Friday, January 14, 2011
Here's What Happened...
If you haven't followed my blog before, and want to read the full tale of Jie Jie, go to the archives and begin on Sept. 8, 2010. I will begin now recounting what happened between Updates 12 and 13. Jie Jie is not my daughter's name, but means big sister...
It didn't matter to my heart that another family was adopting my little girl. My heart would not let her go. I tried very, very hard to make myself take her things back to the store, like her baby doll and doll bed, but there they sat by the front door, the receipts sticking out of the packaging where I'd tucked them.
At one point, I went ahead and altered the little baby clothes I'd bought used so they'd fit the doll better. I carefully took the doll out of the box, tried all the outfits on, cried a bit, and carefully put the doll back into the packaging just like new. Crazy, yeh?
Thanksgiving very strange. As I made my turkey dinner I felt like my daughter was beside me. In my mind, I was imagining that she was beside me, learning to cook, discovering what Thanksgiving was all about, playing with a piece of pie crust and all the things we do with children during the holiday. It was truly as though she was with me.
All this time my faith and testimony grew, still knowing another family had her, but asking God for a miracle under two conditions. One, that He found me worthy, and, two, that I will abide by His will. I also took steps to increase my worthiness. My prayers were offered like never before. The experiences I had while praying are too sacred to post and share here, but just know that I was changing and being changed, of my own free will, because of my love for Jie Jie and my faith in God and His son Jesus Christ. I knew that even if I Jie Jie and I never became a family, I'd been given something rare and precious in how my relationship with God deepened and grew.
The week leading up to Christmas was hard. So very, very hard. I decorated minimally, imagining what I'd do if she was here and remembering all I'd done last year. As I entered Wal*mart one evening, I saw a mother wheeling a pink bicycle out teh door and my heart lurched and screamed at me that I need to get a pink bike, too. It was so strong it was a physical sensation. It was incidences like these that kept my hope growing, despite what my brain was told to believe by cold, hard facts, along with answers to every prayer in unexpected ways.
During this week, I decided to force myself to look at Waiting Children and I made a call to IAAP, an agency working with mine that is very active in promoting the special need program and advocating for children with spina bifida because I'd seen a picture of a little girl with a mild form of this condition and wanted to know more. While talking to them, they mentioned that my agency just got several new girls listed on their list. There were two I felt I could love and requested their files, printed them out (in high quality), put their pictures up on the wall, but my heart wasn't with them. I even forgot to look at their pictures. With Jie Jie, I'd spend hours gazing at her picture and not realize the time had flown by. I called my agency and explained how I felt, knowing I eventually could love one of these girls, they truly were beautiful and deserving, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that my Jie Jie was still available. My agency rep suggested I ask the director, Val, to contact the other agency (the one holding Jie Jie's file) so I could have closure. I did have some information about Jie Jei and pictures that I wasn't sure were in her file that I was willing to give to the family if they were proceeding as planned with the adoption. In my mind, this was bait to make sure the other agency would take Val's call (not needed because they are a "good" agency and happy to do what's best for the children). I'd also asked that if the file was not locked, that she advocate for me. I sent the email on Dec. 20th and heard back on the 21st.
"Yes, I will be glad to check for you- I will contact the agency tomorrow. I have been out since last Thursday evening, but will be in tomorrow and can double check to see what is happening on this case.
I hope you are having an easier time with this as time goes by, I know it is so hard. :-(
She is very cute. I'm glad you are passing along what might be new information to the family.
Will keep you posted about what I find out!"
The week before Christmas, Val and her husband were having the week mostly off while the staff kept may agency open. The week after Christmas, the staff were off and Val and her husband were the only two working there.
On Christmas Day, I received this from her...
Just wanted you to know that although I did get a call from the other agency last week, obviously they were closed before I called later that same day, so I have not heard the outcome of the girl you first wanted to adopt. I have left two messages and will let you know once I know what happened. I had asked that they call with all of the 'final' news about the family wanting her. I imagine this is their followup call so try not to read anything into it. I am ready to pass along your information but have not done so yet, as I don't for sure know why they are calling. Once I find out I will go ahead and give your info to them for the family.
In the meantime, hope you are having some nice time off and that you can look forward to a bright new year in 2011!"
Needless to say, I tried hard do stay calm, but by the next day I was in an altered state. I knew something was happening; I felt it inside me, consuming me. I felt HUGE inside.
On Monday, Dec. 27, I received this from Val...
"Connecting with the other agency
We have arranged to talk tomorrow (Tuesday) so I will be in touch! They have been closed- and the social worker has had some vacation time. But we are hopefully done with telephone tag tomorrow mid morning, so I will call you once I know whats going on! Just wanting to give you an update!"
I couldn't help it and called Val to ask if she had any idea at all what the other agency wanted. By now I was a wreck. I spent most of the day praying. Not the going about one's daily business and silently praying, but on the knees, as always for this matter, in the same spot in the livingroom. I re-read the email a few times and realized it contained three exclaimation marks! Why would she use them for this?
Night came and I was again on my knees before the Lord. I'd barely begun my prayer when the phone rang. It was a daycare parent and a short call. I went back to my spot and began my prayer again. This time I got much further along and the phone rang again. I thought I'd just hurry and finish my prayer, but I couldn't be rushed. The phone rang again and again. I got up and exclaimed, "How can a person pray when the phone keeps ringing!" It was 8:40pm. It was Val. I cannot recall the exact words, but they were essentially, "We have just locked your daughter's file for you!"
I started shaking, crying, laughing, fell to the floor, still on the phone, because I knew that God had done this. I was overcome. I finally asked how it all happened.
This is my present understanding, but I will ask Val sometime if she can tell me again what happened...
After having the file for 5 weeks, the other family's social worker found out that they were looking at other files and weren't seriously considering my daughter. She yanked the file away from them so fast and contacted my agency and they arranged it all without saying anything to me. I usually want to be in the loop, no matter how hard or painful, but in this case, I'm so thankful that Val didn't tell me. When I mentioned this to her she said that she just couldn't put me through it again unless they were sure they could lock it. I appreciated that insight so much!
I remember asking her if CCAA knew I was single and she replied, "Well, it's your name on it!"
And that is how it all happened.