March 07, 2012

SO......when did our journey to Callie Beth begin?

I learned around the time we were preparing to go to China for Molly Kate, that a new rule had been passed by the CCCWA.  It allowed families to go back to China and adopt a special needs child using their original dossier (the PILES OF PAPERWORK that has to been done to adopt a child), rather than starting all over with the paperwork, IF they did so within a year of their first adoption.  When my friend told me about this, I laughed and said, "I don't imagine WE will be going back to China for another child. I'll do GOOD to raise this one!!!!"  I didn't say we WOULDN'T do it, but I was pretty sure THAT new rule wasn't going to affect us.  I think, though, that Roger and I were so GOO GOO GA GA over Molly Kate from the beginning when she became ours, that it really did a number on our hearts, too.  We didn't talk to each other about adopting another child, but from the time we got home from China with Molly Kate, Roger told everyone we talked to that we COULD go back to China and adopt another baby girl, if we went back within a year.  I occasionally mentioned it, too, and me being the kind of person who will NEVER have enough children, I was in no way against it.

In June 2011 Molly Kate and I flew to Denver, Colorado for our agency's yearly reunion, and then to spend a week with my best adoption friend in the world, Bonnie Dillow, and her family.  She and her husband have FOUR wonderful daughters, three of which were adopted from China.  Even though they were older than Molly Kate (4, 7 & 8 years old), they were so sweet with her and played with her, just as if she was their age.  AND, Molly Kate was right in the middle of pretty much everything they were doing.  It was just SO sweet to see her interaction with them, and it really got me to thinking----she needs a sister of her own.

As soon as we got home from Colorado, I told Roger that if HE was serious about adopting another sweet baby girl, I was too, and we'd better get with it, if we were going to do so.  He agreed.  I contacted CCAI, our adoption agency, and they sent us the medical needs checklist that we needed to complete.  The day we received the the checklist, which was during the last week in June, I happened to get on our agency's website and looked at the Waiting Children link.  Even though I had looked at this link many times, which has pictures of numerous waiting children (special needs/special focus) who are available for adoption, I had never been drawn to any of the children, UNTIL that day.  There she was....this sweet little girl, who stole my heart.  I read the information about her and her special need.  I just couldn't take my eyes off of her.  I logged out of the website, but I know I went back to it no less than 50 times that day.  I had Roger look at her file, and I asked him if he felt any special connection to her.  He said, "No....but you know me.  If you think she might be the one, then she probably is."  He said he had no problem with us asking to review her specific file when we sent back our medical needs checklist.  SO, I actually sent an email to CCAI, telling them we would like to review her file.  The reply I received was that there were MANY people interested in her file, but they would put our name on the waiting list and IF she wasn't chosen by another family before they got to our name, they would let us know.  I was sure in my heart that she WOULD be chosen by another family because she was such a BEAUTIFUL child, and even though her special need could result in issues in the future, I really didn't think that could possibly keep anyone from choosing her.  I prayed that she would be matched with the family GOD intended to be her forever family, and that HE would match US with the daughter who was a perfect fit for our family.

A month passed.  I checked the Waiting Child link every day, and as I continued to pray for this sweet little girl, her picture remained on the link.  I sent an email to our agency and told them I was just wondering if she had found her forever family yet.  I was told that she hadn't, but there was still a LONG waiting list of families who had requested to review her file, and they would call us IF they got to our name on the list.  I kept praying for her, that she would find the PERFECT forever family, but I NEVER prayed for God to match her with us.

Nine days after I had sent that email, I came in late in the afternoon from a day of shopping with my mother.  When I sat down to check my emails, I noticed I had an email from CCAI titled, "File Requested."  It didn't register, UNTIL I opened it and saw the words, "Believe it or not, no one has chosen to be this little doll's forever family.  If you are still interested in reviewing her file, please let us know as soon as possible."  I COULDN'T believe it!!!!  I called Roger and told him, and then I wrote back to let CCAI know that we were DEFINITELY interested!!!

CCAI had some technical difficulties with getting the file emailed to us, and it was late the next afternoon before we received it.  Roger was at work, and it was almost time for Molly Kate and me to leave to pick him up for church.  The file was in three different emails, and when I opened the first one, I saw it was more pictures of this precious child.  I could tell that one of them was definitely the most recent, and when I opened it, I burst into tears, just like I did when I saw the first picture of Molly Kate.  This little girl was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and she just had the sweetest look on her face.  I hurriedly printed off a copy of the picture, and we headed to pick Roger up.  When we got to his office, he got in the middle seat to sit by Molly Kate.  I reached back and handed him the picture I had printed.

Remember how Roger didn't feel the connection to this sweet little girl when he looked at her picture on the Waiting Child site?  WELL, he may not have felt a connection to THAT picture, but he certainly did to the NEW picture of her.  Even though there were many things we needed to discuss concerning her special need before we made our final decision, that picture made that decision for him.  There was nothing concerning her special need---even the worst case scenario---that was going to change his mind.  AND, there was no convincing needed on my part, either.  I HAD KNOWN the first time I laid eyes on her that I wanted her to be my daughter.

SO, five days later, we contacted CCAI and told them we wanted to be this little girl's FOREVER FAMILY, and on August 9 we received our pre-approval to adopt her.  Thus, our journey had begun!!!!

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