Sunday, December 18, 2011

This One Little Picture…

was responsible for my complete downfall.Dang Qiao 2011-10-21 - Copy

To understand why, you need to understand some history. So here goes:

When we applied to adopt Molly in 2005, the wait for referral was six months. Six months. It had been pretty steady for a while. Turn in your dossier and six months later, referral.

Our dossier for Molly’s adoption was logged in with China on September 29, 2005. We were expecting to receive a referral in March or April of 2006. But something went wrong.

The exact month our dossier was logged in, China began it’s referral slow down. Except at the time, we didn’t know it was part of a major shift in China adoption. At the time it looked like a little glitch and things would soon turn around.

But it didn’t. It got worse.

With every new month came more bad news, and the wait continued to grow. Every new month, I allowed myself to be filled with hope and then suffered the disappointment. I wanted to be a mother so badly. My soul was so invested in the adoption process. My heart ached each and every day for the daughter who seemed to be getting farther and farther away.

The wait changed me. It made me not trust. It made me not believe. It made me scared and hurt and hopeless. I cried almost daily. At least that’s the way it seemed. Everyday for the next sixteen months I sat and hurt for my daughter and for myself. I thought about her constantly. Longed to hold her. Ached to be her mother. It was awful.

Finally in January 2007, we received Molly’s referral and joy was allowed to creep back in. The joy surrounding Molly was instantaneous. I loved her madly. But the joy in the rest of my life was slow to return. It took a long time to trust again, to believe again, to allow me to invest my heart again.

When we decided to adopt a second child, I went into the process with my whole heart. That’s the person that I am.

I remember the day we got our referral. Tony was out of town on business. I had to email him all of the pictures and information about our son. We talked on the phone for hours about all of the details in his file. But details didn’t matter. I was so head over heels in love with this little boy from the first time I saw this picture:Dang Qiao 4

For the next several nights I went to sleep with my laptop right next to the bed. Every time that I would wake up I would wiggle the mouse and that beautiful little face would appear on the screen.

I carried his pictures around with me and kissed his little face millions of times. I shared the joyous news with my family friends. I couldn’t wait for the day that he joined our family. We prayed for Baby Brother and talked about what life would be like when Baby Brother arrived.

But as much as I loved my new child, I had to find a way to detach myself from the process of waiting. That awful time between knowing you have a child and the time when he is placed in your arms can be very, very hard. And sometimes dark. And I knew that I couldn’t go there again.

I worked at trying to disengage from the pain of waiting. I focused on the joy of my boy’s soul and not the moments, days, weeks, and months that he wasn’t with me.

With Molly, I counted everyday, every step in the process. I obsessed over every bit of news and pinned my hopes on every prediction.

This time I forced myself to think about the future with our son, not the present when we were without him. I didn’t count days, or steps in the process. I didn’t post about my paper chase or reaching every little milestone. I didn’t stay up at night obsessing if my I-800 had reached the lockbox or if getting my fingerprints done early would speed the process.

I just kept looking forward to the day that my son would be placed in my arms.

I hope that I did not appear uncaring because I did not post about the process. I care very deeply. He is my child and has been since the day I opened his picture and saw his beautiful eyes. I love him as I love Molly. He is my child and I would lay down my life to save his.

But in order survive, I had to draw lines. I had to push the painful piece, the process of adoption,  away. I couldn’t focus on it because it was just a daily reminder that he was so far away.

My looking forward strategy worked for a long while. But then China sent this:Dang Qiao 2011-10-21 - CopyAnd it was responsible for my complete downfall.

I received other pictures of my son from time to time, but they didn’t have the same effect as this one.

This one came between Letter of Acceptance and Travel Approval, and for some reason as soon as I laid eyes on it, I began to cry. Oh, how I ached to hold my boy. How I longed to kiss face, smell him, touch his skin, feel his weight.

Ever since I received this picture, I have experienced every single feeling that I had to keep in check in order to survive the wait.

Now all I can think (okay, obsess) about it going to China and getting my son. Getting Sam.

In 8 days I will do just that. The time is so near.

Please pray for Sam. Although my journey to him is going to be a joyful one, his journey to me will be more difficult. He is leaving a foster family that he has been living with and loving with for two years. He is losing the way of life to which he has grown accustomed. He is losing his country.

He might be experiencing all of these changes for a very good reason, but he doesn’t know that yet. To him these are huge loses with no clear picture of what is to come. He will need every prayer and the hand of God to guide him on his journey.

I hope that you will join me on my journey to get Sam in China. Blogger is blocked in China so I will be setting up a website that I can post to during the trip. In the next few days I will post the web address here, but I have to get the website set up first!

And just because he is so darn cute, here’s my son Sam one more time! Dang Qiao 2011-10-21 - Copy


Anonymous said...

My dear one, this text which I've read made me feel emotion, when I started read it, I couldn't stopped. It's just amazing, I can see you huge love to your child, it's amazing! Of course I wish you good luck, I wish everything will be good. Thank you for this experience. Lot of love, Weronika, Poland.

doris said...

God bless you and your family. Molly and Sam are very fortunate and I will be praying that the Lord will guide and direct in the whole process. He is in control.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news Teri! CONGRATULATIONS, he is absolutely ADORABLE! You, and I definitely know that wait is torture, but so worth it once that little one is placed in your arms. Looking forward to reading about your journey to your precious Sam! From one momma with a cleft affected little girl, to another with a precious cleft affected little boy. They are such wonderful children to have in our lives!
What a great Christmas gift.

sisie said...

beaucoups de courage Molly dans votre écrit vous avez tant d'amour pour cette enfant que dieu vous protège

Cate said...

Skipping through blogs i came across your beautiful and emotional story. He is beautiful and is extreamly lucky to be getting a mother like yourself. I pray that everything goes well. Remember when you see only one set of footprints the good Lord has not left you, He is carrying you xxx

Traveller said...

So emotional ! God Bless you and your family !!!