Today I think of where we were one year ago. One year ago, we were a family of 6 having just returned a few days prior from spending Christmas with our extended family. We were also recovering from our New Year's party that we spent with severas families and played games all evening.
On our minds was a 2 year old little girl, "Noel"was her referred name, that I had seen for the first time less than two weeks prior. She weighed heavly on our hearts. I was praying for my husband, Jason's, heart to be opened to her joining our family. He was praying, asking God if it was His will that this child be a part of our family though he was a bit reluctant in making our already semi-big family even bigger. Boy did God have even bigger plans.
Just days later my husband told me that he felt we were to proceed with adopting Noel, my heart was overjoyed. On January 10th we submitted our application to Madison Adoption Associates and began the adoption journey, for the second time. That same day we submitted our LOI, letter of intent to adopt Noel, and received pre-approval, in less than 3 days. I remember my surprise when I saw the email stating we had pre-approval, China had the paperwork less than 2 days. Everything seemed to falling into place. Our home study began right away and by mid-February we were just about ready to finalize it. That's when the dreaded phone call came, Wednesday, February 16th.
Thankfully, I was having lunch with a friend when my cell phone rang, I saw it was the adoption agency and decided I better take the call. The words I heard next, kicked me in the gut and the tears of confusion and heartbreak began to flow. Something like the following, "Tracy, we received an email from the CCAA, there isn't much info but the orphanage is pulling Noel from being adopted, she is quite ill." I was told they would do what they could to find out more information but made no promises that they would be able to get many details and that is just what happened. We received a medical update that had been done in December but there weren't many details as to her precise diagnosis.
Today I sit sit at my desk, with Noel's photos still taped to an upper cabinet on my desk. I have yet to remove them because she still weighs so heavily on my heart. We have no update on her despite the efforts of our agency to try to find out more. We do not know if she has recovered or if she still battles what ailed her one year ago. It still still hurts me that she didn't come home with us this fall. All we can do is pray for her, wherever she is and hope that she has improved. We pray that she will weigh heavily on the hearts of another family who will be drawn down the same path but who successfully bring her home. Despite this heartache, our story did not end on a dreary note; instead, God saw fit that we would be blessed with not only one more child but two.
In early March, after the dust settled a bit from the news of Noel, I was led to the file of a little boy who has the same birthday as me and who also has a large facial nevus like Angel, our daughter adopted in March 2009. The ironic thing was that Madison had recently recognized his file and had thought about us a perfect fit. They did not contact us right away because they were giving us time to recover from Noel and because they were preparing to do a camp at the orphanage this little guy resided at. So when I asked them if I could review this little guy's file, they informed me of their wanting to contact us about him but were giving us some time. Amazing how it all came together. Once again, within a few days we submitted our LOI to pursue "Abe" as they called him, he is known to us as Tegan!
In March we finally finalized our home study and moved forward with the remaining paperwork that needed to be done. We had made sure that our home study approved to adopt two children, in case Noel would get better. By early May, our Dossier was near completion but God knew there was someone out there still waiting for us. After our agency's China contact learned from a resource that Noel was likely not going to improve, we reluctantly gave up hope that she was to be ours and a void arose. Then in May, once again, I stumbled onto the file of another little boy who had been waiting for almost a year on the waiting list. He was only a couple weeks older than Tegan but had a Nevus that was much more extensive, though not as extensive as Noel's. Once again I prayed for God's will and for my husband's heart. Did we have enough love to add not only one but two toddlers to our family? That was the question I asked of myself and my then to my husband. The next question was is there a good reason why we shouldn't give these two little guys the opportunity of a family? And we couldn't.
By the end of May our Dossier was completed and sent to China. We also submitted our LOI to adopt Corban. And the rest is in recent posts.
Seven months later, I sit here as a mother of 6 though in my heart I'm a mother of 7. I am filled with much joy that my heavenly Father saw us worthy enough to be parents to these two miraculous boys. Two boys who have taught us so much in the short two months they have been with us. Did I ever think that I'd be a mother of 6, nope but I wouldn't have it any other way! Praise the Lord for His plans because His will is beyond what I could ever have imagined for myself. I know He has big plans for Noel, whatever they may be.
God bless you Noel, you will forever hold a place in my heart. Praying for you every day. Wo Ai Ni, Noel.
"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." Author unknown
Pictures of our Journey to bring Tegan and Corban home!
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