For those of you not as much in the know, LOA stands for Letter of Acceptance. This means that after rigorous screenings about our suitability to parent on the US side, China is officially giving us permission to adopt. This is after they have already reviewed our documents at the Chinese Consulate, and reviewed our documents when we submitted our dossier, and reviewed our documents when we submitted our Letter of Intent, which says, YES! We really, really, want to adopt this sweet boy.
Please don't be misled into thinking that the arrival of our LOA means we get to travel to China anytime soon. We are still a few more documents away from that. Our government and China need to continue to send seemingly duplicate pieces of paper back and forth to each other for a while. We are assuming we will travel sometime around January.
So, for the various reasons, we are praying that the paperwork speeds up. First, obviously, we want to meet our new son! I'm in the 3rd trimester of this paperwork pregnancy and am getting impatient. And the nesting has kicked in, but I don't have the funds to indulge those impulses.
Second, is more pragmatic. The Adoption Tax Credit is set to expire this year. This is a significant chunk of change ($13,000) that we would love to get back to immediately turn over to the hospital for Levi's needed palate surgery (and probably another surgery for Veronica) next year.
Finally, I am just anxious to get my son home from the area he is from. His hometown (which will remain nameless until we have permission to share after LOA) is located about 75 miles from Linfen, China in Shanxi province. This is acknowledged to have the most polluted air on the planet.
According to one World Bank report, 16 out of 20 of the world's worst cities for air pollution are found in China and Linfen has the highest levels of pollution. This city is at the center of the nation's coal industry. Here, emissions from vehicles and industry have created an atmosphere where people literally choke on coal dust. The rate of birth defects in Shanxi province is 6 times higher than China's national average, which is already high by global standards.
There is a video on Youtube called Lost Children of the Coal about this area and focuses on one particular woman who has taken in many, many orphans who have been abandoned, most likely because their family couldn't meet their medical needs. You can see the general conditions of the area where my boy is from. It is absolutely heartbreaking.
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QijM72iwSs
|Picture from the video Lost Children of the Coal|
Please indulge me in one political plug. There is a bipartisan supported bill in the US House of Representatives that would make the Adoption Tax Credit permanent. Please, please, please if you are so inclined, contact your representative about supporting this bill. This helps to make adoption a financial possibility for many families.