Saturday, March 14, 2009

One Year Ago

Although it's been a really busy week, I haven't forgotten that one year and 3 days ago I received one of the best gifts of my life. On March 11, 2008, I was on my way to Jazzercise when my cell phone rang. I didn't know who it was, but decided to answer anyway. I knew there was a small chance that I might be getting this very important (and long awaited!) phone call.

Luckily I wasn't far from my destination. I was sitting in a parking space by the time the special needs coordinator at A Helping Hand could give me the information. "We have a baby who's file you can review. It's a boy." I so wish I could remember everything Dana said word for word, but the main thing that stuck out was, "It's a boy." I scrambled for something, anything to write on, and finally found an old envelope. I scratched down his basic info--name, age, location, and special need.

I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that I was probably going to have a little boy instead of a girl. I'd been working on that idea already since we had agreed we'd take either sex when we applied for the special needs list. But still, after thinking you were most definitely going to have a little girl for three years, it's not easy to make a quick switch. But we knew that we wanted to have a little boy some day. I said John needed to have a boy so he could teach him how to be a gentlemen like John (one of few men who still open the car doors for their wives after 7 years of marriage).

The next two hours I was spinning, dying to get back home to my computer so I could see his face. I went into Jazzercise late, but there was an extra spring in my step. Then I went to visit my father-in-law (who had broken his hip) at the rehabilitation center. It was killing me not to tell him, but I hadn't even told John yet. He was in Atlanta for a work conference. What timing!

Finally I reunited with my computer. This is what I saw.

My first thought was how cute he was! My second was that he could actually be my baby! To be honest, I also had a chuckle about this adorable little boy getting his picture made on a bright pink flower. I tried not to get my hopes up because I hadn't talked to John yet and I knew we had to be on the same page. But I knew I wanted this little sweet guy to be MY little boy. But John was so worried about the money that I was afraid he would say no. Adoption does come with a pretty hefty price tag.

I couldn't wait to see the second and only other picture, so I opened it almost immediately.

Look at those little feet! I zeroed in on them. He might like to play ball. He could stand holding on to something. And a million other thoughts. It's amazing all the information you can glean just from a photo or two when that's all you have. (My mom is especially good at this!)

Then I read his medical info, much of which made absolutely no sense to me, and called my folks. Sorry John, but I just had to tell someone! I talked to my dad. Mom wouldn't be home for a several more minutes, which seemed like eternity. Then I finally talked to John. He had to wait for the computer in the lobby at his hotel to be free before he could even see his picture. I could tell he was excited, but tired... and scared.

I stayed up very late that night assorting the baby stuff we had collected over the past three years into stuff a little boy could use and stuff we had to stow away for a girl.

I wish I could say we went to get him right away, or even signed the papers the next day. But there was another month of calls to Will's future doctor, waiting for more medical info from China, more doctor reviews, etc. All the time with John telling me to be patient and not get too attached yet. Me getting impatient and too attached, deciding that this was going to be my little boy no matter what the doctor said. I had the best news in the world and was trying not to tell anyone but my family about it, carrying around his picture and sneaking peaks while no one was looking.

But thanks to the adoption speed ups before the 2008 Olympics in China, everything from that point on happened at the speed of light. And the rest is history.

I've learned so many things from our adoption experience. Looking in Will's sweet face everyday helps me remember. The best things in life are the things that you don't plan for. I never planned to fall in love with my best friend and marry him. I never planned to adopt a little boy from China. But God has blessed me more than I ever dreamed! We were definitely meant to have a little boy--this little boy, our Will.


  1. It's so fun to read your story, too! And I'm sure Will will be getting that sister one of these days anyway. :) Isn't it amazing how God changes what we want or what we think we should get or what we expect...and what He provides is SO much better than what we could have ever brought about on our own. I'm so glad we got to travel together! (The more I look at their pictures, the more I think the fruit looks like a pomegranate than an apple. Hmmm...)

  2. Awesome post Tara. Once again, you had me tearing up ;-)