These next few days mark big dates in our home.
One year ago tomorrow we got the call that all adoptive families wait for and a few minutes within that call, we saw a picture of Felicity for the first time.
6 Months ago today, she was placed in our arms. Forever.
And today she is a thriving, happy little girl whom we all love. In the book of our adoption, this is a perfect place to end the story. To say “and they all lived happily ever after.” After all, most fairy tales end before the nitty gritty of life begins.
But, God has a few more chapters He is writing in this story. Chapters that began 6 months ago, on the day of the visit to Felicity’s orphanage. A chapter that had a major plot twist today. One He set in motion months ago. Today we will send in our LOI (Letter of Intent). Today we began the journey to bring home our son. It is almost surreal typing that sentence, so soon after bringing home Felicity. Only God could have brought this about.
On a Thursday in China, 6 months ago. Just days after Felicity was brought into the room and we were joined as a family, we went back to the orphanage to tour it. It is a time for Felicity to say good bye, and for us to see where she spent the first 20 months of her life. The children of the infant room were in a play area. We were ushered in and asked to take off our shoes. Children and staff were scattered throughout the room. I walked up to a little boy, in light blue, playing with a little toy. I began talking to him and smiling at him. He smiled back, a big huge smile. He was so cute, I thought. I tickled him. And shortly after that, the staff gathered all the infants in the room together for a picture and we moved on. I thought little of that boy from that day. I was busy with my own little girl that this boy remained in my memory, but not in my thoughts.
But, two months ago, he came back. I was on our agency’s China page on Facebook. There were several new posts of children newly listed for adoption. As I was scrolling through, I stopped. I saw the picture, and though it was a boy months older than I remembered, I knew it was him. The little boy from Felicity’s orphanage that I played with. I immediately contacted our social worker to look at his file. I called Pete. I was ready to put him on hold that day. But, my more rational husband, said let’s pray and wait. We read over his file. He is a heart baby. And truthfully, although he had surgery in China, his file seemed scary. We decided there were too many unknowns and it was way too soon to start again, so we did not pursue him.
But God has a funny way of gently nudging us. Over the following weeks, I could not get that little boy out of my mind. I would pray that his family would step forward. I would email our social worker to see if any family had chosen him yet. He still waited. He was not even on hold. Why wasn’t his family stepping forward?
Two weeks ago, he was posted, once again, in an advocacy group I belong to. It just tore at my heart, knowing that that cute little boy with the sweet, sweet smile was still waiting. I emailed our social worker again. He was still not chosen. At this point, Pete and I talked. We needed to have his file reviewed by a doctor. Then, at least we would know, and at least, if he was not for us, I could advocate for him and help find his family.
I called the doctor who reviewed Felicity’s file. She said she would review it and have one of the pediatric cardiologists also review. The phone call was set for Divine Mercy hour, Friday at 3 PM. I was anxious before the call, and as I lay Felicity down to nap, I prayed a Divine Mercy chaplet. Make it clear Lord; close the door if it needs to be closed. The call went much more favorably than I thought. The doctor suggested that we request more information on him, including a video to have reviewed. We put him on hold that afternoon, and our social worker requested the information.
Over the last week, we have had him on hold, we have prayed, and just waited for the information from the orphanage. And the more the week drew on, the more cemented in my heart this little boy became. One morning, I simply started crying at the thought of NOT bringing him home, into our family. We had a second pediatric cardiologist review his file . . . . once again we were told his heart looked great. During the Divine Mercy hour this past Friday, we received the emails, containing all of the information we requested from the orphanage. The doors, we prayed would close if this was not His will, were flung open wide. The doctor reviewed the updated information. And we knew this was our son.
Over the weekend, I have thought and prayed a lot about this. This is totally wild and crazy. WE have only been home 6 months. He is only 7 months younger than Felicity. It will be like having twins. Yet, it was those God ordained moments in the orphanage, 6 months ago, that made this all possible, all probable.
If I hadn’t played with him, hadn’t seen his smile, I would have scrolled right by him when I saw him listed for adoption.
If I hadn’t seen his smile, I would have allowed the “soon-ness” of it all stop us.
If I had not seen his smile, I would have allowed myself to ignore this heart warrior’s file.
If I had not seen his smile, I would have not checked to see if any family had stepped forward or had doctors review his file.
If I had not seen his smile, he might still be waiting.
But, God knew. God wrote that moment, months ago, into our story. He writes such beautiful stories with our lives. So, so much better than I could have written myself.