Sunday, February 14, 2010

She wriggled her way into our hearts...

First of all, if you haven't read the previous post concerning Graci, be sure to do so.


When I wrote the “Do you know what I know” post, it seems that even I didn’t know what I know. (: I had felt so earnest in my heart—completely convicted in the knowledge that someone out there needed to hear my feelings about adoption. A little ironic that we were the ones that needed to hear what I had to say…

So are you ready to hear the story? Or do you just want to see a picture??!!!

Go ahead, scroll on down and see her beautiful face. Then come back up and hear how one special little girl has found her home.

It started back in September. Yes, just a few weeks after coming home from China with our Xander. I had no right to be checking the waiting child list! Still, when I was looking up post adoption info on our agency's site, I couldn’t help but peek at the kids who were waiting. There she was, a little four-year-old girl (now five) whom I had seen before. But this time, it was different. I had “that feeling.” I opened up her profile and read about this sweetheart, blind and abandoned at birth, and my heart was just doing flip-flops. I tried to convince myself that it was because she reminded me so much of Elli, not because she was OURS, but I couldn’t deny that the Spirit was whispering something to my heart. Later that day, I was out on the trampoline with Elli when—you guessed it—a ladybug flew inside the net and landed right next to me. (If you haven’t followed our blogs, ladybugs are a symbol of luck in the adoption community and seem to show up on every important day of our adoption journeys.)

I had a talk with Jeremy.

He was so sweet. He even cried when he saw her picture and said he was so glad that I was the kind of person who would open my heart to her. He told me how much he loved me. And then he told me I was off my rocker.

Or something like that.

Basically, he said no. And I admit that I was very relieved. It seemed that there was no way that it could be right for us. After all, we had just come home from China! We had SIX kids!! We were already barely keeping our heads above water!!!

And I can promise you, that when I wrote my adoption post in November, the thought hadn’t even remotely crossed my mind that I was writing it for us. Jeremy didn’t either. Though he did cry when he read it, and we talked about how grateful we were for the things we knew and the ways adoption had changed our lives. And that was that.

Until a few weeks ago... That’s when we were sitting at Elli’s IEP meeting. There we were, Jeremy, myself, and four of the WONDERFUL women who give of their hearts and expertise each preschool day. Elli was in a corner of the room, jumping and playing with the toys. Jeremy thought to himself how grateful he was for the wonderful resources we had to help Elli. For all the help that these women were giving her. And he looked over at Elli and thought how her blindness wasn’t really an issue—it was her cognitive delays that were so hard to deal with. And then the thought entered his mind, “There is a little girl in China who is just blind.”

And he knew.

He describes it as a triangle being formed that day between him, and her, and God. That perhaps more than with any of our other children, he KNEW she was meant to be ours. He couldn’t remember what she looked like, how old she was—nothing except that he loved her.

And so later that day I got a phone call. (: (Usually it’s the other way around.) I was overwhelmed (I had long since given up the idea of adopting her—though I will admit I kept thinking about that ladybug) but looked up her file. As it turns out, that VERY day, her file had been marked to be returned to China. This happens when nobody shows interest in a child over a period of several months, and the agency is forced to return their file. Sometimes these files are sent to another agency, and sometimes they are kept in China and the children are deemed “unadoptable.” So it’s no coincidence that Jeremy had his experience on the day that he did.

I must say that I was worried that our agency would think we were crazy when I called and asked them to hold on to that file for just a few more days! It meant the world to me that they were so thrilled and supportive of us considering her. It gave me assurance that maybe I could do this crazy thing. It didn’t take long—just a few days of fasting and prayer before I knew what Jeremy knew.

That she is ours.

That all of my concerns had been answered by myself in my blog entry! That I needed to let go of my fears and embrace the blessing that our Heavenly Father was placing in our lives. The blessing of another beautiful little China doll. Who happens to have a birthday right in between Xander’s and Elli’s, making, ahem… THREE in kindergarten next year. You know, cause we always wanted triplets. Or not. (:

Telling our children was such a sweet experience. We have always asked for their input in our adoptions. We took each of them to dinner with us, individually, over the next couple of weeks to tell them about this little girl and see what they thought. Each responded so beautifully and selflessly. I just fell more in love with my kiddos!! My favorite response was from Xander, who jumped up and down, laughing and saying in his cute Chinese accent, “YAY! More family for my family!”


And that, folks, is exactly how I feel—more family for my family!!! YAY!!!!

Here she is…

Dang Ling You.

Surname, the same as Elli and Xander's. Given name the same as Graci's middle name in Chinese. Fun!

And as soon as I figure out how to do it, I will post some VIDEO we have of her. This little girl’s smile lights up the screen!

We’re thinking “Alexis” as a first name, and calling her “Lexi.” That way it’s close to Alexander (Xander) since they’re so close in age and we’re keeping the traditional ending for our girls’ names. What do you think???

Oh, and as far as timing—it’s looking like November-ish. Just as we were receiving the bad news about Graci, we were receiving good news—pre-approval—from China. Oh, the roller-coaster of our life!



  1. AMAZING! Your family, your children, your ladybugs, your story, your open heart and open door, your beautiful new daughter. AMAZING

  2. Golly, do I wish that we lived closer! She is a doll. You are an amazing family with such endless love. We love you all. Please keep us updated on EVERYTHING!!

  3. She's adorable and is one lucky girl! I mean, to have her file sent back the same day?! Wild.

  4. Wow christianne! What a blessing for your sweet family to be given yet another precious angel. I am so excited to read this entry! Love you and can't wait to read more and more and more. congrats.

  5. Lexi is a darling name for a darling girl. I think Xander's comment really sums it all up...more family for my family! Thanks for making our family grow so beautifully. (Someone has to make up for the old maid, right?) You inspire me to be the best I can be in whatever I am doing. Thank you!

  6. Wow! What an amazing story. I don't know how you guys do it all. We are so grateful to have you as friends. I know the Lord can see bigger things for us than we can but wow...what another wonderful blessing for your family. That smile is beautiful.

    We will keep Grace in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Totally crying. God's ways are amazing.
    Rejoicing that He has chosen you AGAIN.
    with joy,

  8. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? hahahaha I cannot believe you nutty people!!

    "Kid junkies" does not even begin to cover the wackiness of your love for kids.

    You truly have the Father's heart for kids. (excuse me, while I go back to laughing for a sec......ok. I'm back).

    Nope. Not quite done laughing, after all....trying hard to control it. Aw to heck with it. Bwahahahahaha!!!!

    Congratulations, you nut jobs! I love it. Alexa is a perfect name, btw.

    And triple threats in kindergarten? Your school district is not gonna know what hit them!

    ::snicker:: ::snort:: ::chortle:: ::guffaw:: ::slaps knee::

  9. You are absolutely amazing! What a lucky girl! I was just telling someone the other day about how amazing you and your family are! I sure do love you and appreciate the great example of love you share. I am so excited for you and will be praying for Graci!

  10. Hi. I wanted to introduce myself and maybe we could email and chat. I am very inspired by your family!! I started following your blog with "going back for Graci"! We adopted our youngest son from China soon after (we have 2 bio sons as well)... now like you we are beginning a new adoption for our daughter who has the same special need as our son. We too just got pre-approval for her and we hope to travel before Christmas!! Her file had been taken down as well and we had to find her. I liked your Nov.ish idea a lot!! You can see our blog at and having never had a daughter before I would love to chat with you!! My email is

  11. Xander's comment "More family for My family" says it all.
    I love reading your blog. You are such an amazing inspiration to us all. What a testimony builder your experiences are.
    Thank you for being there for my granddaughter Nicole and her husband Jeremy who are just beginning the journey. When I talk to her and hear what is involved in the process of adopting, I am so thankful she has been able to talk to you and receive your kind help. She lead me to your blog and we are all grateful to read it and be inspired by you and your family.

  12. Thanks for sharing you hearts with us guys - dang - and ya'll can't wait to meet the "little Emperor" (I won't try to write the Chinese for it - but it sounds cool!)

    We will keep Graci in our hearts and prayers - post soon how the procedure goes on Friday - I'll be pretty hungry until I hear - but the fast is a great idea!

    As for the rest of your quiver - I couldn't be more pround of these kids if they were ours - and as for you guys - well - we just love you - what more is there than that!

    Praying for you Graci - and hugs to all -

    aus and co.

  13. Wow! You guys are truely amazing people! Your kids are beautiful and your new addition has a winning smile. It was tons of fun to see your family. You will all be in my prayers.
    Jamie (Jeffs) Huggard

  14. I have been out of blog land for a while so I am just now seeing this! Congrats! She is a doll! I can't wait to follow the journey :) Love you!

  15. OH how I LAUGHED at your comment about Jeremy's initial response to another adoption. And how the tears filled my eyes when he "knew." I am thrilled for you guys and your six kiddos. But mostly, I am thrilled for that beautiful little China doll who will soon be embraced by the loving arms of her very own family. And family. And family!

  16. Oh my, I just came by to "check" on y'all~ it's been a while, and what do I see???? I new Green will soon be coming HOME!!!!! Congratulations to ALL of you. I have tears in my eyes as I type.

  17. I haven't checked in, in months. Congratulations on your new daughter. You join a group of us who have adopted VI, and then gone back and done it again. I know more VI parents who have done this, than parents of kids with other issues. Makes you think eh?

    I will continue to hold your beautiful grace in my prayers. I am so glad she is in a family as loving as yours.

  18. I forgot, Acer's file was due to go back the day we asked for it too, I think that is a very good sign from God. I pray she adds as much joy to your life as Acer does to ours.