Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Moments of Confirmation Part Four

One of the great blessings of this adoption journey is the chance to share it with others who have either been on the same journey to adoption from China or who are walking that journey now as well. There have been great moments of confirmation that have come from walking this path alongside others. 

Since we moved here in 2009, it has been our pleasure to get to know Debby Baugher at Druid Hills UMC and her daughters Lindsi and Jami (both adopted from China). Her girls and our boys get along very well together. For the last two years they have spent just about every afternoon together throughout the entire month of October at the Pumpkin Patch. For the last several months, Lindsi and Parker have ridden their bikes to school together a few days a week. When we first started getting serious about adoption, I went to lunch with Debby and she has been so gracious in sharing books and resources with our family about adoption and about China. It was her recommendation that led to our homestudy social worker. A email conversation with an adoptive mom blogger named Stefanie that Debby recommended led us to our adoption agency. Even Debby's mom Joyce has been a resource in reviewing our son's medical file. 

Last August we got together again for lunch and met up with another adoptive mom Betsy. Betsy and her husband live here in Ocala and have two boys around the same age as Parker and Wesley. Betsy and her husband were nearing the end of their adoption process to bring home a beautiful little girl from China. The most interesting part of our lunch? Neither of us had met Betsy before - Betsy and Debby had chatted over email and Facebook after being connected by their pediatrician. The three of us had a really nice lunch at getting to know one another; we traded blog addresses and have kept in touch a bit over Facebook. In late October, we happened to run into Betsy and her family at the Rotary Sportsplex. Her son and Parker were playing in the same baseball league and this night they were playing against each other! At this point, Betsy and her husband were just a few days away from traveling to China to bring home their daughter. We followed their trip on their blog. Just a few weeks ago I was able to get together with Betsy for lunch and to hear firsthand about their experiences. We are also looking forward to being part of Families with Children from China (FCC) group in town with the Baughers and other families. Our local chapter operates out of Gainesville and gets together regularly to fellowship and celebrate holidays, like Chinese New Year and the Autumn Moon Festival. 

Besides the in-person folks, there is a large community of adoption related blogs as well as online communities (through Facebook and Yahoo). Daryl and I are members of several groups - one for families from our adoption agency, one for families with children who have cleft lip/palate, one for families with children from the Guangzhou CWI and one for families on the same timeline to travel. These blogs and groups are a wealth of information in terms of what to expect with the process, travel in China, how to parent children with special needs and what to realistically expect in terms of a children's attachment and transition. 

Someone in one of those groups noticed my profile picture of our son Davis and recognized him from a friend's blog. A few clicks of the mouse later and we were connected with a family in the mid-West who had pictures of our boy from last July when he was still living in the CWI. Their family came home with a boy and a girl late last year from Guangzhou. Over the summer they had received an update with several pictures of their daughter. Turns out it was our son sitting next to their daughter on the large yard swing in most of the pictures. 

And it's not just folks who have adopted from China that have been offering support and sharing their stories. Many people in both of our congregations have experienced the blessing of adoption in their own families and have opened up in the last several months to share those precious stories with us. It really is a small world after all. 

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