After a mourning period, we knew we had another decision to make. Were we done with this journey? Were we giving up? Was God just wanting to see if we would be faithful to Him even if we ended this path without a child? We weren't sure about it all. If we continued, that would mean to re-new everything and pay all of the fees one more time. But if we didn't..... were we going to be ok with that choice? I mean, with the age we were, it wasn't like we could change our minds in a few years and try again. It was all or nothing. After talking about it, we both didn't feel right about letting it go. We did decide though that this was it. We weren't renewing anything after this.
We made an appointment with our case worker and went to see how she could help. She showed us two files. One with Downs Syndrome and one with Spinabifida. Both were outside of our boundaries. We left very discouraged. Almost to the point of saying "We are done."
But then I got a message from my friend Amy who had adopted 3 girls from China. She encouraged me to look on shared sites for our child on our own. I wasn't sure about it but she gave me a few sites. One week-end I was determined to look at every child on a certain site. I looked at different files for about 12 hours. Finally, I saw a little round face with a red and white striped shirt looking at me. Run Run. That is what they called her. I opened her file and saw that she had a congenital heart defect. We didn't feel apprehensive about this because I work in the cardiac field and have connections in this area. I emailed the contact and said we were interested. I also called our caseworker to tell her what I had found. We were then informed that this particular child was only to be adopted through a certain adoption agency. It was not the agency we were with. UGH!!!! How many road blocks were we going to hit?? After talking with our agency and emailing the other agency, we all agreed that we all had the same goal in mind. Together, we could do this! We took the file to our cardiologist friend and got the OK. Of course, she'll have to follow up with a cardiologist when she gets here but all looked good according to the file. We also got to talk with a Physical Therapist who travels to the orphanage where our little one lives. She worked with our little one last summer and said that she is a real joy. A great personality and healthy as can be. :) Still there was no real excitement from us like before. Not yet.... Still a little gun shy.
So here we went again! Jumping through hoops trying to get everything completed. From interviews with Gladney, the new agency, and updates with our other agency, it was almost like starting all over.
It looked like we had everything in order pretty quick and soon we were approved to be her parents! About a week later, we got a phone call that the wrong LSC had been signed and the agency had to send for a new one from China, send it to us to re-sign and then send it back. No big deal but with all that had happened, we just didn't want anymore speed bumps! We got that taken care of and cleared up. But then, of course, Immigration told us they decided we would have to re-file our I-800 and I-800A because our other one was attached to Zoey. I have never had to do so much paper work in my life! After filing these forms and traveling one and 1/2 hours to be re-fingerprinted, (for the 4th time) everything was approved. Whew!
Everyone could tell that we were a little skeptical about everything still. Not wanting to get excited just to be let down again. But then our case worker called to say that we could send our little Run Run a package. This is when I think we started to understand that it might just work out. We shopped for an outfit, got her a panda bear, a cozy blanket, a back pack and winter hat with her name on it. We also made a hard back picture book with pics of our family so she could actually see us. On the cover it said "My Family". On Dec 12, 2012, (my birthday) we received 36 pictures of our little Run Run opening our package. There was even one pic that looked like she was pointing to my face. :) What an awesome birthday gift! She was so cute in her hat and all of her little friends behind her looking on.
So incredible! I couldn't believe that she was actually touching stuff that we had touched. It finally seemed real. I posted a pic of her with all of her friends. Some of the other adopting families posted that they could see their child in the back ground. Then another family posted they had adopted from the same place last summer and had a bunch of pics of our little one from when they were there! This particular mom said if she could have she would have scooped up Run Run and brought her home because she was just full of personality and fun. This really warmed our hearts! It is great to be connected with families who are adopting children from the same orphanage so we can keep up the friendships of our children for years to come.
On Christmas Eve, we received an e-mail that NVC had sent our letter to China! This is the final step before we get our travel dates to go get our sweet potato. We are waiting to hear back from our agency but due to the holidays, they have been out of the office. Hahah... another speed bump.
We are on the final stretch of this race we began 6 years ago. Please pray that in light of all that is going on with Russia closing their adoption program that we can cross this finish line with little Run Run in our arms and bring her home to her forever family!
I will continue to post when information comes about and when we travel. Hopefully, that will be soon.... WITH NO SPEED BUMPS! :)
You might ask how we have gotten through all this?? The following words explain it all......
For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11