We spent a very busy summer. All the girls, except Kate, attended Miracle Camp in MI and came away powered with His word. It was hard! This is the first time ever that Claude and I have let any of our 12 children attend a camp. The girls did great...me? I think I did ok...in July all the girls, Claude, and I drove to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore, Bear Country, did a LOT of driving, dropped down to spend a week in Denver visiting our son Kris and his family. While there the other event was the girls attending Adopteen. This is a camp where there were about 110 adopted teens, both boys and girls, from China. They connected both socially and by sharing their lives. We know long term friends were made. Then the balance of the summer was spend in home school, relaxing, and a few projects.
Last year at this time Claude and I started the process to see if we could adopt a young lady that is two of our daughters best friend. I explain it that basically they were triplets. I bought a sparkly tote bag and hung it on my door in anticipation of taking it to China to give her with some goodies in it and to use on her return trip home with me. We called her Taylor. She has a presence in our home, in my office with a photo on the wall, in our hearts and heads. We were told this summer that it was not looking good in regards to getting her paperwork submitted to the adoption offices in China. We waited...and waited...checked in occasionally. I knew in my head that it wasn't going to happen. That something was stalling the file being submitted. Several months ago we were told (I do not envy the job that Diana had in telling us) that it was not going to be possible to adopt Taylor. That she aged out. Claude and I both had very heavy hearts. And still do. We also had to explain this to the two girls first, then tell the rest of the girls. Behind closed door we told this to the two girls...I hope to never deliver such devastating news again to anyone.
Then Claude and I had to make a decision of do we use the Homestudy approval for two daughters or just stay with bringing home Lilly. We made the decision to seek a second daughter to bring home...all the while still with heavy hearts of not being able to bring Taylor. A lady approached me and said she didn't want to bother me but she thought of our family for a child she was advocating for. She shared her picture with me and when I opened the photo I was with tears. That Red Thread connection:
"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb
We have said so many times, this is the last adoption. We are saying it again. The van is full as it seats 12. The bedrooms are full. We told the people in Chicago when we were fingerprinted that if they see us again holding papers to be fingerprinted again to tell us NO.