…and yes, we’re doing this again because it’s a great cause!
In November 2010, friend and author CJ Redwine and her husband Clint adopted a beautiful little bundle of joy into their family, and I was happy to participate in their “Skip a Starbucks Day” event then. I held a contest and gave away prizes, along with several other authors/writers/friends; they held contests and drives and such, and were able to raise enough money to fly to China and bring home their daughter Johanna, who is just precious!
Let’s help them do that again! I’ll let CJ tell you their story…
As most of you know by now, we’re in the process of adopting our second daughter from China. We chose to pursue a girl with medical needs this time around for several reasons. For one, we saw how girls with cleft palates or disfigured limbs were treated in China while we were there, and it broke our hearts. For another, adopting a child with special needs is much faster than adopting a healthy child, and we didn’t want a six year gap between Johanna and her little sister.
We turned in our dossier to China in the beginning of February, and we figured, based on the average wait time for special needs families, that we had about an 8 month wait to get our referral. (A child’s picture and file matched to a family.) But there are two ways to be matched to a child through the special needs program. One is to wait for China to get to your file, translate it, and then search for a child who matches your medical checklist (the list of things we’ve said we’d accept). The other is to be matched to one of the Special Focus kids whose files are sent to our agency each month. Special Focus children are those who are considered hard to place with a family. They have multiple medical conditions, and most families sign on for only one need.
Clint and I early on felt that we needed to be open to multiple needs. I kept seeing us with a girl who had a cleft palate and a heart murmur. Clint kept seeing us with a girl who had minor hearing loss and a missing or extra limb.
Two weeks after our dossier arrived in China, our agency called us with a Special Focus child to consider. Her file arrived to us on her second birthday. She had cleft palate, congenital heart disease, minor hearing issues, and an extra thumb.
In other words, she is everything Clint and I kept seeing for our daughter. *cue the moment we started weeping*
Isabella Grace Xiaofang was abandoned beneath a highway overpass when she was four months old. She had severe pneumonia, along with her heart disease and cleft palate, which were both causing her medical difficulty. That says to me that her parents loved her, and they tried for four months to care for her in secret, either to avoid paying the second child penalty fee, which is prohibitive for poorer families, or because they couldn’t afford her medical care, and when they realized she was going to die without care, they put her where she would be quickly found. Highways in China, especially in cities, are much different than ours. They are choked with pedestrians and bicyclists. She was sure to be found quickly.
A month after she was found, she had heart surgery to repair four different defects in her heart. She was in and out of the ICU for recurring pneumonia during her first year. In her second year, she had two surgeries to repair her lip and palate and to remove her extra thumb. At two years old, she’s still tiny (wearing 9 month clothing size), she’s not walking on her own yet, and she doesn’t have many words yet. Her delayed development is a result, I feel certain, of her constant surgeries and hospital stays.
The orphanage reports that Isabella is quiet, shy, and loves to smile and grab onto the nannies and play with them. I can’t wait to bring her home! Her brothers and sister are very excited to meet her and love her as well!
This is where you come in. Because this process is moving so much faster than we anticipated, we need to run a fundraiser to raise Isabella’s orphanage fee of 5k and the 10k we need to travel to China and to stay there for the two and a half weeks it takes to finalize her adoption. When we brought Johanna home, we did an online fundraiser the concept of Skip a Starbucks day simple: if people will skip Starbucks and donate that money toward Isabella’s adoption fund instead, we can raise the money.
Would you consider helping me bring my daughter home? Here is what I’d need:
To enter CJ’s contest, visit her blog here.
To enhance this a bit, I’m donating a number of things:
- a signed print of my book Nemesis
- a copy of a Just Ink Press book, winner’s choice
- a $25 Amazon gift card
Of course, there are requirements to obtain these lovely prizes, so here’s the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway