Warning!!! This post has a surprise ending.
On our last Hong Kong adoption update post, our dossier had just been submitted to Hong Kong, the time frame for travel was potentially looking longer than originally expected, and we still had not matched with a child.
Matching with a child…. What does that mean?
Matching or matched are terms used in adoptions which imply that an orphanage or government agency has granted a family approval to proceed forward to adopt an available child. In Hong Kong, matching can happen two different ways.
Our adoption agency, Lifeline Children’s Services, partners with Mother’s Choice in Hong Kong. Mother’s Choice provides a home to children who have been abandoned. They first try to place the children with a family from Hong Kong. If an in-country family is not found for a particular child, then Mother’s Choice begins advocating for the child a family in the U.S. This is done by placing the child on the “Waiting Children” list available to the four U.S. agencies that are licensed to work in Hong Kong. The information is then forwarded from the agencies on to the families seeking to adopt from Hong Kong. At this point a family can request to be matched with a child on the list. Mother’s Choice then lets all other agencies know that a family has requested a match and gives a window of seven days for other families to also request a match with that particular child. Once all requests are received, Mother’s Choice then selects a “match” based on which family would be the best for the child. Remember, the adoption process is about what’s best for the child.
The other route to match in Hong Kong is after receiving dossier approval from Mother’s Choice the dossier will then be sent to the Hong Kong Adoption Unit. Once they approve the dossier, they begin looking through all of their files of children available for adoption. A child’s file will be chosen based on the Child Desired Form and sent to the waiting family for review and possible approval. If after reviewing the files, the family doesn’t think the child would be a good fit for them, they can send the file back and request another file. This continues until a family accepts a file and requests to move forward with the adoption process. This second route is a little longer than the first one and one of the reasons why the projected timeline was longer than ML and I were originally hoping.
Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about the second route anymore because as of Wednesday we officially matched with a little girl from Mother’s Choice that we are naming Esther! Surprised? Me too! I’ll be back next week to share how the whole process of events unfolded, but in a nut shell, up until two weeks ago we knew matching so soon was a possibility but honestly didn’t really think it would happen. When people asked, “How soon?” We would always reply, “It could be any day or several more months.” Well it looks like God decided to take the “any day” route, and boy are we happy, as you can tell from my Instagram post on Wednesday.
On cloud nine today!
Even though we have matched with Esther, we haven’t adopted her yet, so a lot of her information is still considered private… including pictures of her. So while I would love to show you her beautiful smile and adorable face, I can’t until she is officially ours. In the meantime I can tell you that she is eight months older than Noah and has quite a spunky personality. She speaks both English and Cantonese (smart little thing)… unfortunately, ML and I only speak English. We look forward to bringing her home with us and are excited that we get to be her “forever” family.
Update: Our original intentions were to keep the birth order but lots of prayer and falling in love with this little girl we knew she and and Noah would make wonderful sisters.
So how did we decide on “Esther.” Like Noah, we knew we wanted a less common Biblical name. We came up with a list of several Biblical girl names we liked and pretty quickly decided on Esther. Esther is one of only two books of the Bible named after a girl. Esther herself was an orphan raised by her uncle and her heroic actions are credited with saving the Jewish race. In Hebrew Esther means “star”… a name that is very fitting for the Esther of the Bible and a name that will surely be fitting for our little girl. We named Noah, which means movement, while she was still in the womb, and she has certainly lived up to her name. I can’t wait to see Esther fulfill hers!
Esther is a fascinating book of the Bible and filled with comic relief and silent references to God. If you have never read it or it’s been awhile, it’s a good book to add to your reading list. I’m so glad that I finally got to share the news with yall and will definitely share more updates as we get them. Thanks again for all your prayers and please don’t stop.
P.S. Travel to Hong Kong is still uncertain because there are several steps in the adoption process that we lack. For instance, we still need approval from the Hong Kong Adoption Unit and that can take up to eight weeks. All in all we hope to travel to Hong Kong by the end of the year to bring our little girl home.
P.P.S. For the full journey of our adoption, visit the Hong Kong Adoption tab at the top of the page.
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