Monday, June 30, 2008

heart-wrenching offer

Recently I attended a picnic that was given by the adoption agency that conducted my homestudy (not my China adoption agency). Those attending were trans-cultural adoptions or international adoptions (mostly from Haiti). It was great to see these families that were so happy and seemingly well-adjusted. Most of the adopted kids were from two to eight-years-0ld. Of course, I was childless (but not motherless....Mom went with me)....and I wore my t-shirt that says "Waiting for my daughter from China".....complete with a flag of China and the U.S. flag (thank you for selling these adoption t-shirts). Everyone was very supportive and kind; these people truly understand the heart-felt desire to adopt as well as the process to get there.

After the meal, my social worker (who I think is SO GREAT), sat down beside me and asked if he could talk to me for a minute. I was a little concerned - usually that kind of question means that there is a problem....I guess I'm too paranoid. Anyway, he then asked me if I would consider domestic adoption (kids from the U.S.). I told him that I certainly did consider it, but felt strongly that God had called me to adopt from China. He proceeded to share the story of a 19-year-old girl that was pregnant....she had been in foster care herself, and was now pregnant and unmarried. Her baby is due in December. He asked me if I would consider taking this child! Oh, I cannot put into words the feeling that I had when he asked me this question; suffice it to say that it was a heart-wrenching feeling. The idea that I could actually have a newborn baby in December was intense. My social worker went on to say that the girl wanted her baby to go to a single mother because she did not believe that men could be trusted; my heart immediately went out to this young pregnant girl.

I told my social worker that I have had such a strong connection to China and to my yet-unknown daughter Caroline.....I've already developed a love relationship with her. Yet, I told him that I would not close that door and would certainly pray for God's guidance in this matter. I certainly want to listen to God's leading, even if it means changing directions. I could not stop thinking about this pregnant teen, and did pray about it. After much thought and prayer, I still believe that my daughter is in China. Perhaps this experience even strengthened that feeling. Then, after a couple of weeks passed, my social worker called to tell me that the young girl had decided to keep her baby.

Thinking about this experience still causes me to tear up. It was a feeling of validation to know that the social worker came to me first when this pregnant 19-year-old came to him. He has told me that he believes I will be a wonderful mom. It helped me to believe it, too. Life is so precious...and it is such a privilege to be a precious child's momma.........I know that God has a special child chosen for me. Each day is one day closer to finding out who she is. But, I still think about this 19-year-old who will be giving birth to an innocent baby.....who is in fact, a child herself with a complicated and difficult past. I continue to pray for her.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Rather Significant Birthday

Oh my...I've really neglected this blog. Life has been hectic since the end of the school year.

This past weekend I was able to celebrate a rather significant birthday with about 100 of my friends and family. That significant birthday was the big 5-0. I don't feel 50...I'm not the judge of whether or not I look 50, but I hope that I don't. I really can't believe that I'm this age. But...I have to say that this was probably my best birthday ever. I had many of my favorite people around me including former and current students, friends from church, kids and parents from my children's choir, and a few family members who made the trip from Kansas City, Wichita, and Phoenix, Arizona.

In some ways, I really didn't want to make a big deal about this birthday. There are people who believe that I'm too old to adopt a child, much less a young child. There are some that don't understand why I want to adopt, and have not been terribly supportive. There are people that NEVER bring up the subject of adoption which is troublesome for me because my future daughter is at the center of my life. I already feel like I have relationship with her....I pray for her daily even though I have no idea who she is, or whether or not she has been born. I think of her constantly, and think about how she (Caroline) will give my life new meaning.

When Mom sent out the invitations, she stipulated that no gifts were necessary. But, we both decided that people will bring gifts anyway, so why not suggest that people could donate to the adoption fund. This would take care of the question, "what kind of gift should we get?".....making it much easier to just give a small amount of money. I was blown away by the generosity and support of those that gave monetary gifts.....amazing. They wrote words of encouragement in cards. This means so much to me. Thank you to all that were so kind and generous. I appreciate it more than you could possibly know.

Now, I guess I'll look for mail from the AARP.....looking forward to that 'senior' discount. They say that '50' is the new '40.' And, I'm told that the 50's are much better than the 40's. So, that's the plan. I definitely don't feel 50.....they say that 50 is just a number. So my age will not define me. My faith, attitude, and actions will define me.