I shared a couple weeks ago that we had gotten some unexpected news from the foster home at which our daughter-to-be resides. It is common practice in China that children return to their orphanages before being adopted – sometimes this is because paperwork needs to be completed (generally a physical and a passport application), and other times it is because of the (mistaken) belief that a child will react better to their adoptive parents if the orphanage removes the child from the foster home and the parents are taking her out of the orphanage than if the parents are seen as removing her from the foster home. However, there are significant challenges inherent in caring for a child with osteogenesis imperfecta, and because of that, as well as the good relationships that our little girl’s foster home has generally maintained with the orphanages from which their children come, usually children with OI who are coming from our daughter’s foster home are cared for by the foster home right up until their adoption day.
We’d believed that would be the case for our little girl, but after we received our travel approval, the orphanage told the foster home that they’d be coming to get her. The foster home tried everything they could to attempt to convince the orphanage to reconsider, but they insisted that she return. We asked at that point that you all pray with us that she be allowed to stay, and we submitted (through our agency) a request that the orphanage allow her to remain with her foster home and her caregivers there as long as possible.
We didn’t hear anything – which, honestly, is exactly what I expected – but neither did the foster home. I praised God for each day that no one heard from them, because that was another day that FangFang would get to stay in this foster home, receiving loving and expert care.
And yesterday I received a message from the foster home that they heard from the orphanage, and the orphanage is willing to do 99% of what we asked them to do! FangFang will be allowed to stay at her foster home until the middle of next week, and someone from the foster home will then travel to her province with her and take her to have the physical and the passport application process completed. They’ll stay with her in the city in which her orphanage is located until the morning of the 12th, when FangFang will travel to Nanning with both the orphanage staff and the people from the foster home. The orphanage is insistent that the people from the foster home cannot come with them to bring FangFang to us, which is too bad. I’d really like for FangFang to have that continuity of care – it’s so helpful for kids in establishing relationships with their new families to see their former caregivers and new families together and all on board with the transition. I expect that morning of the 12th to be very hard for her as she says goodbye to the people who have loved and cared for her for the past 9 months and leaves with the orphanage staff to be handed over to strangers (us). But that’s the only thing we’ve asked for to which the orphanage hasn’t agreed, and I’m so thankful that they are agreeable to most of what we requested. I’m counting it as an answered prayer! Thank you so much for praying with us!