On November, 26th 2013 at 1:05pm my cell phone rang and our lives changed forever.
Were they calling for our referral?!
The list came out LATE the night before but we hadn’t received a call that morning, so I had already, on the drive over to my sister’s beach house where we were house and cat sitting, convinced myself we were NEVER going to be matched! I imagined a phone call would come in about 6 months from my agency telling me, “We know we said you had up to six months to wait but, we haven’t found a match for your family yet… I’m sorry, it maybe another 6 months or so…..” I don’t know why my mind tends to go straight to the worst case scenario, but it does, which is why there was a brief thought before answering the phone that maybe they were actually only calling because I had called last week about finances and such, so they were just getting back to me…. OH, right.. The phone is still ringing. ANSWER IT!!! I looked at Caleb and said something like “its the agency” and bolted out the back sliding glass door, he followed. It was windy and the crashing waves in the background were pretty loud so I had to put my finger over my ear to hear.
I answer: “Hello”
Woman’s voice: “Hi! It’s so-and-so with your agency, is it a good ti…”
Me: “Yes!” (if you are calling with news of my daughter, anytime is a good time!)
Woman: “We have a little girl I would like to tell you about. A possible match for your family.”
Me: “ok…..” (out loud) and then, in my head: oh my gosh!! This is it….. ok, keep your voice calm, and listen
Woman: “Her name is ____ Jia ___ (I am not allowed to post her whole name) and she was born Oct, 15th 2012.”
Me: “Awe, ok…” and then all in my head: ahhhh, ONE!?! (If you know me, you know this is my absolute favorite age) Riley will LOVE that she has a birthday so close to hers. Rowan will be a big sister, she will LOVE that!…… Woman still talking…… and I should prob pay attention….
Woman: “She has what they are calling “Left lower limb dysplasia”, something with her left leg, although the medical reports are vague, which is normal for China adoption……..(more details)…. Would you like to view her file?”
Me: “Yes!! ABSOLUTELY!!”
The phone call took all of five minutes, poor Caleb was staring at me the whole time looking for any clue of what was being said, I was unfortunately giving him nothing except for an occasional response to the woman of “uh, huh” and “ok.”
I got off the phone, told him we were matched and that they were sending her file to us by email. All I wanted to do was get off the phone as fast as possible so she could send us the file and I could see our daughters face. We have been praying and imagining this moment for what seems like forever!! So a few more minutes to wait to see her face for the first time should be no big deal, right?!
It was the longest 27 minutes of my life!!! 27 minutes!? How long does it take to send an email? (ok, im sure it was more involved than that) We sat in the stairwell of my sisters house. I guess for the best reception!? (We were too excited to think clearly) We both had our phones out hitting “refresh” on the email inbox on our phones a million times!!! I paced back and forth, we prayed, we hit refresh some more. I asked Caleb if it would be crazy if i called her back to make sure she had the right email address…. , I mean why else hadn’t she sent it? He said not to call, it had only been 5 min. 5 MINUTES!!!?!?
ME: “Hi. um….. I just wanted to make sure you had the right email…and…. yea? …. ok. thanks, bye.” She very politely assured me it was on its way, and that it would take a little bit of time…. I’m sure she has dealt with all kinds…. ha. They prob red flagged our file and noted: This mom is “one of those”…. oh well.
Finally, Caleb shouted “We got it!” I ran down stairs to where he was sitting. We quickly scrolled down through chinese medical charts until….. there she was. AHHHHH!!! Our beautiful baby girl. They tell you to go through all the paperwork, get medical opinion ect…, and not to make an emotional decision. So I was determined not get attached immediately. To make the decision after much prayer and long lists of pros and cons, and mathematical charts….. and so on. 😉 As I stared at her beautiful baby face, i said to myself “Is she our daughter??” I couldn’t help at that first glance to fall in love, THIS IS HER!!! I FEEL IT!!! CALEB FELT IT!! SHE IS OUR DAUGHTER! We read, reread and read all over again everything in the translated portion of her charts. I emailed our pediatrician and then we prayed, and talked, and researched and prayed.
The next day, we talked with our pediatrician. We LOVE him, he has been in our family for 25 years. We trust him fully with our girls and he will be our newest little ones doctor. BUT, he was so frustrated by the vagueness of the medical charts, because he had never seen an adoption file before. He wanted clear answers, and that is definitely something you wont get a lot of in the Chinese adoption process.
Caleb and I had already decided that no matter what was revealed through her charts, she was ours. Had she been born to us biologically, with whatever is going on with her leg, we wouldn’t have turned to the doctors and said, “nah, not this one.” We would just do whatever needed to be done for our daughter. She is our daughter, and that is what we will do.
I was making the bed that next evening and the Lord brought to mind a woman I know in China. She was Belles pediatrician. I thought, I should send her an email and see if she would look over the charts for us. Any insight would help. She works in the medical field and speaks Chinese. So, it was worth a shot. She sent me an email back almost immediately. (They are 12 hours different then us) She said, she would gladly look them over and that she actually used to translate and go over adoption files as a job for an adoption agency when she lived in the US!!! aahhhh. God is so good. EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!!!
She very thoroughly went over every single piece of document and even charted her out on growth charts for us. She was so encouraging and such a blessing to us. I could never repay her for what she did for us. She has extra treasure in heaven for sure!! Her outlook for our little one was good, very optimistic. She said she believes with time, and a loving supportive family that our daughter will thrive.
The last two weeks have been busy with emails, preparing for more paperwork, waiting, gathering info, praying, crying, smiling, thinking about her, staring at her, and kissing her picture all day long.
We had to write a letter of intent (LOI) as the next step. A document telling China we intend to adopt her. This has been like the first trimester of pregnancy. You want to share the wonderful news with everyone you meet, BUT you want to make sure you are in the clear. We shared the wonderful news with our families on Thanksgiving, and now, since we know our letter of intent was at least received, we are ready to share with everyone else! We really should prob wait for our official letter of approval or LOA but, that can take months and we cant wait any longer.
I know what you’re thinking… wait!! We cant see her!! Yes, I know, and Im sorry =( That’s the awful part, we are not allowed to post ANY pics of her on social media until we have her in our arms. =( They are pretty strict, but it helps protect the child and the orphanage and agencies. So, we must abide by the rules. BUT, we will surely show her picture to anyone that asks!!!! and maybe even if you dont ask, or to complete strangers, like the dental hygienist. True story 😉
Here are the things we know about her, that we can share:
She is 13 months old.
She was born in or around Guangzhou, China
She is a deep sleeper (woo hoo!!) and will sometimes suck her fingers to soothe herself to sleep
She drinks formula and one bowl of congee a day (not even close to what an infant her age needs)
“She likes to play”
She shares a metal crib with another baby
She is TINY. only 14 pounds at 11 months old. =( its malnutrition, and very common, the sooner we get her home the better
“She likes to connect with adults”
“She cries when being “criticized” (uh….what?)
“she is active and cute child”
They say we are 6 to 9 months (and $7,360) away from traveling to get her. Im praying 6 months, or less!! This will be the toughest part of our journey. Well, next to transitioning home with her.Our baby lives in an orphanage 7,934 miles away in China.
She has no idea we are waiting for her, and praying for her. She has no idea that her cute little picture is on my fridge, on my dresser, on my phone, on my christmas tree…. ect
She has no idea she has a mama, a dada, two sisters, a nana and papa and meme, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and a church family who are praying for her daily.
We went outside with the girls after receiving her file and the clouds had cleared, and there was a full rainbow over the ocean. It was beautiful, an amazing reminder of Gods faithfulness and his promises.
The portion of her Chinese name we will be keeping is Jia. It means family or home. It also can mean praise or praiseworthy, depending on the character used. We loved that so much we decided to keep it as part of her middle name. Cant wait to share her with you all!!!
We are trying to bring you home baby girl. Just hang on a little longer =(