A great day for so many reasons. I spent the majority of the day loving on the sweetest, cutest and all-around-most precious little toddlers.
Sometime that afternoon, my phone buzzed with an incoming email. While the sweet cherub babies rested, I sent a flurry of text messages and emails.
Our agency had the file of a toddler who didn't quite fit in the niche of the waiting families of the China program. To advocate on his behalf, they sent a brief summary and a picture of him to all the waiting families. This was not the first time we've received emails like this. But, it was the first time my heart skipped a beat. It was the first time that a picture tugged at me.
Matt and I communicated with a pediatric neurologist to help break down the meaning of some of the medical terms in his summary. We contacted our social worker to request permission to look at the file. Lastly, we contacted our family coordinator to actually email us the complete file.
Friday. January 13, 2017.
Our coordinator emailed me back. Her response didn't surprise me necessarily. The adoption agency had received a few responses quite like ours to view this sweet boy's entire file. Another family further along in the process were given access to it first.
But something in me just wouldn't quit. So, I did what I do. I prayed. I realized, even in the midst of my angst to hurry up and get the file, that this other family was in the midst of making a HUGE decision. I prayed for peace for them.. for discernment.. and for joy no matter what. The weight of a child's future is (somewhat) in your hands at this point. Is he yours? Is he the one the Lord has set aside for your family? Or does the Lord have someone else for you? Even knowing that God is sovereign.. and Good.. and Holy.. and definitely knows... doesn't necessarily always negate the sting of having to say "no" to a precious little boy waiting for a family.
I didn't have to pray for that other family for long. Mere hours passed before my phone buzzed again with more incoming emails. In that group of emails was the complete file for one of the most precious little boys I've ever seen. Text messages and emails started flying... letting our families know the latest in our adoption journey.. our closest friends.. and sending the file onto the neurologist. Lots of tears flowed as I read through his complete file.
The next few days were spent a lot like Friday. Lots of communicating with lots of people.
I talked a lot with lots of other adoptive moms. So many people have been so gracious to answer our questions.. to share their own experiences with us. We're so grateful for their wisdom, honesty and complete openness.
One such lovely person... whom I just happened to meet by sort of a chance encounter.. is adopting a 3rd child from China. And wouldn't you know that she and her husband are using the same agency that we're using? Oh, and they just so happen to be open to adopting a little boy around the same age range that we'll be adopting!!
This friend and I texted quite a bit. She asked which orphanage Little Boy is at. And.. he's at the VERY SAME orphanage one of her precious girls was at! She provided a wealth of information about what life is like for many of the children residing in this particular institution.
It's been 8 days since we received ALLLLLLL the information possible on this impossibly tiny little boy. I've scoured the internet for every possible photo of him. I've wept over the things he's had to endure.. wept over the absence of a Mommy and Daddy in his life. I've praised God for truly sustaining him for the last 2 years and 1 month of his life. I've spent countless hours researching his medical needs, possible prognosis and treatment plans. I've spent many minutes staring at his pictures. I've spent countless hours communicating with medical professionals about what his life has been like and what it could possibly be like based on the medical notes in his file. I've memorized every word about what he was wearing when he was abandoned at the orphanage, what his personality is like, and which major milestones he has accomplished.
This adoption process has been a lot of things. There have been many tear jerking moments for us. There's been some angst, some grief, and lots of hope at times.
But no amount of emotion over the last 2.5 years could compare to what we've felt in the last 8 days for this handsome little boy.
Adoption is a leap of faith.. but also needing to be prepared to love your child well. A 16+ page document can in no way fully prepare you to love and care for your child, but it can offer some insight as to what your course of action should be.
Right now, we're in the limbo of leap of faith and being prepared. Are his medical needs just too much for us? (And if they are, may we not feel the sting of guilt by saying "no" to him so another family can have their "yes" with him.) Once he is home and loved, will he grow by leaps and bounds? (Is our home his home?)
We're praying for discernment. For peace. For wisdom.