Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Twisty Turny Tale, Part 1

Several weeks ago, a reader I didn't know I had (thanks Sandi!) left me a comment regarding a picture she had seen of The Boss, Li'l Empress and I on our Adoption Day. The picture was posted over at Found Cameras and Orphan Pictures. It's a website dedicated to uniting lost cameras, memory sticks, and pictures with their rightful owners. Apparently, the owner of the site also posts pictures of orphans and/or their new families occasionally in an effort to help adoptive families gather more information and pictures of their children or their trip, etc.

Well, gather information we did!

After a series of email exchanges and connections all over the world, we have learned some great background on our precious girl. Stick with me, the story isn't that complicated, but it's still all new to us and we're praying and processing through what it all means for our family.

Apparently, the orphanage to which Li'l Empress was brought at her finding is one that is largely supported by a not-for-profit organization called China Care. In a nutshell, and in my own words, China Care exists to support and provide resources to orphanages across China. Some of these resources include, but are not limited to, formula, medical supplies, foster parent training and group home staffing. Li'l Empress lived in the orphanage from August '07 until November '07, at which time she was placed in the group home run by China Care under the orphanage's jurisdiction. Now, we knew that she was very blessed to be at her particular orphanage, as our research had shown it to be a very well-run, clean and pleasant orphanage. As orphanages go, of course. But to know that she was able to be in a smaller home environment, with a maximum of 10 babies and more individualized care, attention, and stimulation has been a priceless gift for this Momma's heart.

Further, we learned that China Care later placed Li'l Empress in an individual foster home in April '08 while she waited for her forever family. We have known about the foster parents since July; we even have pictures of her in their home and in her foster mother's arms. But to know that it was under the covering of this reputable and caring organization that trains their foster parents and provides them with resources is another treasure. I've said here before that we are so grateful to her foster parents - it's obvious that they prepared her well for her new family by loving her and modeling family relationships for her. She is well on her way to attaching deeply and firmly to us all and we know that they had a part to play in that. It's why we began praying for them as soon as we knew about them.

The new piece of the puzzle for us is that these foster parents actually had petitioned to formally adopt Li'l Empress themselves. My heart aches for the pain that they must have felt when they were denied. She was already "tagged" for the international adoption program. In their generous and loving relationship with her, they gave our daughter a firm foundation of confidence and security. Knowing that they loved her enough to want to make her their own forever-girl makes my gratitude and respect for them go even deeper.

However, at this point, I must point out that our instincts to parent her according to the attachment parenting philosophies that we dabbled in with our biological kids were spot on. (thanks, Teresa J, for sharing that awesome Dr. Sears book so many years ago! Who knew the journey we'd take with it on our nightstand all these years?!) Actually, it was far more than instinct. It was the divine hand of God, leading us to a resource that would benefit our whole family and provide a great foundation for understanding the needs of an adopted child. You see, with all this new information that I've been gathering and processing about Li'l Empress's first 13 months of life "before us," one major thing has jumped out at me over and over again.

My little girl has had far too many
major "good-byes"
in her little life already.

Come back tomorrow
for the conclusion
to the twisty turny tale . . .


Livin' Life said...

Wow, just waiting for tomorrows post.

MississippiZen said...

wow .. how interesting ... can't wait to hear the "rest of the story"

Heidi @ GGIP said...

That is very interesting how you were able to get this additional information. It is really priceless to know!

Aus said...

Waiting!! But dang you are lucky to have hit a jackpot of information! And - turnabout being fair play - I'll hold the rest until after the conclusion!

hugs -

aus and family

Jonni said...

This is truly amazing! What wonderful information to know and you know what? I truly believe Lil Empress was meant to be part of your family. She is a perfect match. I remember when I first started reading your blog, I found you story on RQ and you guys had to deal with the pain of the first referral being pulled from you and now look at your princess. I can't imagine it any other way. So happy you were able to get that wonderful information.


Carol said...

Wonderful. We were lucky to have Hope Haven and the wonderful photo albums they make for the children.

I believe all things happen for a reason, so she was just meant to be ..........