Exactly ten years ago today I woke up, went to teach my sweet little second graders. It was a normal, hectic, end of the school year kind of a day. I had no idea that it would be so close to the end of teaching for me. (for such a long time, anyway)
Around two in the afternoon I got a call on my cell phone from our adoption agency. We'd been matched with a baby girl!!! I remember standing in the hallway scratching down every bit of the information she told me. All the time my head and my heart was spinning.
Her name is Jinag Qian. Her birthday is June 10, 2004. (I remember quickly calculating while she was talking that her first birthday would be in three days!) She is from the Chongqing province and is at the Diangqiang Social Welfare Institute. I don't remember too much after that but I knew I couldn't finish my day teaching. There was only just a little bit left to the school day but I knew I was no good there.
Not wanting to tell a single person before telling Scott I faked not feeling well to another teacher and she found someone to cover my class. I drove straight home, changed, picked up three pink balloons at the party store and drove to Scott who was at the time coaching after school high school tennis.
In front of a huge crowd I walked up to him dressing in all pink with this bouquet of balloons and said, "we have a baby girl..." Oh his face... I will never forget that moment, that hug... and the happiness all around us.
We drove home and went straight to our computer to look up the province and the orphanage. We cried knowing that our daughter was there, just there waiting for us. It was bitter sweet. Although we were filled with joy we just wanted to get there that moment to take her home and we knew that it would be several more months.
(I wrote to Anna for a year and a half every single day while we waited for her and she waited for us... I didn't know her yet but I was already in love... adoption is a miracle)
There were calls to family and friends, and we had dinner at a lovely Chinese restaurant where they told us how to pronounce her name. We made reservations at that restaurant for three days later, June 10th, her birthday. Way back then I was already planning her birthday (and loving every minute of it) I knew I wanted to do something special.
We had our family and Anna's godparents for dinner and on each plate was a little box with her picture inside. Everyone opened the box at the same time and everyone saw a picture of Anna at the same time.
There was birthday cake and presents. It was a perfect first birthday party except that she wasn't with us.
Oh how we couldn't wait.
Ten years later I still can't believe that she's mine, that I haven't returned to the classroom, that God has allowed me to be a stay at home mommy all these years....
but I am so grateful to God for this amazing young girl. She is so bright, so creative, and so filled with faith and love for her Lord.
Like a little present to me (although she didn't know) last night on my pillow as I tucked into bed was this bible verse and a note to me.
Really, is she really my daughter? I adore her so...
No Anna, you are the amazing one!