Why did we decide to adopt from China? That’s the question we are consistently asked when people look from our handsome son (Snowflake Embryo Adoption) to our beautiful daughter (whom we brought home from China earlier this year). Our answer is always that God gently led us there by the people and circumstances He placed in our lives.
Once we figured out how God wanted us to continue growing our family, we found that we were comfortable with how the adoption process for China is constructed. It is straightforward, fairly predictable, the children seem to adjust well, it requires only one trip to China, and in the end you come home with a child. That’s not to say that the waiting time did not have its emotional highs and lows. Our official wait began on our log in date, or the date our paperwork was officially recognized by China, May 27, 2005. I think the hardest day of our adoption journey was in February 2006, when we missed the referral cut-off date by two days and had to wait an entire month to see our baby’s face.
Ten months to the day from our log in date (about two months longer than we originally expected), Nightlight called us with the news that our referral had come in and if we accepted it (no big question there!) we would be the proud parents of a little girl named Luo Xi who was residing at the XiangYin orphanage outside of Changsha (a major city), Hunan (the province), China. I immediately called Tim and then everyone else I could think of, until my cell phone battery ran out. We drove to Nightlight and finally got to lay eyes on our little beauty who we would name Abigail Lynn-Xi Atnip. That was an exciting day.
We left for China in the middle of May for a few fabulous days of sightseeing in Beijing and then flew to Changsha to meet Abby! We met her for the first time on May 22, 2006. She was 13 months, 11 days old. The sweet gals from the orphanage placed her in our arms and she stuck to us like glue. She was beautiful and cuddly. It makes me a little sad to look at pictures from those first few weeks as I can see in her eyes how sad and scared she was; although you wouldn’t have guessed it from her quiet demeanor.
We came home with Abby a little over five months ago. She now runs happily screeching through the house as her brother chases her. She is almost 19 months old and is very confident and strong. Abby’s Nena (my mom) always comments on how full of joy Abby is. One look at her smiling face and one listen to her giggle, would fill anyone’s heart with joy.