I already love this story, but first we need to back up.
The week leading up to this one was hard. It was hard for me. Hard in the parenting department. Hard emotionally, hormonally, whatever. Just hard. The previous Monday we had just submitted our paperwork to our adoption agency to say we would gladly adopt a boy or a girl. I knew it was right, but that week, instead of dreaming of the future, I found myself paralyzed with fear. What if I fail at this? I can barely keep up with my own two boys, what am I thinking? I'm not cut out for a big family or adoption. This just feels hard.
I was signed up to attend the IF:Gathering conference that weekend and the thought crossed my mind more than once to skip the conference entirely. I never spoke the words, and I knew I would be too stubborn to skip. I'm so glad I didn't. But I was exhausted.
February 5. I was scheduled to fly out of Grand Rapids (by myself) to Austin, TX (by myself) to attend this conference (by myself). Luckily I had Facebook connected with a gal who I had a mutual friend with, so despite having never met her before, I didn't feel completely alone.
My first flight ended up being delayed 3 hours, which was okay, because already my second flight was rescheduled to be about 2 hours later. Luckily, I heard about the delay before leaving for the airport, so instead of sitting by myself for hours, waiting, I had lunch with my mom and boys and then left for the airport.
Boarding time was about 20 minutes away when I get a phone call.
Said my caller-ID.
This can only mean one thing. Our adoption agency is in Eugene, OR. And they really have no reason to call, except for one.
I have a referral for you!
Said the singsong voice on the other end of the phone. My heart started racing. I quickly told the caseworker that I had to get on a plane very soon so, tell me everything as fast as you can!
It's a baby boy!!....
I was shaking. Us? Now? This soon? I was shocked, but not surprised in the least all at once. My caseworker said she would email me the file, and all I could think was that I just can't wait to see this boys face. Can. Not. Wait.
They called to board the plane as I drained my phone battery by continuing to hit refresh. refresh. refresh.
The plane took off before the file came in, and as we ascended to cloud-level, it hit me for the first time that I have a child on the other side of the world.
I knew that ambiguously for the past year or so, but now I knew it for certain. There was a boy out there, living and breathing, that I could claim as my own.
The email was waiting for me when we landed and I saw my son's face for the first time. Such an odd thing, to see your child's face for the first time... as a toddler. The beauty and complexity of adoption is more real than ever.
And he is just the most perfect little boy. In his photos and videos, he is just so happy and full of life and I have nothing but gratitude for the fact that he has already, CLEARLY been loved on. Oh, Lord, you answered my prayers for kisses. I pray that he continues to get the affection and nurture that he needs to thrive.
So allow me to informally introduce you to our dear son, Owen.
Young warrior. Thrown from birth into the battle for his life. He was God's first, but now he is mine.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend. But we are taking this step. Pushing aside all fear and doubt in the confidence that the Lord has prepared this road for us. And we couldn't feel more honored.
Owen, my boy. We're coming for you. Consider yourself one less orphan.
P.S. You have no idea how badly I wish I could share these videos and photos of our boy, but we simply can't until he is officially ours. Just picture the most adorable Chinese face you ever did see, and you'll have it right.