Well, near the end of July, just before our dossier was going to be sent to China, we got an e-mail from our agency saying that they had a file they wanted to talk to us about. We called and were told there was a little girl living in one of their partnership orphanages whose file was being prepared. The coordinator said that the girl had a minor heart condition that had already been repaired (so she fit our desire for minor/correctable needs), but that she was older than we were open to on our paperwork. "She'll be turning four at the end of the year," we heard, and immediately thought of Jonas's fourth birthday on December 23rd. At that point, she couldn't reveal the girl's exact birthdate, but she laughed and said, "Well, there are a few days difference between them!"
We agreed to look at the file, knowing that there was no harm in checking it out. Our agency is very understanding of clients saying "no" to files that don't feel right, so we didn't feel any pressure or stress about looking at it. Their theory is that one family saying "no" allows the child's meant-to-be family to say "yes." Our coordinator said that she'd send the file that evening (including pictures), and we could think about it for a few days. I refreshed my e-mail feed every two seconds all night long until I finally had to go to sleep! I woke up early the next morning, and it was finally there.
Zack and I opened the attachments and looked at the pictures and video together. We often get asked if we knew right away that Jonas or this girl were "our children." And I know several adoptive parents do feel something special when they see their kid's picture for the first time. That's not the case for us. Personally, I just kind of think, "Hmmm...okay..." That's what happened for both Jonas and this girl. Maybe it's just my rational, left-brained personality...I don't know. For what it's worth, when we met Jonas in person, I did feel like, "Okay, this is definitely MY son!" So, sorry to disappoint, but we didn't see her picture and fall in love and say, "Let's do it!"
|AAC Adoption Agency Fee Sheet|
So we said yes. And that decision cost us $660! We had to pay $300 to get a home study addendum, since our original one said we were approved for a child up to age three. We also had to pay $330 to USCIS for a Supplement 3 to our I-800A form. Basically that means that the US immigration department had approved us to adopt one child up to the age of three, and that needed changed as well. Pretty ridiculous, eh? We were originally quite annoyed and wondered if it was a sign that we shouldn't go through with it, but we're trusting that when this girl joins our family, we'll understand why she was meant to be a Keys kid, and that we'd gladly pay $660 to have her be ours forever!