So, here is our beautiful girl!!!
Here is our beautiful little girls referral picture-- she is about 21 months in this picture
Another referral picture-- she is so precious I cant stand it!!!
Look at this baby picture of Finley at about 10 months and look at her about 8 months ago-- she looks exactly the same-- just older-- so amazingly beautiful!!!!
We have been so fortunate to get so much info about our little girl including a ton of pictures from when she was little. This is one of the groups that regularly visit and work in Finleys orphanage. Read the story below-- totally amazing work totally 100% orchistraited by GOD!!!!
Finley's Story-- Thus Far
We just accepted a referral for Haoyi (soon to be Finley) who is from Northern China in the Laioning (sp?) province in Fushun SWI. This is on the border of north Korea so this is totally a different part of china then what we expected. She is 2.7 years old and just about the cutest thing in the world. She will be almost exactly 1 year younger than Mia which is exactly what I had hoped for. The story of how we found her is totally God-- really 100% God.
I saw a baby on Rainbow kids that was an agency only kid with CCAI. I called about her and spoke with their waiting child person Deniece. In the midst of the conversation we discussed that we were open to looking at more scary diagnosis that may look scary but may not impact the child very much-- but that most people would not look at because it appears like a scary SN. Anyway, we just spoke for a few and after we hung up the phone, about 15 minutes later she emailed me and said she had a file on her desk that just for some reason she thought might be good for us. She emailed me the basic general info with just a quick picture and said if you are interested we would have to do an application with CCAI and then she could show us the file. We did just that because we were smitten at first glance. It took 2 days but she sent the file and we just fell in love.
She is a repaired Spina Bifida (meningicyl) but seems to be the best case scenario according to the info. She is 2.7 years in Fushun SWI. As you can see from the pictures, she is BEAUTIFUL and has a great personality!!
OK, so we decide to move forward with her but didn't want to switch agencies so I call our agency (Nightlight Christian in So cal) and they are able to find her on the shared list so we lock her file. So totally odd how we found her with another agency just by random chance-- totally God!! She had been on the shared list for a while so we probably would never had seen her.
So we lock her file on Friday but worry we wouldn't be able to get her info to a ped neurosurgeon before our lock runs out on Monday. All of her info was a year old so there could have been a lot that could have happened to her in a year depending on her care so we needed to get some sort of confirmation that she ok at the last update so we didn't worry so much about deterioration. We call the top Spina Bifida clinic about 20 min from our house and they tell us to email their chief ped neurosuregeon the info and he will try to respond. So we did and on Saturday afternoon he actually calls my cell phone to discuss Haoyi. We talk about everything which is all totally amazingly positive. He said, and I quote, "she is the best case scenerio for a SB kid". I was thrilled and on cloud 9. That was confirmation from God that we needed in order to move forward no matter what.
Then that night another online mom emailed me a link to a blog of a lady who is adopting her son from the same SWI. Their SWI has only done a handful of international adoptions and has very few little ones and mostly older kids. Anyway, from her blog I found a link to another blog of a couple who volunteers at her SWI 2 time a year since 2006. There were a ton of pics on their blog and it turned out the SWI is amazing!!! It is literally one of the best. They do so much enrichment and they all care so well for the kids. Our daughter has long hair and they put it in pigtails everyday and overall, they care for the children VERY well!! I was so impressed and didn't know SWI's existed in China like that (mia was foster care). The best part was while looking through the slide shows on his blog I found a picture of our daughter from when she was only about 10 months. She was adorable!!!!
So, I email this wonderful couple and they immediately reply and offer to help try to get pictures. They are very close to the SWI director and consider him a close friend. Furthermore, their daughter just adopted one of the older girls from the SWI who is 13. They just came home 5 weeks ago. Anyway, this couple offered to show our daughters picture to her to see if she remembered her. The SWI has about 50 kids and only about 15 are kids 3 and under so most of the older kids know the little ones and play and interact with them regularly. Anyway, their new granddaughter only speaks mandarin so it turns out that we are currently hosting Chinese students form Changdu so I suggested having their granddaughter talk with my chinese boys to tell us about Haoyi. So, Monday morning she called and spoke with my chinese boys and they asked her a ton of questions-- all of which turned out to be AMAZING!!! She indicated HAoyi is very beautiful and very smart- much smarter than the other kids (according to this girl- not sure what that is based on but that's what she said). She indicated she was shy and did not speak that much (which worried me a bit but our boys said that many little girls do not speak much-- more of a cultural thing-- have you heard of this?) but is social and loves to play with other kids. They said she is happy and she runs and jumps (which is good considering her SB) and that she is potty trained (which is even better with the SB). She said that Haoyi is well liked and that she has only had the one surgery at birth-- no more since. She said she is a typical kid!
I could not believe that our chinese exchange boys were talking to a girl who intimately knows our daughter and has since she was born. I feel like we won the lottery. Furthermore, she is doing great and all the areas of concern (continence, lower leg strength) is great!!! I know it is info from a 13 year old but this is a 13 year old who has known our daughter since she was found. I am thrilled and cant believe we get a peek into her past a bit. I also cant believe we are having this girls grandpa speak with his close friend who is the director of the SWI to get more info on our daughter. Furthermore, we got more pictures of our daughter when she was about 10 months from this couple- they looked through some old trip pictures and found about 5 adorable pictures of our daughter and we got the first picture that Betty had found of the two of them. Who would have ever thought!!! I cant imagine a better scenario. I feel so blessed and that God had totally arranged all of these events so that we could find our daughter. AMAZING CONFIRMATION!!!!
We submitted our Letter of Intent (LOI) Tuesday and this afternoon (Friday) we received our Pre Approval (PA) that we are pre approved to adopt our daughter. We are THRILLED beyond belief and cant wait to get to China.
I will post soon about the next steps but for now-- this is it!!! YAAAAAAA!!