Friday, March 03, 2006

Put your faith in what you most believe in
Two worlds, one family
Trust your heart
Let fate decide
To guide these lives we see...*

Details...on Thursday February 16th we, and every other set of parents waiting for their referrals from our agency's China program, no matter how far along they were in the process, received a "happy little letter". I won't bore you with the details but some of the questions were things like, "Why do you want to travel to China?" "Why did you choose China?" Also outlined in this happy little letter were the agency's new policies for traveling to China.

The travel groups have become too large with too many extra family members/friends traveling. This was not mentioned in the letter. Zhou is overburdened in China trying to keep track of groups with over 40 members. This was not mentioned in the letter. There has been an influx of parents taking their other children to China and not using wise parenting strategies...this is as nicely as I can put it. This was not mentioned in the letter.

What was mentioned in the letter was that if you want to take a child under the age of 10 with you, another adult (other than the parents) must travel with you to take care of that child. This is going to keep the size of the groups For each additional person that travels, including your child, you must pay $75 per day per person which adds up to roughly $1500 per person due BEFORE leaving for China. By the way, no one at at the agency seems to be able to explain where this extra money is going or what it will be used for. Oh, this happy little letter was just so perky! Little exclamation points everywhere and kind genteel phrases about how this was ultimately to "keep the focus on the girls". Well folks, just because you put cute little exclamation points everywhere and ask seemingly innocuous and absurd questions, makes it no less cruel. And believe me, that's exactly what it is. The whole thing reeks of cruelty and betrayal. Our family and many others are in the same position. They have no one to leave their children with when they travel to China and/or no other "required extra person" to travel with them. Are we angry? You had better believe it. Are we hurt. Absolutely. Truthfully, the only thing I can think of that would've been any crueler would have been for them to stop us at the airport before boarding our plane to China and handing us the happy little letter. There were rumors in the wind of this several months ago. We were told, and I quote, "Your little group of three is safe and always has been." So much for assurances. I wrote the agency's director a complaining, no anger, just common sense and reason. The letter was sent signature required so we know that she has received it. We have received no reply. Another member of our travel group called and asked that said director return her call. That was two weeks ago and the call has not been returned. If this is the way that at least two of us are being treated, you can bet it doesn't stop there either. Others have contacted lawyers...I just pray that it doesn't affect anyone's referral.

Raise your head up
Lift high the load
Take strength from those that need you...*

Some of the best advice I received out of all of this came from my surgeon. She looked at me and said, "Get enough a walk every day...don't let this stress you out. You're going to have a new baby to take care of." Amen. By Wednesday of this week I'd had enough. Every time I'd walk by that stupid letter staring at me on the kitchen counter it would make my stomach churn. That agency does not control my life now or ever. I signed the stupid thing and told Garry to do the same. The goal now is to get Claire home any way we can and as soon as we can so we can put THE AGENCY as far behind us as possible. My one act of true defiance? I refused to answer any of their inane questions. I signed the thing saying I understood and agreed to their ridiculous terms. If that's not enough I'll just open a vein for them. Once the letter went out in the mail an incredible strength, determination, and feeling of peace enveloped me. Thank you God.

No words describe a mother's tears
No words can heal a broken heart
A dream is gone, but where there's hope

Somewhere something is calling for you
Two worlds, one family
Trust your heart
Let fate decide
To guide these lives we see...

The last couple of weeks have not been fun to say the least. As I stated in my earlier post sleep was the impossible dream and to say that I thought about this whole mess 24 hours a day is not an exaggeration. I'm down to about 8 hours a day now! ; ) It took a toll on my weight too. I know...I know...give me a break! I'm down about 10 pounds but it's coming back slowly. I just watched the video from Hope's birthday party and I look remarkably normal! I'm amazed because that was only two days after the happy little letter arrived! Another...thank you God!

Three different people have offered to watch Hope while we go to China and one even offered to travel to China with us so Hope could go. (Thank you are the best.) I'd like to say that we will be taking one of these people up on their offers but as it looks right now, we won't. What this mess has forced us to do, and pardon my language but it's the only phrase I can think of that fits, is sac up and be the parents that we claim to be. It's time to focus on what's best for BOTH girls and not just some romantic notion of what we think it's supposed to be like. Hope is three and yes, she was born in China but she has been raised in America. The girl won't put anything Chinese in her mouth...the only rice the kid eats is the spicy kind from the Mexican restaurants! The flight, trip, and emotions were grueling and confusing for the two of much more so will that be for my precious baby girl? We were both so worn out when we arrived home with Hope. I literally couldn't get off of the bed that first night to help Garry take care of her...and Garry had had NO sleep whatsoever during our almost 24 hours in the air. Who is going to take care of TWO babies after the long trip? The answer I will stay home with Hope while Garry travels to China to get Claire. Problems solved. As soon as we discussed it sleep returned and I was able to eat again. I would say that's a resounding endorsement from God by allowing my peace to return.

Am I going to miss the great shopping in Guangzhou? Absolutely. Am I going to miss taking 100's and 100's of pictures with my new camera that we bought specifically for this trip? Absolutely. Am I going to miss waiting for the baby van to arrive? Absolutely. Am I going to miss seeing my baby for the first time in her home country? Absolutely. Is my heart breaking that I'm going to have to wait another 10 days to 2 weeks before I can hold her? Absolutely. Do I feel as if I've been asked to miss the birth of my own child? Can I even think about it without crying? I think you already know the answer. But let's face it. God knows what He is doing. It's time to give Him something I *want* and see what miracles He has in store for me. And as hard as that first trip was, I was looking forward to going back. He hasn't asked me to give Claire up, only to be patient for a little longer. Oh, I still waffle a bit and I pay for it. This week I was thinking, "Well, maybe we will leave Hope at home while Garry and I go." In a voice as clear as a bell I heard Him say, "Look you want what I have for you or not?" I do. I truly do. Am I happy about it. Not yet, but I'm working on accepting it.

Every moment now the bond
grows stronger
Two worlds, one family
Trust your heart
Let fate decide
To guide these lives we see...*

So once again we are looking towards receiving our referral with joy. CCAA has continued to get slower and slower. They have finished matching babies to parents with LID's up to May 25th. Did I mention they will be moving to a new building? More delays. The agency told us that our LID may have been corrected but they don't know for sure. So, depending on which of our LID's they use...August 25th or September 5th...we don't expect to hear any good news until late May or early June. But you know what? Everything is all going to work out for the best! God has a plan for us in all of this. All we have to do is have faith and let Him work.

Blessings to y'all!

*All italicized lyrics from the song "Two Worlds" written by Phil Collins
This song can be found at the bottom of the page...give it a listen.

Thank you Carol for buying me this CD for Christmas! I can't tell you just how much this song has meant to me the last couple of weeks!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails