Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oliver: Part 1

So I'm about a dozen blog posts behind. So much has happened in the last four weeks and rather then write a novel, I've decided to give the update in multiple parts. Warning: They will be wordy and too detailed but it is my hope that all the posts in this blog will serve as a sort of "baby book" for our son as we record this adventure.

Oliver: Part 1

Back in October I wrote a post about feeling "blah" and exhausted from waiting and not knowing what was coming next in our adoption adventure. After a year of paper chasing and appointments and working hard to fund-raise, the holiday's hit and there was nothing more for us to do but wait for our agency to match us with a child. It was crickets for a while and it was frustrating because I had zero control. I didn't want to whine too loudly though because in the adoption world, we really hadn't been waiting that long and, as far as we knew, we might have a lot longer to wait. So I wrote a whiney blog post and moved on. November came and went without a peep from our agency. My hopes of having a match by Christmas were quickly fading.

Somewhere in the first week of December I got a text from a woman at church who wanted to know more about adoption. She and her husband were in the early stages of the conversation and wanted to hear a bit more about our story. We planned to meet for dinner on Tuesday, December 9th. Tuesday morning came and I dropped Sawyer off at Kindergarten and Jane off at Preschool and headed for a hair appointment. I love getting my hair done but it has sort of been a marker for how long this journey has been for us (again, I know "long journey" is relative). My hair dresser was one of the first people to know we had started the process back in 2013 and since I only see her every 3-4 month or so (don't judge- getting my hair done is expensive, yo) its always an interesting conversation of filling her in on whats happened and whats next. The bummer with this appointment was nothing had really changed since the last time I had come in. We chatted about other things and as I got up to leave and grabbed my phone I noticed a missed call from our social worker. The adrenalin immediately kicked in and I was shaking while trying to pay my hairdresser. Our social worker had told us she wouldnt call unless it had something to do with a referral so I was anxious over the fact that I had missed her first call and even more anxious about hurrying to my car so I could call her back.

She picked up right away and immediately asked if I was driving. I think I said something like, "YES! NO! It doesnt matter, just tell me whats up???!!" She laughed and said, "I think I have an early Christmas present for your family!!" She proceeded to tell me about the file of a seven-month-old baby boy, in need of a family. She said he was missing his right hand and was noted as being in good health. I kept saying, "Seven months?? He is only seven months old??" She said she couldnt believe it either and that the Lord knew what we were hoping for in our hearts in regards to being a family for a baby. Our social worker said she would email us the file and include the photos at the end. There was a pretty short time limit for deciding "yes" or "no" on our part so she encouraged us to talk and pray right away. I was giddy on the phone the entire conversation and kept asking the Lord, "Is he ours? Is this our son? Please let this be our son!"

I called Tim as soon I hung up with the social worker and asked him to meet me at home as soon as possible. I picked the kids up from school and could barely hold it together. As soon as we were home, I threw some turkey and cheese on two plates and put a movie on and told the kids mom and dad would be talking for a while. Tim came home and without saying anything, we went straight to our room and opened the laptop. We read through the medical file and personal file and learned a lot about this baby's health, weight, daily schedule, and the institution he was currently living in. At the end of the documents were six of the sweetest pictures I had ever seen. Sitting on our knees, at the foot of our bed, we saw the face of our son, Oliver, for the first time. It was such a surreal moment. One we had waited for and heard about and dreamed of and now were living out. Tim said, "Let's go get him and bring him home." And that was it. He was ours and we were his.

We called our social worker and told her we wanted to pursue the adoption of this baby. She said, "I knew it. The whole China team knew it. They already pulled his file for you. As soon as they saw him, they knew."  Chills.

We went to dinner that night with some new friends and got to talk all about our adoption journey and this time, for the first time, the story ended with the face of our Oliver. Later that night we drafted our Letter of Intent and sent it off to our agency to be sent to China. We told the kids the following evening and could barely keep from announcing it to the world, but, per our agency, were strongly advised to keep the circle small until we received conformation via Letter of Acceptance which was guestimated to come within 50-60 days.

Miracle of miracles, our Letter of Acceptance arrived at our agency 8 days later. Totally unexpected. Totally not "standard wait time." Totally God.

We wont show Oliver's full face on social media until we receive travel approval (we are praying this comes mid Feb) but here is the teaser we posted on facebook.

Part 2 coming soon...Oh yes, there is more.