Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Adoption Update

Just as no two pregnancies/births are alike, no adoption stories are alike either.
We are learning this the hard way as we meander through the murky waters of our third adoption.  What started out as such an easy road has turned into a road with many unexpected twists and turns.  The short story is that we began the process in April, 2013, under the full assumption that we would be an easy/quick match once our paperwork was completed.  Our paperwork was completed and sent to China in September, 2013.  Our official wait began and we felt sure we would know our daughter's face by Christmas.  Christmas came and went without a match.  Four months of waiting and still no word.
Monday night our phone rang and with three sets of eager eyes watching, I answered the phone call from our agency.  They found a seventeen month old baby girl for our family.  She was super cute.  Big grin.  Long, beautiful fingers.  As bald as one could possibly get.  And she looked really healthy and happy.  One would have never known that this little one was fighting a serious heart disease.  Our agency wanted to say it was moderate but after speaking with medical professionals, we determined that her "moderate" need was actually a severe need and one that our family could not say yes to.
And for the first time in all three of our adoptions, I cried big tears because this is just hard.  It is hard to wait.  It is hard to trust in God's plan.  It is hard knowing that on the other side of the world our daughter waits and we don't even know who she is yet.  And, the hardest part?  Saying no to a dear little girl that deserves just as much of a chance at life as the healthy child she plays next to each day.  That is hard.
China's adoption program is undergoing to significant changes that are affecting our process.  We were told today to expect to wait up to a year for our match.  So we wait.  And we trust that God will reveal her sweet face to us at the right time, His time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Today I reconnected with a piece of my heart.
Today was a day that I have dreamed of for the past 19+ years.
19 years ago, I was in college and decided to volunteer at a local childrens home.  I chose to be a "big sister" to a little girl.  She had just turned 8 years old and she was the most beautiful, happy little girl I believe I had ever met.  She quickly settled into my heart.  And I quickly made it my mission to get her out of the childrens home for good.
And one day, just by pure chance, a couple found her and wanted her to be theirs.  And they swooped her up into what we all hoped would be her happily ever after.  And I thought I would be a part of that picture.
But it wasn't meant to happen that way.
I was told I could not be a part of her new life.
I was devastated.
For one year, she was my little girl.  Mine.  I did everything I could to make sure she had as normal of a life as possible - we went to church, I took her on vacations with my family, I bought her clothes, we went to plays, we had playdates with her friends, we shared holidays together....you name it, we did it, and in the process I was taught that loving a child that was not biologically my own was more than possible.
And in the blink of an eye it ended.  And I never even got to say goodbye.
Life went on.  I heard updates through the grapevine, all good, which made my heart happy and settled.  But oh how I missed her.
Fast forward 19+ years and today was the day that I have prayed for and dreamed of since the last day I saw her....today was the day I got to see her again.  And she is still beautiful.  And she still has a sparkle in her eye when she smiles.  And she is a mother to two gorgeous children, one of whom looks just like she did as a child.
My heart hurts.  We've missed so much together.
But at the same time, my heart smiles.  A new day has begun and I look forward to seeing her again very soon.
Maddox Ren....the sassiness is coming out in full bloom!

To her speech therapist: "Trust me, Christy, I am saying it right!"
Another one to her speech therapist:  "Some little girls just can't do it the way you want."
Thankfully, her therapist adores her.

Setting the stage....one evening, after the girls had been tucked into bed, we heard a lot of giggling and playing.  We allowed it to go on and eventually the quiet set in.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Maddox on the stairs and told her to go back to bed.  With a lone tear on her face, she turned around and went back to bed.  A few moments later, I went in to check on her.  She was awake so I said, "Maddox, I am so sorry mommy made you sad but it is time for you to go to bed."  She said, "I am not mad at you.  I am mad at my WHOLE family!"  And with that, she went to bed.

She stayed with my parents for the weekend, all of the children did:)  They went to dinner and my mother took a french fry off of her plate.  Maddox looked at her and said, "If you steal my french fries, I will be mad.  If I get mad, I will turn green."  MK quickly said that her face would not turn green, it would turn red.  Maddox said, "When I am mad, I turn green and red!"