Many new friends, co-workers and our new church family have asked about our adoption story and I feel that now is the right time to post this on our blog. I am blessed each time that I am able to tell our story about Mary Beth and I have also been blessed with a public voice from above to go out and speak about our story. It gives me pride to know that this is what our Lord and Savior wants me to share with everyone and know that I am working for Him.
This is our story:
Charles and I had been married for 7 years when we found out that we could not have children on our own. It took us another 8 years before we decided that we would start looking into adoption. In July of 2004 we drove down to Jackson to a conference that was being held by another adoption agency and walked in with a big smile on our faces and walked out crying. We had thought about going to Russia (cost $50,000. we could not do it) then to Guatemala ($30,000 we could not do it) and our last choice was China ($30,000 we could not do it). All of this information was just thrown at us as we were walking out the door that day and that is the reason why we left with broken hearts and in tears.
Then a co-worker of Charles' gave him a card to CCAI and Charles called and requested the package from them. Each time I was handed something with China on it I would push it to the side. You see for me I did not want to go to China. I was in control and I was not about to go to China. Then one August night in 2004 Charles and I sat at a table in a restaurant eating and all of a sudden I looked at him and said "you know I think we can do the adoption with CCAI". He just looked at me and said "well if you think we can we will go home and you can research it and let me know". I said OK and as soon as my feet hit the door that night I was on the computer looking things up and seeing what I could find. That very night around midnight I started thinking to myself "hey they sent us a package" so I tore our house apart and finally found the package. As I sat on the couch reading in nothing but peace and quiet the Lord reached down and placed his hand on my left shoulder and said these words to me "Go to China and you will find your daughter waiting for you there - Go there and she will be waiting". I felt the calmest that I have ever felt before and at peace with what he was telling me. It was a feeling like I had never felt before in my life. I had such a natural energy in me that night until I could not go to sleep. I sat there and thought to myself "Oh they sent us a DVD" so there I went again tearing my house apart until I finally found it and sat down and watched it. I placed all of the information on the table for Charles to read the next morning when he got up. So at 4am that next morning I finally started feeling sleepy and went to bed. When I awoke at about 10 am I ran down the stairs and looked at him and asked "Did you read all of the information that I left out for you last night"? He looked at me and said "No that is your job and you just tell me what I need to know". Now, mind you the night that we sat at the restaurant and I brought up CCAI it is like the thought of us NOT going to China was pushed out of my mind and I really didn't think about all of that again until after our paperwork was finished and on the way to China. I just said thank you Dear Lord for changing my mind and pointing us in the right direction.
On November 8th, 2004 we received a phone call stating that we had been accepted to start our adoption for our daughter. On June 30th, 2005 our paperwork was logged into China (which was our LID date and would be a date that we would never forget and would also be a date that we could not wait for them to say that CCAA had reached for referrals). When we started the process to adopt our daughter we were told that the wait time after your dossier was logged into China would be 5 to 6 months. Therefore, we calculated that we would be leaving somewhere around late January early February of 2006. We of course were fooled again when all of a sudden CCAA decided that they would slow things down. We did not receive our referral until August 1st, 2006, but we were so thankful and understood that it was all in God's time and not in ours - even though this control freak wanted to stay in control of things, but couldn't. The more I tried to control it the longer it took. From the time that we were accepted until we traveled was 21 very long months. I wrote nasty letters to the adoption agency (CCAI) and bless their hearts they are such wonderful people that they would just send back this very understanding and caring letter to me. CCAI has been and still is a wonderful company with employees that have such loving hearts. We could not have asked for a better company to go through to receive our daughter. They held our hands from the very first moment that they received our paperwork until even now. We had great representatives while we were in China and they took great care of us.
So, now everyone knows how Mary (came from my mother) Cameron (came from our nephew that we lost too soon and loved so much) Elizabeth (is a name that I had picked out from a long time a go, but is also a family name) came to be our daughter - by God's great hands and our love, faith and hope in Him. He is the Almighty and He can work wonders if people would just stop, slow down and look around them he is right there with you every day in every way and will work through you; if you will allow.
We hope that everyone has a wonderful, peaceful and joyous Christmas!