Way back on July 22, 2006, our dossier (a huge packet of information containing just about every detail of our lives) was recorded in China's adoption system. That date of 7/22/6 became our log in date, which is referred to in the China adoption world as LID. Your LID is what determines when you will be matched with your child. At the time we got our LID, China had just issued referrals of LIDs through 7/13/5. That means that there were 364 calendar days that had to be covered by China referrals from the time that we started in 2006 until later this year when we will receive our referral for Natalie.
I made a paperclip chain of 364 clips to represent each of these days that was between us and our daughter. I hung it over one of the doorways in Natalie's room and as you can see in the picture below, it was so long that it draped over the doorway twice!
Here is the chain today. There are just 9 paperclips remaining until the final clip is reached. It has taken over 5 years for us to get to this point.
To give you an idea of the history of the speed of referrals, here are the average number of calendar days covered each year since we started our adoption process.
2006 12 days/month
2007 8 days/month
2008 6 days/month
2009 3 days/month
2010 5 days/month
2011 ytd 6 days/month
For us this most likely means we will get our referral in the batch after next. Hopefully around the end of September we will get to see sweet Natalie's face for the first time, find out how old she is and where she is currently living in China. It has been the longest journey of my life, but I know Natalie will be worth every moment of waiting.
Soon this blog will shift from "All Newfoundlands all the time" to "Natalie and the Newfoundlands' Great Adventures". I'm getting so excited.
To tide you over until then, here is a video of two sweet Newfoundland dogs with an adorable 16 month old little girl. Too sweet...