We received our LOA yesterday morning, the morning of Jubilee's baby shower! So it is with immeasurable joy and love that I present the following post.
Underneath that little pink sweatshirt is a giant mass, or hemangioma, that is completely treatable and/or removable. She won't be wearing spaghetti-strap sundresses until her treatment is complete, but that will be the extent of her health challenges.
When we first saw her picture, we drew in our breath, as I'm sure you have just done. I wanted her in our home, in my arms, from the moment I looked at her. I told Daniel, "She even LOOKS like a Rupp!" We began praying for her right away, for in 72 hours we would respond to the referral and she would cease to be a photo in an email attachment and become, instead, our daughter (not officially, but officially enough for us).
Later that same day I noticed that it was George Washington's birthday. George Washington is the namesake of our son who I miscarried before Zion was conceived. The night before I found out I was pregnant with that child, G0D told me, in a dream, that I was pregnant with a boy and we were to name him Washington because, like the famous general, this child would "lead the charge." Washington's life and death did lead our family. Because of him, we came to East Asia at the exact time, and in the exact fashion, that G0D intended. So you see, the fact that we received Yang Yu Hong's file on George Washington's birthday was a confirmation for me. God was using the brief life of our son to lead us once again.
The following evening, we headed to Tim and Amy Hedden's for their foster son Andrew's 2nd birthday party. We told the Heddens about the file we received the morning before, and we gabbed excitedly about Yang Yu Hong over Amy's fabulous spaghetti-and-meatballs and homemade chocolate cake. All at once there was a neighbor at the door, another American, who saw our tell-tale electric bikes parked outside and came over to bring clothes for our adoption. I was thinking that was peculiar, since she did not know that we had received a referral file the day before. When I looked at the clothes, they were the perfect size, and every one of them had high collars, perfect to cover Jubilee's mass until its gone, to minimize the pointing and questions. After dinner, four video files came through from the orphanage director, Director Yu, a very nice woman who seems to care well for the children in her care. We watched the videos of Yang Yu Hong, playing with a ball and climbing the stairs and riding a trike, and our hearts - which we were trying to guard, in the event that this whole thing might fall through - melted all to butter.
The next day, after tossing and turning all night with excitement, we confirmed our acceptance of Yang Yu Hong's referral. In other words, we said an emphatic yes with every fiber of our beings. At 4:21 p.m. our time on February 21st, we were informed that she had been locked in for us.
We sure are locked in for her.
We will travel sometime in August, most likely, to pick up our daughter! Just days later, the adoption will be final and she will be ours forever. We will bring her home and start the process of grafting our new toddler into our family, or rather SHE will start the process of grafting US into her heart. She will always be Chinese, and we are excited to help her connect with her heritage to the degree that she wishes. Yet she is also, and will always be, fully ours. Though we have no romanticized expectations of adoption, we have a great G0D who created all things and has intended for this match from the beginning of time. A grafted branch will never look exactly like the other branches, but the bond between that branch and the trunk, because of the grafting process, can be the strongest part of the tree.
Will it be a challenge having two 2-year-olds at the same time, one of whom will perceive us as strangers for a while? Well, yes. We fear not, however, for He who has led us to our daughter will lead us all the way. Jubilee's birth mother gave us a great gift when she carried her in the dark hours of dawn to the crossing of Commercial Street. The author and creator of life, who knit Jubilee together in her birth mother's womb, knit her together for a life with us.
We are IN LOVE.