Tuesday, July 24, 2007

FAQ #1: How our Journey to China Began...

William was 3 months old and for whatever reason - this time around - I was sure that my body could not undergo another pregnancy. This one was the hardest and had taken its toll in much different ways than the other two. And I am here to tell you that knowing this made me cry. One night after the kids went to bed I said to Steve - I don't feel done? Yet my body is telling me I have to be and that make my heart actually ache!?

I cried and he felt so sorry for me. And so we talked about our options. When I was in my teens and 20's, I had some health issues that caused doctors to tell me that my chances of having children would be very slim. At that point in my life - before a husband, or before the knowledge that years would bring for me - I knew that I would be a mother! Some how, some way - I would have children. And if that meant I could not give birth to them - no matter! I would adopt my family and love them in the same way that any parent loves their OWN child!

Well, back to that night - when the kids were in bed and the anxiety of my desire to have more children weighed heavy on my heart...And probalby because we had our hearts open to adoption from the very beginning of our relationshiop...Steve and I decided that we would look into options for adoption. Research can't hurt and at least I would know what my options were. Steve was leaving for a trip with his sub and I was now given to go ahead to check out "options" without having to feel like "My husband is going to surly leave me if he knows what I am thinking!!"

After two weeks of reading everything I could find on all sorts of adoption avenues...I came upon a calling that will live with me for the rest of my days! There were all of these beautiful little girls in China with no home and no mommys or daddys...and they lived in such unspeakable conditions. Many families were creating homes and lives for these children and I wanted to do that too. I wanted to create a mother and father, and brothers, and grandparents and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins for one perfect little girl from this far away land. I wanted to bring her to America and show her a life full of any possibility that she could dream up! I wanted one little girl to be our baby/sister!!

It was that simple - it didn't take us months and months to decide. The decision came easy for both Steve and Myself. In soem ways we be believe it is because this was meant to be and it was only our job to find the path. Once we found it - it was very clear what we woudl do! After much paperwork and mistakes and more paperwork, the process was well on its way. The wait time was about 14 months at that point! That meant that we would have our daughter in the spring of 2007 and that seemed just around the corner for us!!

Of course that is when the governmental changes in China began to take place and as many of you know...our 5K became a marathon at some point! The Chinese Government has a one child policy in place to control their future population. At the rate the Chinese population was growing in the 1970's, they would physically not be able to support their people by the year 2025. It was a crazy plan that was fround on by many nations...but it worked. By the year 2000, the Chinese population was actually heading the opposite direction. This of course came with some unpredicted challenges. The elderly population was high and the infant population was very low. Who was going to take care of the elderly population with the numbers so drastically unbalanced?

The other side of the issue is this...It is rooted deep within the Chinese culture - Males are the dominant being. Males will take care of their families. If I can only have one child....I need it to be a Male. Now what happens when the one child I am allowed to have comes out female? I leave her on the street corner to be picked up by the orphanage staff and try again! There was no choice for these women...It was what they believed deep in their core and the values that we so evenly place on any child that comes into the world...was just not a part of who these women are. They just didn't see it the same way. They were not bad people...just victims of a governmental decision mixed with a cultural value making their decisions to abandone in many ways out of their control.

And so the female orphan population grew and grew and the adoption channels were wide open for other countries to take advantage of!

But now what...and here is the current problem. Who will all of these Male Chinese Men marry when they come of age? Well...by the year 2025, there will be one female for every 30,000 men (or a stat very close to that - I don't want to be quoted for 100% accurace - I am darn close!!) How will these men procreate? Who will serve them and feed them and care for them? No one at this point - Only the lucky will have a family life that we all dream of!

So, in short, the Chinese government is keeping some of their orphanages closed to adoptions now in order to supply the future female demand that they will have. Not for profit agencies are helping to education and give culture to these females that will live their lives in waiting. They are also helping to provide Chinese foster parents in order to give them a good life. And for the people - like us - who wait for our china doll - we will have to wait a bit longer as the supply and demand is off balance once again!

But there are so many little women who are in need of a home and likewise, so many families in waiting for their child! Time lines have increased, but the need for adoptive parents is still high. and the want for the Chinese children is high as well.

Many people ask me - "if you would have knows it would take this long would you have chosen a different path?" And the answer is not simple, because I "didn't" know and we made the decision to adopt based on a different set of variables than we have today. But I "think" I can say - NO - we would not have made a different decisions. My heart lies in our process and in the dreams of our little girl joining our family in the future! I wait for her and think about her each and every day. No matter 6 months or a year...we will wait for her.

God took our hearts to China and it is not for me to decide when or where...I just keep the faith and prepare her life with the Mongold family! She will come to a world where she is loved by so many. Time can't change that! The 14 month process is now going to take us approximately 2.5 years! That means we will have our little girl next spring or summer! And as times goes by we all get more and more excited with each passing day!

I will use this blog to keep everyone updated on our process! I'll poster her photos when we get it and all the information that comes with that photo! If the process speeds up or slows down - I'll share the info. Our agency is http://www.chinesechildren.org/. Feel free to check it out and read more! They are a wonderful agency with such love and passions for what they do! We are lucky to have been led to them!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have shown such support and love during our wait! I am, who I am, because of each of you and I know this little girl will bring us ALL so much joy! Each and every waiting minute will seem like the the smallest price to pay for what she will bring to our lives! Thank you for being in this process with us! More to come.....


Erica said...

You know how I feel about this...I have said many times I would love to follow your path and adopt a child from China. We will see how that develops. Yet, I am so proud of you for staying steadfast to your future daughter. I am sure the waiting is so difficult, but you continue to follow the path with grace. This little girl is going to be so blessed by the Mongold family. She will read one day how long and hard you worked and waited for her. How amazing that will be for her. And...I cannot help but smile when I think of how much Ben, Kyle, and Will are going to immerse her with love (and probably hearing loss:)hehe, but nonetheless, LOVE! We cannot wait to meet her...no matter when she officially joins the family.

Ansleygalman said...

Renee, you are truly an amazing person. truly!

dandsratz said...

Reneea, I am SOOOO excited about this!! This little girl is SOO blessed already by you and the love that all of you have for her! I cannot WAIT to meet her!!!