And then, 7 days of sleepless nights. Tears that pour out at the most random times. Grief. Longing. Hope. Lots of thinking of all different kinds of thoughts. Lots of talking with lots of people. Prayers. Many prayers prayed by myself (and Matt), and others on our behalf. Scripture being read.. and more scripture being poured over.
Finally, a sound night's sleep. Deep, deep sleep for the first time in what seems like a very long time. And a dream happens. It's such a really good dream. I wake up refreshed, but somehow confused.
At that point, all the noise just has to stop. It's time to take a deep breath.. be still.. pray some more.. read more scripture. Unexpected phone calls come in, more talking and words are thrown around. Peace abounds. But still, it feels like there's just one last question mark that needs to be resolved.
But Chinese New Year is coming up, and quickly. With a 14 hour time delay and a massive National Holiday looming, it seems unlikely that the big question mark will go away. Much to our surprise, some communication happens.. and the question mark vanishes as if it never existed.
While his file seemed daunting at first, we spent lots of time dissecting it. Each phone call made, each email received only provided more and more answers. Lots of medical jargon and prognosis were thrown out. What would have seemed scary to us years before, didn't sound troubling at all. We felt peace. We asked lots of questions to some really wise people. We prayed a lot. We asked our agency about things and stuff. More answers were given.
On Tuesday, January 24th, it was confirmed in our hearts what I had felt from the morning hours of January 12th. This little boy is ours to pursue.
For us, we found that sweet spot between leap of faith and being prepared. We learned all we possibly could. We found the right questions to ask, and were given answers. We took the leap of faith.
On January 25th, we sent China a formal letter stating our desire to make this boy a Brantner forever.
There's no telling when we might receive a response. The entire country shuts down for about 8 days for Chinese New Year.
We've never heard of a family not receiving a Letter of Approval. And we're really praying we aren't the first. :)