We first saw your picture on a website. A cute smile and searching eyes made you stand out among dozens of others faces. I sent in a request for more information expecting to hear that you were already matched with a family. To my surprise, I got a phone call a few hours later from a woman wanting to talk about you and your need for a family.
We knew right away we wanted to move forward to adopt you. Papers, fingerprinting, more documents, background checks, parenting classes, and more papers. The notary became a regular hangout spot for us. At times, it seemed as if we were trapped in a time warp and would never get past this part of the process.
Then suddenly, it was time to fly to China. The evening before we met my heart was beating so fast. I was about to see your face. Those same beautiful, dark eyes I’d seen in a photo, the ones that had captured my heart, now I would look directly in them. Thoughts bombarded me. Were you afraid? How long before you came to trust us? What unknowns lie ahead? The phrase, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God,” played through my mind.
It is comforting to know He has always known you. He isn’t surprised by any of your needs. He knows your fears just like He knows mine. I think about the future; both of us learning about each other and us learning more about God, together.
We step off of the train and head to the hotel where you have been waiting for over two hours. The nannies photograph us together, answer a few questions, give us some much needed information, and then we are given temporary custody of you. Soon, it is just us trying to figure things out.
The journey to you may seem like nothing more than official documents (lots and lots of these), numerous fees, and a whole bunch of red-tape bureaucracy. But, the truth is our journey to you started with a burden for a child we had never met. It grew through a photograph posted on-line. It blossomed as we learned more about you. And now having met you, our journey has changed from finding to knowing you.
We are discovering who you are. What makes you laugh? What makes you sad? We are seeing the effects of a child raised without parents. We are exploring what family is and what it isn’t. There is so much for us to learn as this journey continues. But for now, we are glad to just be together and be Ba-ba and Ma-ma to you.