I woke up this morning and thought to myself that since it is the 22nd of the month, we should be hearing rumors anytime now. I also noted that I'm not as antsy about hearing news about a potential cut-off date this month as I was last. In fact, we can just skip the cut-off rumors and go straight to the referral call if you ask me! There is definitely a sense of peace about knowing that we are next (as long as our file isn't lost, skipped, etc.)
I promised to educate the masses about what happens in the matching room once we heard that matching had begun this month. We haven't heard anything directly from our agency but the first matching rumor has hit the web. It's hard to believe that after all of this time, Meili's file and our file are in the same room right now, maybe even on the same desk and some stranger for some reason will help determine which of China's precious baby girls will become our daughter...
Here's what RQ has to say about the matching process:
First, they review the baby dossiers and make sure there are no issues with them. We are told that they then count up all of the baby dossiers that are eligible for matching that month and then look to see how far this stack will go in the parent dossiers without sending out a partial day, and they pull all of those parent files. That is the likely cut-off date. Sometimes something happens and they don't get this far. Sometimes something happens and they get farther.
Next they match orphanages up with agencies. This orphanage has six babies, this agency has six families. These two orphanages are in the same province and have a total of 12 babies, this agency has 12 families. When they are through with this is when (I believe) some agencies start to get information about the cut-off date. Or at least it is when they used to start getting information.
And then they start matching individual babies to individual families. At some point during this part of the process most agencies used to hear from their person in the matching room to let them know how many referrals they will be receiving and from what province(s). Some agencies shared this information with their clients. Some chose not to. Recently I’ve gotten the feeling that many agencies are still getting this information but they are being given orders by the CCAA to not share this information with the families.
Just as in the review room, each matcher is assigned certain agencies and is responsible for communicating with their agencies. Some matchers tell their agency the cut-off date, some matchers tell their agency “you have X number of referrals arriving”, some matchers give their agency a list of that agency’s families that will be receiving a referral. And some matchers don’t say anything at all to their agencies.
The next question that comes up is generally how the matchers match families and babies. I’ve heard from several people who have had the opportunity to speak with someone who works in the matching room. The various conversations seem to all agree that they first look for something that stands out: a matching birthday, a baby who looks a lot like a parent, or a baby who likes music and a parent who teaches music. Several matching people have stated they match by bone structure of the baby’s face and the parent’s faces (this is why they need our passport photos, so they can compare our mug shot with the baby’s mug shot). Some have stated that they used Chinese astrology, also. Once they’ve matched the obvious matches they then start to look at things like age of child requested. The age requested is not a priority for them, they feel they are matching families and not filling orders. And I have to say that they’ve done a wonderful job matching us and our Big Girl, and now I trust they will do an excellent job matching us with her little sister.
It still doesn't seem real that after all of this time the answer to the question, 'So, when do you think you will be getting your referral?' has gone from, 'Hopefully, this year.' to 'PROBABLY NEXT WEEK!!!' This is so exciting and I am so ready!