Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Easter Lilies

So I realize that Easter happened about 3 weeks ago, but I was unable to publish this post until today! Enjoy watching the video first, then read more details below.

If you don't see the video click this link: http://youtu.be/yNWXoL-kTLM

On Monday the week of Easter we learned that there were two files available from our agency's partnership orphanage. Our dossier had arrived in China on Monday, but since we were not officially "logged in" we were unable to view the files. 30 other families whose dossiers were already logged in were able to view them the week before, but no one had matched yet. The director of the program at our agency wanted us to be able to see them too, but since we were not yet logged in we would not be able to put any files on hold. This meant that if we requested a file and fell in love, but another logged in family wanted it we would lose it. So we expected that we would be waiting at least another week or so for a chance to see those files or another month to match off the shared list. Oh yeah, a new shared list also came out Monday night, but again since we were not officially logged in we were ineligible to match.

Then, on Wednesday around 11:00 we got an email with the two files! We already knew the age, gender, and medical condition of both children, but that was all so we decided to request the complete file on the 9 month old girl. I was trying very hard to be objective and really seek God in prayer, because I knew that I could easily see a picture and become immediately attached. (Which was super hard, because the picture we put in the video was our favorite and seemed to scream I'm your daughter!) After a few days of lots of prayer, Brian and I were both convinced that this was our child. We had a pediatrician look over her file to make sure there were no additional medical conditions and on Easter Sunday we officially matched!

Going into this adoption, I thought that if we had a girl we would name her Sarah. But whenever I looked at this baby's picture, I knew that she was not a Sarah. One night while I was laying in bed thinking about her, the name Lily popped into my head and I knew that was her name. Lily is not a name we had ever considered during our other pregnancies, but it fit her perfectly. It wasn't until a day or two later that I realized the correlation of the Easter Lily and Easter being only a few days away. When I looked up the meaning of the name, I knew that she was our daughter and that God had given her the perfect name.

We are hoping to travel to China in September to bring her home. At that point she will be about 14 months old, and will most likely require surgery soon after that. I love that when I look at her face I don't even notice her cleft lip. I love that she has a killer smile, and has no idea that anything is out of the ordinary. I love that she will be 14 months younger than Caroline so they will be a grade apart. I love that Caroline calls her "Baby Iwy" and the first thing that she said about her was "Cute baby" when she saw her picture. I love that Matthew prays for her to have a good day playing when he goes to bed (China is literally 12 hours ahead) and thinks it's crazy that she's awake when we're sleeping. I love her, and can't wait to hold her in my arms!

 (For those of you wondering about the other child, he has matched too! And the coolest part is he matched with our friends who have been going through the process with us. We will now be able to travel to the same orphanage together and take our children home. And our children will always have a connection to China through each other.) 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fish Pond

My kids were sick this week, so that meant a lot of time hanging around our house. On Wednesday I was a little tired of being cooped up, so we took a walk around the neighborhood to look for alligators and turtles. Instead we discovered that there are lots of fish in the pond by the gazebo right down the street. The kids were so excited about the fish that we ended up spending a good chunk of time there. Matthew jumped up and down on the benches in the gazebo to get all different viewpoints of the fish, and of course Caroline followed his every move. They talked to the fish, asked them how they were doing, and pointed out that they were eating the grass all over the bottom of the pond. Then four really big fish swam over, and they were beside themselves! Matthew said they were the mommy and daddy fishies. Caroline kept yelling BIIIIIG fishies and pointing at them. The big fish floated around for a bit, and much to the kids' dismay swam away. But, soon some ducks made their way over. I guess since they were above the water Matthew thought it was a good idea to have a conversation with them. It went something like this: "Hi ducks! How are you doing ducks? (pause) Are you doing good? Ducks, how are you? Mommy, why aren't the ducks answering me?" Caroline also chimed with similar questions. I responded by explaining that ducks don't say words like we do. Then he started quacking at them. I think this may have freaked the ducks out, because they quickly swam away. I got a little video footage of our time there.