I have always been a very vivid dreamer. Several nights ago I had a dream. In the dream we traveled to Bulgaria to meet our daughters, but when we arrived "D" was not there. Our other daughter (lets call her "Sofia" (this is Bulgaria after all :-) ), met us with a smile and a hug and we were delighted to finally meet her, but "D" was nowhere to be found and soon we were told that we would not be able to bring her home. I awoke from the dream saddened and confused, but quickly told myself that I was simply dreaming my fears and that all was well (although I was suddenly much more aware of this possibility that I have always known existed).
Yesterday I awoke to a feeling that something just was not right and I felt on-edge all day long and could never quite put my finger on it.
This morning, as I received the news from our facilitator that another family had submitted an application for "D," I realized that the dream and the unsettled feeling may have been Heavenly Father's way of preparing me emotionally for this news.
As is my routine most days, I woke up this morning and, before waking the kids, I checked my e-mail. There was a message from our facilitator. I quickly opened it and as I read through it I felt like someone had kicked me right in the stomach. Our facilitator informed me that, the day that she filed our application for the girl's, the other agency (the agency who has had the girls files since the beginning of the year) had also filed an application. This was not the news that we were expecting to receive and it came as a blow.
Technically, because the other agency is in physical possession of the file, their application takes precedent over ours. However, because this agency has had the file for longer than the allotted 2-month period and because the Ministry of Justice has personally contacted them and asked them to return the file every week for the past five weeks, there is a very small chance that the Adoption Committee may rule in our favor (since we would've filed our application MONTHS ago had the other agency returned the file on time).
At this point we have several options. The first option is to withdraw our application for "D." There is a part of me that feels that this would be the best option. Certainly not because I do not want to bring our girl home (because I absolutely do with every fiber of my being), but because there is another family out there who is probably just as excited and anxious to bring her home as we are and who likely loves her just as much. I am sure that this family knows nothing of us or of our desire or our struggle to bring her into our family and that part of me cringes at the thought of putting another family through the grief that we have experienced today.
But then there is another part of me. . . . the part that has grown to love this little girl, who I have never met, just as deeply and completely as I love every one of my other children, the part of me who has ached to bring her home and hold her in my arms, every day for the past seven months. . .that wants to fight for her because I feel so strongly that she is meant to be our daughter and because, if this other agency had returned her file when they were supposed to, we would not be in this situation right now. There is a part of me that feels that, if we back down and walk away, this agency will never have to answer for their actions and someday, another family may find themselves in the same position that we are in, experiencing the same loss, the same grief.
What is the right answer? At this point, we are not sure. The decision lies in the hands of the Adoption Committee and, while there is a small chance that they might rule in our favor, there is also a very good chance that they will not. The consolation is knowing that, no matter what they decide, "D" WILL be coming home to a loving family, even if that family is not ours. And of course we know that, ultimately, the Lord is in charge and His will will rule and all will be as it should.
In the meantime we are still waiting to learn of "Sofia's" status (her file has also been with this other agency since the beginning of the year and, as of last week, had not been returned) and have also requested the information of several little girls whose files our agency is currently in possession of.
While there is still much uncertainty, there are a few things that we DO know. We know that our children are in Bulgaria (we have received that witness MANY times), we know that we will bring home at least two children (again, this has been very clear to us), and we know that, whoever we bring home, whenever that may be, will be exactly as our Heavenly Father intended it.
Many tears have been shed today and I am sure that there will be many more. The grief that accompanies the "loss" of a child, even a child you have never met, can be crushing, but our hope is strong and we will continue to move forward, placing our feet on whatever path the Lord would have us walk.
I would like to take a moment to publicly thank the countless friends and family who have offered their love, support and encouragement throughout this process and to express our gratitude towards our Heavenly Father for blessing us with such incredible support. On this most difficult day I received countless phone calls, e-mails and even a special visit from my wonderful friend Jill, complete with hugs, chocolate, root beer, cherry pie and roses. We could not do this without your support and so we hope that you know just how deeply we appreciate each and every one of you!