Monday, December 6, 2010

First Time...Ever I Saw Your Face.....

Five Years......Long time? Short time? It's hard to say. Some days it feels like yesterday & at others it seems like an eternity ago.

I can tell you that in the last 5 years, the face of Special Needs adoption from China has changed...ALOT!

In the fall, 5 years ago, I was just to the point where I felt that I was ready to start looking for my second child from China. I belonged to several agency Yahoo groups. I would wait, with countless others, for their " SN children lists" to come in & be made public. I would search through the children, hoping to find the child meant to be mine.

And so, one day in Sept, I was on the IAAP website. Oh..there was a DARLING little girl, coincidentally from the same SWI as Lindsi, with a need I felt very comfortable in accepting. My only hesitation was her age. She was almost 3...which put her much closer to Lindsi in age than I wanted. At that point, I knew Lindsi would be OK, in whatever shape that took, but I did not want to adopt another child who would surpass Lindsi's abilities within a matter of months. Lindsi was (& still does) work so hard, it just seemed unnecessarily unfair to create a rivalry where she would be at a disadvantage within months. But, this little girl had reached right out & grabbed my heart. Maybe it would be OK...maybe instead of a rivalry, the new child could encourage Lindsi in her skills.....maybe...maybe...maybe.
I wrestled with this age factor for several days. I finally convinced myself that this situation could work out. I would love to have her. That day, as I clicked to the site to get her file, the Words I HAVE A FAMILY greeted me next to her name. Deflation.....Oh.....had I taken too long? Was there still a chance her new family would decide not to pursue her adoption?

I called IAAP & expressed an interest in the little girl. That afternoon, or the next day, Cheryl called me back & told me that she did not think the family would falter in their adoption of her. We had a very nice, heart to heart talk about the child I thought I was looking for.

Weeks passed. A new list, at a different agency came out. I found a little girl, with a SN that I was heavily considering. She was BEAUTIFUL, & I was instantly smitten. Her file was already out, but I was next in line, in case the family passed. Within days, I learned that the family had passed & her file came to me. EXCITED! However, my review committee(my mom & SIL who are both nurses) noted large discrepancies within her file & urged me to return it. Knowing they had the medical degrees, & were only looking out for my best interest. I also passed on this beautiful child. Happily, the family behind me accepted her referral. That eased my mind considerably.

December rolled around & 5 years today, Cheryl from IAAP called. Are you still looking?, was her first question. When I said Yes...she said GREAT! We just got a new list & I think I have the perfect child for you right in front of me. It was a Thu & she was giving me until Mon to decide. If I returned her file, they would post her info on their site on Monday.

So, she sent me Rao Hong Yu's file. She was EVERYTHING I told Cheryl I wanted. A daughter, the age was right, the SN was right,...everything. My heart did not leap forward & recognize her (in all fairness it didn't with Lindsi either). It was more of a there you are....type of feeling. I was a little panicked...was I REALLY READY? In the end, since I had done ZERO paperwork at that point, I knew it would be 8-10 months before she was home. I knew by then that I would be MORE THAN READY. I also knew that it was only by God's grace that she was being offered to me. I was a single parent, who barely met the income requirements for a second child. It was God's hand that delivered her file to IAAP, & Cheryl's wonderful recall that put me in her mind when she saw the file. Was there really any way I could turn down this "perfect for us" child? I really did have to think about it, but when I called Cheryl on Mon AM..she said...You better be saying YES! And indeed, I was saying YES!!

Jami came home 10 months later & life has never been the same since. She is the child that is teaching me to be a parent. She is the FIRE in Firecracker. It is never dull with her around. She keeps me on my toes. She is a snuggling delight. She is not shy with her feelings...good or bad. Although, she can turn on the bashful switch in an instant. She is funny, creative, & smart.

5 years.....sometimes it feels like yesterday & at other times, it feels like forever ago........

Referral Picture

1 Yr old...waiting for Mom in China

Jami today.......

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Bullets

We are BUSY! & I haven't been posting much. Here's what is happening in our little corner of the world lately:

- Over Thanksgiving Lindsi decided to pull her 2 wheel bike out & figure out how to ride it. The bike had TERRIBLE training wheels on it, which were causing more harm than good, so we took those off. She worked & worked & Fri PM she could ride the 2 wheeler by herself, down the drive (which is a country 100 yd driveway), turn it around & come back. Really proud of her. An elderly man at church, who we call Mr Harvey, bought that bike (brand new) for her 2 Christmases ago. I'm glad to see she is finely able to ride it. I MUST get some pics printed for him to have. About a yr ago, his children moved him back to CT, to be closer to them. He's a sweetheart of a man.

- This week I threw my nomination in for Mother of the Year. On most days, my kids ride the bus to & from school. On Tue, Lindsi stays after school for chorus rehearsal, so I pick up Jami & 30 min later, circle through & pick up Lindsi. Last Tue, there was no practice & this past Tue, there was practice, but I forgot. School gets out at 2:10, the bus gets here about 2:40. So on Tue, I was sitting on my porch waiting for the bus to come drop the kids off & my phone rang. It was the school. As soon as the Secretary said Ms racing mind went Ought-oh. She told me that Jami would be waiting for me in the office. OK....
Driving there, my mind is imagining all kinds of scenarios. Of the 2 kids, Jami is the one much more likely to react in a dramatic fashion to having been forgotten at school. When I got there though, Jami was curled up, sleeping in a chair, & Lindsi was just getting out of her activity. I was so grateful. Jami just said.."Hey! I was the last one left in car line...." Whew.....
That was God giving me a break. On my way to the school I was pulled over for speeding...39 in a 35 mph zone. Sheesh! Got off with a warning.....another little break.

- I hope we will get our tree up & decorated this weekend!!!!!!! Pictures to follow....