I am going to change things up a bit and get a little more personal. I’m pretty much an open book but this will be a hard one to write..a lot of emotions in this story!
Let me go way back to get this story started. My heart was pulling on me before I met my husband, Jeff, to adopt a child. Of course I listened and then just kept moving with life. I was obviously no where near wanting children at that point. Fast forward a few years to when Jeff and I were married and talking about children. We knew we wanted children of our own but I told him about these tugs on my heart to adopt someday. He had absolutely no objection…although, I think he thought they were just dreams, not dreams to really become a reality.
Two biological boys later we talked about adoption again. At that point Jeff was very open but I was wanting another pregnancy. I was the weird one that loved being pregnant and the euphoria from giving birth and those first few moments after birth meeting your child were beyond amazing to me. I wanted that experience one more time. Again…Jeff was open but this time he was not sure that he wanted 4 children. He knew that another bio child meant possibly number 4 would be adopted. Jeff was all for adoption…just not sure on 4 kids. I figured we would tackle that one later. 😉
As I was laying on the table with that cold gel rubbing on my belly and the tech said, “its a boy”, Jeff knew we were having 4 kids. lol But the thing is, people think maybe if Kullen, my 3rd boy, was a girl, I wouldn’t have wanted to adopt. You see that is just not how it worked…for years this adoption tugged on my heart. It wasn’t about the sex of my children. Adoption tugged and tugged and tugged. God’s plan was for us to have 3 boys and a girl from China. It was very clear!
I longed for this little girl. The wait was unbelievably hard. From the day we put the application in, to the day we met her, was 19 months. A little more than double a pregnancy. It was the hardest wait I ever had. I dreamed about the day I would hold her and she would smile at me!! I had no doubt this was going to be amazing. Sure, I had read about a million blogs while waiting…it was the only thing that got me through the wait. And yes, some of those blogs had some tough, tough stories after coming home with their child. But that was not going to be us. It was going to be perfect in every way. The next photo is the first time we saw our daughter’s face. We fell in love instantly.
The wait was finally over and I’ll never forget the nerves as we were riding over on a bus with 6 other couples to meet our children. We were placed in a large, cold room. There were a few couches and a small play area. It was so crowded because not only were there 6 families from our agency but quite a few other families from other adoption agencies. We watched all the families meet their children while we waited and waited for Mayleigh to arrive. The nerves grew and grew as each child came in. Kids were crying, parents were nervously grabbing snacks and toys to help the kids adjust when given to complete strangers for the first time!
Can you imagine what was going through this little girls head?? She was 19 months that day and had been left in a school yard at 6 days old. She then went to have surgery at about a month old and had no mom or dad in the hospital with her, just a complete stranger. From there she lived in an orphanage where 4 ladies took shifts taking care of her. My daughter. My mom’s granddaughter. My brother’s neice. My boys’ sister. Now she was placed into two strangers arms and whisked away to a strange hotel room.
The next 15 days we were in China were the hardest days of my life! Mayleigh was really sick. She had a urinary tract infection and we were in and out of a couple different hospitals in China with a language barrier. Jeff and I only knew about her physical disabilities by reading about them…not actually caring for them. That was a whole different ball game! Mayleigh was born with imperforate anus and cloaca, which basically means she was only born with one orafice instead of 3 like most girls. She had a colostomy. In China they didn’t have the money for the colostomy bags so they used a large sized diaper and wrapped it around her waist. So a diaper wrapped sideways and then the regular diaper for her to pee went on normal and covered over the sideways diaper. As crazy as it sounded…it worked. I will elaborate more on her medical issues in a different post.
For 15 days in China Mayleigh was completely shut down. She didn’t eat, and I mean she didn’t barely eat a single thing. For 15 days. She didn’t walk. She cried if we put her down and we were not holding her. When you looked at her she hid her face. She smiled one time in those 15 days. She coped with sleeping. She slept a lot. And to be honest…her sleeping was probably the only thing that helped Jeff and I survive.
We survived the trip. Just barely. It was the hardest 2 weeks of my life. But I’m thankful God was there every step of the way. Every prayer was answered. Every question was answered. That trip could have tore my husband and I apart from the stress but we only grew closer. We came home a better couple for what we had just gone through. If you want to read about our journey while we were in china you can read my blog here.
I will leave you with one last picture. Remember how I said Mayleigh only smiled one time in those 14 days in China?! This was within minutes of getting home!! Look at that face with her brothers!!