A Skye Full of Stars
Oh what a crazy few weeks it's been! While we were working with one agency to get Kai's file transferred, our adoption agency posted on its public waiting child profiles a little girl named Yi Min. As soon as we saw her, Kathie contacted CCAI and asked for the opportunity to review her file. We weren’t the first. We were notified that there were a lot of families who had already asked to view her paperwork and were ahead of us in line.
To us, there was just something about this precious girl that we couldn't let go of. We prayed that she'd find a family, even if that family wasn't us. We checked our agency’s website several times a day to see if her picture had those magical words attached: "My family has found me!" Whenever we talked our agency staff on different matters, we were sure to let them know that we were still interested in precious Yi.
During one conversation Kathie had with our agency’s staff, she was told that chances were very slim that we'd get an opportunity to review Yi's file. There were so many folks still on the list ahead of us, and on top of that, her file was scheduled to be returned to the Chinese Children's Welfare Agency in the next couple of weeks. David was sure to communicate to them that they shouldn't do that without letting us see her file! It was so sad to think her file might have to be returned without her finding her forever family when we knew we would accept her in a heartbeat. We knew, though, that every agency has certain protocol to follow.
Each day, several times a day, we continued to check the website. Had she been matched yet? No! How could it be that no one had accepted this sweet little girl yet?! It was breaking our hearts at the thought that her file might go back, and then who knew what would happen with her.
David’s part of the story: I checked on Yi's page three or four times a day. I had told the ladies in my office about how this girl just called to us, but that there was little to no hope of getting her. On Thursday, September 18th, I checked on her page, saw she wasn't yet matched, and emailed Kathie with, "I have to stop looking at Yi's file, but I can't." She replied that she knew what I meant and how hard it was. I had to tour the hospital that day with a regional engineer. Our hospital has several areas where it's difficult to get a cell signal, and that day the wireless network had also gone out. As we toured, we went into the surgery area, suddenly my phone started vibrating.
I had texts, voicemails, and e-mails from Kathie asking for me to call her ASAP. I walked to a window to get better reception and called. Our agency had sent us Yi’s file!! Everyone else had passed on her file. I knew right away and told Kathie to say yes. I knew that if God brought her file to us that she was, without a doubt, our daughter. I said "yes" without looking at her file. It was pretty emotional. I cried there in the surgery department and for the next two days was overwhelmed that we were going to be able to bring this girl home.
Kathie’s part of the story: It was crazy how things for this adoption have been working. Within a week of having our application approved, we had already found Kai. His referral fell into our laps in a really crazy way and we fell in love with this adorable little guy. A day or so after we had his file, and while waiting to see if his file could be transferred to our agency, this sweet little girl’s profile showed up on our agency’s website. She had quite a few medical needs and it was obvious she was going to need a lot in the way of surgery/therapy/etc. once home, but there was just something about her that pulled at my heart so much. You read above how we were on a waiting list to see her file and were told several times that there was little to no chance that we’d ever get to see it. I was so heartsick seeing her picture on the website day after day. I kept praying that God would let her get matched soon, that I wished it could be us, but that I just wanted her to have a family. Now, these kids all break our hearts and we pray that they all will find their forever family and not have to wait so long, but this was so much different. I didn’t know why it was different, but it felt just heartwrenching. I also just knew that if by some crazy chance we did get her file, God meant for us to be her family.
The day we received her file had been super busy. Our oldest son had just been offered a publishing contract that morning and we had been busy with all of that, plus the normal day-to-day stuff with the girls at home and work. It was my mid-day work break that the e-mail came and I about fell over! The e-mail said they needed an answer ASAP because her file was going back very soon (turns out, the very next week and this was Thursday), so I tried to reach David, but couldn’t get him on his work phone or his cell phone at all. I wanted to call our agency and just tell them yes already, but wanted to double-check with David because this was a big deal. I was freaking out, so I called my mom. She came right over (she lives next door anyway) and I showed her Yi’s paperwork and pictures. Like I said, Yi has a lot going on medically, and in looking at everything she is going to need, I felt like we must be crazy. I kept telling Mom that it doesn’t make sense to accept her file, she needs so much, what are we thinking, we have got to be crazy…but despite all that, there was absolutely NO WAY I could say no to her. When I clicked on the first video of her, I started sobbing because it was so clear. I knew as certainly as I knew my own name that God meant for her to be daughter. How amazing!! It wasn’t too much longer before David called me asking why I had tried every communication mode known to mankind to try and get in touch with him, and, well, you know the rest of the story. Sooooo, we submitted the required paperwork and received Yi’s pre-approval on Sept. 29th.
We also now knew why others had passed on her file...because she was not their daughter. We have heard from a few of them and it was the same story…they just didn’t feel like they were the family she was supposed to be in. To them, I am so grateful they said no! God brought our girl that we thought we'd never have a chance to receive. Later in the day, our agency’s website had those oh-so-magical words under her photo: "My family has found me!"
So, without further ado, here are the 2 newest Steinbergs in all their adorable-ness, Kai Benjamin and Skye Isabella!