On Friday October 11th we learned we have a daughter in China!
This is how the wonderful news unfolded:
At 1pm while driving with a new friend, up to our mutual friend’s house for a Girls weekend I got a call. Thankfully I was not driving. The call came after a few hours of driving, we were in Green Bay, WI and had just turned off on a detour. I saw the 303 area code and said to my new friend Kat, “This is our agency calling!” The call came after about a 45 minute conversation about adoption including our story, as well as an adoption story in Kat’s family, that ended by Kat saying, “So you could get a call anytime now, huh?”
“Yes” I replied and fifteen minutes later the phone rang. It was Pam from the waiting child program at CCAI in Denver. She said, “I have a darling little girl I’d like to tell you about. Would you like to hear about her?” “Yes, yes!” I replied. She went on, “Her name is Wu Dan Qing and she is from Henan province. She was born April 10th 2012. She has a cleft palate and I think she is just precious!”
My mind was scrambling to do the math… April 10th to October 11th… “So, she is 18 months old right now” Pam continued. 18 months old, okay. I was trying to get my mind around this idea, she was a toddler, not a baby. Okay. “I just really want you and Lars to take a look at her file, so I’m going to send it to you, okay?” “Okay, yes. Thank you so much.” Pam, laughed at the nervous excitement in my voice and we said goodbye.
My mind continued to swirl. I was driving to the U.P. of Michigan. I wasn’t with Lars. I wasn’t with my boys. Would my cell service hold-up so I could make the important calls I needed to make? And then the email appeared on my phone. (Praise God for the I-Phone I had purchased just two months prior!) I opened the email and saw four pictures of little Dan Qing. There she was, this precious little girl who could be our daughter. Could it be? After I hung up I told Kat I needed to pray. I cried and prayed that God would give wisdom to Lars and I to know if this was our daughter. I prayed the Drs would help us discern.”
I called Lars. He was preparing to head up to the U.P. as well, with a bustling van of Jr. Highers, to a Covenant camp just a short walk from where I was staying at our friends house. But Lars would be hours behind me on the drive. He was nervous and thrilled. He immediately wanted me to call my Dad, to have him review the medical files, to help us decide.
I called my Dad. He reviewed the file, even while I was on the phone. The medical information seemed so limited. She has congenital cleft palate. She has 10 teeth, her labs looked good. Her height and weight looked good. And that was it. No operative reports, because their had been no operations. She was a healthy little girl with a cleft palate. And then I asked, “Who else at Loyola should see her medical files?” My dad responded plainly, “Well, Kate, there’s really nothing more here than a diagnosis. She looks healthy. She’s not anemic and there’s not really anything to ask about.” He seemed amazed. I was amazed. (The simplicity of her medical condition, amazed me because we had been presented with two other children’s files over the Spring and Summer, who had such significant medical conditions, that sadly, we had to say no. This was so difficult for us and we began praying God would please not give us more than we could handle.) And here she was, little Dan Qing with a cleft palate. Something we could certainly help her with. Was this our daughter? I said, “Oh, my word. Dad I think this could be our daughter.”
I called Lars, and relayed the information. “Dad says her labs looks good. She’s had all her immunizations. She has cleft palate, but there’s no further information. I think she’s healthy, she has a sweet full face so it looks like she’s eating well.” Lars paused and said, “What do you think?” I said, “I think this is our daughter, should I call Pam back and say yes?” Lars replied “Oh, wow… this is our daughter.”
And it was. Her name is Wu Dan Qing. And since April of 2012, we have been praying for her by name. A name I prayed for before we started any adoption paperwork. Her name would be Lydia, Lars’ great-grandmother’s name.
I called back Pam and left her a message, saying, “Yes, we would like to adopt Dan Qing!” She called back minutes later, laughing and said, “Well was that the record fastest decision ever!?!” She was thrilled for us. I got off the phone and was still in shock. We had a daughter in China. She had been waiting for 18 months. I was over-come. Thank you God for holding her in your care all these months. Amazing.
We texted family and made some calls. Everyone was thrilled. The rest of the car ride for me was sheer shock. I was still wrapping my head around the idea that our daughter was not an infant. She was walking, talking, eating real food. Her little write-up from the orphanage said she liked to play with balls, her favorite toy was a rocking horse and she liked to pat the bows on her friends shoes. It also said she did not like fuzzy toys and when she sees them she will cry. Hilarious! All we know of this little person is the information I was staring at on internet “paper.” And I could not stop staring. Her picture was all I wanted to look at for the next few days. We arrived to my friend Courtney’s house. I shared our news, showed the pictures and was still in shock. The waiting was over. The 17+ months of anticipation, over. She had a name and a face and a little personality. She was really out there somewhere, in the city of Xinyang in central China. On the other side of the world.
Lars got up to camp very late and came over the next morning. We hugged and looked at each other, still somehow unbelieving this could really be true. But it was and with each passing hour it was sinking in more. We prayed and thanked God through tears. The night before I had written our “Letter of Acceptance.” Saying, yes we want to adopt Wu Dan Qing. We plan to care for her medical needs and take care of her always. I noted how excited the boys were to have a sister. It was a sweet letter to write. Once the letter was received by the CCCWA in China it would be official and we could tell the world. It would be a couple days.
The weekend ended, and I went home to pick up the boys in Wayne and stay the night. Lars arrived the next night after returning from his retreat. He came for dinner. We waited for Dad to arrive and then we told the boys. They knew they would get to learn their sisters name once we had a picture. So, we said we had something to make their already special weekend with Papa and Mormor and their cousins even more special. We told them they would get to learn their sister’s name. We showed them her picture and shared the name and they were thrilled! Quinn even said, “I like that name!”
The next day we got word that the letter was received by the CCCWA.
It was official, she was ours. The dream of a Chinese adoption I carried in my heart from so many years ago, had come true.
Her name is Wu Dan Qing and she is our daughter, Lydia. God is so good.