Thank you so much for all your kind words last week when I shared about matching with our new little one. With each passing day it becomes more and more real to me that we have a son on the other side of the word!
Just a few minutes ago I went back and read the posts (part 1 & 2) I wrote sharing the details of the events leading up to our match with Esther three years ago. It wasn’t hard to see God’s hand at work in the process and in my life as well. To this day when I look back at my spiritual journey during the week we had to wait on matching approval for her stands out as one of the major life events that God used to draw me closer to him.
I’m excited to see God at work in the matching of our son as well. The waiting process was drastically different, I’m not sure if that’s due to the busyness I experience as a mom to two or because we had already traveled this road once, but it still makes for a great story.
The days before we had a son.
Early June – After officially being in the China program for over a month Michael Luke and I decided to start seriously looking at the waiting children. The children on the special focus list can be viewed at any time… even before beginning your homestudy. Sometimes parents like to wait a while to seriously look at the list because once you match your child is just waiting on you to finish all the steps required before your travel. So they are essentially getting older while waiting on you. So while we could have waited until we got a few more to-dos knocked off our list we also didn’t want to find ourselves at the end waiting on a child to become available that fit our “child desired” list.
So we began reviewing the list of waiting children. Michael Luke being a little bit more organized than me (ok, a lot more organized) created a spreadsheet with all the children that fit the age range we were looking at. From our shortened list we began to read each child’s profile and watch any videos that were made available.
Early on our little guy began to grab our hearts and attention. We kept coming back to his file and prayed that God would lead us to the child He had for us.
June 20 – The adoption timeline events and rules are different from country to country so Michael Luke and I were still unsure of how everything worked at this point. What happened if we wanted to “officially” review a child’s file? Did the child go on hold within our agency or with all agencies? Did China require a waiting period of seven days like Hong Kong where other families could speak up and be considered for a child? Our social worker, Sarah was more than happy to answer our questions for us and we began making plans for placing the little boy that was creeping his way into our hearts on hold.
Within a few minutes of letting Sarah know of our desires we received an e-mail with his information, pictures, and a video. Whereas Esther came with 100’s of papers with family history, medical history, and history of daily life the e-mail contained 27 pages about him… half of which where the English translation of the original Chinese language which I guess is Mandarin. So in a nutshell there isn’t much we know about him. We do know he is guesstimated to be 17 months old, he weighs about 16 lbs, and is around 28 inches long. Just like with Esther though much of his history I will keep private because that is his story to tell.
Shortly after receiving his file Sarah called us and talked with us for about an hour. We went through the files together and then she prayed with us asking God to guide us in our decision about whether to adopt this little guy or not.
June 23 – I feel like the decision making process this go around was a lot harder than with Esther. There are several factors that contributed to this. First, with Esther we were approached and asked to consider a specific child. In this case, we had access to lots of files and wanted desperately to know which way God was pointing us.
Because of that I find it no surprise that I am currently working through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God Bible study. As a little side note it is absolutely amazing! I feel like I could learn from the study over and over again. Through Experiencing God I have learned that I have to look for where God is at work and then make a decision to join him. This was my prayer in choosing a child, “God which child do you have chosen for me?” It seems simple but this small but radical approach is what guided us in our decision and gave me complete confidence in our decisions.
We were in Salt Lake City staying with some good friends of ours when we placed the file on hold and just as we walked into our hotel room in downtown Salt Lake city for the Young Living International Convention my phone rang. It was a call from the International Adoption Clinic in Birmingham. We had e-mailed the files to them to review and for help making the most out of what little information we had received. It was a very informative phone call and we were amazed at what all they were able to glean from the 27 pages of information.
Still at this point I wasn’t quite sure if this guy was who God had planned for us. Ok, maybe I was sure but I kept trying to question God. But with each question He responded with an answer. His voice came through the Word, through prayer, and through circumstances that He had me encounter in Salt Lake City. It was amazing and so much fun to find and hear God around me.
July 1 – I may have been a little slow but I finally realized that God was letting me know he was the one. Michael Luke felt the same.
We were at peace. When you know you are following God’s leading all doubts and fears are gone because any other decision would have been wrong.
July 5 – Around lunch time Michael Luke emailed Lifeline to let them know that we wanted to submit a letter of intent for this little guy. I was excited but knew that he still wasn’t ours. There was still the possibility that someone else could be submitting a letter of intent at the same time or that they would think we just weren’t a good match for him. So we just had to wait… an estimated two weeks.
Now, let me just add that at this point in Esther’s adoption process I was a basket case. We had to wait 10 days to find out if we had been approved for her. And during this time I had the hardest time waiting. Waiting knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do to make her mine. It was all in God’s hands. It seamed as if my stomach were always tied in knots. I would pray and give the situation to God and sometimes within minutes I would try and take it back in my hands. True spiritual growth happened here and God taught me to rest in Him.
So this go around I really didn’t fret or worry about it. Honestly, I didn’t think about it all that much. I knew He was in control and that there was NOTHING I could do.
July 8 (4:50) – So, we went on vacation to Biloxi with my parents to a lumber convention. We had fun at the beach, swimming, and eating. And then Friday afternoon when my phone rang I saw that it was a 205 area code number and felt like I should answer it. It was Sarah and she wanted to know if I had a few minutes to talk and if Michael Luke was available too. My heart almost sank because I feared she was calling to let us know that another family had been approved. I mean, it had only been three days.
Thankfully, we were at the tradeshow at the Beau Rivage with my parents so I left the girls with my mom and ML and I went out in the corridor and found one of those old rooms (well it seems old now) with phone booths in a row. It seamed like a fitting place to talk on a cell phone in private.
Sarah didn’t waste anytime but let us know immediately that we had matched with our little boy. We were so excited that there were tears streaming down our cheeks and a permanent smile on our faces. It was more than hard to keep it a secret the rest of the weekend while we vacationed with my entire extended family. We did though.
Now we wait… and complete the remaining steps at their appointed times. We are officially through with the homestudy update though and are finally moving on to our dossier and our I-800 (immigration) paperwork. Woohoo!
Hopefully sometime early next year I will be able to scoop Judah Stanley up into my arms and give him a big hug from his mommy.
Yep, we finally named him… but that’s a story for another day. 🙂
Judah has a beautiful middle name but it is his name given to him by the nannies at his orphanage so we can’t share it because it is considered identifying information about him. Once he is ours and on U.S. soil I will be happy to share though.
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