A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Chinese Proverb
As a writer, I believe in the power of starting the story where the story starts. So please indulge me while I back track briefly to the place where this blog begins. It’s a day that changed the trajectory of my family’s life forever. On December 9, 2011, I attended a neighborhood cookie exchange where one of my sweet neighbors announced that she was expecting her fourth child. Now as a very busy mother of 3 children, I would normally have thought something like, “Wow, that’s crazy.” But that night something went horribly wrong. My soul felt a familiar pang of emptiness, a dreaded longing that had been with me since the birth of my last baby. Where was my fourth child, my daughter Delaney? To keep from sounding like a crazy person, let me just explain that after having 3 children the old fashioned way, my husband and I are officially done having children biologically. But nonetheless, I still had this feeling that a little girl with the name Delaney was missing from our family. We had picked the name before we knew that I was carrying our son during my last pregnancy and somehow it had just stuck with us. We would often joke about what a handful she would have been.
I left the party and came home and explained to my husband that I just didn’t understand why I still had this feeling 2 years later. By then I was in tears and completely beside myself. I did what I always do when I need to be alone with God. I hid in the bathroom. Don’t ask me why, God gets it and we’ve had some good bathroom chats over the years. For months I had been praying that God would break my heart for what broke his, which by the way I don’t recommend unless you are willing to turn your life upside down. At that moment, I suddenly felt like my heart was going to break into pieces. I finally fell asleep praying that God would either take this feeling away for good or show me where Delaney is in a dream or whatever. I’m pretty sure I said specifically in a dream, but I don’t want to sound like I’m bossy or anything because you know he’s God and he can do whatever he wants.
The next morning, my husband was at work and I was checking my email/hiding from my kids for a moment when I received an email from a website called www.rainbowkids.org. It’s a website that lists children with minor to severe special needs who are available for adoption all around the world. A friend had shared the site with me a year earlier when I had mentioned that we had always discussed the possibility of adopting a fourth child, but the timing just never seemed right. I had never received any emails from them before so I jumped on rainbowkids and sorted the names of the waiting children by alphabetical order. The entire time I was thinking about what a futile exercise this was and how I should really be doing dishes or some other dreaded task. As I got down through the D’s, my heart about stopped beating as I saw a little Chinese girl who the American adoption agency had listed with the name Delaney (her actual Chinese name is different). It took my breath away. Could this be her? Surely it was just a coincidence. She could have been sitting on this list for months now. And then I looked at the date her information was posted…yesterday. The day my heart cried out in anguish.
On March 5, 2012, we called the adoption agency to let them know that we were ready to begin the paperwork to bring our daughter Delaney home. And the missing piece of our family puzzle fell into place. Our adoption agent’s response to our phone call was, “Congrats on finding your baby Delaney.” Found at last. God did it. To Him be the glory!