This past week has been full of surprises and blessings. On Monday I received word a total stranger wanted to bless me. Then my dear friend Kim shared our story on her blog along with a challenge to her readers to bless two adoptive families, ours being one of them.
On Friday we received word from our agency our Letter of Approval was "in the mail" by China and hopefully the hard copy would be received at our agency by the following week. This is the single most important paper in adoption from China. It's the document which states "she's yours" and after a couple more steps you can come get her!
Late last night a dear friend sent me a message on Facebook inquiring if the child on an advocacy page was our Sophie? I was doubtful as I hadn't seen it, but I had been super busy this week to scroll through everything in my news feed. When I arrived at the post, I wasn't quite sure she was our child. She has changed so much! She has grown and looks so much older. If she wasn't wearing the sunglasses we had sent her for her birthday I might still have my doubts. But after staring at her photo for a long time, I realized it was HER!
It was a strange mix of emotions. Normally an adoptive family can find photos of their child online. Usually they are on advocacy pages designed to make aware the need for the child to be adopted. When we started the process for Sophie a mom sent me photos of her as an infant. The woman had visited the orphanage and had taken photos. We've received photos from our agency during the process several times, but there was something about this particular photo that brought about a lot of fear and a sense I did not have control over anything in this process. (Did I mention I was a control freak?)
Perhaps it was the caption included with the photo which read in part Sophie was starting preschool and she was particularly close to her foster mother. This stung a little. Both Ellie and Isaac were in institutional settings and hadn't seemed to bond or grieve the loss of a caretaker.. Both are fiercely attached to me as their mom. It's a strange feeling knowing someone else loves your child and someone else has been there before you. Sophie has been with the same family since she was ten months old and is a little over three now. We adopted Isaac at eleven months and he will be three in June. I cannot imagine him being ripped from my arms and given to a stranger and taken to a foreign land!
My heart grieves for her, it grieves for myself in a selfish way. I've had the adoptions of rainbows and unicorns as my friend Jill tells it. I haven't experienced hard. I haven't experienced rejection.
The reality is, more than likely we will be traveling in less than ten weeks. We will be leaving our little ones in the care of their older sister, brother and close friends and family.
I know God has this and I know to pray for peace. I know I will receive it but I'm sitting here in my bucket of anxiety for just a few more moments.
Will you take the time to pray for us, for Sophie's heart, for our kiddos staying home? Pray for safe and uneventful travels? I covet your prayers during this time more than anything else.