So I have been waiting for the right time to recount this incredible journey that we have gone through to get to this very place. Yesterday we received a call letting us know that we finally got our travel approval. It looks like we will be leaving on June 30th. That is in 16 days!!!! So now seems like the time for me to do this.
We started our process in July 2009 and were very surprised at how quickly we were matched with a child. December 3, 2009 was the first day we saw our second daughter, unbeknown to us. Since we chose to go down the adoption road, this time using the " special need " program we again had NO idea what we were getting into. again. This is a long story but it is a good one. :)
So December 3rd we got Emmy's medical information with 4 pictures of her. We immediately fell in love with the little cutie. Since there were numerous medical concerns we needed to look for medical advice. We sent the info. we had to 3 different doctors. The first Dr. opinion that came back was just concerned about her vision. The second was the international specialist who's opinion we had put the most weight on. He was concerned about numerous things and felt that we didn't have enough info. to be positive what level she would ever be able to function at. We spoke to this Dr. at 10:30 pm and needed to make a decision by morning. After talking to each other for a few hours we decided that this may be more than we could handle. So we sent the e-mail off to Faith International saying that we were going to need to pass on adopting this child. We went to bed and I woke up at 4:00am with this dread that we had made a huge mistake. I really felt that the 2nd Dr's opinion was weighing heavily on the negative side. I woke up Scott and cried to him that morning about how I was feeling. He said that he knew I would fall in love with any child that we had the opportunity to bring home but that we needed to make a decision based on what we knew we had signed up for. He's the voice of reason so, I realized that any cute face that needed a home I would probably be willing to sign up for . He told me to tell the agency that the next time we were matched witha child to not send us pictures until we decided to go through with it. So hours later Lucy woke up and I started to feel like I needed to make sure the decision we made to add to our family had every ones best interest in mind. Lucy is home with us and she was this Godsend to us. Do we really need to ask for any more? Maybe we should just stick with one child?
It was a beautiful snowy morning and I decided we needed to take Bucky to the dog park, get some fresh air and clear my head. So that we did. It was later that day that I received a call from the 3rd doctor that we sent the medical info. to. She said that she had taken the medical info. to some other collegues of hers. They all felt that this child (Emmy) would develop at a natural rate. Their main concern was mostly about her vision also. I panicked because that was what I was feeling all along. I called Myriam at Faith International and asked her if it was common to get such opposing medical opinions. She said yes. As I sobbed to her on the phone about how I felt, she said that we could move forward without really making a solid commitment. It is an extremely confusing process but the bottom line is we could literally get all the way to China and decide that we could not go through with he adoption. Not likely to get that far but it's a possibility. So we decided to hang on and try to get more medical information about her. This could take weeks, and we would need to do tons of paperwork along the way but it was what I needed to do to feel like we were making the right decision. Scott just appeased me so I could get to a place where I felt like I had a definite answer about what to do. Little did I know that it wouldn't be just 2-3 weeks.
So as we waited I started to go into various yahoo groups and search for info. on Rumor Queen (an adoption website). I was astounded at how much info. I could get on the specific orphanage that Emmy is from. I started to get more and more info. on the likely hood that we would get more medical info. The lookout was grim but there were a few people who had received the info. that had waited it out. It took them 3 months to get info.. After a few weeks waiting and getting nothing it was time to make a decision again. We were reaching a point of saying no again. That very week I ran into a woman at Walmart who stopped me in the children's department to ask if Lucy was from China. I said yes and she told me that she was leaving in 2 days to bring their daughter home from China. Through tears I gave this woman a huge hug and congratulated her. After talking for awhile she gave the name of a friend who adopted a little boy from China who had some similar health concerns as Emmy. Coincidence I think not! So 2 days later I was speaking with a woman in Kentucky about her experience and felt the need to move forward.......and persuade Scott to trust my womanly intuition.
On December 24, 2009 we received the most grim news ever. I really had to make a conscious decision to snap out of it because I really just felt like laying in bed and crying all day. Faith International sent us an e-mail telling us that the agency had been put on suspension from China. The suspension was put in place because back in 2000 Faith had helped this couple adopt a little girl from China. This family had just been sentenced for raping that girl who was now 9 years old. I was just sick. Sick for the little girl, sick for all the couples trying to adopt from China who are now left in limbo, sick for all the children that will be sitting in China longer than they should. I wondered what this all meant for us also. But after sleeping on it and getting a grip I knew there was nothing we could do. This was Lucy's first Christmas that she would understand what was going on. We needed to celebrate with her....so here's to living in the present moment.
So again came the questions. Was this the sign I had been looking for that we needed to bow out? I thought it was, but after a many heartfelt discussions we again just decided to wait it out. At this point it was all we could do. We couldn't move forward unless we decided to switch agencies at this point. SO we waited. All along we needed to continue processing paperwork as if we were going to proceed.
We again reached a point where we needed to make a decision, we had been waiting it out too long and we didn't want to hinder the chance of this little girl ever getting adopted. ( Her profile was being held exclusively for us and often times once children reach the age of 2 they get caught in a loop of being unadoptable .......this is the very short explanation). I thought I'd take one last shot at trying to get updated medical info. on her. One person on a yahoo group had suggested trying to get the direct phone number for the orphanage and to find someone who spoke Mandarin to call directly. I was desperate so I thought what the heck. I googled Kunming SWI and what do you know the phone number and address came up on a website for a woman who does this as a business. I called her immediately and she told me that had I called 2 weeks earlier she would have told me there was no way she could have gotten medical info. for us. But the orphanage had gone under changes and there was a new director. So within the past 2 weeks she helped 4 families get updates!!!!! Again a coincidence I think not.
So about 2 weeks later we had the answer to our questions and he answer to our prayers. The medical updates all were great news. To keep this short everything we had prayed for happened. We got pictures, all the medical info. looked great and she looked incredibly healthy.
After getting her pictures I was curious to know if they were from the orphanage, because I had been told that she was in foster care. The pictures show her.....as you can see in a building, with hardwood floors. And there were children behind her so I was thinking it didn't look like a foster care setting to me. I sent a message out on the yahoo group asking the people who had traveled if they knew what the orphanage looked like. I described where Emmy was and inquired if anyone knew more. One day later I received a response from a woman who had recently traveled to Kunming with her son (now 9) on a reunion trip. She shared 100's of pictures with me from their trip. Some from the orphanage and some from the foster village. That was where Emmy was. So I was feeling so blessed to have a piece of information showing us where Emmy was and where she had spent time. I continued to look through pictures, when I spotted a picture of a woman holding a little girl. I enlarged the picture to take a closer look and right before my eye were pictures of Emmy in her Foster mother's arms!!! Incredible! Coincidence? I think not again. As I continued further I found a short video that this woman had of Emmy also. It just so happened that her sons foster mother lives right next store to Emmy's foster mother. They were all out in the court yard talking together. So we got to see a piece of our daughters life. It was a gift I could have never imagined for ourselves. It has been a huge comfort to know that she is in a loving environment while we wait to bring her home.
SO there is my very long story. We have been blessed in so many ways already that it hard to describe in words the feelings we have gone through. For about a month after we received the pictures I walked around barely able to speak about the fact that we got these pictures. I feel so lucky that our lives have brought us down this road. I felt it in China once we met Lucy for the first time., and now with Emmy too. This process really is such a miracle. God working His magic into our lives.