Monday, November 26, 2012

Amy's Story~Part 4

Mom and Dad are looking at adoption websites!

Six years after my hysterectomy I was sitting at the dining room table on a snow day.  My mom was spending the day with us to avoid boredom on the farm.  Unbeknownst to anyone I had started collecting adoption agency material because I had decided it was time to get serious. 

So I brought the computer and the promotional DVD’s to the table and mom and I starting watch and reading.  I remember it so clearly.  Mary Beth wandered through to the kitchen for a snack.  A minute later she wandered back.  Seconds later we heard her squeal with delight, “Anna come on quick, Mom is at the table looking at adoption stuff!”    I had just finished telling my mom that we weren’t going to say anything to the girls till we knew more.  Ha.  We all crowded around the computer and watched the stories of successful adoption.

At the end of the research I learned two things:  I was impressed with Holt International and our girls were totally ready to adopt.  Thomas had been ready to adopt for quite some time.  It was me who needed time to prepare.  I often look back and feel I waited too long.  I should have been ready sooner.  BUT God’s time is perfect and therefore, I will attempt NOT to second guess.

In May of that year, 2005, we went to Holt to talk about the process.  I had no idea what country we would adopt from; I didn’t care.  I wanted a child.  Thomas had been on a mission trip with Duchesne students the previous summer to the Dominican Republic.  They visited the slum along the Haiti/DR border and he saw little children wandering nearly naked, begging for their next meal.  When the director asked what country we were interested in he replied, ‘Do you have a Haiti program?’ 

“Are you willing to jump in to a new program where there will be a lot of unknowns?”  Man, I should have known right then we were in it for the long, longest haul.  But I knew that Thomas felt strongly about this country and the need.  We jumped in.

Over the next year I gave birth to a mountain of paper work.  The dossier and all copies weighed over 5 pounds when I mailed it.  Then the waiting.  With nothing to do.  Just wait. 

On June 6th 2006 I ran home after the last day of school to get the house ready to celebrate my father’s birthday.  The next day was a faculty workshop and the following day we were leaving for a family vacation.  The phone rang as I walked in the door.  It was our social worker; they had a match for us.  Talk about agonizing!  Before I could talk to Thomas at all we had a house full of guests!  That night we talked about this little girl, Vialancia age 2 ½.  The paper work would come the next day.  We were not supposed to make any decisions until we went over the medical records with our physician.  I am pretty sure my heart decided the minute I heard her name.  On our way to South Dakota for vacation we told the girls and the decision was made.  She was ours.

Fast forward 2 years.  Waiting and waiting.  Sending packages and praying for our file to move on.  Heads of state changed.  The process changed.  Requirements were added.  It was unbelievable. Late Fall 2009 we got a call telling us we needed to make a trip to Haiti to sign papers in a Haitian court.  A new step, BUT we were going to meet our little girl. 

We flew to Port Au Prince the first week in October.  We were met at the airport by Mansour, the orphanage director.  The drive through the city was one I won’t forget.  I had never seen poverty like that. And remember this was pre earthquake. 
We pulled in to the village and were guided down a path between small bungalows.  At the last little house many children were gathered on the porch steps.  Mansour spoke in creole and a tiny little girl worked her way through the crowd.  I held out my hands and smiling she came forward and let me hold her.  I sat down and put her on my lap.  She gazed up at me smiling.  We visited for just a short time as it was the children’s bed time.  It was so hard to walk away.

That night in our own little bungalow at the Kaliko Hotel just down the hill from Holt Fontana I told Thomas I knew we were supposed to adopt from Haiti again.  He said he felt it too.  We decided right then we would pursue a second match as soon as we got home.

We spent a magical day with Via at the resort.  We swam and read books, and colored and at snacks.  We let her skip nap in order to be together more.  Taking her back to the village, knowing we would fly away the next morning was so very painful.  At least I knew where she was and how to picture her in my mind. Before leaving we visited the rest of the little village and more children.  One of the house moms was holding a darling little boy.  I asked if I could hold him and she passed him to me.  He fit on my hip and snuggled in so sweetly I didn’t want to hand him back.  Mansour laughed and told Thomas to watch out or I would be adding many Haitian children to the family.

We flew home feeling bitter sweet.  It was so hard to leave our little girl behind.  However we felt better knowing she was being so well cared for and that she was healthy and happy.  We were also energized with a plan.

Within 2 weeks time we had found a pair of twins on the waiting child website.  Nine months old and perfectly healthy, but no family had been matched with them.  Upon closer look we realized that the little boy was the baby I held while in Haiti. 
A new paper chase was started.  We applied through the waiting child program to be matched with the twins.

The Friday before Thanksgiving Thomas and I left school early and headed home for a conference call interview., It was our chance to express why we wanted the twins and Holt’s chance to decide if we were the right family.  I remember before the call came Thomas and I discussed if we could really do this.  Can two teachers with student loans and house payments and car payments etc really raise 5 kids?  We prayed about it.  In the end we decided that if Holt chose us we would assume that God had chosen us. There had been other families who had applied for the twins and Holt had turned them down.  We would trust that whatever was meant to be would happen and we would accept it.

Twenty minutes later the phone call was over and while it wasn’t official,  the lovely woman all but assured us that the twins were ours.  Wednesday before Thanksgiving the official word came.  We were going to be a family of 5!

So here was our best laid plan:  Via would most likely come home the fall of 2010.  The twins were 1 year old.  They would probably come home the fall of 2012.  They would be potty trained and go right to preschool at Brownell.  Perfect.
 But you know what they say about telling God your plan….

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