Those of you who followed our adoption journeys to Elli and Graci know how much we love ladybugs! The story goes that one Spring, there was an influx of ladybugs around the nation, followed quickly by adoption referrals for families that had been waiting for a long time. Since that time, ladybugs have become the symbol of good luck in the adoption community. We know that there's really no such thing as luck, but rather a God who loves to have fun with His children! I am not stretching the truth when I say that every single milestone in our adoption journeys have been marked with ladybug sightings of some kind or other. All of these sightings have been fun and unique, but one takes the cake. It was when my dear friend, Heather, sent me a Valentine package in the mail. Heather had originally had Graci's file, and she and her husband wanted so much to adopt her, but it didn't feel right. Jeremy and I had decided to pursue her adoption and had just filled out our letter of intent. The day we sent it to China was the day I got the package from Heather-- full of candy and other Valentine goodies. It sounds too crazy to believe, but I opened up a salt water taffy to find-- you guessed it-- a ladybug. It was dead, of course-- but it was just the craziest thing. Who finds ladybugs in their candy?!! I immediately called Heather who swore she had nothing to do with it and we were just laughing our heads off at the audacity of it all. A ladybug in taffy? In the middle of winter?
Another time Parker came walking in the house with a ladybug on his nose. That day we received pre-approval for Graci. Another day, Jeremy and I were leaving for our first adoption parenting class and a ladybug flew in the window of our car and landed on my hand. These are just a few of our ladybug stories!
So, like I said, every step of every adoption has had ladybugs involved. Well, as we were outside last Friday night, Parker found a ladybug. Jeremy immediately said, "Our letter of acceptance must be coming!" He told me he was just sure it would arrive at the agency on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday, and they aren't there on Saturdays). I smiled and thought it was a fun thought, but that there was no way. I have been following TONS of adoption timelines, and nobody was getting them that soon.
I guess that shows that I need to kick up my belief in the ladybug theory, because lo and behold, yesterday we got the email that our LOA had indeed arrived, just 49 days after our LID!!! (Those of you following timelines know how amazing that is.) I happened to be on the phone with my dear friend, Kim, when I opened the email, and it was fun to share that moment with her! She is also an adoptive mom and is as passionate about it as I am. When I called Jeremy, he told me he had been waiting all day for the call. (:
So, what does this all mean??? It means that we should be traveling to China in 7-9 weeks!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!! After waiting so long, it seems crazy that it is that close! We are so very excited!!!
My kids have been praying every day for a very long time that we could travel before their school starts. I know others have been praying for us as well. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen, because there are so many waiting families whose timeline has been much slower than ours. Some people who got their acceptance letters yesterday had been waiting well over 100 days-- we were at day 49. I have no doubt that the many prayers offered in our behalf closed the waiting gap for us, and that the Lord knew the desires of our hearts to travel this summer (besides getting him sooner, it also worked out so much better for childcare situations).
At the same time, I know that the Lord knows what's best for every family, and that waits that may seem unfair or too long may very well have a good reason behind them. I could not understand why in the world Elli's adoption took so long, but it just so happened that if we had adopted her even a couple of days earlier, Jeremy wouldn't have gotten the 6 weeks paid paternity leave that his company had just implemented. So hang on, waiting families-- we will all have our children soon!!! (: