We’ve been keeping a secret, but we had to work out some details before we could share anything further.
The first full week of March was a crazy and emotional week for us for so many different reasons. We had workers in and out of the house disrupting our normal routine. Our big girl had a stiff neck that was diagnosed as torticollis and then we later learned at the end of that week that it was actually strep throat. I was volunteering to work at a consignment sale for the last 3 days of the week. We were deep into planning an online fundraiser auction that was set to launch that coming weekend. Oh, and we had some pretty big, emotional anniversaries – Eisley’s birthday, our big girl’s family day, and the 1 year anniversary since Eisley had passed away. It was a full week and I didn’t plan to add anything more to that week.
Until we got THE CALL.
I was 2 minutes away from pulling into the parking lot where the consignment sale was being held and where I would be working for the next 4-5 hours. My phone rang and I noticed the phone number was our adoption agency. Initially, I didn’t think much about it because our caseworker was on vacation. I had pushed the thought of us getting a referral to the back corners of my mind. It seemed like the files of children available had slowed and I was trying to convince myself (and failing miserably) that I was okay with waiting for a while longer.
Shortly after answering the call, the caseworker said they had a file of a little girl and wondered if we would like to review the file. My fingers were shaking and tears began streaming down my face. When they told me more about the little girl, I had this peace about it and knew deep in my heart she was my daughter. For you see, I had “known” this little one for a few months. I had seen her photo months before on our agency’s social media page and had inquired about her. Our caseworker said she didn’t know anything about the file other than she was with one of their partnership orphanages. But she also clarified she had no idea when or even if that little girl’s file would come through and even if it did, our family may not be next in line to review the file. It would all depend on the order of families waiting. I asked a few other times, stared at her picture often, and prayed for her in the meantime, but then put it out of my mind for a while as we had a lot going on.
We sent her file to several doctors and asked them to review the file and follow-up with us. We requested an update from her orphanage. And last Thursday night, after receiving an encouraging report from the orphanage, we said YES. We said YES to this little girl, our soon-to-be daughter. We filed our paperwork the very next day. And yesterday we received word that China had approved us to adopt this precious, little girl! We have found our daughter!
Here is what we are able to tell you for now. First, a little detail that causes me to marvel every time I reflect on it. In early February of 2016, Eisley was going down to the operating room for a procedure. She was not stable. I was very, very concerned for her and wasn’t convinced that she would make it through that surgery. As I sat there in the waiting room, while grappling with the reality that I could lose my child that day, I had a stirring in my heart that if Eisley didn’t make it, I hoped we would one day adopt again. Looking back, it seems that our newest daughter was born within a week or two of that very day. When I think upon the timing of those things, tears spring to my eyes.
Second, for almost a year now I have prayed and asked God to bring a baby to my arms again. I didn’t have enough time with Eisley. My empty arms long to hold a little one again. In China, it isn’t common to get a referral for a child under the age of 12-18 months. This doesn’t happen very often these days. You do see some stories, but I would guess they aren’t the norm. Typically, you see children from 24 months – 13 years. I knew that and yet I hoped we might find a child as young as possible to fill those empty arms again. And guess what? She’s 13 months old. We got to see a video yesterday of her scooting across the floor. I’m an absolute puddle every time I watch that video.
We are beyond excited to make plans to go to China and bring home our daughter. I’d leave tomorrow if they allowed it. And that auction we were planning? I got lovingly kicked out by my sister so that I could focus on being with my family through the hard anniversary. But our amazing village was so generous and we were humbled by the generosity of everyone involved. Because we accepted that referral, we had a large payment due to our agency TODAY that I was able to send a check for without a deep inhale. That auction covered the needs of this payment so that we could accept that referral with no delay. To say that we are forever grateful doesn’t feel like enough, but truly we are.