Did you see this cute face yesterday? It’s image is burned in my brain. I am as excited as I was to show off that face as I was to show off four other ultrasounds. I’m giddy and yet I’m wrecked.
I don’t even know which rewrite I’m on anymore. I don’t which part of the story to start with. There are rules about what we can share and what we shouldn’t share and outright can’t share. I’m going to try and tell you as briefly as I can about Jack and how we found each other.
We expected to wait until the end of this month for a match. Last week on Monday morning I was shopping at Wal-Mart with Bria. We had invited our preacher and his family over to talk about !dea Camp and what we had learned. In the middle of Wal-Mart, my phone rang with a certain area code. It was the agency, Dana actually, to tell me she had locked a file for us. Ordinarily she might not have locked the file but she was that confident. We talked. I’m not sure how I heard her because my heart was pounding so hard in my chest. I heard almost 3, five months younger than Bria, development delay but it was vague. I finally asked everything I could think to ask, hung up the phone and rushed through the shopping while texting and calling Ray.
Of course, a power outage messed up the internet. I was looking at Jack’s file from the laptop and my phone. I wasn’t sure if it was downloading correctly. Certain boxes weren’t checked. Ray called. We talked. He took the file to the pediatrician. That my friends was one long afternoon. I think I might have taken the kidney stones I had with Arleigh’s and Bria’s pregnancies over that afternoon. Finally, late in the afternoon Ray called back.
The pediatrician was concerned. The number one concern is malnutrition. He couldn’t be sure because of all the missing pieces to the file puzzle. He was also concerned that there was a possibility that he wasn’t walking or talking. There was no way to know. I had gone over the file, why didn’t I see that? I immediately called the agency back. I gave the list of things that the doctor would like to know. Can he walk and talk were on the top of the list. Dana agreed to ask but warned us that our window was shrinking. We might not know before the file would be unlocked.
We prayed and we talked. All the ramifications. We discussed every possibility and ran it through our heads. Just before bed the big girls started to figure it out. Something big was happening. Hanan started peppering me with questions. I was not going to lie. Finally, I broke. I told her that yes, we had a file. Yes, we have a picture. I explained that her Daddy and I were talking because the doctor told us he wasn’t sure how sick this little boy was or if he was even sick. We have friends whose son, Ethan had a stroke just before he was born. We watched as he learned to walk and talk. He’s a pretty amazing kid but we know all the possibilities. I told Hanan, this little boy could be fine but he might be like Ethan. She said, “But does that matter?” With tears in my eyes, I emailed the agency and said no matter what, we are going to pursue this boy.
Pursue him we did. We filled out the paperwork. Had it emailed. The agency called. The orphanage had been contacted. He is walking and talking. They label every file developmentally delayed because the nanny to child ratio is 1:10. I was ecstatic because prayers had been answered. It was also tempered because I can’t help but think of all those kids who are relatively healthy and they’ll go on a special needs list with a pretty tough label to overcome.
What else can I tell you? I’m not allowed to reveal his name. I can tell you we took his name as a clear sign from God. It’s pretty “Dang” funny. In fact I’ve heard about 1,000 jokes in the past week about that “Dang Stiff” kid. While our hearts were happy to hear that name, I spent the past week on message boards and yahoo groups trying to find more out about our boy and where he’s from. I was told on more than one occasion that his name means child of the party. It’s given to orphans to label them. Everyone would know for the rest of his life that he was abandoned. Needless to say, he will not keep that name!
The cute picture of that little boy isn’t the only picture we have. This is the picture that keeps me from sleeping. It was the picture on his file.
I’ve been reading up on where Jack lives. I’m not hearing much. In fact I learned this morning that there have been very few adoptions from his orphanage. Some of the few things that I’ve heard are not good at all. Scary even. The thought of him spending any more time there then necessary is awful to me. I will say, I have not spoken with anyone who has been there. I’m praying that it is not as bad as it sounds and that we get there as quickly as we possibly can.
When we left Arkansas last week I told Ray that I was blown away by the passion that other people have about certain countries. I didn’t think I had it in me. Ray said, “You haven’t been there yet.” He’s right. I haven’t. The images that I have now haunt me at night. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we really were allowed to go in and see. So yes, I’m ready to get this little guy home.
Our next step, if you are wondering, is called an LOA or letter of Acceptance. I’m praying that bugger on as soon as possible. The next step for us personally is to get a care package to little man and hope that it will help us get some up dates. We think most of our pictures are almost a year old. Considering the fact that all of our current little clothes are pink and often include ruffles, ribbons and lady bugs, it might be helpful to know what size he’s in.
Thanks for thinking of us and all the kind sweet notes both here and on Facebook. We really do appreciate your support and we covet your prayers. Please join us in praying little man home.