Here is the official notice of our LID. Definitely one for the memory book.
The question we get asked most frequently is, "How long will it take?" There really isn't a definitive answer. We have no idea. The next step in the process for us is to be matched with a child and feel comfortable that he/she is indeed ours. Our case manager at Great Wall (our adoption agency) is Cori. She has the responsibility of matching us with a specific child. Here's the most likely way it will happen:
The CCCWA releases a new group of children who have become available for adoption to what is known as the "shared list" once a month. The shared list is available to all agencies that have a Waiting Child Program. This means that many agencies are trying to find families for these children. As Cori reviews a child's information, she will then search for a checklist that matches that's child's needs. Jeremy and I have already completed a checklist setting specific parameters for our child - age, gender, and specific medical needs we would be comfortable with/prepared for. If Cori finds a child that she thinks may be a good fit, she will temporarily lock that child's file and then send us the complete file to review. Because other agencies are also trying to match children from the shared list, it is important that we make fairly quick decisions when we look at files. We will have a 72 hour window to discuss the file, speak to a medical professional, and decide whether or not we will move forward with that child.
It is possible we will find our child in another way. Great Wall participates in a partnership with several orphanages in China upon the invitation of the CCCWA. Great Wall provides assisstance and support to these orphanages depending on its needs - it may be support to obtain medical exams for the children, or financial assisstance to make improvements to the orphanage, or assisstance in conducting developmental evaluations. It could be a lot of things. Children made available through this partnership will be placed on Great Wall's individual list, which means that Great Wall is the only agency currently able to match these children with a family. If a match isn't made right away, then Great Wall puts a brief description of the child along with a photo on a photo listing that any family working with Great Wall can search through.
I search this listing nearly every day. And yes, I've been heartbroken by it, but only once.
It was a boy named Howie who popped up on March 13th. I took one look and had to run to our office bathroom to cry my eyes out. Not because I felt sorry for him, but because he just looked like he belonged in our family. I inquired about him, asking if I could see his file, but then I noticed that his description said LID only. Meaning, you had to have a log-in date to pursue him. This is why that LID is so important. Had we been LID ready on March 13th, I would have fought tooth and nail for this boy. Now, obviously he wasn't meant to be a Northcutt. I know that now, for it wasn't long before Howie's status turned to "Pending," and eventually his picture was removed altogether because God joined him with the family he had perfectly prepared for him. And I am happy for that.
The bright side of that story for me is that before Howie, Jeremy and I were requesting a girl. Now we know we have open arms to a girl OR a boy. Maybe that small change was the purpose for Howie in our lives. But maybe we will never know.