One year ago today I made plans to meet two friends at the park with their daughters adopted from China. They met with me to answer questions about the process and offer their support. As we were playing, I got a phone call from a number in Virginia. I hadn’t even saved our Family Coordinator’s phone number in my contacts yet. I thought, “Hmm, who’s calling me from Virginia? Wait, our adoption agency is in Virginia!” We had applied to our adoption agency in March, then specifically to the China Waiting Child Program. When we filled out the application, our Family Coordinator told us to expect a referral (information about a specific child) pretty soon because we were open to either gender and a variety of medical special needs. In adoption world, I though “soon” meant three months, but here she was calling me one week later! I called her back right away and she said she was calling me with a referral and wanted to talk to Andy and I. She would give us the basic info on the phone, then send us an email with medical information, reports from the orphanage workers, and pictures. In what I believe to be the greatest self-control of my life, I told her I would wait to get the info until my husband and I were together. I didn’t want to make any kind of decision on my own. I wanted to go through all of this together. I made plans to call her back when I got in touch with Andy.
Andy was working that day, and I called him and left a voice mail that we had a referral already. When he called me back a few minutes later, I think he was out of breath! I told him to meet me at his real estate office ASAP. It was about 10:15, and he said he could meet me there about 11:00. I went back to meet my friends and told them I just got my referral call. One of my friends was so excited she started jumping up and down. They both stopped and prayed with me for wisdom as we looked at the information and decided if this was our child! I left the park and drove to meet Andy.
I waited about 30 long minutes for him, so I prayed and waited impatiently. When he got there, he jumped in the car with me and we prayed and made the call together. Our Family Coordinator told us the basic info, “He’s a boy, born 10/12/11, so he’s 10 months old, and he has an outer ear deformity.” I immediately started crying and when we hung up the phone, I said, “That’s our boy!” God had given us a feeling that we would get a boy, and also that he would be still very young. We had opened ourselves up to many different medical needs, but we had requested something in the “ear” category, either deafness or outer ear malformations. I feel that God had prepared us in advance for who would be our son! Our Family Coordinator said she was emailing us the file, and we would need to let her know whether or not we wanted to go ahead and pursue it. I wanted to look at the medical information first to try to remain as objective as possible, but when I opened the email this picture popped up:
Of course I immediately started crying even more. Look at that cute little baby boy. He’s mine!
I would have probably said yes to just about any medical needs at that point after looking at that cuteness. As we read through his file though, we were amazed at how minor his “special need” was. It was almost anticlimactic after all we had prepared ourselves for. We saw information about the city where he lived – Baoji. We googled the city and I thought, “Wow, that’s kinda far out there.” But I would also go as far as needed to pick up that cute little nugget. Andy and I both had to go back to work, so we prayed, gave the Family Coordinator the go-ahead, and I tried to pull my messy self together to go to work. I remember that whole night every time I got a break I would pull up those cute pics and just stare at them. We were required to talk to our pediatrician before we could officially accept the referral, but that was just a formality to me. Andy and I had prayed and agreed right there in his work office.
Over the next few days we went through the official steps to pursue the adoption of Wei Zhe Min and we were thrilled, but the only hard part was because we were still compiling our dossier, we could not tell our good news! We needed to finish our dossier, send it to China, then wait for our official Referral Approval from China. Well, we didn’t end up getting that until December 21st! So we had to keep those cutie pie pictures a secret for almost four months. Wow, good news is hard to keep!
It was hard as well that we were not able to request updates or send him gifts until we got the official approval from China. His first birthday and Christmas passed without us being able to send him anything. I knew he was in a good place, and well taken care of. I prayed for him most of all on his first birthday. I was so excited that on “gotcha day”, the nanny brought a flash drive with pictures and videos from the orphanage, and it included this picture of his birthday party.
Look at that king for the day! Obviously he was well-loved.
Today to celebrate our referral-versary, we went to the park where I was when I got the first call. How fun to have him there with us as we looked back on how everything had changed in the past year!
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Praise the Lord for fulfilling His promises so fully and with such preciousness! ~Rebecca