Thursday, September 18, 2008

Special Gift for Maggie

Over the last two years that I have been logged in, I have received many special gifts for my daughter to be. The most recent and one of the most special things that I have received is from my cousin Jill. Jill is a freshman in high school and had the privilege of traveling to China this summer as part of a student ambassador program. Although I was EXTREMELY jealous that she was going to China before me, I was so excited for her.

For Christmas I gave Jill a journal and asked if she would journal her trip. We talked about all of the exciting places that she would be visiting and the things that she would see. I asked her to write down what she thought of the places she went and the feelings that she had while she was there. I felt so blessed that she would someday be able to share this with my daughter.

Jill left for China this past July. She was to be there for 17 days. The Friday morning after she left, I was getting ready for work when my phone rang at 7:15am. When I answered I heard "Hi Suzie - It's Jill calling from China!!!" I seriously couldn't believe it! My beautiful, thoughtful and amazing cousin was calling me from China! She said "I climbed the Great Wall of China today and it was amazing!! You have to come here when you are in China. And guess what Suzie? All of the kids and babies that I have seen are so cute and I just know that Maggie is going to be beautiful!" She continued to tell me of all the amazing things that she was experiencing and it took all I had not to bust out crying while I was on the phone with her. I told her I loved her and that she made my day by calling me. As soon as I hung up, I cried. Not just a few tears, but a big old ugly cry. At first I thought I was crying because I was so jealous that she was there and I wasn't. But then I realized that wasn't the reason. I was crying because I love her so much and it meant everything in the world that she thought to call me. She wanted me to know how amazing China was and that she just knew that Maggie was going to be beautiful!

When Jill returned home, we all met out in Utah for my brother's wedding. She had bought gifts for everyone and was so excited to give them to us. My sister and I were in the hotel room as she was showing us what she bought for all of the guys. As she emptied her bag, the journal that I had given her fell out. I picked it up, opened it and the first thing I saw was "Dear Maggie". I couldn't even read it. I busted out crying (again). She told me that she wasn't completely done journaling about her trip but had written the whole journal to Maggie. Have I mentioned how much I love this girl???

The next day she presented us with the gifts she brought from China. Everyone got great gifts but mine were AMAZING!!! The first thing I received was a framed piece of paper with Chinese writing on it:

Can't read what it says?

Of course, I busted out crying when I read it!

The next gift I received was a beautiful red and gold box:

Inside was a laminated card that said "Maggie" in English and in Chinese. There was also a jade budda "chop" (stamp) and a small pot of ink:

I am so thankful to have Jill in my life. She is an amazing young woman and I can't wait to bring Maggie home to meet her!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why Adoption? Why China?

I have wanted to be a Mom for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I had the same dream as most other little girls - I would be married to a hot stud of a husband who made a ton of money and worshipped the ground that I walked on, we would have the most gorgeous, well behaved children that everyone wanted to be friends with and we would live in a mansion at the beach with lots of cars and beautiful clothes. Sounds about right, right? Wrong!

I eventually did get married but not to a hot stud of a man. He was more of a so-so looking control freak who turned out to be a big loser. After 2.5 years of being married to him I decided it was time for me to get my life back so I divorced him. As much as I wanted to get pregnant and have a baby, I'm so glad I never did with him.

So there I was approaching the big 4-0 and I still did not have any children. I still wanted to be a Mom. I longed to be a Mom. I wanted a child to love - and to teach things to - and to hug and kiss - and do all the amazing things that a mother does. I wanted someone to call me mommy. I wanted to do all the things for a child that my mother did, and still does, for me.

I decided to look into my options. The man of my dreams hadn't shown up yet so getting pregnant by him seemed to be out of the question. I looked into artificial insemination. I always thought that I really wanted to be pregnant. I wanted the whole experience. I just wasn't 100% comfortable about all the unknowns with that. I didn't completely rule it out, but I wanted to see what else was out there.

I started to research domestic adoptions. Although it's not always the case, I read many stories of disrupted domestic adoptions where the birth mother came back to reclaim her child. I immediately knew that I could not take that risk. My heart could not handle that.

I knew that my only other option was international adoption. My cousin and his wife have two beautiful girls from China so it seemed like a good idea for me too. Right? Ironically (or not), my church was hosting an adoption seminar that same month. I attended and heard stories from families who had adopted from many different countries. I left the seminar with tons of information and just knew in my heart that this is what I was meant to do.

Over the course of the next several weeks it seemed that everywhere I looked, something having to do with adoption was right in front of me. I met people with adopted children ~ There were articles in my local newspaper about adoption ~ I saw advertisements from different agencies that were having adoption seminars in my local area ~ I came across a TV show called Adoption Stories and cried as I watched with envy as families were created.

I attended several of the seminars and learned about the different agencies and the programs they had to offer. I spent hours and hours on the Internet doing research. I came to the conclusion that if I was ever going to be a mother, this was the option that felt right. I knew in my heart that this was meant to be. At this point, the only person in my family that knew I was considering this was my sister.

I ended up really liking the first agency that I met with. At the seminar I spoke with one of the agency's coordinators named Jennie. She was so nice and answered about a million questions that I had. As a single woman wanting to adopt, my choices were limited. Many countries didn't accept singles. Jennie suggested Vietnam or Guatemala. I left the seminar and once again did a ton of research on-line. After many phone calls and emails with more questions, I told Jennie that I just wasn't sure. Something just didn't feel right about Vietnam or Guatemala.

I knew that the waiting list for singles to adopt from China was LONG and that it would most likely be 1-2 years before I would get a spot but I asked Jennie about it anyway. She told me that she would check with Martha, the China Program coordinator, and get back to me. When Jennie called me back she said "We just had three single spots become available and if you want one you need to call Martha right away!" When I called Martha she wanted an answer right then and there as these spots were hard to come by. I was completely unprepared to make that decision. I went from researching my options to having to make a commitment to adopt. YIKES!

Martha was nice enough to give me until morning to make my decision. I had approximately 15 hours to make a LIFE CHANGING DECISION!!! I spoke with my parents who immediately told me to hang up the phone, call Martha and tell her YES, YES, YES!!! They supported me 100% and still do to this day 2.5 years later. I called Martha and the rest is history. I am finally (someday) going to be someones Mommy :o)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

LID Anniversary

Never in a million years did I think that 24 months after my dossier got logged in at the China Center of Adoption Affairs I would still be waiting to become a mom. It's what I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. When I first started this process the wait times were 15 -18 months. It has grown increasing longer every month since then and is now at about a 31 month wait. I guess the positive side is that I am 24 months closer to seeing my dream come true!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Blog!

As I am approaching my two year log in date anniversary, I decided that in addition to stalking other peoples blogs, it was time for me to start one of my own. I plan to document the remaining journey to my daughter in China.