8/22/2010

Ransomed

I'm participating in something special on the old blog tomorrow, and in anticipation, I wanted you to hear this straight from the source. Welcome C.J. Redwine, and her story about the daughter she's only held in her heart:

We had three biological boys in four years and then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had a hysterectomy and while I mourned the fact that I couldn't have any more biological children, I was certain our family wasn't finished. My husband wasn't so sure. I'd talked about adopting and I always saw us with a little girl from China. He came up with a ton of reasons why now wasn't the right time to adopt. Then, on Mother's Day of 2005, he leaned over to me in church and said, "We have a daughter in China. We need to start the adoption proceedings to bring her home." I adjusted to this unexpected news (we hadn't discussed adoption for months) in about 15 seconds. 

The next day, we began researching adoption and we picked out her name: Johanna Faith. Johanna means God's Gracious Gift and Faith is what it is taking to bring her home. We signed up with Chinese Children Adoption International agency based out of Colorado. We completed our stateside paperwork and homestudy within a few months, sent off our dossier to China with the understanding that it would be a 6-8 month wait, and eagerly planned to bring our daughter home. Soon, though, we began to hear rumors that the wait time was extending. Then we heard that the government had cracked down on orphanages who were receiving money from the state but who weren't keeping all of their beds full and the wait slowed to a crawl. Our dreams of having her home for Christmas were dashed. And then our dreams for having her home in time for summer were dashed as well. Before we knew it, another Christmas had passed and we were still waiting. Meanwhile, the Olympics were coming to Beijing, and the word was most adoption processes would stop altogether because China didn't want unfavorable international attention on their orphanages.

As the wait stretched from 8 months to three years, I struggled with depression. I could hardly bear Christmas, because she wasn't yet there. I shut the door of her bedroom and left it closed because I couldn't bear to walk past it in the hall. It hurt to think about having a child out there whom I couldn't protect. Couldn't love. Couldn't save. Three years became four with no real change. Our homestudy expired. Our immigration petition expired. Three times. Our fingerprints expired. Four times. And China raised the orphanage and court fees by thousands while we waited. Suddenly, the cushion of money we'd fundraised at the start of this process was almost gone and China was picking up speed in their child match program.

In September, it will be five years since we officially started our adoption process to bring Johanna home. We expect to receive her picture, information, and permission to travel sometime by the middle of September.

I opened her bedroom door for the first time in 3 1/2 years.

Come back tomorrow to learn how to win paperback copies of Cassie Clare's THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS trilogy (with a signed copy of CITY OF GLASS) and  how we're going to Skip a Starbucks and help ransom Johanna home. 





4 comments:

  1. What a sad, sweet and hopeful story!! Johanna needs to come home!!! I will gladly skip a SBX!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I, too, will gladly skip a starbucks to add to the Johanna fund.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm all over skipping starbucks for this! Johanna NEEDS to be home with her parents!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Myra, this is a good thing everyone is doing. Writers and the blogging community are something special.

    ReplyDelete

Tell us everything: