Today I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for so much.
I have wanted to share a post of gratitude about the adoption for some time and thought today would be a perfect day to do so. So, here are some of the little (and big) moments that left us with such deep gratitude so far that have been a part of this adoption process.
I am leaving out many, but just to share a few:
*The OVERWHELMING support of our family and close friends. Blew us away!
*The first day we opened up our FSP account there was a $5 donation. It encouraged us so much!
*We were in another province getting our fingerprints done by one of China’s very few fingerprinting experts. Although this could be done for free at most US police stations, it is not the case in China. The closest agency that did it was still a flight away and cost $100 a copy. We needed 6 copies, yes, 6. We had such a friendly man helping us and although he took 3 hours to do my fingerprints alone, when we got the final bill he had not charged us the full amount. We tried to share that the bill was wrong, but he winked and said, ‘No, you had 2 fingerprints copies and 4 copies… the copies are much less.’ If you know how things work in China, especially for foreigners, you know that something like this RARELY happens for a national, let alone a foreigner.
*After we had flown back home we learned that Mac’s last state clearance needed a notary. Even though our Home Study agency had to apply for this clearance directly, they still needed our application signature notarized by a US notary. We were nearly devastated to think that we had to fly again to another province to get the application notarized especially since had checked on what that document needed twice... The next day our social worker emailed and said the state had actually sent back the clearance approved so not only did the waive us needing the signature, they faxed it to the agency that day saving a few weeks times in getting it back.
*The many, many cakes my mom made and sold to people to raise money for the adoption. Then her many, many purses made and sold. And in between all that work she sold and still sells items she finds of worth in her home… and parents friends who donated to them to give to us - all for their granddaughter!
*Another expat in China, with very little money, handing us money for the adoption.
*After our Home Study Social Worker came for the weekend to visit with us to finalize the Home Study, she sent us an email. In it she asked for permission to share our story with her friends in Beijing and to fundraise for us. We were so touched. She is also an expat living in China with her family. When she did send the money to our FSP account she also shared that she had donated all of her salary for doing our Home Study (several months of work with us) to us as well, ‘because she could not take any money that could help her come home sooner!’
*The many friends who asked, ‘Can I fundraise for you’ – cookie sales done by a mom of 4 kids, cake sales created by a mom of 2, donations, and support.
*Friends of friends and neighbors donating items to us that we might need for a 5 year old.
*Having a Chinese friend who finds it hard to pay her own rent handing me money and saying, “My family all donated to help with your adoption…”
*Our home church in MA having a cake auction to raise money for us, even when they have many other things within the church they could fundraise for.
*A grant organization in my hometown not only giving us a grant towards the adoption costs, but inviting us to come to and speak at their fundraiser… just around the corner (walking distance) from where my parents live… and they served us lobster!
*A new social worker for our Home Study Update who takes time to photocopy and give us articles that he thinks will help us learn more about post-adoption care of children and then goes above and beyond, connecting us to families in our area who also adopted from Eastern Europe.
*An agency social worker who takes the time to put smiles in her emails to us, showing how excited she is for our ‘steps’ along the adoption process.
*An amazingly supportive new church community who has given cards, letters, donations, then the same people giving donations again. A community who knows adoption well, and is made of up different generations of people who have adopted or who have been adopted.
*Donations and letters from friends of friends – people we have never even met in person.
*Friends and family who donate a part of their salary to us…
*Donations from parents to support their new granddaughter’s arrival.
*Donations and loving words from people we went to High School with and have not even seen since then.
*Our attorney in our daughter’s country taking time to befriend us and also to meet me on Trip 1 (usually that only happens on Trip 2), even though she works hours of the day and evening to get dear kids to their parents.
*Family and friends giving our little one Christmas gifts, even though she is not home yet… my mom preparing a gift for her within a bag that has pregnant women on the outside because ‘she gets it’…
*A foster family who takes time to send photos and even videos (and has Skyped twice with us!) so we can ‘see’ our little girl until things finalize and we can get her home.
AND most of all
*A BEAUTIFUL little girl who despite the lack of love shown to her in life showed love again and again and again to me during our trip and also to her foster family… MOST OF ALL, we are grateful for this sweet girl who we will officially be able to call ‘ours’ soon!