I could say that I didn’t see this coming, but that would be a lie. There are no words to describe my feelings as I write this.
Last week, my lovely wife Theresa was getting antsy. As I relayed in my last post, CCAI (our adoption agency) said the typical wait for a child meeting our medical needs was seven months. Over half a year before we could be matched and meet our daughter. Just words to me, really—but Theresa felt differently.
“I want to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to find our little girl,” she told me.
I agreed to a point. “Everything in my power” can mean a lot of things. The way I saw it, we were doing everything and now was time to let go and let God.
Reece felt otherwise. Her heart was determined to keep searching…which is where this story takes a cool turn. While looking on Facebook, Reece ran across an interesting post. Seems some lady had found an agency in need of adopting parents.
What? That didn’t make sense. From the beginning, we were told that every agency had a long waiting list. yet here was someone claiming to have found the proverbial needle in a haystack. When Reece relayed her findings, I was skeptical. My thinking was, “CCAI is a great organization, why not be content and allow God to take care of it?” I wanted to support my wife, yet I felt this other agency business was a wild goose chase. (Could I come up with any more cliches?)
That evening, we went to a Harvest Moon Festival and had a great time. Just seeing all of those Chinese children made my heart swell and intensified the yearning for Little Panda. Even though I didn’t want to admit it, my heart was softening to the idea of leaving CCAI. Then on our drive home, something happened. While turning into our subdivision, I spied a glowing object hovering over our car. It was a Chinese lantern…actually three Chinese lanterns. For the next several minutes, our family marveled at these beautiful lanterns floating across the night sky in silent unison.
“It’s a sign,” Reece said. “Three lanterns for our three little dumplings.”
I had to admit, the odds of such a display were slim. It was Moon Cake day, but to see lanterns at 10:30 pm as we arrived home?
“I feel like I should keep searching for her.” Reece said. “What should I do?” There was urgency in her tone.
I looked at those glowing lanterns and shook my head in amazement. I thought standing still was what God wanted, but who knows the mind of God? We asked for a sign, for direction in this uncertain time and here was a clear sign from our maker.
“Go for it. Do whatever you have to do to find our little girl.”
Reece contacted the Facebook lady and learned about Madison Adoption Agency (MAA). http://www.madisonadoption.com/
Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10 am, one year to the day when Reece and I decided to begin our journey into adoption, Reece called Madison agency to inquire about any children on the waiting list.
“We have this one little sweetie pie we’ve been trying hard to get matched,” the lady from MAA said. “She’s four years old and if we don’t match her soon, we’ll have to give her file back to China…”
Reece accepted the file and called me immediately. I knew something was up when she blurted out, “When can you get home?”
How can this be possible?
But it was possible and by 5 pm, Reece and I were pouring over an adoption file of some 4 year old darling from the Hubei province of China. The report contained 3 short videos, 8 pictures and a basic medical/developmental checklist. Not much, but a lot could be inferred from the information. For starters, this was one adorable little gal. But there was more. The videos revealed a typically developing kiddo, climbing up slides, smiling and reacting to her caregivers voice.
Beautiful to behold!
To make sure we hadn’t missed anything, we made an appointment with Dr. Staat at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Adoption clinic to have a look at the file. A conference call with the doctor was set for that Thursday at 4:30 pm.
Both Reece and I were pretty anxious about the whole situation. You read blogs, talk to people and think you have it all figured out….so when you’re instantly matched with a child, it throws you for a looptdy loop. That old adage “if things seem too good to be true…they probably are,” ran through my head for three days like an ominous skipping record. Finally, Thursday rolled around and it was time to find out what the good doc thought of our Chinese dumpling.
5 minutes before our appointment, Theresa’s cell phone rang. Not just any ring. My wife had specifically set up a special ring tone for CCAI in the event they called her with a match. At 4:25 pm Thursday, CCAI was calling her phone.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Reece thought as the phone continued to ring. This was the call she had been waiting for. The call that 11 months of prayers, tears and paperwork had brought her.
“I just wanted to call to let you know that we have a file of a girl you might be interested in. Would you like to look at her file?”
It was funny. For months we prayed for a match, now suddenly we had TWO!
But did we really?
Instead of throwing us off, this crazy coincidence reinforced what we already knew. Theresa and I decided not to look into the matched file from CCAI, knowing that this little one was destined for another family and that our Little Panda had already been found.
Funny how God works.