Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Introducing Our Son, Van Garrett Chenguang

Sunday, June 03, 2007 1:03 PM

Van and I had been discussing and considering adopting a second child from China since December. We had always said that one day we would have a daughter named Gracie and a son named Garrett. But in our minds, we thought we would be adopting a second daughter this time around. That really was OUR plan. But as it happens in life, God had other plans!

I was looking at a friend's website one afternoon and happened to follow one of her links on her website to the adoption agency that they had used just recently to find and to adopt their son in China. It was Small World Adoptions out of Valleyford, Washington. I had never heard of this agency before, but I liked what my friend had to say about how smoothly their adoption had gone in China. They had lots of good things to say about the Small World Team. One thing lead to another and I sat looking at the list of waiting children on their website. One child caught my immediate attention. His name on the site was Galen, and he was PRECIOUS! I knew immediately in looking into his eyes in this picture that he WAS our Garrett. I don't know how I knew it, but I did. Just as I had with Gracie...It was all in his eyes. They sparkled! Just like Gracie's did...just like I felt when I saw her referral picture for the very first time. It was like I KNEW him. I recognized him somehow. He was marked as still waiting for a family. In my thoughts at that time, I was thinking, "Hmmmmm....There is just no way. This has to be a mistake. This child could NOT be available." My negative thinking, thank goodness, did not get in the way of my inquiring to the agency about him. I expected though to receive an email back from them saying that he had found his family already. All this time, my heart was telling me that he was meant to be our son. The feelings were very intense and very conflicting. My gut was to go with my intuition. And so I did...never telling Van about it, and just putting the email out of my mind for a little while. After all, we had not even started getting our paperwork together.

I sent the following email to Small World Adoption Agency:

My name is Madeline. My husband and I are interested in getting information about "Galen" on your waiting child list. We have a two and a half year old daughter named Gracie who we adopted from China in November of 2005. Thanks for your help. We want to start the process again. :)


On 6/4/2007 at 2:30 pm I received the following email from Janell Lucas at Small World...

Hi Madeline,

Thank you for inquiring about Galen. Attached is his information and below are the guidelines for placement of our waiting children. At this time, he is still waiting so you would be given first consideration provided you meet all the current requirements. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or would like to talk more about this precious boy.

Have a great day!
Janell Lucas
Small World Adoptions
Washington Office
9201 S. Madison Rd. Valleyford, WA 99036

When I read that email, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. "At this time, he is still waiting so you would be given first consideration provided you meet all of the current requirements." I knew right then and there that we had found our Garrett, and he was waiting for us. I started to read the information about him...He was in Inner Mongolia at Baotou City SWI, but was in foster care. His birthdate was July 26, 2006. He had been found abandoned on that date. He had a repaired cleft lip and unrepaired cleft palate. After reading it several times, I knew I had to talk to Van...and he walked in the door to our house! I let him put his keys down, and catch a breath or two, and I said to him, "Van, you need to come over here and sit down." He proceeded over to the sofa, and as he sat down I said, "I have found our son. This IS Garrett. I just know it!" I expected a long discussion between the two of us, but he said, "Go ahead and call them and request more information about him." I told him I already had done that and showed him what had been sent to me about him. He said again, "Call them." So, I got on the telephone to call this agency that I had no real information about. I talked to Janell. My conversation with her went something like this... "Hello, Janell, this is Madeline. I am calling because we have been in contact about the little boy on your list named Galen. I can tell you right now that I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that he is our son. I am looking at a picture of our son!" I remember that she laughed and said, "Well, he has been on this list for quite a while, and we kept waiting and waiting and praying for him to find his family. And all of this time, he has been waiting for YOU." I don't remember much more of the conversation other than that we discussed what Van and I needed to do to file an application with them overnight. I do remember her saying that she was putting him on hold for our family. I did ask her if there was anything that could happen between us filling out the Small World application and getting approved for starting the paperwork to adopt him. I told her that we did not want to risk even the slightest chance of losing this child. She assured me that he was waiting for us. He was waiting for US! And I knew that he was.

She sent us the application over the computer and also a HUGE slideshow of pictures of him that were taken by the WONDERFUL foundation that was providing for his foster care in Baotou City. It is the China Care Foundation. (This name I recognized and I will explain that later.) We never dreamed we would be so fortunate and so blessed to see pictures of him from the time he was found at a day old up until the current time. There were 109 photos in all! What a tremendous blessing to receive that day! The child is just beautiful!


Van said...

You Did A Wonderful Job!! Very proud of my wife!!

Patricia/NYC said...

FABULOUS job, Madeline!!! I am so happy to be able to keep up with Gracie, Garrett & the Grown-Ups!
LOVE that title! :)

HUGS sweet friend!