Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How do you know?

When I first began the adoption journey I was in the NSN (non special needs) program to adopt a healthy child from China.  I stayed in this program for about 3 years dreaming of the day I would get the "referral" call from my agency saying, "Congratulations!  you have a daughter and she is....(insert multiple complementary phrases here)"  I had read hundreds of blogs and stories of families who had received their referral this way.  It was so dreamy and romantic...the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) basically looks at your file information and somehow chooses the child that is exactly right for you.  The first time you see them is when the FED EX man delivers the referral package to your door.  This is the day I had waited for...excitement, dreamy, and fairytale-ish. 

That is not however how my referral came.  Because of the extended wait time and God preparing my heart for something different, I changed to the Special Needs program with my adoption agency in October of 2009.  With this program you fill out an application and carefully "select" any special need you would be comfortable in considering.  Anything from Hepatitis B, missing limbs, cleft palate, heart defects, and everything in between.  There are so many tests of faith in adoption!  Completing this checklist for the first time was a huge step of faith for me.  I had reservations at first.  I questioned what I could handle.  And, honestly the first thing I thought about and still do is losing my child.  I worried I may loose her from some infectious disease or from a complication from a minor or major surgery in the future.  I don't know why my mind went there...but it's true.  My biggest fear in life is losing those closest to me and I honestly pray a prayer of protection over my greatest loves each day...Molly, Madison, and Eddie!  I think that is a probably a normal fear of mothers all over the world. 

I blogged here about the referral and some of the other decisions that played out in the referral process.  But the bottom line is with the special needs program the decision lies in your hands to decide who is your child.  Ironically I was more comfortable with some stranger in China deciding that for me! ha!!  For me to look at a picture of an orphan a world away and decide if she was mine or not was like putting a plate of doughnuts in front of me and telling me not to eat them!  I want to be a mother so badly that I was ready to take any and all of them.  I actually asked my agency if I could adopt two at once from the special needs program just because looking at their faces I fell in love.  I looked at 5 files of children with various needs before I saw Molly.  By the time I looked at her picture and her file I had a pretty good understanding of her special need (because God had prepared my heart from some of the previous children) and I was almost 100% sure she was my daughter the moment I saw her.  That sounds bad...a mother that was almost 100% sure??  But I had gone through so much heartache from the previous children that I couldn't allow myself to attach to her at the beginning.  I was worried in the medical report their would be some glaring problem (beyond her finger/toe issue).  Now, I know for sure she is mine.  Now, I am 110% positive I'm looking at my daughters face.  Now, I know within one month she will be in my arms!  That makes me so happy! 

Someone once posted on a blog (somewhere in adoption land) that God would not let you adopt the wrong child.  I hoped she was right at the time, because I was really struggling with "choosing" my daughter.  She said he would move heaven and earth to get you and your child together.  (He practically has done that).  Now I know she is so right.  God works within us as mothers (as His children) and you sometimes have a "feeling" in the pit of your stomach.  That is the Holy Spirit guiding us to making a decision. 

In reviewing special needs files, there was one file in particular that really gripped my heart.  This little one just touched me to my core and I cried for several days over her.  I talked to doctors and I wanted her to be Molly so badly.  But I just never had a peace about it.  It's so hard to explain, but at the end of my reviewing period (you typically have 24 - 48 hours to review a file) I knew she was not mine.  I gave her back to my agency to be put on the shared list for other families to review.  She was such a cutie!  A beautiful little girl.   I have thought about her face many times over the last two months and as God usually does, he gave me a special comfort yesterday.  In the midst of looking at adoption blogs, one lead to another, and I found her family!  I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see the sweet family who is adopting this little one.   You can check out her cuteness on their blog here.  I emailed the mom yesterday and told her how happy I was for them.  They knew little Sienna was meant to be there daughter and as a special comfort they have another adopted daughter from her same province!  A miracle! 

So if there is any out there wondering how you will choose.  How you will know your child.  I can guarantee you that God will prepare you for them a little at a time.  You will not miss your child.  God will bring you together.


Dan and Karen said...

We are blessed that God has brought you in our path to Sienna. I knew in my heart that someone else had to have seen this little cutie and loved her like I did at first sight, and I knew it must take a measure of love and grace almost beyond human comprehension to have to turn her down knowing she was not who God intended for you to bring home as your daughter.

You are and will be an amazeing mom!! We count you in as part of our miracle in finding Miss Sienna because we were not "looking or ready" to find her until the day I saw her on the shared list.

God is GOOD all the time!

Jenny Glenn said...

God is so good!! Si Yue has a mommy and daddy. Blessings to you Sienna hurry home (Molly too for that matter!!) Jenny

Shauna and MacLean said...

That is so true Amy! What a wonderful thing God does for us. You are amazeing! take care, Molly is another step closer.

Emily Doss said...

Same thing happened w/ us- the agency would call with info about a birthmom and we were to decide if we wanted to be presented or not. It was so hard for me to say no. At one point I told the agency I just don't feel like this is our child even though they birthmom meets all of our criteria. (sounds terrible I know, but we had certain things we just weren't ready to accept such as alcohol during pregnancy.) This birthmom was clean and everything, but it just didn't feel right. Our good friends from our old church ended up adopting this little fella and then I knew that we had made the right decision.

(So excited that we both get to see Deborah this weekend!!!)

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