Back in May, I was browsing the agency waiting children lists like I had been known to do many times a week (ahem - okay sometimes daily). After a while of doing this, it kind of feels like you are shopping for a child and that just doesn't feel okay. There also comes a time when you don't think you could say "yes" to just one and "no" to so many others. So how does one know when that's the child that is meant to be yours? I asked myself this question and prayed over it many times over the course of months.
So there's that day in May - a new listing is on the waiting child list and she fits our "criteria". The agency had us fill out a form stating what needs we would be open to and what age/gender. For some reason, I'm drawn to the heart babies over and over again, where Jeff felt like we would be given the need God knew we could handle and didn't want us to pick and choose. The first time I expressed interest in a child's file, a heart baby - age 2, she was on hold by another family and we got in line. That family decided to go forward for her so we never got a chance with her. This happened a couple of times and we started to wonder how fast did we actually need to ask about a child before we even got the chance to be first. On May 17th, our agency added a file and named her "Poppy". There she was, sitting on her green seahorse, wearing little bumblebee socks and the cutest little smile. I emailed immediately. The response was the same - "you can review her file, but she's on hold for another family, did we want to get in line?". Absolutely yes - we got in line. And kind of figured she wasn't ours. We left the idea of her being ours alone. We went on with our daily lives.
May 22nd was an ordinary day and the school year was drawing to a close for us. Our oldest was in finals mode and studying like crazy. Volleyball season was in full swing with practices and games for the twins. Life was busy and I was at the grocery store picking up more food to feed our crew. I tend to check my phone before heading home from the store to make sure Jeff or Melissa didn't need something. That's when I saw the email from our case worker and tingles ran through my body. Our family was up, she was on hold for us and she wanted to know if we wanted to go forward.
I quickly emailed her back asking if I could call her when I got home to talk to her. We had glanced at the file when we received it, but quickly put it away thinking we wouldn't get a chance with her. Now I was trying to pull up everything I had read and it frightened me. Complex CHD - could we handle that and everything it meant? Were we thinking correctly and realistically? She was adorable - 14 months old which was the perfect age to keep birth order in our family (which was important to us) - and a heart baby. I could tell by the look in Jeff's eyes that evening when we sat down to go over everything, that he was looking at his daughter. That look that a daddy gets when he first sees his baby. A loving look like no other. She was going to be ours. She was ours!
So let me introduce you to our new daughter! Isn't she the sweetest thing? Her Chinese name means "love you" and oh how we can't wait to love on her.
She will be Emelia Rose "china name" and called Emme for short. We can't share her China name online - but we feel it's important to honor where she is coming from because it's always going to be a part of who she is. There's so much we don't know about our Emme Rose yet. We do know that she must have been loved by her birth parents as she was abandoned 12 days after her birth, with a note and milk powder. They must have known about her condition and knew they couldn't take care of her. We know she is a survivor. Her spirit must be one of uniqueness to survive as long as she has without much medical care and needed surgery. We know we can't wait to hold her and let her experience the love of a family. She will touch hearts. We love her so much already.
Hold on a little while longer sweet girl, we are working hard to bring you home. Love you, XOXO, Mom & Daddy.