it is now, for when change comes, it will be big and fast! We are spending time watching excellent videos that were provided to us by Show Hope, which cover topics like attachment and bonding, sensory processing disorders, caring for and disciplining children who may be coming from a background of abuse or neglect, and other important things for adoptive families to be aware of. Once the LOA arrives, it is a frenzy of signing and overnight shipping documents, applying for visas, tracking flight prices, choosing travel arrangements, guides, and itineraries, requesting appointments, etc.
AND, with our LID comes the privilege of requesting an update on Titus! We get to send a list of questions to his orphanage and they'll answer what they can, as well as give us his updated sizes. And with updates come PICTURES!!!!!! and hopefully videos!!!!