Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beach day.. and other random May photos..

Max's school took a beach trip on Friday to end the ocean unit. It was a hot day, but we had a blast..

Everyone crowded in the shade... the temp was 100+ while we were there... HOT!

Later on Friday some dear friends threw me a little adoption dinner... we feel so supported!

Jack found a web address on a LEGO booklet and had to check it out..

A couple of weeks ago, Jacks class had a Dr. Seuss day... love this photo..

This photo came from a photo shoot I was doing of Annette in this dress, but I think this photo of these two is so funny!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Adoption Story Part 4

Part 1 
Part 2
Part 3
Leaving our little girl at the Children's home was very, very hard for me, but I was so thankful that I was able to go see where she was. While I was there I met a women who said she would help me to look for an American foster family for her and would keep an eye on her for me. 

Less than a month later, YiLi went to live with and American foster family who had two girls 4 and 6... the same ages as our kids! The home asked us to choose a name for her so this family could start calling her that. We spent time over the summer talking about it and chose the name Rose YiLi Thompson. Things were going well with her new foster family and we were able to get a few updates and photos a long the way too. 

The plan was that when her paperwork was ready our name would be put on her file before it was sent off to the main office in Beijing. Then somehow it would get connected with our agency and she would be matched with us after some more paperwork. The home said it would take three months to get her papers in order, then another month or two for it to be processed, but we were expecting to hear official word sometime in Oct. It was all a bit vague, but the home had done this several times before and it had worked out... 
We visited her the beginning of Oct, {visit post here}And were so pleased with how well she was doing. 

When the end of Oct came and went without news I contacted Christian Action here in HK to check on things. A few days later I received an e-mail saying we were "second on the list". I immediately freaked out... there wasn't suppose to be a list, we were suppose to be IT! After some frantic e-mails and calls it seemed that something had gone wrong and that she had been placed on the China shared special needs list {the one that is published for all agencies in the world to see} and another family had chosen her. There was an attempt for the next week or so to see if we could work something out but it all came back as a no. We were devastated! Here we were thinking we were just a few months from bringing her home and now it was all gone. We grieved her loss...and continued to pray for her.. but that she would be happy and healthy with her new family. She came to HK for a medical check in early Dec. and we said our official good-bye. We did not host her, it would have been to hard for me to care for her and know I couldn't keep her. 

Also during this time we took this step back as a sign that we should change things up. Our current agency really wasn't what we expected {as mentioned before} so I asked a friend who was working with another agency for information. I threw myself into the task of switching agencies and all the paperwork that went with that. It made us once again feel like things were moving. This new agency not only could see the shared list, but also has direction connections with several homes and has first dibs on lots of kids. We flew a social worker here from China right before Christmas break to finalize the switch. Then we flew to the US for Christmas...

While we were back in the US we started getting messages and texts that Christian Action was looking for us. We spoke on the phone and were told that something had happened {we still have no idea what} and that YiLi's file was back available. Did we want to try again? We said yes, but with little hope that anything would happen. We got our new agency working on it and two days later we received an e-mail saying they had secured her file and that her file was with our agency for the next three months and that we could be matched during this time! We were cautiously optimistic at this point. We told our family and just a few friends, then kept quiet while we worked hard to make it all "official" official..

Next up.... China adoption paperwork... the mountain!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Adoption Story - Part 3

Part 1
While we were fostering little "chen chen" we were approached by an organization here that has a baby home {one of the only in the city} and asked if we would be willing to be part of a pilot program to get more foreigners to foster. The new program was suppose to offer more flexibility for foster parents than the local system {like travelling with your foster child} and maybe even the possibility of adoption a foster child {which is not allowed under the normal foster system here}.

We were excited about this new opportunity and jumped right in after we returned from summer holiday. Because it was just in the start up stage, it actually took until March for the program to be up and running and at this point they didn't want to give us a placement since we would be off for summer soon. It seemed another school year was wasted with the process of it all.

At this same time CA contacted us again and wondered if we might want to foster another baby girl. This one with Bilateral Microtia and other general delays. It was only for 6 weeks and fit our schedule so we said yes. 

When little Yi Li arrived she was a very small baby for being 6 months. I remember we had a terrible time getting her to sleep that first night.. but she had just had a 10 hour travel day to come to us and had been dropped off to strangers... I'd have trouble sleeping too! 

Right from the start we learned the label - General Delays - were given to her only because the orphanage had never seen her condition before. She could roll just fine and learned to sit up before she turned 7 months. Within inn a few weeks it was apparent that all delays were because of environment, not her DNA. It was fun to watch her blossom and open up as well as she became comfortable with our family. 

I went with her to her hearing test, which showed that despite not having outer ears, her inner ears worked just fine { this is normal for her condition}. At the ENT we learned that with a bone anchored hearing aid she would have a normal range of hearing, and should develop speech normally.   A Physical Therapist checked out her delays, but by the time with saw this dr. most of them had self corrected due to being in our home. A jaw surgeon said she "may" need some jaw expansion surgery someday due to her smaller left side jaw.

AND... we fell in love with her! Almost right away we knew we wanted to try and adopt her. We spoke to CA and they said her adoption paperwork had not been started by the home, but when she went back to China, her file would be put together and they would help us to try and adopt her.

You can read about my trip to return her to China here.

at the time we were told if would take about 6 months after her papers were finished to complete the adoption. We were hoping that she would be in our home by early 2015. 

the next post.... it actually took a full year.... the story of ROSE...


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