October 2, 2002 Update
Chinese adoption applicants who submitted dossiers (formal applications) to China between mid-July through the end of August 2001 received their referrals today. More than likely, we will be in the next group of dossiers to be processed (China usually processes at least a month’s worth of dossers at a time and our dossier was received in China on September 25, 2001). The question is: how long will it take the Chinese government to process the batch of referrals we are in? The last batch of referrals (which people received today) took 6 weeks to process. Prior batches have taken 4 to 8 weeks to process.
I would expect to receive a referral sometime in November (as opposed to the previously hoped for late October). Since the beginning of travel to China is 6-8 weeks after referral (with 6 weeks being common), an early November referral might mean travel before Christmas. But a late November referral might mean travel shortly after New Year’s Day.
Adoption agencies (other than our own) are reporting that dossiers received in China during all of September are currently in the matching room. This is the room where workers actually match applicants with babies.
It is a mystery how the workers in this room decide on matches. There is a rumor that these workers actually look at the pictures of the applicants and the pictures of the babies and try to match them up based on similar facial features. There is another rumor that Chinese astrology is taken into account in regards to what would make a good match.