This is probably going to be one of the longest blogposts ever!! However I have been wanting to write this post since Thursday July 14 because on this day we were introduced to our daughter - Linnea Hope. Her chinese name is Mao Zhong Sha. We received her referral on July 14 and today we finally received our PA (pre-approval) and now we can share our wonderful news with you. Believe me it has been a long two weeks!
Let me say that this referral came as a complete surprise... in many respects!! First of all I was busy getting ready for a birthday party for Luke and so my mind was occupied - which was totally the way the Lord knew I needed it to be. Secondly, we were not expecting a referral until we were logged in with China (LID) meaning all of our paperwork is in the Chinese govt's hands - and our paperwork is still in the hands of the US govt. In fact we had just gotten our fingerprints done two days ago! What I learned on that Thursday was that when you adopt two children from China at the same time one child must be from the special focus list. Let me explain the lists now. China has 3 lists of special needs children that are available. There is the agency specific list which means only families from a certain agency are eligible to adopt children from that list. Then you have the shared list which means any family can adopt from this list but you have to be logged in with China unless the child has been on the shared list for more than 30 days, if they have been on the list for more than 30 days then you do not have to be logged in with China. And finally you have the special focus list generally these are children that might have more than one special need, older healthy children that are getting ready to age out, there really is no rhyme or reason to this list. You do not have to be logged in to get a referral from the special focus list. Linnea is from the special focus list - hence the reason we got to see her file. Back to my story....
When I got the call from Andrea (our adoption buddy - as she calls herself) Thursday morning I had actually just gotten back from Walmart and I was working on making icing for Luke's cupcakes we were having his birthday party (yes very late) that evening. DP was out running errands and like I said I wasn't expecting this!! So when she had said she had a file - I was in shock. My first question I think was "are you for real?? is she from Maoming???" Our agency is working specifically with an orphanage in Maoming, China and DP and I have said from the beginning that we wanted both of our girls to come from the same orphanage. In normal circumstances this really wouldn't be likely but since Lifeline is working with Maoming it is very likely that both girls will come from there. Yes she was from Maoming and yes this was for real because she was on the special focus list.
If I write down every detail from that day - you will be reading forever - and don't worry I have journaled the whole day - detail by detail. What I will tell you is that we could see God's hand all over. When you get a referral you only have 48 hours to make a decision. This means we don't have long to get the file to our pediatrician have her look over it, pray alot and make a decision. Our pediatrician was out of the country. But God in his goodness gave us two different pediatricians to look over her file and they both gave us the thumbs up.
I will share that sometime during the day on that Thursday I asked DP what he was thinking and he says to me "I think we should sleep on it." Of course we should sleep on it I'm thinking. I just wanted some kind of gut feeling but I moved on - remember I had a party to be getting on. Late that night after we had heard from both pediatricians my ever sweet thoughtful husband comes home from "running an errand" with pink flowers and one of my favorite Starbucks coffees and says "I think we should go get her!" I was so excited I couldn't even drink my coffee!! We woke up Andrea (not purposefully) to tell her to lock her file. I could not even sleep that night. I am so thankful for God's provision and our sweet daughter. You won't believe the ways in which God has worked just in the few days after we received her referral. I will post the rest of this incredible testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness soon so be sure to check back because I also have updated pictures!! Thanks for sharing this journey with us!!