This October we were tasked with updating all of adoption paperwork because one of the immigration forms will expire in 6 months. This means taking everyone back to the doctors for checkups, getting all new forms notarized, re-applying for all kinds of background checks, etc. It’s a real pain.
The latest guess, though, on how long our wait still is in Bulgaria is at least another two years. So we will likely have to do this process at least once or twice more before we ever get referred a child.
As Pete and I thought about this, and about our creaky, old bodies that are not getting any younger, and our rapidly growing children, calculating the age differences between Miles and a new child we may someday get, we were getting discouraged.
We decided maybe we should expand our parameters a bit and look around outside of our small adoption agency to see if there are any other options. I started praying, “God, it would be REALLY cool if you could just find us a child or two NOW so that we can just do all the updating once!”
For weeks I’ve been looking through a web site that has thousands of “waiting children” on it. (Waiting children are either older or have more severe special needs, making them harder to get adopted.) Various children appealed to me somewhat, although they all felt like strangers, and I requested a few detailed files from various agencies. Each time, though, it all felt so arbitrary.
How would we know when we found the one God had picked for our family? Most of the files are incomplete and not very detailed, so there are so many unknowns.
We are open to adopting a child with many different kinds of special needs, but it was still hard to find children that fit in our parameters. At one point I was describing to someone about how certain special needs scared me, but that what I would really want is to find another child like our Rayna. It would be cool to raise them together, I thought.
Yes, that’s what I was looking for – another Rayna. Another “song of the Lord.”
I kept looking and looking…. And then, on October 23, after we had started some of the updated paperwork, I was again on the adoption web site, and came across a sweet, 7-year-old little girl in China.
Her special needs and age were within our parameters and she had such a cute face… but the thing that really caught my eye was that her security name was RAYNA! (Agencies do not post the child’s real name, but instead assign an American security name.) The description under her name began, “Rayna is a little ray of sunshine to everyone she meets…”
Here was another Rayna! Could God have answered my desire so literally??
I excitedly showed Pete her pictures and we agreed we should request her file from the agency to learn more about her. The agency sent it right over and we started trying to gain as much information as we could. She has double club feet and it was unclear whether or not she could walk, or would ever be able to walk. We quickly started asking medical friends for input.
The very first night we had her file I could not sleep. All night I found myself thinking about her and all the possibilities of bringing her into our home. I tried not to carried away – but I did. This was the first time I had ever felt like this about a child I had only seen/read about on a web site.
We still couldn’t find out if she had the possibility of walking, but Pete and I were both ready to move forward anyway. The fact that Pete was so positive about her also seemed to be a sign from God (to me). He hadn’t really considered or been excited about any of the other children’s files I had showed him before.
The kids and I, coincidentally, were doing lessons about China in school… It all seemed to be pointing in one direction: We would be signing up to adopt “Chinese Rayna” that week!
But…. it turned out that we couldn't. And I got pretty sad, and mad....