Hubby and I made many changes in our adoption plans. Each time we did we were certain they were right, until of course we changed it AGAIN! We started off planning to adopt the NSN route, 2 little girls. By the time we had our paperwork done and had submitted it to our agency China was making some big changes. This was early December 2006 and changes would be implemented by May 1st, 2007.
We tend to gather all the information available, pray and then make a decision. We generally don't wait to long to make the decision because so much can change with time. We pray and we take a chance, we trust God with what we cannot control. Yes, we get very (me, more so) nervous and then somehow God calms us(me) and guides us.
In December we got a phone call- it said we could continue with our planned course - NSN program but we would only have a chance to get one child from it due to our age. Our second child could then be from the SN list. The wait? they didn't know but it seemed to be getting longer (in retrospect, that was an understatement).
We had 5 bio kids- love you guys- but let's face it no one is prefect. One had two feet turned in and needed 3 months of casting, another had one foot turned in and needed 2 months of casting and special but adorable shoes, another had a chunk missing from his ear and the fourth has a couple, okay a few webbed toes and he goes by the name of Webbs with his friend, the youngest... is extremely stubborn and I'm being nice just saying that! Don't get me wrong- they are perfect and joyful, fun, loving and a dream come true for us. My point... NO ONE IS PERFECT (at least no human)!
We quickly switched to the SN program and within a week we found our Anna on our agency waiting child list.
Fast forward- because of our age (we are a bit more mature than some of the younger couples ;-) our agency allowed us to start the process after Anna was home 6 months. We THOUGHT we knew what we wanted. We were looking for another younger girl but were undecided of the SN. We incorrectly believed that an older child would not be able to bond to us and felt she would come with issues. I brought it up a couple times because I felt that at our age it may be a good fit. We are always doing the math- how old will we be when she graduates from high school, from college? There were no younger girls available but a bunch of older- 6 to 10 yr old referrals had arrived. I saw a picture of an adorable 7 yr old girl. My first thought- if only she was younger... At that point I had a sore back from carrying Anna. I was beginning to think how on earth am a going to carry two little ones? I kept coming back to her pic and then mentioned it to hubby. One look at her and he said "Let's go for it!"
So we did! We had to work hard for her referral- this was an adoption that was out of birth order and it was an older child. We needed the approval of the older child committee- they would be meeting in 3 weeks- I feared her referral would be gone by then so I did my best to fight for it. If you know me- I am the worst arguer in the world, truly, in the whole world. God gave me the words and I remembering looking back thinking- wow, did I really say that! Needless to say we got the referral!
Hubby and I prayed about it, we had our uncertain times.
This is very hard for me to say but it is important... we decided not to accept the referral. I wrote an e-mail declining it and pushed send... my brand new apple computer shut down, froze- I don't know what happened. It would not send that e-mail... I had to restart and rewrite... so I did and the second time I could not press send... so I deleted it.
I believe that the Lord knew she was our daughter and intervened. Thank you Jesus!
The next day we joyfully accepted the referral!
Cold feet? you betcha! I had days of wondering "what the heck was I doing?" "What was I thinking?" Often when I felt this way I did not talk to hubby because it would be even scarier and real if I did and IF he was thinking the same way. I would pray and just give myself some time.
I was required to read all of the necessary books- the hurt child, parenting the hurt child, toddler adoption, attaching in adoption, etc. Usually I would read the book and then share what I read with hubby. I could only read a portion at a time and then had to take a break- they are very heavy books. However they are GREAT books- they are not there to scare you, they are available to empower you. I am a big believer that knowledge is power!
I would read... be scared to death and exhausted but by the next day I was ready to read some more and at peace with what I read yesterday. I honestly felt like God was challenging us BUT he was also there for us.
The adoption process is much like a pregnancy and as time went on both hubby and I felt at peace about adopting older. We had fallen in love with our new daughter and we were excited to have her join our family. I had all the info that I had read tucked back in my brain but felt determined to be successful in this adoption.
I had beautiful thoughts in my head of what it would be like to have our now 8 yr old daughter join our family BUT more so I was armored with reality and ready to go!
Next post- Meeting our Daughter!