Monday, June 14, 2010
Forget Your Plans!!!
Joshua... it was a name my husband and I always said we would use for a boy when we first started "planning" our family. I put that word in quotes because you think your plan sets the story, or at least the backdrop, but as we all learn at some point in our lives, life happens, regardless of your plan. When I decided I wanted to adopt, my husband was not quite as prepared as I was to embrace the thought. I gave him time to ponder it, and I even agreed to one more attempt on the infertility rollercoaster. Once that last ride stopped, I got off for good and started my research of the adoption process. I started looking at the international programs that were offered by an organization affiliated with my church. At the time they had programs in Russia and China only. When I nonchalantly shared what I had researched with my husband, he told me he would be more interested in China, but still wasn't ready to start the process. I dropped it, and gave him space. I continued to research Chinese adoption anyway, collecting information about the different agencies and how the process worked, but not sharing any of this with my husband. After a couple of months, we were out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant and he said to me, "You know what I've been thinking about lately? A little Chinese boy named Joshua." He did not know about the cultural preference for sons who will take care of their elderly parents, so he was not aware of the abundance of girls in the orphanages. It wasn't the right time to educate, so I let it go and celebrated our readiness to start the process. A year later we had a referral for a beautiful 11-month-old little girl, who is now 6 years old, and brings so much joy to our life. We started the process for baby #2 less than a year later because we wanted them close in age. We submitted our paperwork just a few months after we celebrated our first adoption day anniversary, and we were "planning" on returning to China in about a year. Fast forward 2 and a half years... the wait for our 2nd child had lengthened, and was getting further away with each new batch of referrals. I was becoming more and more depressed. My daughter was now getting ready to turn 4 and my plan of having kids close in age was no longer a reality, for our referral was still years away from getting here. Both of my sisters were pregnant at the time, and my daughter told me I had a baby in my tummy too. "No," I explained, "Remember, Mommy and Daddy adopt our babies. Your little sister is going to come from China like you did." She argued with me, and became adamant that I was pregnant... and three weeks later I realized she was right. When she told me it was a boy, I believed her! And her baby brother was born 9 months later. We talked about names at length, as most couples do. "Joshua" and "Elijah" were at the top of our boy list, and "Josephine" and "Isabella" were at the top of our girl list. For some reason, when our son was born, we decided on "Elijah". And now, I know why. We were destined to have that little Chinese boy my husband spoke of 7 years ago, named Joshua. He will walk into our lives and hearts in about a month, and I'm trying my hardest to remember that plans rarely work... of course a good reminder is the lilac and pink nursery we are re-painting and re-decorating this week!