Pull up a chair, I'd love to tell you!
We were "actively discussing" adopting again, but always in the future tense. We wanted a few things to fall into place first. We talked about starting again in about a year.
On May 28, I woke up to an email that changed all that.
Our agency was in China doing one of their camps, where they meet and photograph children and then come back to the states and advocate for them to find families.
One of the directors met a child and thought of our family. She asked if I wanted to see a picture. Um, yes!
I emailed back and then called Paul. "You know how J and S are 18 months apart?" Yes? "You know how S and B are 18 months apart?" Yes? "You know how B and E are 18 months apart?" YES? "Do you know what we were doing exactly 18 months ago?" No. "Meeting Hannah!"
So I told him about the email, and he didn't freak out. He basically said, well, let's see what happens.
The funny thing is, I'd been thinking all along that our next child would be a BOY, and here we were, being presented with a sweet little girl.
Now, we have 3 children with birthdays in February, 2 children with birthdays in April, and 2 children with birthdays in August. But only one child with a September birthday. I told Paul, "Wouldn't it be neat if her birthday ended up being in September?" He just grunted.
I knew I wouldn't see the pictures until the staff got back from China, so I tried to put it out of my mind as much as possible. I remember telling someone, "I'll probably see her picture in Disneyland when we stop to have lunch." Actually, it wasn't until later that night around 8 pm when Furby and I were in line for Soaring Over California that I got the emails with pictures.
Downloading the photo took forever, and when it finally opened, I thought, "Oh, she's cute!" It wasn't a "That's MY child" sort of thing, but a "what a cutie!" sort of thing. The next email said, "BTW, her birthday is September XX, 2010." Wow. Standing there, staring at my phone, tearing up a little, I thought, "Really, God?"
After Disneyland, Paul and I talked more about what it would mean to move forward now, instead of later. Over the next couple of weeks we had many discussions about it. I tried not to push. It's hard to temper excitement with reality. And honestly, if Paul had said no, I would have understood. Paul doesn't believe in debt (other than the house). International adoption is Expensive. That's really what it boiled down to. We have space in our house. We have life reasonably under control. We have empty seats in our van. We have the resources to RAISE another child. It's just getting her here that's the hard part.
I like the answer someone shared to the tactless question, "How much did your kid cost?" "The child was free, but shipping and handling was outrageous!"
Finally, on Saturday, June 23, Paul took me out to lunch. Sitting across from me, waiting for our greasy fish & chips, he took a deep breath, looked across the table at me, and said, "Yes." I knew exactly what he was saying. My heart pounded. "Are you SURE?" "Yes." Squeal!
2 days later, we were mailing our first bits of paperwork.
I still think someday we'll have another boy, but for now, I'm very VERY excited to be expecting our little GIRL. We're talking up the "big sister" idea to Hannah, and she seems to be okay with the idea of sharing her toys with a new sister. She very much wants to be big like the other kids. I hope that our two China girls will be great friends, but I have enough experience with siblings not to expect it to come easy for either of them.
And that's the story of how that happened!