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.......


Lori said...

Oh, sweet friend...what a beautiful story! And those pictures just choked me up with tears. Jami is so darling!!

You are so blessed! God placed her perfectly into your little family...NO doubt about it!

Congratulations on this very special day!

ourchinagirls said...

Funny how it all falls in place. I know the feeling! Someday I want to meet these precious girls!


Sandra said...

Oh, how I love this post! And what an adorable baby she was ;-)

CherylCG said...

I am so happy you took my call...what a precious family you have now! We love you all.

Cheryl and Dick

Anonymous said...

What a little angel. I so want to adopt from China.

kitchu said...

oh my gosh. FIVE YEARS. you realize that means i've known you for like... 4? where does the time go??

here's to five years since seeing that adorable face! xoxo Jami :)

Mailia's Mom said...

Wow Debby! I just read this and got chill bumps and tears while reading it. Then to see that PRECIOUS face (how could anyone NOT love that face)
I cried happy tears. Happy for you, Happy for Jami and Happy for Lindsi.
What a beautiful family you have!

Christine said...

What a beautiful story. :)