So, a few years ago we kept this blog to document our journey to Latvia to adopt Isabella and Becca and so cleverly named it Home Full of Girls. We were so sure that we would bring our baby girl, Reese, home from China, have our completed family of 5 daughters and live happily ever after. We know now that God was probably getting a good laugh out of that plan! He has led us down His path to our SON in China!
Last September we babysat a sweet little baby boy from Bright Beginnings for a few days to help out while his grandparents went on a much deserved vacation. It was so exciting for the girls to have a baby to take care of and love on. He is such a good little guy and we fell head over heals in love with him! The girls were so helpful and all of our hearts definitely changed that week! I loved watching each of them interact with him and it seemed to simple to have a baby with us! (No, I am not crazy, I know that babies are not always easy and the newness will wear off)
So, during that same week, we got an email from our China Adoption agency that said families that have their dossiers (paperwork) already logged in (ours for Reese has been logged in since March 8, 2007) could have first look at a new special needs list that was coming out the following Monday. We really felt like God was using baby Noah to stir something in our hearts. We decided that we would apply and let God take control of the situation. The process started with an online application where you mark what special needs you feel your family could handle, what age range you desire and if you want a boy, girl, or either. We got that done and sent and our agency called us the next day. We talked to her about what was going on and she said that when they got the new files on the kids, they try to match them up with waiting families. Since the files come in the middle of the night, she said to be prepared for a possible call late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. Needless to say we didn't sleep much that night and were extremely disappointed that we didn't get a call. Before we really had a chance to get to down about it, we got an email on Tuesday evening that said something like "hey, this child doesn't meet your criteria, but we thought you might want to look at his file". I will never forget Tim bringing the computer in to me while I was cooking dinner. The picture of this sweet baby was on the screen and I wasn't sure who it was. Tim was trying to tell me what the email said and Ryleigh said "is that our baby?" It was one of those moments where I wanted to just drop everything and run into my closet with the computer to take it all in.
After dinner, we read through his file, researched his special needs and began to pray for wisdom for this life-changing decision! We realized he had just turned one year old on September 14th. Over the course of the next few days, our emotions were running wild! I began to picture all the ways a little boy would change our family! In the back of my mind I started feeling sad that the baby girl we have talked about for all these years might not ever join our family. But, I also couldn't stop myself from really hoping we could add this little boy to our family.
Then the most miraculous and amazing news came when we were talking to our agency on the phone asking some questions. The girl told us that this child was on the "Special Focus" list, which meant families could adopt concurrently or simultaneously. So, for us that meant we could keep our paperwork in line for Reese and adopt our son in the mean time using a copy of our dossier that has been in China all these years. I cried I was so happy! It was one of those times that you just can't believe God's goodness, faithfulness, and love!
We honestly thought that we would be traveling within a few months, but of course there have been hold-ups and complications. I won't get into all those details... Where we stand right now is that our new paperwork (all the approvals to adopt a special needs boy) got logged in on February 10th (which happens to be our Gotcha Day for Isabella and Becca) and they say our wait will be 6-9 months to travel. Yes, it can be faster and we really have no idea why it takes so long. We do know, however, that God's timing is perfect and we have to have faith that he will join our family and just the right time! Some days are extremely difficult, knowing he is waiting for us and just wanting to meet him so badly it hurts. Other days I have a great sense of peace that every day is a day closer to him and then we have the rest of his life to be his family!
We have chosen the name Ethan Thomas. Ethan is one of the two names we really agreed on and Thomas is after the best grandad in the entire world, William Thomas Patten, who one of the most influential people in my life. Ethan's room is all decorated in a realistic space theme with lots of science gadgets, too! His daddy has been very excited about all of that! He even has an Albert Einstein doll! His sisters are all very anxious for him to be home and they can hardly wait to teach him things and help take care of him.
Best case scenerio we will travel in June or July. Ryleigh and Reagan want to go with us and Becca and Isabella don't. I think they feel like they have done enough traveling going back and forth to Latvia all those times. We are looking forward to showing Reagan China and helping her get a glimpse into what her adoption was like. Most of all we look forward to stepping off the airplane and have all 5 of our children together for the first time!
I plan to blog again so we can have this adoption journey documented, too! Thanks for following our family's story!