Our story with our Chinese children started almost 7 years ago. I had just had a baby. That made 12 children for us. We had 7 children 5 and under at this point. I had a very full plate but loved it. Doug, my husband, was absolutely done and wanted some time for himself at some point in the future. We had been looking for a new home to fit the family for 18 months without much luck. Most large homes are not filled with bed space but extravagant living space. We had 3 children sleeping in our room and no where to expand. With all of this we were still paying off our last adoption and didn't like having the debt. I really understood where Doug was coming from and I had to agree. We were done!!! Isn't 12 children enough? That is not what our Heavenly Father thought. I had an experience that made me wonder if we had a little Asian girl that was to come to our family. I convinced myself that I was just making things up but still couldn't get it out of my mind. A few days later Ressa, who was 10, came to me and told me of an experience she had that was very similar to mine. I knew then that I had a little girl that needed to come to our family. I mentioned the experience to Doug. A few weeks later I then had another experience that told me with no doubt that we also had a little boy of Asian descent. I now was afraid to tell Doug. We had just found a house and were now in the process of buying, selling and finishing out 3,500 square feet of home, on our own, so we could move in. This is all with a baby under 3 months old. How do I tell him that he is not done with children?
My dear husband is a gem among men. I finally got the courage to tell him of my experiences and only a man of great strength and faith could have reacted the way he did. He listened, and then gave me his support. Of course, he would have loved to have backed out but his trust in me and faith in God allowed him to accept my experiences. Since that time we have been on a treasure hunt. We had a referral for Taiwan and the orphanage director decided not to allow us to adopt because of family size. We then submitted paperwork to China for a 4 year old little boy and were rejected for, what else, family size. We mourned the loss of the little one in Taiwan deeply and had to then take some time off. Doug was not ready for anymore rejection. I still could not get these children out of my head or heart and could not leave adoption alone. I said many times that I was done and couldn't go forward anymore. I then heard that Vietnam was opening back up. I talked with Doug and he said NO. He was not going there again. I worked on him for a while and finally we ended up with an agency for Vietnam. We had everything done and were waiting for our referral when signs of trouble started popping up. It wasn't too long until Vietnam adoptions closed down and we were out of luck. Our agency announced a new program that they were opening in another Asian country and gave us hope that we would still find our children. Vietnam was our last hope, there was no where else for us to go. As we waited I also started looking at domestic adoptions again. I loved my black kids and couldn't understand why these children had to be Asian why not just do what I already knew. I found a situation that was full Vietnamese and it looked promising from what the agency was telling us. A few weeks later we found out that the birth mom chose to keep the baby. We went through this a few more times and decided to give up for good.
While we were in the process of looking at Vietnam we found out I was pregnant. We were so excited. This pregnancy was touch and go. There was a great possiblity that we would lose the baby. At 30 weeks that doctor finally said "It looks like we are having a baby." We knew this was my last baby and that I could not have any more. We figured after all the heartache, money, and time spent that we were done with children and this precious little girl was God's way of making it up to us. He let us know however, that we still had children to come and that they were the ones I had been looking for. I began to have hope again but at the same time felt a constant emptiness in my heart and a bit of resentfulness that we had to go through this. I prayed many, many times for the feeling to go away. I have shed thousands of tears for these children. I can not count how many times I promised Doug that I was done. I was not looking any more! I got off adoption boards and banned myself from looking at anything adoption related on the Internet.
One day in September I received an email from a person with our Vietnam agency telling me that China was loosening things up. It caught my interest but I just couldn't believe it. That same week I had two more exposures to China adoptions that were unsolicited. I had to start thinking of it then. I decided to call a couple of agencies to find out about this. I had very good response. I then got the courage to talk to Doug about it. I didn't know what he would say. We had just come off of a financial crisis and were now getting our feet under us again. He didn't have a negative reaction but he also knew from experience that he could not stop this crazed Mom. Basically, he didn't believe that adopting from China was even an option. I tread the waters with him carefully while at the same time having some guarded optimism. I think there are a couple of agencies out there that must think I am the most skeptical person in the world. How could I believe that I may be on the verge of finding my children after all we had been through. I was not willing to put my heart out there fully again and trust another agency after being burned before.
The time of discovery felt like a long process but in reality it was about 6 weeks until we found our sweet little princess and a month later received preliminary approval for our son. What a miracle this journey has been. I really wish that I had listened to people and taken the time to write my story. It would make people laugh, cry and rejoice. I still don't have the answers to many of my questions. I thought that maybe some things would come together to show us the purpose of parts of this experience but we still don't know God's thoughts. Maybe some time in the next life we will have a greater understanding. I do know that through our challenges in life we have been blessed with greater things than can be imagined. We are being molded into people that we may not have chosen to be if it was left up to us alone. I like who we are becoming and it is through our sorrows and struggles that we have been refined the most. The beauty of all of it is that God keeps his promises. We have found our little ones and in the process He has opened our hearts to understand that serving his children and dedicating our lives to his work is where we will find our greatest joys.