Monday, June 16, 2014

Where's Waldo? Finding Our Boy

Once Eric gave me the go ahead to lay out a plan for our next steps, I went in to hyper-drive.  The first thing I had to do was figure out HOW to start the process when we already identified our child.  But first things first, I had to find him.  When my friend had shared his profile in the fall, he was on China's Shared List, meaning that any adopting family working through any agency could view his file.  This was no longer the case.  "Shane" was not on the shared list any longer.  My friend connected me with a  number of people who could help me look for him.  One contact had his medical file and photos and was able to send those to me.  She let me know that since he is not on the shared list any longer, any of these possibilities may have happened:

  1. He died over the winter.  
    After looking at his file and seeing that he falls ill easily when the seasons change, I was beside   myself at this thought.  Too many orphans... too many children, die every winter for lack of medical care.  Not all orphanages have heat and simple colds can turn quickly into deadly pneumonia.  
  2. He has an adoptive family!
    If this was the case, I would be thrilled!  My heart would be relieved that this boy had a home and we would regroup and decide whether to continue pursuing adoption of a different child now.
  3. He was assigned to a foreign agency to be promoted among their waiting families.
    If this was the case, it would be very difficult to track him down.
  4. He was assigned to a US agency.
    We prayed this was the case.  It would take a lot of work to find him, but it was more likely.

I knew in my heart he had to be listed with a US agency.  I contacted advocacy groups asking if anyone had seen his file with their agencies.  Now I had his full Chinese name and DOB, which made looking for him easier.  I began calling and emailing a variety of adoption agencies, just shooting in the dark at who may have his file.  Many emails returned without any trace of Shane.  

One Friday night we decided to share with our Bible study group and ask for their prayers in finding him.  I browsed agency "waiting child" lists all day Saturday.  On Sunday I spoke with a friend at church and asked for her prayers too.   That afternoon I sat down at my computer, weary of trying to find him.  I decided not to look for him that day, and I settled in to reading some adoption-related articles.  I was reading an article on a particular agency's website and at the bottom came to a link.  "See [Agency]'s Waiting Children".  I thought I'd give it a try, just in case.  I clicked the link and quickly scrolled through the names looking for the two English aliases I had seen him listed as.  Nope, nothing in the "Sh" category for boys under 5.  

Then I felt convicted.  I had scrolled past all these faces, each of them a child who needed a home, without even looking at them.  I started back at the top and began looking into their eyes, praying for them to have a family.  

Then I saw him.  In a tiny thumbnail print.  In a picture a year more recent than any I'd ever seen of him.  With a completely different name.  I really shouldn't have recognized him from it, but my heart knew instantly.  I clicked on the thumbnail and confirmed his date of birth and special needs from the profile.  I HAD FOUND HIM!!!!

In an instant I was up from the couch to get my phone to tell my best friend, and at that moment I received a text from my friend at church.  

            Can you send me the little guy's picture 
            so I can put a face with our prayers for 
             you to find him? 

I FOUND HIM!!!                                        

            Wait... you actually FOUND him??  
            Since we spoke like 2 hours ago?  
            How is this even possible??

People... God hears prayer.  What are you praying about today?

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