Welcome to all, to our joureny to Shane (Dang Raoxing) who is now 3 1/2 and waiting for us in LinFen, Shanxi Province. Shane is currently in a foster home, and we will be forever grateful to his foster family for taking him into their homes and loving him until we arrive.
For those of you who know do not know us, Matt and I have four wonderful biological children ages 18, 17, 14 and 11. Last year, in February, we adopted our Sophie WuMei from Henan province, China. Sophie is 4 1/2 and is profoundly deaf. She has been amazing blessing to our family and we cannot imagine life without her! She keeps us busy, and keeps Matt and I young (or makes us feel older, depending on the day!). Before we left for China, even before we got our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) for Sophie, Matt and I knew we would adopt again. We saw how many children were waiting on agency lists, and thought, if we could do it once, why not do it again?
And so, as the wait for Sophie stretched into months, I began looking on Waiting Child lists. One day I found the picture of the sweetest little guy. He looked lost and unsure, perhaps a bit scared. When I looked at his special need, my heart skipped a beat. He was listed as blind, with congenital cataracts.
As a teacher of the blind for almost 26 years, I took a deep breath, and looked again at his file It was about to be sent back to China, after almost a year of being with the agency. No one wanted to adopt this little boy. Knowing the difficulties that go with a child who is blind, I could understand any family's reluctance to take on the challenges of a blind child. I remember moving on and signing off the website, and then going back once, and again, before talking to Matt. When I showed him Shane's picture, his heart was sealed. Matt cannot say no to a waiting child, so I know better than to show him unless I am sure. Many years ago, Matt also taught blind children, so he and I know about educating a blind child. However, being a parent is a different story. The two of us talked about it, and decided to ask the agency to put his file on hold. The agency was wonderful, and after reviewing our homestudy, agreed to place us on hold for Shane.
In January, the agency was also able to find a foster home for Shane, at our request. Thank God he was placed there, because he has developed so well being with a loving family. In February 2008, while we were in Chna adopting Sophie, another family was in LinFen adopting their son, and they were able to meet Shane. We are so thankful to Tammy,who sent us so many wonderful pictures of Shane.
We are almost ready to send our dossier to China. Just one more form, and then a courier will authenticate the documents at the US and Chinese embassies in Washington, DC. Sounds easy and effortless, right? Think again.
Just this past Friday night I signed on to the yahoo group for the agency who has Shane's file and was shocked to see that they were closing their doors to international adoptions, and all files were being transferred to another agency! My heart was in my throat as I read on and tried to find out more information. Other families in our situation were posting, everyone trying to get information, all of us fearfull and upset.
The long and short of it is that Internatioanl adoption has changed so much, in such a short amount of time, and many agencies cannot continue to do international adoptions. It is sad, and heartbreaking for the children who are waiting. For those of us 'caught in the middle' we need to focus on getting our children home. It is so difficult going to bed at night knowing that your child is somewhere far away, waiting, and there is nothing you can do to get him faster.
One thing we learned going through Sophie's adoption is that none of this is in our hands. We just need to apy attnetion, do what is necessary, and do what God asks. For some reason, we have been faced with a new challenge in the process of adoption. We will endure, get throguh this, and get our Shane.
Thank you for joining us. Looks like it will be quite a ride!!!