Are we crazy?
Are we blessed?
How can we not respond to the call of orphans when:
We have looked into the eyes of the fatherless.
We are given the exact amount of money needed for an entire adoption by the government.
We have an empty bed.
We have hearts ready and willing to love another.
We can't walk away. We don't want to walk away.
Our arms are wide open ready to embrace this sweet girl.
Kaelyn Qing Grabowski
Xianyang, Shaanxi China
The longer story for those that are interested and for my own records-
Jon and I have known for quite some time that we would adopt another child someday. The someday part was pretty much up in the air. I was up for sooner and Jon was up for later. Jon wanted to settle in with the five we had. I, of course, wanted to plow forward into another adoption.
Back in February when we filed our taxes, I prayed that our adoption tax credit would come quickly. It did not seem likely because we were struggling to get SS#'s for our two newest additions. We went ahead and filed our taxes without claiming Nathaniel, Mae, and the adoption tax credit. Once the SS cards came in, we filed an amended return and figured that we would be audited for the adoption credit and not see any money until October. Imagine our surprise when we received the full amount without an audit! We were basically given the full amount of another adoption. Finances were no longer a barrier to an adoption.
Even with the money we were going to wait awhile. We have some projects around the house that need to be completed. We are still adjusting to the five kids we have. We haven't even been home a year!
Then I started doing some thinking. Why couldn't I just get the paperwork going. I really would prefer to gather paperwork during summer and not during the school year. We could have everything done, get a dossier sent to China, and then put it on hold.
Jon and I started dialoging about the possibility. Jon said I could get some information about the actual cost and what needed to be done. Once we figured out the finances, he said we could get the paperwork done, but that we really needed to wait a bit longer before we considered any referrals. I was good with that and sent off our application.
I let our agency, CCAI, know that we wanted to wait for a referral, but to put us in line. Our parameters were kind of tight. The special needs we were open to were wide, but the age range was not. Jon and I both felt that we were going to adopt an older child; between the ages of five and seven. CCAI said this could take some time because they don't see too many girls in this age range with the needs we are open to. That was fine with us. I did email them saying that even though it was unlikely, we would consider a referral for a girl with albinism at any time.
Our application to CCAI was sent on Tuesday, June 19th. They approved it on Friday, June 22. I had already done a little paperwork for our homestudy that week for our local agency, Chrysalis House. I figured that we would take about six months to get our dossier to China. A referral could take up to a year after that.
The weekend passed. We had celebrated Nathaniel's birthday that Saturday and barely thought about a future adoption. On Monday, June 25th we went through our day. By evening, Jon and I were both frustrated over various things. We were outside trying to get a few projects done and around eight at night the phone rang.
I answered the phone and was surprised when it was CCAI. I asked why she was working so late. I had no clue why they would be calling. I figured it had something to do with our application, or something. A referral never even entered my mine. Sarah (CCAI) asked if I knew that the shared list had come out. (The shared list is a list of special needs kids that are available to adopt by any agency. Every month, more kids are placed on the list.) I did not know that this list was being released. She then informed me that even though they knew we didn't want a referral right away, she had locked a file for us. She felt that we had to look.
She was right. We had to look. This little girl was ours.
I was shaking that night and Jon was a bit shell shocked. Friday we had been approved and Monday we had a referral. It was happening much faster that we anticipated.
At this point things are flying. We have sent our letter of intent and received pre-approval. Our homestudy is being reviewed and I hope to send off for our immigration approval soon. I'm thinking that our dossier will be sent to China by October and travel would be March or April. Whew!
We've kept things quiet because we have been trying to adjust to this adoption ourselves. We have needed to marinate on all that God has been doing. Now we are ready to share with the world!