I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Twist & Turns...........

On September 27, 2006 we contacted an adoption agency in a nearby town. I spoke with the owner/facilitator on the telephone for two hours on this day. We discussed all things adoption, got to know each other a little bit & decided that we should meet face to face. We made the decision to meet at the agency about a month later on October 23rd, 2006 at 11AM. We met with her for about two hours in her office. Thomas & I felt that she & the agency were a great fit for us & the future of our family. On the day of this meeting we gathered all of the information the agency had available for us so that we could make the best decisions for us in moving forward. We knew we were going to adopt. However, that is only the first of many decisions to be made in the process. Knowing that we were going to adopt, we knew we would need a favorable, completed home study by a licensed social worker/agency within our state. Therefore, on this day we contracted with the agency in order to begin the process of our home study. At this time, we had not decided whether we would pursue a Domestic Adoption or an International Adoption, but knew we would need the home study with either & could customize our Dossier (the paperwork that goes to the agency in China to process your adoption) as needed as we went along. We came home with a lot to think about. We were filled with anticipation, excitement & a few nerves as well. We were to phone our facilitator in the coming days in order to set up a day & a time for her to come to our home & begin our home study process. In the meantime, we began gathering documents, filling out applications & reading everything we could get our hands on. We met again with our facilitator at the agency on November 14th, 2006. We handed in documents, signed more paperwork & got to know each other better as we knew that we would be working closely with one another over the coming months. We mailed out request for character references to many of our friends & family. (Thank you again to those of you that helped with those. We have each of them & they will forever hold such a special place in our hearts! Your words were so heartfelt & meant so much!) Thomas & I ultimately decided that an International Adoption best suited us. After years of Infertility, we wanted a sure thing. We knew that with an International Adoption that often the timeline is uncertain, but the process is not. The end result is a family & that is what we wanted. Domestic Adoption didn't offer that for us in our minds in the state in which we currently live (& in the months to come we would unfortunately be reminded of this in a very up close & personal way). With the decision to proceed with International Adoption then came the task of choosing a country. We researched many countries, but we always came back to the same one........CHINA. "Why?" The best answer to that question is, "Because our daughter is there!" There were many reasons that we chose China. For now though, for the purposes of this post I will just leave it at that & get more into the "why China?" question at another time. In order to move on with an International Adoption is was necessary to contract with another agency......a larger agency who is contracted with China who would help us bring our daughter home. We chose a wonderful agency out of Texas. On November 30th, 2006 we spoke with this agency for the first time & verbally contracted with them to get the process started. On Decemeber 4th, 2006 we mailed the initial application & contract to our Texas agency with our initial payment. Soon after in the days that would follow we continued to run the infamous "paper chase", mailing off request for original birth certificates, marriage license, local, state & federal clearances etc. On December 12th, 2006 our in-state facilitator came to our home for our first home study visit. It went very well. During this visit she said that she hated to even mention it, as she knew we had chosen to proceed with an International Adoption, but that she possibly had a Domestic placement that she felt she should mention that we were well suited for. We knew that our daughter was in China & we were not willing to abandon our journey to bring her home, but we thought that maybe this little one here in the states was meant to join our family as well. We soon found out that the birth mother was due in January 2007 & wanted to proceed with a birth plan & placement plan immediately. We let our agency know that we wanted to be considered. We didn't even have our "Life Book" put together for the birth mom to view so that she could learn about us & our family life, so our facilitator just took various photos of us & our life & a letter to the birth mom from us. We got a call on December 21st, 2006 that the birth mother had narrowed it down to two families & we were one of them. On December 23rd, 2006 our facilitator called Thomas at home at around 5:30PM & told him that we were chosen. He called me at work & asked me if I was ready to be a Mommy. On Christmas morning, December 25th, 2006 we met our facilitator at her office & signed the final papers for our Domestic placement. On Christmas Day at our family Christmas dinner, right after the prayer, right before we ate Thomas & I announced to our family that we were adopting domestically as well & that we would be welcoming our first baby home much sooner than we had anticipated. We hired an attorney on December 30th, 2006 & put everything in high gear. Again, we never for once wavered in our decision to bring our daughter home from China, we just chose to put things with our International Adoption on hold just long enough to get this little one home safe & sound. We signed paperwork, met with our facilitator numerous times, spoke with our attorney on multiple occasions & prepared our home for all things baby. It was a joyful time in our lives! On January 11th, 2007 I was putting chicken wings in the oven for lunch. I could even tell you what I was wearing on this day.......funny how that works.....Some events or days in your life you just never forget a detail no matter how much you wish that you could. Anyway-the phone rang & it was our facilitator. The baby had been born early in the morning hours by emergency c-section. Everything was fine, well; the baby anyway was perfect. However, the plan was not going the way we had expected it to. To be honest, I don't want to rehash every detail of that day or the days that followed. No purpose will be served by doing so. I will just say that the birth mother's sister saw that perfectly healthy, beautiful baby girl & after all of that time knowing about the pregnancy & the adoption plan decided that she thought that she could raise her. The birth mother asked to meet us so we traveled several hours to the hospital where she had given birth. She told us she wasn't wavering, that the baby was ours & to go to her.........so, we did. The next day when we arrived at the hospital & buzzed the OB Ward to go in we were told that "she had company". I asked, "Do they have the baby in the room?" They told us that they did. My heart sank & in my mind I knew it was over. My heart wanted to believe otherwise. We waited in the lobby when the nurse finally came out to say that the birth mother was wavering & that we should go home & that someone would be in touch. At around 4PM on January 12th, 2007 our facilitator called to let us know that the biological family would be taking the baby home. There were a million other events that surrounded those days, but this gives you the basic story. I stood there gazing at that beautiful, perfect little life knowing in my heart that she was ours & we walked out of the hospital that day with empty arms & left the parking lot with an empty car seat. It was gut wrenching. We came home to my parents where we were surrounded with support & love. We took a few days there to catch our breath & then came back to our home to all things prepared for baby. We took a short time to get our heads wrapped around what had happened. Then came the task of packing away all of the things that were so lovingly & carefully selected for her. Now it was time get back to some state of normal. Shortly thereafter, we were ready to move forward & get back to the journey of bringing our daughter home from China.

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