It may be unofficial, but it's a list.
I recently joined our agency's yahoo group for families in all stages of adopting from Ethiopia. It's an amazing group of supportive, encouraging, PRAYING families, and I feel blessed to be a part of it.
One of the adoptive moms in the "secretary." Sometime I'll have to ask her how she got roped into the job! But one of the amazing things she does is to keep track of everyone's DTE dates, the age and gender of the child they requested, and puts everyone in a nice tidy spreadsheet.
This list has a lot of benefits. Basically, it lets us know at a glance where we are in the line-up for baby girls. As families receive referrals for their children, we can see how that affects our family. It also keeps us in prayer for families that are preparing to travel and for families that are having court dates.
There is one definite drawback to such a list. It. becomes. consuming. As in "trying to not get our hopes up, but look where we are in the line-up now!!!" The other drawback is that it is an unofficial list...there may very well be families that have NOT joined the yahoo group, and as such we don't know if they have DTE dates before our own. It can just lead to some major disappointment.
For these reasons, I am so glad that I didn't join the list any earlier...it would have been agonizing to watch our name creep up the list ever so slowly. As it is, when I joined last week, I realized that we were somewhere around number 12 in all, and at about #7 or 8 for baby girls!
BUT, the past two weeks have seen a MAJOR amount of movement, with court dates being set for families that already have referrals, and LOTS of referrals being given!
Believe it or not, we are now tied (another family has the same DTE as we do, and also requesting a baby girl) in 5th place!!! Actually, I should say we're tied for 4th place, as one of the families ahead of us had requested either gender, and they were just notified that they will soon have a referral for a baby boy.
I still can't believe it...only 3 or 4 more families need to receive their referral for a baby girl, and then it's our turn!!! Two of those families just received an email notifying them that they are "on deck" and will soon have their referrals.
To think that through this whole process, God is moving things along in His timing, knowing each family and knowing each child that needs a family, and He is matching them up in the best way possible!