Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our court news: the rest of the story

Anya made a stand-in for K, until she can join us at the table in person!
She drew a face and wrote, "To K_____" and added 8 lines of XOXOs.
Our spirits are still soaring from hearing our great court news on Sunday! We are still in shock that it took only 3 months -- we had been expecting a 4-6 month wait at a minimum.  After 4 years of being in process, we are ecstatic when anything happens quickly!

I wanted to write down one other part of the story, though -- to remember God's kindness to us throughout this whole process.  As we followed other families' stories during Anya's adoption, we would often see strange or inexplicable things happen to them.  Our first adoption took two years and one month, and followed the expected timelines -- and we were overjoyed to finally meet Anya Rashi and welcome her into our family.  But none of those extraordinary or dramatic things happened as we waited.

This time, however, over and over again, there have been amazing and overwhelming things that have happened as we've waited for K.  I think God, in his loving kindness, knew that our 4 1/2 year journey would be difficult, and chose to remind us that He hadn't forgotten about K or us. 

First, He provided financially in unexpected ways, through people's generous gifts toward Peter's marathon, through receiving a grant from Show Hope, and most recently, through an unexpected donation from a family we only know a little bit.  We have been blown away by those things.

On a more personal level, He let us see how He is acting on our behalf in ways that are so loving and intimate.  The story of K's referral was one of those times -- God chose to "show off" a little bit, and demonstrate that He indeed heard the desires of this mama's heart.

Then, earlier this summer, He graciously showed us what happened to another little girl we'd received information about two years ago. She has the same name as our K, but we weren't home-study-approved to accept a child her age.  God orchestrated connections so we would know that she found her family, and is thriving -- and we even got to see recent pictures of her!

And now, He gave another gift to us.  Last Friday morning, I woke up from an incredibly vivid dream.  I don't dream regularly about K, and this was only the second time in 4+ years I had ever dreamt about her or our adoption process.  In the dream, we heard that her case had been presented and approved in court.  I dreamed that I was jumping up and down and shouting for joy at the good news. 

When I woke up, Peter had already left for an early meeting, so I told the kids about the dream.  It was so vivid and real, that I actually recorded the date on our calendar.  I was wondering if someday, we would look back and discover that something significant had happened on that date, Friday, July 19, 2013.

And then came the unexpected e-mail on Sunday, saying that very thing -- K's court case had been heard!  Of course, we don't yet know which day her court case was . . . but I have a strange feeling that, when we receive all of her paperwork, we will find out it was heard on Friday, July 19.

I hope that our daughter, when she has questions about her purpose and destiny, or the reasons why her birth family couldn't take care of her, will find reassurance in these details.  While it is never God's "plan A" that children would be torn away from their first families, he can bring something good from a painful situation. 

His eye is on you, little sparrow K . . . He sees you, He rejoices over you, and He has a plan and purpose for your life.  And we are so humbled and overwhelmed that He's chosen to include us in that.  We love you, dear one, and we can't wait to meet you.

Anya with a balloon animal made by yours truly --
I never thought that part of motherhood would be learning to make balloon animals!

Monday, July 15, 2013

K's second birthday

Today, on the other side of the world, our little girl turned two.  On this side of the world, our kids asked questions: 
"Will they celebrate her birthday in the orphanage?"
"What do you think she's doing right now?"
"Why is it taking so long to get her home?" 

How Peter and I wish we had answers for every one of their questions, especially that last one.

We are nearly at the 11-month mark since we saw the first smiley picture of K, and this birthday was bittersweet.  On one hand, we are overjoyed to know who she is, and be this far along in the process.  We have two final steps until we can travel to meet our daughter: first, we are waiting for the court date granting us guardianship, and then we wait for her passport.  Then we can buy those precious plane tickets to India!

But it is still difficult to wait with no indications about when our case will be on the docket.  We've been waiting since mid-April, and we've been told to expect 4-6 months if we have a speedy experience, and 9-12 months if it's a longer wait.  That time frame sounds pretty disheartening to us at this point, to say the least.  We want our daughter to come home to her family, to begin learning what that even means.

I do all the usual things, telling myself that these two years are such a short time compared to all the years we will have together after she's with us.  But it is painful to know that another week, another month, nearly a whole year has gone by.

As a family, we chose to celebrate this day, to celebrate her.  We had Chicken Makhani for dinner, and spent part of the meal trying to guess which month will be her homecoming month.  We went out for ice cream because this is the hottest week of the summer so far -- it was still 90 degrees at 8:00 p.m. when we left for our favorite ice cream place!

And then we headed for the riverfront in our city.  My brother Matt had given us a floating lantern, and we decided that was the perfect symbol for the many prayers we've offered up for our sweet little K.  After dinner, we had taken a few moments to write birthday messages for K.  And Anya is the perfect age for magical, breathless speculation:  "What if the lantern goes all the way to across the world, and someone in India finds it??"

We walked out onto the pier, and played a round of charades while we waited for dusk.  With great anticipation, our sons lit the flame, and the lantern slowly filled up.  Aaron and I held it on our fingertips, waiting for the moment when it was hot enough to rise into the air.  It was a lovely sight -- our golden lantern against the darkening blue sky.

With surprising speed, it caught the wind and rose up, up above the river, above the trees.  And we watched until it became a pinpoint of light, then disappeared.  And we prayed that it would be K's last birthday without us.