Now some of you may believe in signs and some of you may think it's just a bunch of bunk. But I'm here to tell you these things could not be ignored. What were the signs, you ask. Well, the first one came the next morning.
After a very emotional day and night, begging God for a sign to show me what I was supposed to do, I turn on the TV and see the next movie listed on the screen is called "High Road To China." I just sat there in disbelief. No way. I mean, is God really that literal? Surely that's just a coincidence... and I shake it off.
The next day, one of my co-workers walks by my desk on his cell phone discussing lunch plans with someone. Just making conversation, I ask "So what's for lunch?" He answers "Chinese." Hmmmm... I scratched my head. A sign?
Later that same day, while still at work, I was walking down a hallway I've walked down probably a hundred times before. I'm having a conversation with my partner about these crazy signs I've seen and my internal conflict over this decision. I turn my head to the right and stop mid-sentence. On the wall in front of me is a poster I swear I've never noticed before. And yet, it's always been there. It has a picture of a terra cotta warrior and says across the top "Eternal China". This is starting to get freaky!
The next day, I'm on the phone with the bank. I'd already made the decision to refinance my house. It had nothing to do with my motherhood plans. Just that my interest rate had gotten too high.
I'm talking to the lady on the other end trying to ask to speak to the woman who wrote my original loan. She was very easy to work with, I liked her and wanted to deal with her again. But I couldn't remember her last name, only that her first name was Amy.
I'm explaining this to the woman on the phone when she asks "Is sheeeeeee......?" and she draws it out like it's not politically correct to say Asian. Like she's waiting for me to say it. So I do. "Asian? Yes, she is." She replies "Oh yes. That's Amy Li. She's Chinese."
Well, of course she is. Did I really expect something different? I did ask for a sign after all.
So I refinance my loan and it works out that I end up with a $15,000 home equity line of credit just sitting there ready to be used if I ever need it. That wasn't part of the refinance plan but just worked out that way. Another sign? Maybe.
But here is what I think is the biggest sign of all. The one I couldn't ignore even if I'd tried. Remember the singles quota? The waiting lists that most agencies have? Some that are as long as 2 years? Remember how hard it is to find an open singles spot?
Well, after seeing all of these signs pointing me towards China and after much thought and reflection, I make the decision to go forward with this adoption plan. I sign on with the adoption agency that said I could start my paperchase in August '06.
But 2 days before that, I'd gotten a response from another agency I'd contacted inquiring as to their waiting list status. This agency tells me they have an open singles spot RIGHT NOW that I can have if I'm interested.
Of course, I freak out because I'm not ready! I mean, just a couple of weeks before this Plan A was gonna happen a year from now. But then I switched gears to Plan B and even that was starting sooner than I'd expected. I wasn't ready. Not so soon. Not yet. I needed more time to prepare. Because I'm a planner. Anyone who knows me, knows I really need to have a plan for something this big. So reluctantly, I turned down the spot.
But then I started getting more and more comfortable with my decision to adopt and realized in my heart that I was 100% committed to it. And now I was ready. I wanted my baby home much sooner rather than later. I realized with the timeline I was on, it could be 2 years or more before I would have my daughter in my arms. I regretted turning down that open singles spot.
But everything happens for a reason, right? I needed to be patient. This was the path I was being led down and everything would happen in the time it was meant to happen. But still, just to put my mind at ease with that, I decided to call the other agency to inquire about the spot.
By now over a week had passed. I knew as hard as those spots were to come by surely someone else had already taken it. At least then I could reassure myself that I was on the timeline I was meant to be on and the spot was not meant for me and I could put it to rest.
So I call .... and IT'S STILL AVAILABLE!! She asks if I want it? I almost passed out. This was unheard of. How could it still be available?! I felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think straight. I completely freaked out. The China coordinator was kind enough to give me a couple of days to make a decision.
After I pick myself up off the floor, I call my mom, my sister and a best friend. What do I do? Should I do this now? They all say yes.
I tell my mom "But I had a plan. With the other agency's timeline, I had time to save the money along the way. I don't have the money to start right now." (I'm very frugal. You'd have to know me to really understand my thought process here.) My mom reminds me that I have money in savings and I have the home equity line just sitting there.
"So what's the difference if you save the money forward or you borrow it and pay it back" she says. Oh yeah... she's right.
To quote my friend Lisa, her words were "Don't be a chickenshit! Go for it!"
And my sister said, "Well, it's about time. I was beginning to think my kids were never gonna get any cousins."
It was a unanimous decision. My daughter was in China and I was supposed to start working right now on getting over there to get her.
So I called the agency and accepted the spot on February 17th, 2006. Four days after my 34th birthday. I finished my paperchase in record time. My dossier was logged in China on June 14th. Almost exactly 4 months later.
I have absolutely no regrets. I already love this little girl more than I ever thought it was possible to love another human being. And I don't even know her yet. I'm ready to be a mother and I know without a doubt this is the journey I'm supposed to take to get there. It just took me awhile to figure it out.
And one more sign. While cleaning to prepare for a garage sale I had in May, I came across a folder which contained the newspaper clippings of the columnist's journey to her daughter in China. The article that first put the idea of China adoption in my head 5 years ago. I hadn't even realized I'd kept them.