I know you have been waiting to hear “the story”. As you all know we just adopted Lily in February. We were approved to adopt two children at that time. Actually on all of our adoptions we put that for many different reasons. When we were adopting Emma we were open to the idea of twins. When we adopted Meilynn we put two because we had done that with the first and what if we got to China and found out that Meilynn had a sibling or twin? I know that would be rare, in fact I have only heard of something like that happening twice before, but since it didn’t change anything we asked to be approved for two. With Lily we could not stand the thought of leaving her best friend behind so we asked to be approved for two just in case her friend did not find a family. We actually asked to adopt her at the same time but our agency said that China would not allow the adoption of two healthy six year olds and as you know her friend found the family that she was meant to find and we are able to keep the girls in contact.
At about this time we were coming up on Lily’s 6th month post placement visit. I told Mike that since we were approved for two that maybe we should submit our dossier to China and then if we ever did decide to adopt again it would already be logged in. We both agreed that we would do that and if God wanted us to adopt again we would and if he didn’t we were fine with our beautiful family as it was.
Every time we have adopted China has changed something about the process. This time is no different. And even since we have started this adoption there have been significant changes.
I became a member of an advocate group for children that were on the shared list. There are over 2000 children waiting to be adopted with minor-major special needs, both females and males. Every month the list gets longer. On this site they post the pictures and just a brief description on the need. Members of this group are also wonderful people that advocate for special children that touch them in some way.
One day I was looking at the website of one of these advocates when I saw a baby that was 10 months old that I could not stop looking at. Several people were interested in her, but I felt a special place in my heart for her. I saw her file get locked and unlocked several times and every time it did I felt a tug in my heart. We were finally able to lock her file. She had a need that I had not ever heard of before. I consulted with professionals on her need and they were very positive, but the family that had locked her file before us sent me all of the medical information that they had which was not so positive. Mike and I prayed for direction. We only had 72 hours to decide. In our married life we have only made decisions that we both agree upon. As a result we had to let her file go. I was heartbroken and decided that I would not look at pictures any longer. I don’t think you can know how this feels unless you have had this happen. It is like the loss of a child even though they were never really yours. But little did I know that God had a different plan for us.
One of the advocates sent me an e-mail telling me that she didn’t know if I was looking or not but that she had two files she would like me to look at. One was of a three year old and one a four year old. I told her briefly what had happened but I told her to send me the three-year old one. She told me that she would be three in November, that she had a repaired cleft lip, had hearing loss, and that she was from a disruption in May. She warned me that she was “super cute”, which was my reaction when I opened the file with her picture. Because of what had happened before, I told myself that I would not fall in love with this little one until we knew that it was God’s plan for our family.
I showed her file to Mike. We needed to find out more about her. I asked the advocate if she knew anymore about why the family might have disrupted. She said that the family went to China expecting to adopt a child with a repaired cleft lip, but when they found out there were other needs, they decided to disrupt.
Mike and I both prayed about this. Cleft lip was a need that we had listed on our homestudy that we would be open to. We had never considered hearing loss before. But God had just given us a Son-in-Law last year. And guess what? He is in his last year of audiology school. In retrospect, could this be any clearer? We didn’t read the signs that God was sending us yet.
We decided that we would send what little we had on her hearing to our Son-in-Law, Nick. He was able to look at what we had and also send it to others to look at. Everyone felt if the tests were right that her hearing could be corrected with hearing aids.
I tried to find out who the family was that disrupted from the advocate, but she did not know. I was hoping that by some miracle I could talk to the family. The advocate did send me several pictures that were taken when care packages had been sent from the other family. I even contacted the care package company but they did not return my e-mail and I really did not think that they could tell me who the family was. But I was hoping they could contact them and see if they would talk to me. I never heard anything. I just needed to know why?
We then contacted our agency and asked to lock her file. They were able to lock her file for us giving us 72 hours to make a decision. This was on Thursday, August 5th. Then a miracle happened. I found out who the family was and I was able to find out if they would be willing to talk to us either directly or through the person that knew them. We set up a time to talk. (Now I was feeling that God was directing us on this path and all we had to do was be open to what God was planning for us.) After getting off the phone I was told nothing that would make me not continue with the adoption. I was also able to get the Dr.’s number that had reviewed the file and talked to them while they were in China. I put a call into the Dr. but I did not get to talk to her before we were due to make a decision. Mike and I both felt that this was what God was asking us to do, so we sent our LOI (Letter of Intent ) on August 7th and on August 10th we had our PA or pre-approval!
On Thursday I was finally able to talk to the Dr. and still there was nothing said that made us change our minds or feel that this was not God’s plan for our family.
During all of this time I made myself not look at her sweet little face and not fall in love because of what had happened before, but now there was a peace that God had given us the most perfect gift. And because of this other family we have so many more pictures and information than we ever had on any of our previous adoptions. I like to picture God with a needle and the “red thread” that knit together this perfect plan.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths, of the earth,
your eyes saw my uniformed body.
All the days ordained for me where written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
Introducing our new daughter:
Jilliana Elise Jihong
I love the "girly" way she is posing and what a twinkle she has in her eyes. I cannot wait to get to know her.
I think she will fit right in with the other girls.
Look likes she will really fit in. Look the girl is not even three and is doing her hair!
I think she likes to pose for the camera.
My next post I will tell you a little more about her as I have just received an update! And I will post pictures from this last year. The pictures above were taken in July.