Journey to Zoe

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Here is a brief history of our decision and adoption process and how we got to where we are today.
I have always wanted to adopt and have a "rainbow family". Our original plan was to have one, adopt one, have one, adopt one. Well God had other plans. Madelyn was born just 18 months after we were married - a little sooner than we were thinking, but that is ok - she is wonderful. I was looking forward to not being pregnant for a while and started looking into adoptions agencies for our next child when Maddy was about 9 months old. Because of China's age restrictions (both parents must be 30 years or older), we were going to try and adopt a boy from Guatemala. We settled on an agency after about two months. At this time it was October 2001, we agreed to take some time for Maddy's birthday and the holidays that were just around the corner and start the official adoption process at the beginning of the year. That had God all over it, because the second week of December we found out that we had gotten pregnant with Jackson back in October and didn't even know it. Needless to say that was alot sooner than anticipated.
Jumping ahead a bit, during and after that pregnancy both Jack and I had a lot of medical problems (he is doing great now!), mine ended in having a hysterectomy to cure the illness. Let me just say that GOD IS GREAT!! Had we not had our two beautiful babies when we did, one or both of them would not be here - or I would not be here, had we waited on the surgery.
Now we are completely open to adopting the child/children God would have in our family, he has done so much, who are we to turn away his children into our home that he would somehow trust us with these lives.
Jumping ahead again. Now October 2003 - while recovering from surgery. I had talked with many adoption agencies over the years, this was my first conversation with anyone at AWAA. They were wonderful (many of the agencies were very nice to talk with), I really felt a sence of the Holy Spirit when talking with them and could really feel that they were genuine. We then attended an adoption seminar with two wonderful friends in November of that year. After that meeting, Bill confirmed what I had been praying for and we decided that we would start the adoption process the next spring for our little girl in China.
Now May 7th 2004, the Friday before Mother's Day - Bill said we can send off the application today!! What a Mother's Day gift!! (Of course I already had it all filled out and was just waiting for the word and the signature)
I have to admit that as much as I wanted to do this, I had my concerns that I would not love her as much or the same way as Jack and Maddy, so there was some reservation there.
May 21st, 2004. We got a phone call that due to the kind of illness I had, we would have to wait another year before we could continue the process. Oh my, it was like loosing a child! (I quickly then realized that I had developed abond with this little child, that I had never seen and didn't even know whether or not she was born yet, just by thinking about her and praying for her - there was no longer any doubt about my ability to love her the same as Jack and Maddy.) I was not taking no or waiting for an answer. I worked in two directions at once, the first was working with my doctor to write a letter explaining in words that would be acceptable to the country of China my true and current condition - which was healthy and normal - and change the wording a bit regarding my past condition, yet still being truthful. The other direction was to look for an adoption agency that we liked to do, what we had been considering our last adoption to be, a little boy from Africa or Haiti. Neither of us felt that the timing was right for a little boy yet, but we both felt that it was the right time to adopt. So not really knowing what the Lord had in mind, we pursued both waiting for the right door to open.
May 28th, 2004 - We were officially approved for the China program!!! We started the long paper process to get our daughter.
October 15, 2004 - All of our paperwork is done and sent off to China today! Now we wait.
Jumping ahead - May 23rd, 2005 - we recieved our referral today! Bei Bei Qi. We are naming her Zoe Keegan Gamble. Birthday 9/5/2004. She is tiny - only 11 pounds at 5 months. Super cute with big brown eyes. She is from the Qi Dong Social Welfare Institute (orphanage) in Hunan Province, China.
We sent a small package with a disposable camera, tiny blanket, and pictures of our family to her, as well as some small appreciation gifts to the caregivers at the orphanage. We leave for China on 7/14 and will return on 7/29.
Flight plan so far - Portland to Tokyo, Tokyo to Beijing - Beijing for 2 days, Beijing to Changsha - Changsha for about 5 days. We get our little girl - we are going to get her our first day in Changsha 7/18 - should be a very big day for all of us! Then we travel from Changsha to Guangzhou and will be there for about 8 days.
We will add more as we prepare to leave and during our journey. Bill will be adding some too - he is a great story teller, so that should be enjoyable for anyone interested in reading about this experience.
Well, I don't know about you , but this had brought so many tears to my eyes that the computer screen is now quite blury, and my sleeves are now wet, so I think this will be the end of my entry for now.


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