Monday, February 11, 2008

Antoinette's Adoption Date

Well the news came. Antoinette will be adopted on February 24.

That means I am trying to get everything ready for her which is a big job. I believe in keeping very detailed records and then giving them to the parents. I have taken hundreds of photos and I also pass that along. I think my favorite project is the scrapbooks which combine the two. I know that for many adopted children their past is a big question mark filled with questions that will never be answered. Only one picture with lingering questions of when did I sit up, laugh, walk? I hope that one day these books will bring some healing to their little hearts as they read about themselves and experiences they had at Starfish.

The trouble is getting the scrapbooks here to Xian from San Diego. You have no idea how many people are helping. Virginia has been coordinating some friends and they put together two 12x12 inch scrapbooks for Antoinette. They also did that in record time. Thank you so much ladies. I am so grateful for all your hard work, your creativity and the money you have spent. It is such a precious memento for her. To make it even better Virginia makes photocopies for me and so I have a scrapbook for Angel and Michael at the foster home. Benjamin and Sarah's are also done and so I will get those in the next few weeks. Virginia has done such an awesome job and I am so grateful. She makes me look good. There is no way that I would have nearly the amount of time it takes to scrapbook for a baby never mind five, Gabriel is next on the list. There also also other smaller scrapbooks that have been completed by Naomi and her groups of scrapbookers and another by Trey for his Eagle project so you can see that she will know about her past.

Rich is flying to Hong Kong from San Francisco and from there he will then FedEx the scrapbooks. I had two friend go to HK but we could not get the dates to match up and so the last option is FedEx.

I got some really great adoption outfits for Antoinette (Thanks Cindy) as a donation and she is also having craisans (dried cranberries) delivered from the US. The child loves raisins, craisins and nuts not to mention chocolates. She loves it when they all come together like chocolate covered raisins and nuts. At night, I snuggle with her under the blankets on the couch and watch her favorite Teletubbies and Wiggles before she goes to sleep and my head takes a picture so my heart will remember.

So here is the sign that maybe Antoinette is ready to be leaving us too. Today she came to me and said gwei jia which means go home. I was surprised at this request because she was home but she wanted to go and visit a family she had played with earlier in the week. My heart lurched as I now knew how to explain to this precious child of mine that she too was going to have her very own home. I knew that if I explained to her that she was going to gwei jia that she could understand, maybe not completely but that there would be the hope of having something special. The love of a mom and a dad and I hope some siblings who would help her to feel that she was home.

I have never really been on the other side of an adoption. I saw with Toni and Paul recently the amount of preparation that takes place as they wait for their daughter whose paperwork should be arriving any day now. Being in China the process is a little different and on a fast speed track. They get to travel a few weeks after the envelope arrives from the CCAA. I wonder about this Spanish family that is loving Antoinette sight unseen from afar and I wonder about what they are doing to prepare for her and how much they are wanting her. I think about them making travel arrangements, the excitement of flying to a far away place to get a daughter they have wanted for so long. I wish I could have communicated with them before the adoption like I have done with the other families. I feel so much more assured that the others are going to good homes because I have learned about the families and I feel that this has made the difference because I know what is going to happen to my my babies. Right now for me this is huge unanswered question.

I am so glad that I have had the chance to love her and to take care of her. She has taught me so much about my capacity to endure, to love and to be a mom. I so treasure her calling me Manna. She helped me be confident in taking care of babies and has been a little pioneer in my life showing me a different road. One which I would never have guessed I would even be on. I thought spinsterhood was in the cards for me with lost of traveling and a well paying job. Antoinette was one of the first children who showed me that Heaven Father had other plans for me.

Once she get adopted I will write and tell you a really interesting story about her. You will be blown away.

Life, Love and Laughter,

(Or also known as Antoinette's Manna)

Starfish Foster Home


Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I can't tell you enough Amanda what wonderful work you and all the other ladies do for these kids... especially now that Antoinette's going to be leaving her 'comfort zone' and onto a new life of her own with her own 'forever family'... best of luck... take care

Carol said...

That just brought me to tears...........My girl is from Xian...Hope Haven in Xianyang........

redmaryjanes said...

I have been thinking about you and your courage. I know how much you love that little girl. God Bless you Amanda. You will always live in each others hearts.

Jana said...

What a sweet post. I can only imagine how torn you must be ... letting her go ... and letting her go to her forever family. Your strength and compassion continue to amaze me. God Bless you and all of those precious children for whom you care.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I will miss antoinette too! thanks for letting me get to know her through your love, pictures and writings. I'll pray for you and her in the adventure that lies ahead. love - heidi