Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Tummy Full Of Butterflies

This past Monday, on August 29th, a new list of special needs orphans in China was released.  The list was very short again and there seemed to be some technical difficulties.  Our social worker said she'd try again on Thursday night when all the files that were returned were re-posted.  I wasn't holding out much hope for a match from the second round because our preferred needs were so minor that I figured someone would only return a file of a child that appeared minor if there was something "scary" inside the file.  So Thursday was a day like any other...until 10:37 PM when our SW called.  She had locked two files for us - as we were approved to adopt two and had been giving it serious thought.  One child was a LID (Logged In Dossier) only, meaning China considered her easier to place.  The other was a special focus child, meaning China thought she may be more difficult to place.  We read through both files and Jon's first response was, "let's just bring them both home."  I sent him to bed and went to work.  I knew bringing one child home would be tough but if we were going to consider both I wanted to be fully prepared.  My tummy was full of butterflies and I was up until 4 AM reading and re-reading their files, looking things up on the internet and joining Yahoo groups that discussed not only their special needs, but the cities they are currently located in. When we woke up a few hours later, the butterflies were still fluttering and we went to work on the files.  I contacted two pediatric cardiologists to review the first child, I'll refer to her as A.  Both doctors said she needs open heart surgery, and although the actual surgery is simple the true outcome will be unknown because there could be damage to her heart from waiting so long.  Then after having an international adoption doctor review both files, some praying, and much discussion we decided that child A was more than we could take on at this point in our lives with a potential job change and move in our near future. 

Now on to child B - a sweet little girl who was born without one of her hands.  Back up to Tuesday when our SW saw her on a photolisting web site agencies use to advertise their special focus children, Rainbowkids.com.  She had seen her on Monday night's new shared list from China but thought her need was a little more than we indicated on our preference list so she had waited to see what other children would pop up.  Another agency locked the file.  We're not sure how she ended up on Rainbow Kids because the file should only have been locked if she was being matched with a family, thus no need to photo list, but when our agency saw her posted she called me and told me to take a peek at her so I did.  When Jon got home I told him about her and he was interested in learning more.  We told her that if B popped back up on Thursday we'd be interested in seeing her file although we didn't really think it would happen.  But it did, and she was able to lock the file for us. 

The International Adoption doctor we hired to review her file has a reputation for being extremely negative and only giving worst case scenarios, but that's what we wanted - we wanted to know the possible truths.  We were shocked when we hung up with her.  Yes, she gave us worst case scenarios, but each time she followed up with, "but I don't think that's the case here."  Overall it was a very positive review.  Meanwhile we had been reading about kids with limb differences and after posting on one of the Yahoo groups we joined, we received several wonderful letters from people that have adopted children with limb differences, even one from a 7 year old child who was born without her arm.  Slowly this special need didn't seem so scary and the initial discomfort faded, even in our 6 year old son.  What did we learn?  These kids can do pretty much everything.  Yes, there will be struggles with physical activities and mean kids and adults that stare, but we'd be crazy to turn down this perfectly healthy, beautiful child. 

So long story short...we received a referral Thursday night and sent a Letter Of Intent to adopt Child B today.  After much thought and prayer we've decided that we will not pursue a second child for this adoption.  We are, however, very open to going back in a couple of years... 

What's in a name?  Both of our sons have family names and if either of them had been a girl, they would've been named after Jon's Great Aunt (who shares a name with a flower).  We were discussing if we still wanted to use that name...no rush to decide as we won't actually meet her for another four months.  This afternoon I was looking at her pictures again and it dawned on me that she was placed on a backdrop of little flowers to have her pictures taken for the file.  That was all we needed.  It was my Godwink.  This child will take the name we have carried in our hearts for the past ten years.  The name we'd always planned to use if we'd had a daughter.  For the purpose of this blog I will refer to her as Princess Petals.

As soon as we're officially approved by China I will post her pictures.  Now on to more "hurry up and wait" as we navigate through new paperwork. 

Oh, and the butterflies have gone to sleep.  After 24 hours of insecurity and anxiety about this decision, we are at peace.  We are excited.  We are going to have a little girl. 

I am so thankful that God placed this path before us and led us to this little girl and a better understanding of this special need.  I am thankful for my husband who has been holding my hand through this process and to my family for being so supportive and excited for us.  Hopefully we'll be posting PA (pre-approval) very soon!