At the beginning of April, I happened to be looking at the Holt International website that lists children available for adoption. These children are special needs children, and this agency takes special care of advocating for them and their hope is that one of these people visitng their site may find their son or daughter. So, I was cruising this particular day and this child caught my attention. I mean, REALLY caught my attention. Now Shannon and I have talked briefly about adopting again, but nothing serious. It's mostly me giving Shannon a heart attack about adding another child to the Sharp brood. But I digress...
I emailed this agency about this little boy and I got an email back shortly after that he can old be referred to families that had all of their paperwork in China. Well, I bowed out gracefully and said thanks. She assured me she would email if plans changed and we were able to look at his file. I thought of him often, but never invisioned him with our family. I have been on this rollercoaster called "adoption" before, and I know where the turns, bends and loops are. Ya know, the kind that makes you wanna barf. Yeah. So I didn't let myself get attached to him. Time marched on about a month or so later, and I was taking a shower because I had to work that night. I had been really down for the last week or two because I was longing for another child. Since the "good old-fashioned" way was broken the only way we would be able to "have" another child would be to adopt. My heart was breaking and I was a little angry at God (okay, ALOT angry) because this was the only thing I wanted. To be a mother again. Was that soooo wrong?? Jeesh... So I was in the shower and I began to weep. It was years of emotions just falling from my eyes, to my cheeks and down the drain. I was so hurt and angry and sad. Very sad. I dropped to my knees in the shower, put my head in my hands, and just screamed. Screamed for the children that I would not bear after my surgery, I screamed for the children that had no parents, I screamed because it felt good. I will admit, I did get a little sassy. And after all of this was over, I did apologize. But in the heat of it all, I was angry at God. Why would he put this longing and desire in my heart, this overwhelming desire to be a mother to 3 children instead of 2. How was that fair? I had pleaded with him several times that if it was going to be Elias and Norah, that I was perfectly content and so very greatful for them. But to please take that desire away. And that if I was to adopt again, to please make it clear and in my face. I asked Him to open that door wide enough that I would not trip over my own emotions and make that path clear for me. But the not knowing...it was just too much and it was breaking my heart. Sometimes it was almost suffocating. After I dried my tears, I felt better. It was the most amazing conversation I have ever had with God. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted just by talking to Him, and praying, and just being... real.
The next day, the VERY next day I got this email...
Shannon and Penny,
Thank you for your interest in this waiting child! We are now able to lock these children in with families who do not have their dossier in China. Please keep in mind that they are on the shared list and multiple agencies are home finding for the children at the same time. Please see the attached child material that you requested.
How's that for clear and in your face...
Of course, we scoured his information, all the while not falling in love. Remember the loops and such?!? Our next step would be to send in an LOI (Letter of Intent) that would go to China to tell them we were indeed certain we wanted to make this little one a part of the Sharp family.
BUT, could it really be this easy? Nope, it can't :) But in all of the chaos, it was just God confirming to us that this child would be our son! We called the agency after we had our Dr. review his info. There were two other families that also had his information and they needed to make their decision to move forward. We had two days until committee day. Committe day is where we are assigned a social worker, the other families would each have a social worker and then Samuel would have a social worker. They would go to committee and decide who would be the best family for this little guy. We had our conference call with our social worker from Holt that lasted a looooong hour and a half and then committee would be the net day. I asked her before we got off the phone if the other two families has decided to pursue him and she said, "For personal reasons these other two families backed out." SWEET!!! But that didn't mean we were in... they could go to committee and decide we weren't a good match for him. Anything was possible at this point. I got a phone call at 2:15 the day of committee, and she told us that we were indeed a good match for this little one! Then I took a breath....
Five days after we sent in our LOI, we were PA (pre-approved). This is China's way of saying, "We are picking up what you are putting down, my friends".
LOI - check
I had asked for an update since the info was kinda old, and a few days later I got this in my inbox :)
1. May we have updated measurements including weight and height?- Height: 82.5cm; - weight: 13kg; - head size: 47cm; chest size: 52cm; teeth: 16
2. Overall health/any sickness (chronic)He has been quite healthy and he seldom gets sick.
3. Is his hearing getting better or worse from the first test?According to the result of the update hearing test done on May 31, 2010, there is no change compared to the first test. Overseas staff will send once they have the English translation.
4. What words or sounds is he currently making?He understands directions. He is willing to learn speaking from the teacher. He addresses aunty, teacher and elder sister by himself. What's more, with the teacher's help, he says other words as well.
5. How is he doing developmentally and cognitively? May we have updated photos?
He has been quite healthy and seldom gets sick. Yet he often gets heat rashes once it's warm.
He is willing to learn from the teacher in class and he enjoys following the teacher's action with the music. He can stack up eleven building blocks. He likes to scrawl with oil pastels. Additionally, he can tear newspaper into long strips. Update pictures are as attached.
And these... ahhhhhhh....
Yes, I would LOVE to be your son!!
LOVE this face...
My little man can stack some blocks, y'all!
His cheeks are begging to be kissed!
We will be able to ask for another update in September, and we are all anxious to see how much he has grown!!
All of our paperwork is in order and our homestudy has been done. We were so fortunate to be able to work with the same social worker, Mrs. Smith. She did our homestudy when we were adopting Norah, and we just fell in love with her and she is such a special part of our family. So it was really great to share this with her as well, and of course to be able to see her again!!
We will begin sending all of that paperwork to various places to get super important stamps on this so we can be DTC (Dossier to China) and then after that we will have our LID (Log in Date). Phew! Confused yet??
We are hoping to travel February or March... the sooner he is home, the better :)
I am so thankful that we are able to have Samuel join our family. We are naming him Samuel after the Bible verse that became so clear to me...
1 Samuel 1:27 "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him."
His middle name will be Harrison, named after my husbands great grandfather William Harrison. My mother-in-law found out several years ago that William Harrison was adopted, so I thought it fit perfectly!!
We will keep part of his Chinese name, so his formal name is:
Samuel Harrison YunDi Sharp
In the next few days, I will go into more detail about his special need and where he is from. Until then.... peace and love from the Sharp family :)