Even before I went to China to adopt Lindsi in 2003, I knew I would want to go again.
For Lindsi, my dossier went to China, just before the singles quota was implemented in Dec 2001. So, I knew I would need to get in a long line to adopt from China a second time. About a month after coming home with Lindsi, I put in my application to adopt from China again, this was nothing more than a place holder until my name came to the top of the list.
Then one thing led to another, Lindsi needed so much attention health wise in her first year home. She qualified for OT, PT, and speech. She was in the hospital for a severe case of RSV. She had ear tubes. She had booth tests about every 6 weeks to try & chart her hearing, or lack thereof. We were both learning ASL. She had an ABR & the next week, we moved across the country from CA to FL.
We lived with my parents for awhile (about a yr), while I got situated with new therapists, new preschools, new audiologists, pediatrician, ENT. She had her cochlear surgery & we were hit with 2 hurricanes. It was a busy few years.
In that time, my name came to the top of the singles list 3 times & each time, I would tell them to please put me back at the bottom, it wasn't a good time for me yet. I was so fully concentrated on catching Lindsi up, that I did not have the time or resources to give to another child. The desire was still there, but it had taken a backseat to her needs. I needed to feel that Lindsi was at a place where my attention on her could be divided, that she didn't need me quite as much.
After Lindsi had been home about 2.5 yrs...fall of 2005, I started to feel like she was on a good track. She'd had her cochlear for a yr. She was making good & steady progress with it. We had our own home by then. I could finally dust off those thoughts of returning to China. Something in me as a parent had changed though. We had been through a lot & I saw that we were actually doing OK. I no longer wanted a NSN child from China. I would have missed so much if I had not been chosen to be Lindsi's mother. I felt I actually COULD handle a second child with some needs. I knew my second daughter was a waiting child.
I started to look at various agency's waiting children list. I had my mind set on what I was looking for.....not unlike a lot of people, I wanted a girl, under 2, with a minor need. The very first child I looked at, hooked my heart. She was even from Lindsi's SWI. Her need was minor. But, she was nearly 3. I hesitated, not because 3 was "so old", BUT because I did not want my girls that close together in age. Misplaced loyalty or not, if Lindsi ever needed to repeat a grade in school, I did not want her to have to compete in school directly with a sibling, so I wanted / NEEDED them to be at least 2 years apart. By the time I talked myself out of that need, she had a family. She was with IAAP & I talked with Cheryl a great deal about our family & the child I was looking for.
A few weeks later, on a different agency list, I found another little girl. Younger, with limb difference, which was my #1 SN choice. She was BEAUTIFUL. Just wonderful. A family had her file & passed on her, so it came to me. After reviewing her file, it was evident that the limb difference, her stated need, was only the tip of the iceberg. She had a lot of needs & my counselors (my family) implored me to really consider her needs in addition to what I already had on my plate. I ended up passing the file on, but the next family who reviewed her, accepted her. That felt good.
Those were the only 2 children I really considered, until early Dec when Cheryl at IAAP emailed me. She said she had a new list & had a file she wanted to send me. The child was everything we discussed I needed. She was giving me 4 days to review the file & if I accepted her, then she would not be placed on the web site. If I passed, they would post her on Mon. Fair enough, I thought. So Cheryl sent me the file. I opened it...there was a cute, little girl. 8 months old..YOUNG! with a need so minor, an extra toe, it could hardly be considered a need at all. I could not believe the blessing. Here I was, a single mom, barely meeting the income req to go again, & I was being offered THIS child?? I knew that if she was posted, she would be claimed in microseconds. It was a huge Yes! I smile at God's ironic sense of humor. When I didn't want anything, but a NSN child, I was blessed with Lindsi & all her needs. When I opened myself up to a SN child, I was blessed with Jami & all of her non-needs.
This all comes to mind now, because Jami is the exact age that Lindsi was when I went to China to get her sister. My family often remarks that since I came home from China with Jami that I seem more settled & complete. I feel like my chicks are gathered. There is no more restlessness of someone missing.
Sure, every once in awhile the girls talk about having more sisters here at home. If I'd been married, with more finances, I'm pretty sure the family would be bigger. However, to God's glory, He laid the desires on my heart & He opened the doors when it was time to go. And then He contented me with what I had. Such a blessing, & I'm so very thankful for both girls.
These pictures were taken the night I got back from China & introduced Lindsi to her new sister.
Best friends & sisters today....