Before I start I would like to be clear. This is our story and we reached the best decision for our family. If you have made a different decision for your family we are delighted for you. In no way should anyone read this post and think we are judging other families who come to a different decision.
Our agency called on Monday to ask if we would be open to a girl age three- she is probably 3-6 months younger than Henry. In the adoption world this is called artificial twinning.
What is artificial twinning? It is generally defined as unrelated children (different biological-parents) born very close in age; less than 8-10 months apart, being raised as siblings by the same adoptive parent(s).
So I sat in Chick-Fil-A with our children and receive the potential referral call only days after we receive the "on deck" e-mail. Naturally my head is spinning, should we? shouldn't we? and Rob is in a meeting. I was able to speak with our social worker and another adoptive mom who has has successfully twinned which helps me process it all. Soon Rob and I are able to connect and talk about the potential referral.
Part of us is delighted that we could have a referral and move to the next step - waiting for a court date!! but we slow ourselves down and think about it. What would it mean to have 2 preschoolers about the same age? How would Henry adjust to a sibling who is his age? Would they become friends or Frenemies? (Friend/Enemies) And what about this little girl? How would she adjust to a brother the same age as her? Would they have healthy sibling rivalry or an unhealthy one? The questions go on and on.... Part of me thinks this little girl must be our daughter because Tom and Lori will be at the Transition Home in a few days. Karen will be there in November. Both families met and took pictures of Henry for us in 2008- of course they would meet our daughter before we would! Can this be a coincidence?
I contacted some dear mamas- Heather and Nikki and we begin to pray - what is the best thing for our family and this little girl? Rob and I pray as a couple. As we go to bed Monday night neither of us have a gut feeling or know what we should do.
That night I had one of the most vivid dream I can recall having. I was in Ethiopia, at the transition home with Duni, our agency's Africa Director. Duni introduced me to the little girl. In my dream we had already turned down the referral. I knew the moment I meet her she was not meant to be our daughter. While I was at the Transition Home I met the family who was adopting her. It was a very sweet moment in my dream for they were delighted to have her as their daughter and it felt so right.
When I woke up I told Rob about my dream. He asked me how I felt about it and I said we should not twin Henry- this is not our daughter. I've never had God answer a prayer through a dream but I am certain this was a dream from him. My mother-in-law was overwhelmed that God would speak so clearly to me and assure me that this little girl has a wonderful family waiting for her... and it's okay that it is not us.
During our first Ethiopian adoption we lost our first referral. I have occasionally looked back and thought about why it happened. On Tuesday I was grateful we went through that experience. It gave us the assurance that God has a plan for our family and it is not always linear. Looking back it is clear to us that our first referral was not our son and we received Henry's referral two months later. Part of our heart will always care deeply for that little boy but he is where he belongs and that place is not with us. We know this little girl has a family waiting for her and it's not us. We are totally at peace with our decision.
So we are back in line waiting for the next call. Like last time, we may watch other families who submitted their dossiers after us go before us... I look at our sweet, joyful Henry and know he was totally worth the wait and so is the wait for our daughter.