We have been staring and praying over a little girls picture since last October. This little girl made such an impression on my heart back in October I wanted to share our soon to be daughters (yes you heard that right, we are adding a new daughter also to our family)story or how we fell for this sweet face with dimples!
In October 2013, my hubby and I decided that we would host a child in our home for Christmas. They child would be an orphan, and would come stay in our home for 4-5 weeks. We also decided that we would like to host a child from China. We had had friends host children and it seemed to have been such a blessing so we thought we would also like to give a child that opportunity. When the Christmas hosting photo list came out we looked through read the descriptions of the children available and decided to inquire on two different little boys. Both were 4 yrs old. We chose a younger boy, because we knew that the high possibility of us moving forward with adoption after hosting was pretty high. Since we had just added a little girl to our family we felt called to a little boy and also the need for boy adoptions is very high. About 75% of kids available for adoption in China are boys. When I called and spoke with the coordinator she shared the childrens needs and we felt more equipt to handle one of the childrens needs over the other so we placed a hold on him for our family. I did look through the other children, but was so excited about our little guy and getting to work fundraising for the cost to bring him to the US to spend the holidays with our family.
Over the next week or two I would every now and then get on the photolisting to see our little man with our name below his picture and also see what other children were being hosted and where. There was a little girls face that I always kept going back too, it just drew me in. Her sweet closed mouth smile, peace sign held high, and those dimples. OOOOh how I loved those dimples.
I prayed she would have a family step up to host her. But as I prayed I heard clearly, "bring her too". WHAT? Oh my. I prayed a few more days and the weight on my heart was heavy. I knew I needed to approach my husband and tell him. Tell him that I heard clearly God telling us to bring her too. Tell him it would be another $3000 we would need to raise, bringing us to a $6000 total to host both kids. I prayed for the courage. I was nervous for sure of his reaction. So one night at bedtime (when there is no escaping) I told him my heart. He stared at me and said, " if you think that is what we are suppose to do then okay". I truly did not know how to respond. I am sure he asked some questions also, but those do not matter, lol. He said yes. Not just to me, but to Gods asking of me. He trusted what I heard and stood by me. So the next day I made the phone call to the agency p143.org (check them out friends) telling them we also wanted to bring C107 (that was the number she was listed with)to our home for hosting also. Well since China was a new hosting program for them, they were unsure of how hosting two would go and if it would be okay. They asked a lot of questions about our experience with children and many children and said they would need approval from higher up. I said okay. I told her I understood and respected whatever decision they came too, but God told me I was to bring her to the US also so I had to at least try. The agency told me they would get back to me with a response.
I waited a day or so and finally received and email stating they were going to allow us to host both children! Now not only was I excited, but our daughter was so excited! Over the next couple months we fundraised and saved and prepared to have two special house guests over the Christmas holiday. As we got closer to the arrival, we started getting emails from the agency saying there was some government changes going on in China and they may have to push the dates back. Okay, we were slightly saddened by the news the kids would not get to spend Christmas with us, but as long as they were coming we would still make it a wonderful. Then on December 2nd we were celebrating the adoption of our youngest daughter. Had a wonderful court ceremony in her town of birth and then a yummy dinner after! We got home late in the evening and I received an email stating that the hosting program from China would not be happening at all. We were very saddened. Not only for us, but for the kids. We did not know what we would do next. Over the next few days the agency told us what our options were: we could leave the money we had raised and wait until Summer hosting to see if China would reopen, we could donate to another charity, or they could roll it over into an adoption grant if we chose to start the adoption process. Hubby and I had some more talking to do. Much to my surprise when we talked he again took my breath away. "Well why don't we just adopt them then. You know if we brought them into our home for hosting and had to let them go, that we would fall in love and start the process anyways. There was no way you were bringing those kids here to let them return and not go get them". Boy does my hubby know my heart. I was slightly fearing the having to let them go back part. Even with all our foster parent experience of loving and letting go, it still hurts. So at this point I had had something weighing on my heart, but was praying daily about it that it would all just work out. Now with the husband saying this I had to share. I told him that if we were going to be adopting without hosting first I did not feel like the little boy we were to host was suppose to be our son. I do not know how to explain how I was feeling, but I was praying that during hosting I would develope that instant feeling. Without hosting I knew it would not be right and he was not meant to be our son. I did flip it a little on the husband, by saying, "but there is this other little boy that I do believe is our son. You have seen his photo many times and I think we should pray about bringing him home also". Well I had been a Advocate for a little guy for about 6mo about. I had shared him with hubby and told him all about him. I had talked late into the night with interested families, researched his special need and made contact with anybody you had met or knew him. I wanted this little man to find his family. He had a spark. Something special! Months went by though and families would sound so interested and then pass him by. My heart broke, but I continued to advocate and pray. I knew the province of this little boy and as soon as I found out our future daughters province and they were the same, I knew I could not leave him behind. So the next day I made the call to the agency and said we would like to adopt C107 (as we still knew her) and this other sweet boy known as "Phineas" on Reecesrainbow.org.
So the process started. They quickly located "Phineas" file and we were able to get it locked for our family, but then we got the call we did not expect. Your future daughter does not have a file. It is not ready yet. WHAT? How long will that take? The answer, we do not know could be 4mo, could be 6mo. The orphanage is saying they will do it by February. Okay, she is our daughter, we will wait for it. While we waited we did our homestudy and mounds, of paperwork and made the drive to Salem for our State Seal. We knew the past ladies by name and they had lots of questions about our journey. February came and I called asking about the file. The orphanage says maybe March, but probably April. UGH. More waiting. Praying that they were really doing it and seeing the urgency. See we already had our pre-approval to now adopt our son. We have been doing paperwork. It all has expiration dates on it. We could only wait so long as far as the paperwork goes. Our hearts longed for that file. April 2014 finally came to an end and I got word the orphanage had sent her file off the to next place to be reviewed. Her Province. From there we prayed it would take the shortest amount of time, a month to then head to its next stop the CCCWA. Towards the end of June we got word that it was at the CCCWA, they could see it logged into the computer. Now again we wait. Last stop our agency. It needed to get to our agency and then it could get to our hands. I have to say I was not very patient and towards the end of July I started calling once a week asking if they had received the file. Each time the answer was no and we will call you when we do, we promise. I struggles, I got obsessed. Then one night after Bible study I gave it all to HIM. I prayed that I would trust HIM and HIS timing. I was letting the burden go. Was going to live in the here and now and enjoy my days with my kids that were here. That was on a Wed. The next monday the kids and I, and our ukrainian house guest (another time,another post, lol) went for a drive down the gorge. We took her to see Multnomah Falls, the fish hatchery and then bonneville dam. It was hot and by the end of the day people were getting cranky and tired. We started loading the van back up to head home and my phone rang. I recognized that number right away. Upon answering my first words were, " tell me you have amazing news for me". I heard back, " we have the file, it came, we are emailing it to you now"! I seriously could have cried, I was chilled all over with excitement. Oh the joy. Now to make the long drive home Sigh.
We are so excited to now announce after reviewing her file, which we almost did not need to see as she is our daughter. We finally got PA (pre-approval) from China. We are now so ready for our son and daughter to be home. We are working so hard to raise the last bit of funds that we need. We have been blessed with photos of our daughter from a camp that she attended this summer and will treasure them always.