The first week of June, out of the blue, we received a phone call from an adoption agency. Without our knowing, my sister had mentioned to a friend who had an adoption agency that we were interested in adopting a little girl. They called to ask if we would be interested in adopting a six-week old girl from Taiwan who was born without fingers or toes. We couldn’t help but believe that God is so good and so gracious! After a phone call to my husband (who immediately said yes!) we began our journey into the adoption world. We were so naïve about the process. Home studies, trips to INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services), lawyers, consulates, senators, orphanages, and financial responsibilities were all part of the process. It was overwhelming and daunting. Still, we believed God had answered the prayer of finding a momma for a little girl.
I needed God’s strength, wisdom, and peace to get through what seemed like mountains of paperwork and unexpected obstacles. (As I wrote that last sentence it seems ironic that each day I would climb the mountain behind our house, praying and sorting through the emotions and struggles of the day. My second oldest son used to tell people I was, “On my walk with God.”)
Not only did we have our personal emotions and frustrations, it was important to us that we have open communication with our sons. We wanted to know their thoughts and feelings about bringing someone else into the family. Our oldest son was now 11 and, being in his pre-teen brain, did not understand why we wanted to do adopt another child. Frankly, he was nervous about how it would affect him. His world was about to be shaken and he wasn’t quite sure he was okay with that. Our youngest was six and he was indifferent. Our middle sons fluctuated between feelings of concern and acceptance. Whew, just thinking about it makes me a little tired.
We received our 1st picture of Chi about a month after the first phone call. That was all it took. The family was in love. I think it is important to mention that seeing her sweet face did not take away all of the struggles and fears. Our boys and our family’s questions and concerns continued to surface throughout the weeks and months for all of us. As I think back, the boys were probably able to see things more realistically that what my husband and I were able to grasp. While we tried to answer their questions honestly, there were many things we didn’t know and we had our own perspectives, which skewed our response and judgment. However, I would not change one thing about the process we went through other than being able to step back and see things a little clearer from our children’s and family’s perspectives.
We found out that Chi was not only born without fingers or toes but was also born with one clubfoot and the other leg and foot was deformed. We were told she would need multiple surgeries and the sooner these surgeries could happen the better it would be for her. With this information we asked a doctor friend to send a letter in the hopes that it would speed up the process. Politics are a funny thing. We were jumping through all the hoops, as was the orphanage, but the people who had the power put the paperwork in a pile on their desk to, “deal with later.” A senator from Colorado became involved in the process and the paperwork started to move. After five months of daily, and sometimes 12-15 hours of labor we finally received word that she was ours. She was now six months old. So, I purchased my airline ticket to Taiwan….