Friday, August 15, 2008

Adoption Story - Part 2

In mid-March, we got an email from our adoption coordinator that the agency had received a new Waiting Child list from China with 10 children. As soon as the files were translated, the info would be posted on the website with the application for each child. I called the agency almost every day asking if the files were done. One by one, the information appeared on the website. A list of 5 boys and 5 girls, each with only their birth month and year and a brief paragraph describing their special need. So little information for such a life-changing decision.

Yet, a decision had to made because our agency required that you submit an application for a specific child. I called the agency asking how on earth could I choose? We would be thrilled with any one of them. We prayed and we compared the ages and needs to our home study, hoping to find a child that wouldn’t require an update to the home study to be done. As soon as the applications were posted, I completed the one for the youngest girl on the list and submitted it. Her age and heart condition fit perfectly under the wording of our home study and we had a sense of peace about her.

Late Friday evening, the agency emailed us her complete file, including pictures. We stared into her beautiful face and prayed that we would become her family, because there were still several obstacles standing in the way. The very first thing we were required to do was to consult a pediatrician about her medical file. You remember that it was late Friday evening? The agency needed an answer right away as to whether we wanted to pursue this little girl and we weren’t allowed to answer yes until we had the sign-off from the doctor.

On Saturday morning, I called a friend who had a friend who was a pediatrician. I got his number and called him at home. I introduced myself, explained our situation, and he willingly invited us to his home that afternoon to go over the file. Can you imagine a doctor doing that? He was gracious and kind and explained the cryptic medical terms. He told us that the little girl would need to see a pediatric cardiologist as soon as she came home and that she might require surgery to close the hole in her heart or she might not. From what he could tell from the limited info China provided, it didn’t seem to be affecting her in any way and it was really a very common and repairable birth defect. We thanked him profusely, pledged our undying loyalty, and sent an email to our agency saying yes, we wanted to adopt little Rao Xuanmin.

We spent Sunday cautiously optimistic, but Monday morning’s call to the adoption agency almost killed our hopes. Another family had also applied to adopt Rao Xuanmin and the agency representatives would meet Tuesday morning to make a final decision. I almost cried as I explained to K that the little girl in the pictures might not be her little sister. The normally calm K exploded, raging that the other family was evil and they hated us and were just stealing our baby to spite us. Woah! I took a while to get her calmed down and take a more rational viewpoint, but I’m not sure I ever really convinced her.

That evening passed slowly and Tuesday morning crept by at a snail’s pace. I waited anxiously for the phone to ring, for the agency to call with an answer. At lunchtime, the call came and our coordinator told us that we were indeed going to recommended as Rao Xuanmin’s family! Oh, happy day!!

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