To China, In Search Of Our Second Child.....

August 29, 2008

.....Or So We Thought! (The Story of Sarah)

I feel the need to briefly pick up where I left off yesterday, the stress of my illness definitely took a toll on my marriage and almost immediately following my remission, Nick's father and I divorced......for reasons I will never explain here, they are private. We continue to live in close proximity and remain very amicable...we have an arrangement that works and Nick gets to spend time with both of us.

Nick and I were living on our own and my life seemed to be good, I was healthy and had an amazing son. About 2 years later is when I met my husband Pat. We fell in love quickly and knew that there would be marriage in our future.

As we got to know each other, the topic of children came up and this was one of my greatest fears going into a new relationship....Although Pat was 7 years older than I was, he had never been married and didn't have any children...he was raised in a large Irish Catholic family and is one of six siblings....I knew how important family was to him. I laid everything out on the table about my illness and inability to have children and his response...."I am open to other ways of expanding our family, we will figure it out.......when the time is right we will explore all of our options together" Did I ever mention what a wonderful man I married?

Pat and I married about 2 years after we met......soon after our wedding, we bought our first was a perfect starter home for a small family. As our first anniversary approached we were ready to expand our family....we decided to explore adoption.

I did a ton of research and we were pretty much headed in the direction of International Adoption.....Domestic Adoption seemed a little scary given our state laws and we had decided that Open Adoption was something we were not prepared to handle, so we landed on China.

Very soon after we decided on China, I started interviewing different agencies........after a few phone calls and in person interviews we had made our decision. I usually go with my guy instinct and I felt very comfortable with the agency we chose.

We started our Paperchase in January of 2006 and we were officially logged into China's system on May 12, 2006.....this is when the real wait began!!

It seemed my life was consumed with what was going on in China......the referrals came out each month and the wait grew longer and longer. We wanted to do a lot of things, like plan summer vacations, and possibly move into a larger home, but we always said....What if our referral comes? It seemed like our lives were on hold.....after some back and forth we decided to build a small addition on our home to help accommodate a new child without having to move!

At the last minute, we got scared and felt this wasn't he right thing to this point it looked as though the wait was going to continue to climb.....Pat and I decided we were going to build a new home.....we would definitely have time to get in and settled before we would have to go to China.

We were thrilled to be building our new home and I was happy to have something to take my mind off the wait! They broke ground in mid August and we were scheduled to move in the January of 2007! Everything looked to be on schedule.....we listed our home in October and it sold in 5 days! Our buyers were willing to wait until our home was perfect...I had visions of living with my parents until we could move in!

As we approached November our focus was on our house.....endless meetings with contractors to go over last minute changes and tons of shopping to furnish the inside of our home.

I remember this particular day like it was yesterday, I had picked Nick up from school and we were heading over to walk through our new house and I promised him ice cream afterwards! When we came out of the ice cream shop, I checked my phone....I had a this is where the story of Sarah begins.

The message I got was very matter of fact, I returned the call to hear about a domestic adoption opportunity.....I was in a state of complete shock and excitement!

Here there was a baby that was going to be born in the next couple of weeks that did not have a home and we were asked if we would consider adopting this baby.

I could not drive my car fast enough.....and as I was driving I kept calling Pat....he was at work and not answering his phone. I finally reached him once we got home.....I don't even remember what I said, but I must have been rambling....his response was not what I expected to hear. "Honey, our child is in China, we discussed this and we both agreed, open adoption is not for us"

I explained that I didn't have all of the info, but I was positive they were looking for a closed adoption.....they didn't want to know us, and they didn't want us to know them!

He came home from work and we decided that we would at least get more information before we made our decision......we had a meeting that Sunday and I was convinced that this was a sign and this child was meant to be ours. Pat was not so sure.....keep in mind he is a very cautious person...the call that we got was not expected and took us by complete surprise...I think he was a little scared!

It was a rough week of back and forth.....why we should or should not do this, after all there were a lot of risks involved.....We were both very concerned for bring this baby home and make her a part of our family and not know if the birth parents were going to change their minds would have been devastating to us all.

I could not eat, I could not sleep, I could not function until I knew that we were both in agreement that this child was coming home to us......after many tears and conversations with everyone in our family and our parish priest, we decided we needed to put our fears aside and take this little girl.

We got the best adoption attorney we could find and got schooled very quickly about the laws of adoption in our state. Now it was time to wait.....we decided only to tell our immediate family incase anything happened. Everyone was excited and scared at the same time. According to the information, we had about 6 weeks before she was due to arrive. I could not bring myself to buy anything....I was so scared I would jinx myself. I would drive to baby stores all over town and just look at all the beautiful things I wanted to buy for my new baby girl.

The next week I was at work and telling my boss what was going on.....also gently telling him I was going to need 8 weeks off. As I started to tell him, my cell phone rang.......Sarah was on her way!!! I couldn't believe it......we were in his office screaming. Sarah was going to be born in a few short hours and I had nothing....not a diaper, not a bottle, nothing!!!

I immediately called Pat and the rest of our family......I drove home in record time.....went straight to the baby store and starting throwing things in my cart.....I had no idea what I was buying.....anything I could find.....I must have bought every pink outfit in the store....I think it was my favorite and best shopping trip ever!

Both Pat and I got home from work and although we could not see her, we were sent her very first picture.....isn't technology grand!!! We both fell in love the minute we saw her face...she was gorgeous and perfect in every way!

They thought that Sarah would be released the very next morning and she would be brought to us less than 24 hours old......the doctors did not let her go right away, so we got her the following morning....36 hours old and she was on her way to meet her Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother for the first time!

What a glorious day....we were all dressed in pink waiting for her to come to our door.....I will never forget the small face that looked lost in that big baby carrier....she was so tiny and so beautiful......what a miracle she was.....the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for!

Our house was filled with a lot of excitement and visitors over the next few weeks....everyone coming to catch a glimpse of our new addition. I felt like I was on such a high....I barely slept or ate....I spent every waking second staring at the gorgeous child we were given.....I had to pinch myself often because I just could not believe she was ours!

The next 4 weeks were painstaking long as we crossed off each day on the calendar hoping to get to the 30 day mark when her birth parents could no longer legally contest the adoption.

We made it and boy did we celebrate when we reached this milestone......she was ours, we just needed to await our court date so we could get the official certificate!

Sarah was 8 weeks old and when we packed up our entire house.....she was such a great baby....she slept a lot and ate right on schedule. We would carry her room to room in her little seat so we could watch her sleep as we unpacked all of our things.

We were thrilled not to have an empty room waiting to become a was the only room we had not decorated, but when Sarah became part of our family that quickly changed.....her room was painted pink and green and awaited the beautiful furniture I had eyed up on one of my early shopping trips!

No one could have imagined as we looked to China for our child that we would have an opportunity like this.....we consider ourselves extremely blessed to have 2 beautiful and healthy children.

We talked with our agency at great length and we kept our dossier logged in for what will now be our third child!

Sarah's life has changed us and the dynamics of our family.....we are forever indebted to her birthparents....I think of them often....they have given us the greatest gift of all....the miracle of this beautiful child!

Here are some of my favorite photos of Sarah's first year!

The first day we met Sarah....a very proud brother and daddy!

Sarah's first day with us....this time Daddy is taking the picture!

I love this picture....Sarah is just days old and Nick is so proud...she looks like a little doll on his lap!

Learning to sit up.....a little unsteady, but long enough for Mommy to snap a picture!

Here I am in the court house....this was the day my adoption was final and official!

Almost enough hair to get a pony on top of my head!!

We were out to eat when this picture was taken....not lovin the bib, but her face and those ponytails are priceless!

My first birthday and my very own cake.....YUM!


Cindi said...

I've been watchin' for this! OH MY GOODNESS - what a story!

Thanks so much for sharing such an amazing journey! And it has just begun, for your family!

It is so obvious that Sarah was meant just for you...

And before you know it, you'll be writing about your little one from China...

a Tonggu Momma said...

God sometimes amazes me with the twists and turns to our lives. Thank you for sharing such a precious and personal story.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

What an amazing story! Isn't it funny how God has His own plans...I just love it!

4D said...

What an amazing story! Funny where life leads you...

Keep smilin!

M,R,J1,J2 said...

Everything happens for a reason!
I love that you're all dressed in pink in Sarah's honor. Both of your children surely did come in miraculous ways.
Happy Labor Day WE (I'm hoping to head over to Cocoa Beach tonight for a cold one)!
Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it's almost 2 years already. She is beautiful.

Jboo said...

Oh my -- what an amazing story! You are indeed blessed! Love the photos -- with you all wearing pink when you met her -- too sweet! Have a fun long weekend!


Kate said...

How much fun was that to read the story of Sarah!!! You have such marvelous, touching details to share with all of your children about how they entered your family and all that you did to bring them in. Lovely....just lovely...and morethan a little tearjerking!!

Hats off to you my friend for taking the high road on that certain issue....I might not have been so kindly inclined!!


Jodee said...

I so enjoyed reading Sarah's story. What a wonderful surprise! She was the perfect addition to your family. You are so blessed!

I love all of her baby pictures, however, I especially love the one of all of you in pink! I never wore pink until I had Kamree!

Thanks for sharing Sarah's story! I can't wait to follow your journey to China!

Shell in your Pocket said...

Thank you for is precious and short for all of us...God heals and takes us through amazing and surprising journeys.

Sarah is so sweet!

-Sandy Toes

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Hi! I saw you over on Carrie's (queen bee's) site a few minutes ago. Glad I link over. This is a beautiful story! I am so happy for your amazing story. I must have been a long road and sounds like you are still on the journey, but what a cute little family you have!

Looking forward to chatting with you more!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

That was such a sweet story... I was adopted and knew about that for as long as I can recall... can't wait for your daughter to come from China... we will get there...

Kim said...

Amazing story.. and you are a very strong lady...
LOVE the last two post..
Hugs to you.
Have a great Weekend..

Our Complete Family said...

Oh my this is an amazing story you have shared with us! It gave me goosebumps, made me smile, made me cry, made me laugh...made me wish you guys lived close by because you are for sure a family we would love to have as real life friends to hang out with!!! Happy day wishes to you and your sweet, sweet family hun! ~ Les

Kathryn said...

What a beautiful story and it is amazing how God works his wonderful miracles!!!! You have a beautiful family and your story is moving. Thank you for sharing your journey, it's inspiring.
Now we wait for China.

Shari said...

What a WONDERFUL story! I have this great mental picture of you running through the store like you've won a 2 minute shopping spree:)
God certainly has blessed you with a wonderful family...

Rebecca Lily said...


This touched my heart... I love hearing how families come together. It is truly amazing.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

Many blessings to you & yours!


Kay Bratt said...

Reading through the comments I keep seeing the word "amazing" over and over. I can't come up with a better one--and I'll have to agree. What a gift for you to share your story with the world. It is a story of hope--and those are the ones that God has written.


kerri said...

Again tears(of joy), what a moving and wonderful story for a woman who deserves so much in life.
I'm so happy that you were blessed.
Thanks for sharing...

Becky said...

You are truly an amazing woman. Your last two posts have had me in tears. Thanks you for sharing these stories of your life.

Hugs to you!

Lisa said...

Love it! God chose her for your family! AMAZING! I'm so glad you shared your story. Now God will choose your 3rd child...I can't wait to follow that journey. You are one blessed momma!!!!

Michelle R Photography said...

I have noticed that we have several of the same bloggy friends, so I decided to pop over today. I am so grateful that I did. I just finished reading your last two posts, with tears in my eyes. Yours is an amazing story. Praise God for healing your cancer and for bringing these two beautiful children into your life!!

jenbusymom said...

Your story brought me to tears, really truly amazing! Thanks for sharing! How lucky your precious little girl is to be so wanted and loved.

Denise C said...

Ok....I love this chapter too, Lisa! Miss Sarah's story is so precious! Such a sweet precious little bundle of pink joy! Thank you for sharing these special stories with us here....they have deeply touched my heart!
Love and Hugs!

Football and Fried Rice said...

Wow. God's Sweet Providence. He knew what your family needed - and He knew what Sarah needed. and He matched you together. She was knit in the womb for YOU....what an amazing story & the leap of faith that you & Pat took....ahhh, I have chills just thinking about how you guys must have felt... and what a perfect, precious little girl. Your middle child :)

Shelly and Family said...

Oh Lisa...what a beautiful and inspiring story of how you guys became a family of 4...waiting to be 5! Isn't it amazing where one journey you are taking can lead you...

Thank you for sharing....

Deb said...

Wow what a beautiful story! The 30 day wait must have felt like months!
Thanks for giving us a glimps of dreams coming true. It gives me hope.

Sylvia said...

WOW! What a wonderful story!

Heather said...

Oh my... thank you so much for sharing the innermost parts of your life, so that we may be moved by your story.

I am so thankful you are healthy and happy and waiting for that precious third baby just meant to be part of your beautiful family.

Now, I will anxiously follow, waiting for your newest addition.

I have visited beafore, but never commented and when reading your story, just had to tell you - I got up twice for kleenex!

God's plan is always the biggest and brightest:)

Blessings for a wonderful week.


Bridget said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I always beleieve that things happen for a reason and I am so happy that Sarah came into your famiily's life. I loved reading all of the details - it made me think about our referral day - you will always remember that special day. Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to your next chapter from China:)

Anonymous said...

I am sitting in my office with tears in my eyes! What an amazing story and what a precious baby girl. Life has a way of throwing us the most beautiful surprises!



Michelle said...

The journey to both your children was simply miraculous, and they are both evidence of a much higher power working in our lives. I love how are children arrive in our lives and they are just perfect for us ... you are blessed.

3 Peanuts said...

Your story is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

I think you live near my sister in PA!

Monogramchick said...

What a beautiful story, God is an awesome God!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog and this is such a neat story. Thanks so much for sharing your blessing!

Trina said...

I found you thru Heather's blog. What a lovely story!

These Are The Days said...

I finally got a chance to read this and thanks so much for sharing. I love hearing others stories and you are a very blessed family. :) Isn't it crazy how things work out?

ABW said...

I just stumbled on your blog, started looking at your amazing pictures and was touched when I read this story!

Ash said...

I stumbled upon your blog. God is amazing. Your family is amazing. Wishing you long health and much happiness.
Blessings to you, and I Hope 2009 is the year you see your sweet China daughters face.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Unspoken said...

Lisa, this is a love story of hope and answered prayer and new beginnings...You have no idea how this encouraged me. Thank you for sharing it with me!


God's Girl said...

What an amazing story! How blessed you are! : )

Ashia said...

WOW, i am blown away! i did not realize that sarah was adopted until tonight, and i've been following your blog for a while now! what a wonderful story!!! God is so good!

Lula Lola said...

I've got cold chills! She's beautiful! I hope the rest of your story unfolds just as beautifully!

Sharon said...

Oh my goodness.... if only I could see through the tears in my eyes to make a comment!

Angela@the crazyness that is me said...

What a lovely story! I am amazed at how different the adoption laws are in the USA. Here in New Zealand you can not take the baby home until they are 12 days old but from that day on the birth parents can not contest the adoption. I couldn't imagine waiting 30 days! What a wonderful family you all are and I hope you have all settled well after your trip to China. :)