On New Year's morning I came downstairs at 10:30 and went to check my emails like I usually do. There was an email from our adoption coordinator with a subject line that I had used when I wrote her to ask a question a couple of days before. So naturally I assumed she was just answering the question. I opened the email and started reading... she did answer the question. But then at the end(all non-chalant like) she wrote: "I locked a file for you tonight of a baby girl with cleft lip and palate. Please let me know if you are interested in pursuing her adoption." WHAT??!!??!?!?! And there was the attachment way at the bottom of the email- labeled "Zhang Rong Can".
I immediately started shaking and frantically telling John what I read. I ran to get the kids- I wanted the first time we laid our eyes on our newest daughter to be done all together as a family.
And then I clicked on her file. We opened her picture... and there she was. Absolutely beautiful and positively ours. A sweet, tiny, perfect, adorable little peanut. And it was her birthday!!
I new from the beginning of the process that our daughter would have a cleft lip and palate. I can't explain how or why but I just did. So I was not surprised or worried. We had already done a ton of research about this medical condition. We had prepared the kids all these months so that they were very familiar with it too. When they saw her they just kept saying how cute she was- over and over again. :) And boy oh boy- is she ever!
The file told us that Rong Can has a bilateral cleft and palate.
And we thought she was absolutely perfect.
Oh those cheeks!! I cannot wait to kiss them a million times!
Those little toes!!!
We stared and read and read and stared.
We had 72 hours to review her file, consult doctors if we wanted to, and decide.
We emailed our coordinator and asked for an update since the pictures and info we had was from 2 months ago. But we already knew in our hearts she was ours. We were going to request that all surgeries be postponed until after the adoption, so that she could be with us during recovery.
We celebrated her birthday that evening with Chinese food of course!!
I was sad she couldn't be with us on her birthday but we were so happy and thankful that we finally "met" our new baby girl.
The next day we received an update with new pictures. That's when we found out they had already repaired her lip. We were upset that she had to go through that without us, but there was nothing that could be done. We will be with her for her palate surgeries though.
And then, knowing that we had all the information we were ever going to receive at this stage, and knowing that she was ours, I sat down to email our coordinator to tell her that yes, we absolutely want to adopt precious Rong Can... and thank you very much for finding our baby girl for us! :)
I wrote a letter called "Letter of Intent" that would be sent to China. It states that we are formally requesting to adopt Zhang Rong Can from Fuzhou, Fujian.
And just like that we were on our way! The second half of our adoption process had begun: bringing our baby girl home to her new family. We couldn't believe it. Every minute of those days my tummy was full of butterflies- I looked at her pictures 80 million times. We are in LOVE with RongCan. No doubt about it.
She may be half a world away from us but she is ours and we are counting down the days until we can hold her in our arms and smother her with kisses and hugs.