Also at this picnic were children who are still orphans but were brought to the States for a few weeks for the cultural experience. One of these children was "Pat." You may remember I told you that Abigail GASPED out loud when she saw him. You may also remember that he took Jen's hand and softly said her Chinese name. It was very sweet. There was a connection between him and our Princesses. After all they were infants together in the same place. They attended preschool together. He and Jen even shared a room until her adoption in 2013.
What you may NOT know is that we returned to visit these hosted children the following week, AND the week after that. The third weekend Ethan took some time off work and we stayed over there for a few days. We were granted permission to spend time together as a family with "Pat." We swam, we ate, we played at parks, we attended church. We got well acquainted with this charming little boy which is an unusual occurrence in the world of international adoptions.
We came to love the gentle boy who seemed to genuinely care about the people around him. He was quick to share and didn't demand his own way. He was cheerful and happy and had a smile that lit up our world. He was helpful, and especially looked after Jen. We dreaded having to say our goodbyes that last weekend, just a few days before the hosted children had to return to their country of birth.
What followed were days of heart searching and questioning ourselves and wondering how in the world we could do this again one more time. BUT, we spent hours with him. We spent days with him. We know this child! In his book, “Radical“, David Platt wrote, “We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”
How true that is. We absolutely could not forget about this child. He fit in perfectly with our other children and they are all excited for him to become their brother. Today we received the word that China has given us PA, that is Pre Approval. In other words we have the A-ok from them to proceed with this adoption.
At this point we are nearly finished with the paperwork required for the updated homestudy in our state. Amazingly, we have just a few more things to collect for our dossier to send to China. It seems this adoption is off and racing at record pace!
Adoptions are complicated and stressful, expensive and tiring, but oh so worth it all. We hope that you will rejoice with us that we are adding "Pat" to our family. We are the "lucky" ones - actually we are blessed. And we are blessed by each of you, our family and friends, and will appreciate your fellowship and prayers through the coming months of waiting, anticipating, and living daily lives.
|Pat with his hosting "grandparents" and our family.|