During the summer of 2003, we began to discuss adding to our family. We already had two beautiful girls, one then 9 year-old biological daughter, and our then little 2 year-old, adopted from China. We knew we wanted to adopt again from China. We also knew that there was still an older little girl waiting in China for us. We knew this because for our first adoption, we had stated that we would accept referral of a child up to the age of 5 years. We were surprised – and ultimately delighted – with a much younger referral.
During the time that had lapsed since our first adoption, we came to learn about Chinas Waiting Child Program. We also came to learn that this was one sure way to find our daughter! So, in early September 2003, we began to look in earnest for a little girl somewhere between the ages of our two daughters. I had reviewed many agencies lists, joined various support groups, arming myself with information and steeling myself for a long wait. Then, just after Labor Day weekend, I discovered Heritage Adoption Services Waiting Child China Program, and learned of a little girl on their list who was then 5 years-old. Her special need was a difference in limb length, causing her to walk with a slight limp. I thought, We can do this! and emailed Vicki. Vicki very promptly contacted me, providing me several pictures and more detailed medical information. I was smitten.
Next, I emailed my husband, who was in Geneva, Switzerland, on a business trip. I remember sitting impatiently on the phone with him, waiting for the photo of our daughter-to-be to arrive in his in-box! There was silence, and then, my husband said, Lets light this candle! Well, now just 7 months later to the day, we are home with our newest daughter, now age 6, and we could not be happier! She is a bright, funny child, who fits in perfectly with our other two girls!
Adopting an older child can pose special concerns, as can adopting a child with a particular medical need, and adopting out of birth order. Vicki and Kathy guided us gracefully through these concerns. We were able to send letters, photos, and packages to our daughter, helping to prepare her to meet us. Vicki and Kathy also arranged English tutoring for our daughter several months in advance of traveling to meet her. We were provided updated medical and developmental information during our wait. At every stage of the process, it was evident to us that both Vicki and Kathy have all of these wonderful childrens best interests in their hearts and minds. Should we be lucky enough to find ourselves in the position to adopt again, my first phone call would be to Vicki to ask her about Heritages beautiful waiting children!!!