I am so excited to finally write a little more about our sweet girl. We received our referral phone call just 4 days before Christmas. My prayer all along was to have a match before Christmas. I am still amazed at how God answered this prayer. I really thought it wasn’t possible and was so preoccupied with all the busyness of Christmas that I hadn’t thought about it (or prayed about it) much. Shame on me.
After putting the boys in bed on Tuesday night (12/20), the phone rang. When I saw the caller id I immediately knew it was our agency. I remember being incredibly nervous answering the phone but still not really believing that they could be calling with a referral. It was almost 8pm on a Tuesday. I had no idea that China had released a “shared list” early that evening containing files of children ready for adoption. Our agency committed to staying as late as needed to place those children. WOW! The lady on the phone told me a few specifics (name, province, special need, and birthday) and told me to expect an email in the next 5 minutes with pictures and more details. Seriously, those were some of the LONGEST minutes of my life. We were actually sitting there waiting on pictures of our baby girl. CRAZY!
When the email finally came through, we got to read about 8 pages worth of information about our baby girl. She was abandoned around 6 weeks of age. They don’t know her exact birthday, so they set it for September 5th, 2010 based on her size and development. She has a cleft lip and cleft palate and could not be more precious. They gave us until noon the next day to accept or decline her file. There was really no question. However, we did feel it was necessary to talk to a few doctors about her medical history. We sent the labs to my brother for him to review. We scheduled an appointment with our pediatrician for first thing in the morning. Zach talked to 2 surgeons at Vanderbilt on Wednesday as well. Every doctor had the same opinion – she looks very healthy and does not have any medical conditions that cannot be fixed. What a relief!
On Wednesday at noon we sent off our formal acceptance paperwork. What a great feeling! And almost immediately, we were sent more paperwork to fill out. 🙂 Now we wait again. Our next step is a Letter of Acceptance (or LOA). This could be a long wait- up to 4 months. We are praying for a shorter time frame. Our travel time will mostly be determined on this wait. A shorter wait for a LOA leads to an earlier travel time. We are still guessing (and hoping) we’ll travel sometime from May-July.
I can’t say enough about the entire adoption process. There have been times when it has been incredibly frustrating (mostly the wait), but despite those frustrations, it has truly been an amazing experience. I really can’t begin to describe it or the feelings I have experienced. When we started talking about this journey I was really hesitant. I mean, we already had three healthy boys and a really busy, full life. Did we want to start over? Could we afford it? How will the boys react? Could we handle a “special need”? God really worked on my heart through many people, songs, and prayer. I specifically remember being in the car one afternoon (by myself) listening to wayfm. I was thinking about adoption and really starting to question the whole thing. A Casting Crowns song came on the radio and these are the words that I heard:
“Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand…”
That pretty much sealed the deal for me. How could I say no? Yes, our life is busy and adopting a baby isn’t going to make it any easier, but that was no longer a good excuse for me. There are children without families. I could not come up with a good reason to say no anymore so I decided to say yes. Wow, the peace I felt was immediate. I knew for sure that this was God’s will for our family. And now that I’ve seen her face and read her story, I am completely in love with a 16 month girl that I have never even met.