Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Twists & Turns of Fate

“Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain.”

(Rob Thomas -- “Little Wonders”)

This little piece of lyrics from a recent Rob Thomas song really strikes a cord. We started this journey back in June 2005 and at the time were anticipating bringing home a baby from China in the summer of 2006. However, we managed to start the process right as process started moving from a fast pace, to a slowdown, to a crawl. Deb and I spent many days frustrated, angry, and sad and joking to each other about our “wonderful” timing. Little did we know at the time that it wasn’t “wonderful” in the ironic sense, but in the very real sense. Without the slowdown we would have never had the opportunity to “meet” our daughter. A very real “blessing in disguise”!

The wait wasn’t the only little “twist & turn of fate”. For those that don’t know us personally, one of my hobbies is backpacking. I’m working on hiking the Appalachian Trail (a 2100+ mile trail from Georgia to Maine) in 1-3 week sections each year. This year I was planning to start my hike around April 23rd. However, Deb (who is a wonderful cook) found out she was a finalist in the National Cornbread Cook-off held in South Pittsburg, TN (home of Lodge cast iron cookware). Since this was only a couple hours from where I was planning to start my hike this year, I decided to hold off a couple extra days so I could go to the cook-off with her and then she could drop me off after the big day.

The cook-off was on a Saturday and our agency posted their waiting child list on Friday. Since we were in the car driving most of the day Friday, we didn’t see the list until after the cook-off was over and we were back in the hotel on Saturday evening. That is where we read the file on Yan and both of us quickly fell in love. Her file contained no photos, just words … but even without pictures we could “see” her. So, we “met” our daughter for the first time in Tennessee!

We had not previously contemplated an “older” child, but when we read about Yan it was like the little light bulb went on. I was supposed to leave on my hike the next morning, but we ended up postponing that a day so we could fill out the application right then and there asking permission to adopt Yan. If Deb hadn’t have been in the cook-off, I would have been out on the trail when the file was posted and not been back for three weeks. Without both of us being together when that list came out and being able to talk about it at that moment, would we have found our daughter?

One more little piece of fate along the way is important to the story. When we decided to adopt, we knew we would need a bigger house. As our daughter’s grandparents all live about 8 hours away and are retired, we knew that as soon as she was home our guest room would likely be full on a regular basis and our house at the time just wasn’t big enough. Being the anxious “soon”-to-be parents that we were, we had rushed out to buy a crib, stroller, high chair and some other baby gear even before we moved.

When we were preparing to sell the house, a home inspector came by. When he saw all of the baby stuff in the boxes sitting around, we told him about starting the process of adopting from China. As soon as we mentioned that, he lit up and said his daughter and son-in-law were doing the same thing! This introduction allowed us to meet her and her wonderful family and we have become good friends. They are back home with their beautiful daughter who is almost 4 and who has quickly wrapped not only her parents but her big brothers and sister around her little finger! She is a jewel!

Words cannot express how happy we are to have Yan in our hearts and very shortly in our home. She is the “baby” that was meant for us when we started down this path 2+ years ago. We did not always know where we were going when we were walking down the path, but it is clear that we ended up in all the right places along the way.


LaLa said...

great story ... so happy you found your beautiful daughter..as a Tennessean, glad it was here : )

Jennie said...

I LOVE your story. You sound like a very lucky family- all 3 of you. I have a gorgeous 5 year old from China and am very drawn to older child adoption. Unfortunately here in Australia we are not allowed to adopt out of birth order. And as a single, my options now are non exisitent. DO keep up the blog. I would love to follow your journey together. Who knows- you may want ot visiit Australia some time ! Jennie

Mom of 5 said...

What a great story !!

sb said...

Oh, the paths we find are always winding. We brought a 5.5 year old home last summer and she is our spicy dragon and the light of our lives. How I'd love to go back for an older girl. Can't wait to see how your journey goes. All luck to you both as you become a family of 3.


We are Frank & Hayley, said...

Ok, you officially had my husband and I crying as we read this! It brings back the memories of us "finding" our daughter and knowing immediately that she, too, was the ONE for our family! It's true when people say that you will know when the time comes, that all of the waiting was so worth it once you meet your child! Can't wait to meet her and see the three of you FINALLY together forever! Love you all!

Shandra said...

Wonferful story. I hope our paths cross in China.

hearnsbys said...

Just started to follow your blog from the UK - It just shows that we really don't know where that tangled red thread is going to lead us, but whatever happens it does not break and brings us together eventually. Here in the UK we are not able to adopt older or SN children, but it is something we have often talked about. Have a wonderful trip to China and really looking to follow your journey to Yan. V - mum to three, last our Hubei girl now 2.5 years.

Jen, Dave and Leah said...

Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! What a wonderful story!