As we have done the past two years, Kris and I are taking the kids to the beach for Thanksgiving. I was running late this morning, trying to finish packing. (Can’t pack your deodorant or hair dryer until you’ve used them, y’know?)
My phone rang and it was Anna, our social worker.
She’s probably heard back from Lily, I thought. She had inquired for us again about the two girls we have looked into.
“I have some good news,” Anna said. “It’s not about either of the girls you have been asking about. But the shared list came out last night and Lily locked a file for you guys.”
Okay, keep breathing.
As I was already late to work, it didn’t make sense to turn on the computer. And I didn’t want to look at the file on my phone. So I finished packing, shaking a bit, and rushed to work.
I opened up the photos first. (Name me an adoptive parent that opened the text document first. You can’t, right?)
There’s a chubby little girl with a dusting of white hair. She reminded me of our nephew, Matthias.
She’s younger than the girls we were waiting on — born in 2012 instead of 2011. She’s in Beijing.
I asked my editor Cyndi to print color copies of the photos and walked them down to Kris in the rain. I didn’t even warn him, just walked in the door and pulled the file out of my coat.
With the shared list, you have 48 hours to decide before the file is released and another family can look. But we’re driving down to the Gulf tonight. The agency closes at noon tomorrow for Thanksgiving.
We basically needed to decide immediately.
Kris’ client (Brandy W.) was like “hey, why don’t you guys take a minute to talk?” That’s a good idea. We stepped into the break room.
Kris asked if I felt sick this time. No. I don’t.
We waited TWO YEARS on the girl in Zoe’s province… whose file is maybe possibly at the Civil Affairs office. We could keep knocking on that door or walk through this one.
“We can start writing a new story,” I told Kris.
He said to tell Anna that we’d send a Letter of Intent.
I pointed at the referral photo and asked “doesn’t she remind you of Mike and Raygen’s kids?”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “She looks like family.”
So let’s do this.