86 days. A little over 12 weeks. That is how long we just waited for our RA (referral acceptance). After we were matched with Nathan back in March, we began the unpredictable wait for the infamous “RA”. The RA is China’s acceptance of our match with little Nathan, and it can take anywhere from 1-4 months. When we began the wait in March we were told that people were currently waiting about 5-9 weeks, with the average being 7 weeks. That didn’t seem that bad. We did know that there were the outliers, the families who had to wait a whole 16 weeks, but that surely wouldn’t be us. We were sure that we would fall among the ranks of the “average” families. Never have we so intensely desired to be average.
Once we entered into the average 5-9 week zone, we began to jump a bit every time the phone rang. Could it be “the call”? But 5 weeks was on the early end. So we held ourselves together, knowing that the very average 7 weeks would surely be the time. But 7 weeks came and went and nothing happened. After the 9 week mark passed us by, we had had it. Enough of the waiting! And about that time, we learned that little Nathan had endured a surgery on his cleft lip which had not been successful. We longed to hold him and comfort him and know how he was doing, but there is no hope of any information or update until the arrival of the delayed RA. Ahhhhhh!
So waiting is what we did, and we finally got the call last Friday while we were camping. We never use our phones while we’re camping. But the destination of this camping trip was based solely on the fact that there was good cell coverage and it was close to home. At 8:45 in the morning the phone rang, and it was the news of our RA. If they weren’t already, all of our neighboring campers were wide awake after that phone call. We immediately hopped in the car and drove home to print the RA, sign it, add it to our I800 package, and send it off to Homeland Security in Texas. Then, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted, we went back to camping!
And now, we can tell you all about Nathan! :). Prior to receiving the RA, we are not supposed to share any pictures on our blog, and not too many details either. But now we can share up a storm! So here he is!
JIANG QING CHU
Born February 7, 2013 (he shares Mary’s birthday)
Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China
We can’t wait to hold this little guy in our arms!