Sunday, November 5, 2017

{Journey to Ailee James: Someone Else's Daughter}

As I've done many times over,  I commented on a sweet little face on a special needs page of a little girl that was matched with another family.  I have quite a bit of experience with a few medical needs and use that experience whenever possible to help other parents.  I developed a relationship with this lady and we communicated almost daily for a month.  It wasn't long into our relationship that I realized that something just wasn't settling quite right in this mom's heart.  There were what ifs and doubts and it became apparent to me that she wouldn't refer to her as her daughter or even give her a name.  My heart began to break.   I continued to pray for her and this little face.  I would encourage her to take a step of faith and ask that God's peace would be hers in this process that is so difficult.  She'd ask more questions and send me more photos.  She was getting a wealth of information from the agency since the little girl was a partnership file...and while I thought that this additional information was helping her, the opposite was actually true.  She didn't know if this was her daughter and those photos just made that doubt even greater.

Our communication slowed a bit as I continued to try to encourage her weeks and nearly a month out from our first chat.  Our process with Andie-Grace was so hard and I knew for months before holding her that there was something else going on with her.  And I was right.  So, I totally understood this mom's uncertainty.  I know what it's like to carry a child in your womb and in your heart and not be sure of their future.  But, this child was different...I was getting her file reviewed by some of our medical specialists and everything was coming back good.  The genetic markers that you look for just aren't there.  Yes, there are many unknowns in this process but the more information we were getting the more sure we were that this child's greatest need is a family.

And then one Saturday, I received a message from this other mom.  The paperwork had come from China and she said no.

And then she asked me if I would be interested in adopting her.

Maybe I was her ram in the thicket all along?

The next couple days were madness.  Talking to the agency's advocate and then the China director and more.  The agency was sending that paperwork back to China and was concerned they may not list her again.  Saying no on the big paperwork after saying yes is a slap in the face to the orphanage...they've spent so much time and money preparing her file and have hundreds of other children in those same orphanage walls that may get a yes.  The chances of them keeping her on the list were slim.  More than likely, they would decide to take their chances on a child that's not been turned down.  The agency told us that if we were interested, we needed to act fast.

That Monday evening, Scott came home from his men's group and we talked and prayed and talked some more.  I just presented the information as I was told.  My heart was so confused...the previous test with the other little girl a month beforehand...and now this.  How do I even begin to wrap my mind around adding this little one to our family when I've been so set on her being someone else' daughter the entire time???  I've bee praying for her and studying her photos and videos for hours on end but completely from the stand point that she's not mine.  God, what are You doing?!?!?

Scott just looked at me and said "Let's go get her.  I'm not going to fight God.  He always wins anyways.  And she needs a family."

And I said..."Is that a yes????  Because I'm not asking but I think that God is."

And, in that moment, this little girl who had always been someone else's daughter had become ours.


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