When Paul told me he'd been thinking about adoption in 2008, I was shocked. We already had more kids than what he'd originally agreed to, and after baby #7, he took steps to insure our family was complete.
Surprise quickly turned to delight, and we had many discussions about what kind of adoption would work best for us. See The 3 Main Paths to Adoption, for more on making that decision. We chose foster adoption, and became a licensed foster home in April of 2009.
Right about that time, Sac County laid of literally hundreds of social workers due to budget cuts. Kids were only coming into care in the direst of circumstances, since there weren't workers to supervise the placements.
We waited and waited.
While we were waiting, I started looking at Heart Gallery photolistings. I worked my way through every state, looking at the available children, hoping for 1 or 2 little girls younger than Jack, who was 5. January 26, 2010, I clicked on a link from one of these sites to Rainbow Kids, a site listing not only domestic waiting children, but international ones, as well.
the first picture we saw of Hannah
I plugged in our search criteria, and one of the children whose pictures popped up was Hannah. Only she was in China. Oh, and one arm and one leg were a little different.
I showed her to Paul, and he asked questions. This was a very good sign, because usually when I showed him waiting kids, I got a monosyllabic response or an eye roll. (The eye roll might have been when I showed him a sibling group of six waiting in Texas.)
We discussed it, prayed about it, talked to other people, and finally decided to go for it. We changed directions entirely, and ended up in China in November of 2010.
China was amazing, and we hadn't even left yet when we started talking about coming back for a sibling.
Hannah melded into our family seamlessly, and handled everything from surgery to preschool to moving to a new house with her amazing resilience.
At the end of May 2012, we were kicking around the idea of starting another adoption in the fall. One morning, I awoke to an email from one of the directors of the adoption agency we used with Hannah. She said she was in China at their new partnership orphanage, and "I think I just met your daughter. Would you like to see a picture?" I emailed back, "YES!" and then called Paul to tell him.
June 5, standing in line with Jack for Soaring Over California at Disneyland, I checked my email *one more time* and there she was.
My heart melted. Who am I kidding? This picture still melts me.
We went through the talking and thinking and praying again, but it was easier this time, because we were familiar with her special needs already. This little girl had limb differences similar to Hannah's. We already had a relationship established with the folks at Shriners, so there weren't as many unknowns this time around.
We decided to jump back in a couple months earlier than planned, and in June of 2013, we found ourselves in a different part of China for Katie.
Katie has also done well with her medical treatments and making a place for herself in our family. I love to see the different relationships between siblings. Katie and Josiah are buddies, and of course, Katie and Hannah are very close.
Some of you may be asking at this point, "What about Luke?" Well, for the purpose of this linkup, I wanted to focus on the happy stories. I feel like I write about Luke over and over and over, and I'm sure I'll be writing about him some more in other weeks of the linkup, but for today, I'm highlighting the girls' adoption stories.
Linking up with other adoptive families at:
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