On Thursday afternoon, Trevor, Niko and Bea set off for Hong Kong, their pit stop on the way to Teddy, and today I received photographic evidence that they made it – whew!
These photos from Trevor absolutely made my day, but I received another photo this evening that I wasn’t expecting. A photo of another adventure that began today.
This is our sweet Teddy in the car with his orphanage director starting the journey to meet Trevor, Niko and Bea on Monday!
How did I get this amazing, behind-the-scenes glimpse of our boy? It occurs to me that I never really told you the story of how we found Teddy. Well, grab a cup of coffee, and I’ll tell you now while we wait for the exciting part to happen.
A little over three years ago, I began attending a wonderful, intimate support group for adoptive moms that meets five times a year. It’s over an hour drive to get there, but so worth it for my sanity and the well-being of our whole family.
About two and a half years ago, my dear friend Kelly whom I met through this group came home with two new sons from China. Even amid the flurry of excitement and chaos of her own two new boys, she shared with our group her burden for two other little boys she met there. These two boys, it seemed, were given free rein to wander around the facility and surrounding area. It wasn’t a good situation.
Shortly after that, one of those boys went missing. He still has not been found.
The other little boy was our Teddy.
Kelly wanted desperately to find a home for this little guy, but we had just begun our process for Lewis, and adopting another little boy with Down syndrome was just not even on my radar. I prayed for those little boys, but then life moved on.
A little over a year ago, right around the time we traveled to bring Lewis home, I became a little obsessed with the fact that Chinese adoption regulations allow for “reusing your dossier”, or parts of it at least, for a second adoption started shortly after the first. I will admit that even while we were in China falling in love with our precious new son, I was looking at waiting children on our agency’s website.
My heart was for another child with Down syndrome, which just hadn’t turned out to be the scary special need it had once seemed AT ALL. In fact, it was quickly apparent that Lewis’s extra chromosome, rather than leaving him deficient in any way, had actually made him a little bit extra awesome.
Our agency had pages of beautiful babies with Ds – oh, how they tugged at my heart strings! But they were all babies. Not one over the age of four or five. Knowing that older children can be much harder to find families for, and having seen first hand what a blessing they are, that was where my heart drew me.
After we were home, I was mentioning to Kelly that we were interested in adopting another little boy with Ds, perhaps an older one, maybe 9 or 10. She could hardly contain herself! “That’s Didi!”
She sent us his file, and we knew immediately that if we were going to reuse our dossier, this was the one.
We began asking our agency about reusing our dossier. They were open to the idea at first, but then Verity made her presence known.
We went back and forth for about two months, but in the end, despite having let us adopt while pregnant twice before, they said we would have to wait until after baby to begin our process, and waiting would make it too late for a “reuse”.
That could have been the end of it. I thought it probably would be. But meanwhile, the agency who had a partnership with Teddy’s orphanage had reached out to let us know that they would love to work with us.
When one door closed, another appeared. Let’s push it, Trevor suggested, and see if it opens.
And open, it did.
So, with a new agency and a new home study social worker, we set out on a completely new adoption, not a “reuse” after all. Because once we knew this boy was ours, we just couldn’t walk away.
Here we are, one year later, days away from receiving this precious little man into our family.
Thanks to Kelly’s ongoing connections with the orphanage director as well as a missionary couple that work nearby, we have been able to have regular updates and new photos of our boy throughout the process. We were even able to “send him” a birthday cake last summer!
And so it is that we have a backstage pass to his journey to meet us. Today he is on his way to the city where he will meet Trevor and the kids, just as they are on their way to meet him. I can only imagine what he is feeling. I don’t know how much he understands of what is about to take place, but please pray for his heart, that he would feel safe and loved right from the beginning.