Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Begining

In some ways, I have been listening for Lyric for most of my life.

The idea of her began writing itself inside my heart when I was still in high school. We'd moved from Georgia to Alabama right  after my 9th grade year and,there, I'd met two very special people.  Two people who'd I grow to love like my family.

One was a foster child, Amber, who'd spent her whole life in foster care, being shuffled from  home to home to home as she grew up- never growing roots, never belonging, never becoming someone's daughter. She aged out of the system at 18, moved out of her current foster home into a trailer, got a job, and managed to battle her way through the rest of high school.  The fact that she also finished college is a testament to her strength of will.

The other, Thao, had gotten on a boat at the age of 13 in Vietnam with her little sister, her aunt, her uncle and their kids and sailed away from eveything that she'd ever known...into pirate-infested waters.  It would be well over a year before they would finally settle in my hometown.  When she'd left Vietnam, she'd had no idea what was happening -her parents had had about 8 hours to decide if they were gonna let her and her sister go and then she'd been told that she was going on a vacation. She had no idea that she wasn't going to go back.  I can't imagine the anguish on both sides.

What I did imagine and see too often was the pain. They both grieved over not having their families, not  having a mom and dad, not being somewhere where they knew that they were secure and loved and protected. At some point, in my heart, I made a promise, "If I can give a family to a little girl one day, I will." The first words to the song of adoption had begun to play in my heart.

Sometime in the early nineties (I think) I saw a news story about orphanages in China where infant girls were literally lying in cribs and starving to death because there were so many of them that it was physically impossible for the workers to feed them all. And, I had one more lyric to add to my adoption song - a baby girl from China.  In 1993 (?), China opened up to international adoptions and it became a possibility. Then, I read about a baseball player (?) who'd adopted three kids from China through Holt International, a leading international adoption agency, and the song began to come together.

But it has been a long road from there to here. My own pain has muddled the dream time and again and I wondered if I'd ever be strong enough to do this.  Things in international adoption, as well as China, have changed. It's a long and complicated story...but don't worry we have time. :)

Oh, we are DTC as of the end of December with a LID date of 1-11-12 and waiting (anxiously) on LOA.  Which means that:

our DOSSIER has been sent TO CHINA as of the end of  December. (A dossier is a big bunch of paperwork that has been notarized and authenticated and rubber stamped and jumped up and down on and some more other complicated stuff and then translated into Chinese.)

Our LOGGED IN DATE is 1-11-12 which means that this is the date that our dossier was entered into the system in China and we are now

waiting on our LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE which means, in essence, that China says, "Yes, we like you.  You can do this."  It's a very big deal and I may not have any hair left by the time it comes.

You're welcome to hang out, hear the story, and wait with us if you want.

(PS My parents eventually adopted Amber, and Thao's story reads like a fairytale -her WHOLE family lives here now.  But, those aren't my stories to tell. Seriously, they both need to write books which should be made into movies and then, I shall accompany them to the Academy Awards and etc.  :) )