Thursday, June 8, 2017

Snail Mail and China

     Two weeks. Fourteen days. Three hundred and thiry-six hours. What can be accomplished in this amount of time? Well, I'm here to tell you...enough. Enough can happen when God is in control.
     When we were given the file of our little guy, there was a lot of uncertainty. We were overwhelmed by the unknown. There were terms in his file that we had never heard before. And then there was this shortened time frame. We had a LOT of learning to do in not so much time. SO, like many other situations before, I immediately began to do some research on my own. Enter: Google! I've typed many a word into a Google search throughout our adoption journey. And like many scenarios in life, you get the good with the bad. The scary with the hopeful. Annnnnd everything in between.
     I also took the advice of many adoption agencies and consulted a doctor well-versed in international adoptions. I had spoken with a doctor out of Cincinnati Children's Hospital a few years ago when we had wanted to review a file of a little one in South Korea. It was a wonderful experience and they were so impressive. This time, however, I decided to reach out to an IAC that was slightly closer to home. Admittedly, I didn't know this IAC existed a few years ago when we had first begun our adoption process. I made the initial phone call to seek out financial information and how their process typically worked. I was super surprised when I was given the doctor's personal cell phone number. I called and had an amazing conversation with this doctor. She told me to forward her the file, pictures, videos, etc. and she would be in touch.
     A day later, she sent measurement and growth charts with all of his data plotted. She also shared a wonderful list of follow-up questions to send to the orphanage. I immediately forwarded these questions to our social worker. Remember, we're down to crunch time at this point. The clock was ticking. Our social worker responded that she would most certainly send our questions to the orphanage. She also made sure to inform us that it was possible that we would not receive a response.
     China. Adoption. International. Any and all of these words remind you quickly that this is not an "ask and you shall receive" type of scenario. But Eric and I decided to pray and wait. We basically decided that if we did not hear back from China, we would take that as a "Not now" answer to this little guy. We wanted to have complete peace about whether we were the right family for this little boy and his special needs.
     On March 9th, we received an email with an updated video and updated answers to almost all of our questions. This email was an absolute answer to prayer! We still had a little bit of time to make a decision we felt peaceful about. As we watched the updated video, we both smiled from ear to ear. Immediately, I felt as though this boy was OURS. I tend to be the more heart-headed person in our marriage so I didn't want to jump to I asked Eric what he thought. We spent the next several hours talking a LOT about what was going on in our hearts. The next day, I spoke on the phone with our IAC doctor. She shared a lot of positive things based on our update we had received. She also shared the scary things. I fully expected her to say the things she said. She's a doctor. And I don't expect her to understand our hearts and the calling we truly felt God was placing on our hearts. She had a couple of questions she wanted us to ask the orphanage as a follow-up to the information we were given. Discrepancies. That's another word you can just go ahead and expect to experience with those three words I talked about earlier. China. Adoption. International. I sent them to our social worker knowing it was almost impossible to hear back from China in time. We were down to five days. Five days before our agency lost his file. Our social worker said she'd be happy to send the follow-up questions, but reminded us of the time crunch.
     Eric and I talked around the kitchen island that night. We discussed a lot of things. Deep down, we both know our decision didn't hang on whether or not we heard back from China again. We both felt peace about helping our little guy with whatever he may need. He was OUR boy! Now, remember, I'm the heart-headed I pretty much wanted to SHOUT THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS! But Eric said to give it a couple of days to see if we heard back. Actually typing that sentence out makes me a little queasy. WHY DID I LISTEN TO HIM!? But I did. I waited.
     Our social worker emailed me on March 14th letting us know she had not heard from the orphanage and we would need to make a decision. I replied QUICKLY with our resounding "YES! We are overjoyed at the chance to be his forever family!" The icing on the cake was that this email exchange took place at 10:20AM. At 11:02AM, we received our second update from the orphanage. Wow, God!
     The next few hours were a blur. I had until 4PM Central time of that SAME DAY to submit a host of documents. And I was at work. And we had to leave immediately after school to take one of the kiddos to the doctor. Soo when was I going to type of these documents and scan them back!? AHH! Well, praise the Lord...I had not yet had my conference period that day! It begins at noon. And lasts for 40 minutes. I don't think I've ever accomplished SO MUCH in so little time. But, GOD!
    In two weeks, God orchestrated the most perfect journey to our sweet and precious boy. He showed up and showed off. We are so grateful for all of the ways the Lord met us along the way and gave us an indescribable peace about our SON! His timing is truly always perfect.


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