On Thursday, April 13th I came home from picking up the girls. In the garage I checked my email on my phone and saw an email from Wasatch Adoption Agency (not our agency at the time). It was an update email with new and current children listed with their agency. I saw a little girl with a blurred out face and a description that read "rare opening for a family with a Log In Date to China (LID) for this very young girl". I was immediately interested in learning more and sent a quick email to be "high on the list" of inquiries. I went inside and showed Matt and he agreed that we were very interested but we both knew that there would be MANY people interested in this little girl. He told me "If she's meant to be ours it will work out." I went to bed that night and prayed, "Lord, if this is our child, work everything out for us."
The next day, Friday April 14th and GOOD FRIDAY, Matt and I were both off of work and so we decided to take the girls for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We were eager to hear more about the little girl. I mainly wanted to know where we were in line and how many people were in front of us to even know if we had a chance at reviewing her file. As we waited outside for a table I checked my email and there it was. . . a file with pictures, videos and medical information about this little girl. I skimmed through the information quickly and showed Matt, who was immediately smitten. He said, "That's our girl!" I still didn't know where we were on the list so I called the agency and asked. The voice on the other end of the phone said, "You are first. You are first in line." Everything went fuzzy. I looked at Matt and held up one finger saying, "We are #1 on the list!" He started yelling, "Tell them we want her!" Cars were whizzing by, our girls were running around crazy, and I could process what I was hearing. "How is this possible?!" I said. "This doesn't happen. People wait years for this kind of situation." She went on to tell me about policy changes, no families with their agency currently with a Logged in Dossier to China, etc, etc. But in the end God. God orchestrated this girl for our family from before we officially committed to China and in His perfect way. Agencies and timelines and norms and my "I know how this is supposed to go down" didn't stop Him from fulfilling His plan. Looking back at my initial communication with this agency, the timing lines up to when this little girls birth mom was first pregnant and maybe even finding out she was pregnant. I will never know the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy or birth, but I will forever be grateful for her commitment to life for this precious baby! How amazing for the Lord to begin to connect the dots and build relationships with an agency that we didn't initially begin the process with, and would one day, over a year and a half down the road, send an email, that I would just happen to open and inquire about a little blurred out face. God, you are AMAZING! While eating breakfast Matt looked at the pictures, and with tears in his eyes he said, "That's my girl." I so wish I would have snapped a quick picture for Lily Grace one day, but for me, I will ever forget the look on his face. From that moment, he knew she was ours and had such a peace about things. This was so important going forward for me because the coming weeks required patience and trust in the Lord's provision.
|Celebrating Lily Grace with my sister and her family!|
|Cousins celebrating Lily Grace!|
We went through the process of switching agencies and the paperwork required. Then we had to wait for her file to officially be assigned to the agency. After a nerve-wracking two week wait, we learned that the agency was officially assigned her file on Friday April 28th. Then we had to receive approval from China to switch agencies. The tricky part was that the new agency only had Lily Grace's file for 3 weeks before it was back to the Shared List. All the letters were sent to China and arrived within days of the file being assigned. Beautiful. Until I received on email one day saying. . . "CCCWA did not think our letter of support was 'supportive enough' of you as a family". What?!?! It went on to explain that all the letters state the same thing and they just need to send a new letter to China, etc. I was initially not concerned. Our agency wasn't concerned so I was good. Then the days went by with no word from China and less days left for our new agency to have Lily Grace's file. I started letting the devil whisper all sorts of things to me. I was a total stress ball. The whole time, Matt said he felt a peace. I did not feel at peace. I was worried. Compounding things was Lily Grace's first birthday on May 8th. That day coming and going with still no word and I began to think worst case senerio. I had many talks with the Lord. I knew He was in control. I believed He would take care of things; whether that meant she was ours or not. But, I could not shake the worry. I learned and heard so many things during that waiting period that really challenged and strengthened my faith (see previous post!). In hindsight, I really believe that the additional wait was built in for the Lord to show me a few things. I heard a couple times that during trials, you have to lean on what you know about the Lord and not what you feel about your circumstances.
|Celebrating Lily Grace's 1st birthday!|
Finally, on Wednesday May 10th we got the news that our new LID was in the system and our Dossier was switched to the new agency so we could officially be matched with Lily Grace!!! Praise the Lord for that wonderful, long anticipated news! I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Then the next day, May 11th, we received word that China had given us LOA (HUMONGOUS AWESOME DEAL!) for her in the system. Just trust me if you aren't up on the adoption lingo. . it's important. Basically it is China approving us to adopt her.
So now we are back in this mini paper chase world again. We need United States approval to adopt Lily Grace, VISAs, travel approval and consulate appointments among other things. And of course one depends on the other. Not near as long and definitely much more exciting this time! We hope to travel end of July to bring her home. It will be a two week long trip. More on that later! So sorry for the long post but the Lord has been up to a lot over the past month.
We have loved you for so long Lily Grace and we are so happy to have a face and a name now! We are coming for you soon sweet girl! :)