Thursday, December 01, 2016

A Needle in a Haystack

You all know the story of how we decided to adopt, told back here, it's time for an overview of some amazing things God has done since then.  November and December of 2015 Brian and I started to seriously discuss adopting. Once I was fairly certain that we would be moving forward with the adoption I started following various orphan ministries and advocacy pages on Facebook. I sent Brian the picture of a sweet, sweet little lady and he responded with something like, "I love her." I found myself scouring their page for her pictures, we loved her. Her name on the website (although not a name she has ever heard) was Jewel.

Once we selected our agency and started the looooooong process of adoption I sent a quick email inquiring about her. I was told that finding her would be "like finding a needle in a haystack." Although I knew which agency she was in NOW it wasn't her originating agency and the chances of that orphanage being in a partnership with our agency (meaning that they would receive her file) was next to impossible. Even IF by some miracle that out of alllllll the adoption agencies ours just happened to be one partnered with her orphanage (and what are the chances of that?!) that it was very unlikely that the timing would align. We wouldn't be receiving children's files to review until after our dossier was in country and if her file came available before then it would be given to a family that was at the point where they could bring her home, as it should. We weren't even clear what her special need was exactly or if it would align with what we felt we could take on.

We marched on, we got delayed (what felt like FOR-EV-ER) since we were living in Canada as American citizens a whole other government was involved. More government = more delay. I started saving her pictures to my phone, I had a Jewel file full of photos. Apparently photos I "liked" would somehow show up on my own feed sometimes because people I knew would comment asking if she was mine. I didn't respond but in my heart I felt like she was, in my head I tried to protect myself and say it would never happen.

We prayed individually, we prayed together as a family. We prayed for our girl and for all the orphans. We prayed that our little lady would not be scared, that she felt comfortable, that she had someone to give her affection, that she was able to demand the things that she needed, that her doctors would provide the care she needed, that someone would hold her during those scary appointments, that she wasn't alone. God knew I loved Jewel but I prayed that He would prepare us as a family to be ready for whomever He choose for us. I prayed for peace, I knew that His timing was perfect so I prayed that I would feel peace. We worked hard gathering documents, having things notarized, made various appointments that were required, attended training classes, we waited. We waited some more.

Our dossier finally went to China in July, I asked about her file again. They had located her originating orphanage, it was crazy unlikely but her orphanage and our adoption agency were actually partnered! They couldn't guarantee it but they SHOULD receive her file when it became available but they had absolutely no idea when or if that would happen. Then they reminded me (again) to prepare my heart that she may not be mine. Once her file was prepared it would be given to the family that was the best match.

We discussed names. Agreeing on a name is not one of the strengths in our marriage and this time we had three chicklets that had big opinions. We all finally agreed on Piper. We debated between Piper Quinn and Piper Jane. We decided on Piper Jane and I ordered something and had it monogramed. A month later we changed our minds and decided to keep her Chinese name as her middle name. We had seen a lot of Jewel's pictures by now. Jewel was a name they used on social media, it wasn't a name she had ever heard. My sister Lorie was by now equally focused on her and she is quite the internet sleuth. She went back to that very first picture they ever posted of her. The very picture that I sent Brian when we were making that big adoption decision. There was her name. I'm not going to post it here, at least not until we have her in our arms and the papers are signed in country (per our agencies instructions) but I will say I do not have to change her monogram and it was similar enough that I felt even more certain that she was ours.

We got news we were moving. In a way the move was good, it distracted me from all the waiting but it did feel like another speed bump. What if her file became available and we didn't have our update complete? I prayed for peace. We are kind of move experts but I've mentioned before that this move rattled us unlike any move before. That could be a whole other post but I felt like we weren't matched yet because God was giving us time to get our feet under us. I was reassured that His timing was perfect. My kids worlds had just been shaken pretty hard and to bring home a new baby in the midst of all of that would have been hard and unfair. 

As things started to settle I started to search a little more for her pictures. One day I spotted her, her ayi (nanny) was wearing a cardigan with a big H on it, I'm not sure but I felt like it was an H representing Brian's business school. I told myself it was just another sign that she was meant to be ours.

At some point I asked our agency again, her file was still not prepared. I added the photo to the collection on my phone.We day dreamed about our little lady and talked about Piper all the time. Her room was set up, her closet was getting pretty full. We ALL pictured tiny Jewel's sweet little face in all of our day dreams.
She likes cucumbers, this house LOVES cucumbers and pickles.
In November, a year exactly after the start of our process, Jack got sick. He had some kind of weird virus, his eyelid was swollen, he was tired, he had random aches and pains, one evening he threw up. I obviously kept him home from school and then I started to feel sick. Kendall started to show signs of having the virus too. On our wedding anniversary Brian was out of town (for the entire week), I was sick and had two sick kids home from school.
I was being very sloth like on the couch when a number I didn't immediately recognize came up on my phone. I answered and was surprised to hear our social worker, Anna. It honestly didn't even occur to me that she may have a file, I assumed it was a call related to our home study update. She asked how I was and then said she had something that might improve my day. Luckily Kendall and Jack were upstairs, I walked into Piper's room and sat on her bed because if they knew I was on the phone I would be endlessly interrupted.

She told me that she had Jewel's file for us.

I cried.

I can't even remember what I said exactly, I'm not sure how coherent I was. YES, send me the file. 

A year after sending that sweet little ladies photo to Brian. The girl in the photo that helped to start it all. The girl whose photos were saved on even my kids phones, the one we all felt was Piper all along. We were getting her file.


  1. I remember that itty bitty picture so well. She's always been such a beauty! And I love love LOVE the story of how you all came together!

  2. I am so excited you are blogging about this journey! I have tried to tell people about how unlikely it was that you got matched to her and I love that you explained it here!