So we awoke that day to some clouds but nothing to cancel a trip over. We rushed through a bit of school (and when I mean a bit, I mean more like, "Kids straighten up your desk!"), got ready, packed bags and started an early lunch. Old Baker Farm is about an hour and a half away from here and because of our designated field trip time slot (this trip was taken with our homeschool group) and Ethan's conference calls we had a very tight schedule. You and I both know that when you have a very specific schedule that is when you get a curve ball and that is just what happened.
As I was chewing up a large bite of my PB&J and the phone rang.
"Hey, Kara it's T at All God's Children"
"Hey, how are you?"*****(I will spare you the small talk about paperwork and other adoption process)*****
"Hey Kara I don't know if you are ready to talk about this
but I wanted to talk to you about a referral"
My heart pumping and adrenalin going I stammer, "Uh, sure"
"Great, now I need to ask you to guard your heart with this one.
There is a lot of variablity in this condition and I want you to be
prepared for that when you look at the referral."
"Okay, sure we will"
"Alright, well, it is a little boy, 9 months with a heart condition.
He has had surgery but you will need to send this to an Internation Pediatrician
and have them take a look at it. I'm sending you the file now"
During this conversation I walk into E's office. Now if you know E you know that he does not like for you to come in to his office while he is on the phone ESPECIALLY when he is on a business call. He immediatly spunn around in his chair and gave me the glare. The one that says, "I'm trying to work here!" I didn't care and start writing down on his white board, AGCI. Referral. Boy. 9 month. Heart condition?
He picked up his cell phone and started texting. I then received a text message while on the phone with T. (This was one of those times that I am thankful for smartphones.)
Text from E:
"Lock him and send to IAC"
Text from Me:
"Locked forwarding you file"
I spent a few more minutes on the phone discussing this referrral and the plan of action that would need to take place. I knew immediately it was gonna be hard. Time was against, China allows you to "lock" a child for 72 hours. In that time you decide if you are gonna accept the referral. It sounds simple but it really isn't. Not only are you trying to decide and pray for the referral but there is other paperwork that has to be filled out, translated into Chinese, sent to China and have an International Adoption Pediatrician look at the file and get their consult. I should tell you now that T had also locked the child at midnight my time before she called that morning because she was afraid he wouldn't be on the databank (fyi: China has a databank that orphanages' use to post their adoptable children) So I had already lost 8 hours.
I got off of the phone with T turned around and faced four perfect little ones staring back at me. "Who was that Mommy." Elaina was the first to ask. She is so aware of what is going on and bold about knowing. Korinna stared back at me and I knew she knew. She has a sense about her that just knows when something is afoot. It is only then that Josiah notices the girls and then he quickly wants to be in the "know", whatever it might be. "Just an adoption call. They needed some information that I had to ask Daddy about." I had not lied but not exactly told the whole truth. I knew it was to early to say anything it is best to guard there hearts. Adoption is warfare and this was a time in which I could sheild them from getting their hearts broken if things did not work out. I quickly changed the subject.
"Okay let's load up and go to the farm."
As the kids finished I opened the document I had just been sent. My stomach dropped as I looked into his sweet face and asked God, "Can this be my son?"
The ride was gray and drizzley. I hovered over my phone trying to google everything in his medical file while veggie tales played in the background in an attempt to cover the grown up conversation in the front seat. I finally conceded that I could figure nothing out about this little guy. The medical jargon was beyond my education and my life experience even if I may have more medical conditions in my house than most. We sent the file to the IAC (International Adoption Clinic) for a consult and waited.
Old Baker Farm was gray and cold and the kids loved it. Goats, chickens, turkeys, fun, fun, fun. The owners and staff really take the time to explain life on a real working farm. In fact, Ethan and I enjoyed it just as much as the kids. The added bonus, is it allowed us to relax and focus on other things while we waited for the IAC.
Leila with her suvenior pumpkin
Elaina found the perfect one
Haybale maze that ended up being a contest of great jumping skill.
Trying to conquer the great corn maze.
Back in the car and a quick stop at Hamburger Heaven for some grub. (Remember we ate an early lunch). The only thing that was said about the earlier referral was a quick question about if we had received any emails. It didn't look good. There wasn't a confirmation email from the IAC and we knew the time was just ticking by. I went on and prepared myself for the loss of this referral. The loss of a child, my child. There was just no way all of the paperwork can get in on time.
We finished off our trip with yummy milkshakes and headed home.
To Be Continued......