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What Exactly Does Aging Out Mean in China Adoptions
When we began our adoption process, we began to envision our future family. We envisioned a little girl. Princess dresses, braids, and tea parties. I don’t know why—we didn’t have any children yet. Perhaps it was the fact that neither I nor my husband had a sister growing up, but from the time we decided to adopt, a little girl was the picture in our heads. And because we were unified in this vision from the start, we assumed that this was God’s vision for our family as well. Though we remained open to either gender in our home study, we indicated a preference for a girl.
Then a month into our wait, I received a call from our family coordinator. “I have a file here that matches your family’s preferences, except that he is a boy. You’re the only family that is open to his needs, so if you don’t wish to pursue him, he will be listed on the advocacy website. Would you be open to viewing his file?” His special needs didn’t phase me at all—those were part of our plan. But a boy? It was as if this nebulous imagined future child of ours had suddenly disappeared and I couldn’t wrap my mind around a new reality. “I’ll talk to my husband,” I said. And a few hours later we agreed to view his file. Because, really, we were doing this to be parents to a child who needed parents, and this child needed parents. A story came to my mind, that I had heard from an adoptive dad years ago, who had been in a similar situation. Upon receiving a referral outside of the age range they had envisioned, he asked himself, “If this child showed up on my doorstep looking for a family, would I turn her away?”
Over the next few days as our minds adjusted to this new vision of our family’s future, God helped us to give over our plans to Him, so that He could continue to lead us in His plan. From the moment we saw this dear boy’s picture, it was becoming obvious to us that God meant this child for ourfamily.
Fast forward to five months home from China. What is our new reality like? We share life with a sweet, affectionate, and energetic two year old boy. A boy who spins in circles and does somersaults when it gets close to bedtime. A boy who brings us book after book and requests to read them snuggled under a blanket. A boy who always prefers being outside, who gets extremely excited about rain, Christmas lights, and any sort of vehicle. A boy who doesn’t let us leave his room at night without a great deal of hugs and kisses. A boy who requests cookies, ice cream, or pizza pretty much every day. A boy who laughs hard and grieves hard, and makes us laugh and grieve hard alongside him. We can’t imagine a more perfect fit for our family. And we smile and say, “God knew.”
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