Time for a bit of blog keeping; ya know something like a bit of house keeping except obviously through my dusty old blog which has long been neglected. It’s not that there has been nothing to share, just no time to share it! Between new jobs, new grades (pre-K and 1st), baseball, soccer, ninja class (yes a real thing), swim lessons; weeks have turned to months and months nearly 2 years (at least since Jude made his great debut on our scene). He is doing amazing at just being a normal little boy. He just graduated from pre-k (yes that’s a real thing too!), is OBSESSED with power rangers, and is starting Karate class soon too. For so long he lived a life that was anything but normal. For so long he was constantly getting poked and prodded with test after test and surgery after surgery. He was constantly sick, and to be quite honest, I was really starting to question whether he was allergic to American air! He still gets sick and we are working closely with his pulmonologist to figure out a working plan. He also unfortunately has to undergo yet another surgery to fix a complication of his big surgery he had almost exactly a year ago. Poor baby, at least he had a year off of invasiveness in his life. A year to just be….him.
The past year as our little one settled more into life with us and us with him, some more tough feelings emerged. He went through a time where he constantly questioned whether we still loved him and asked us about 50 times a day, “Momma are you always going to love me?”. He would tell us nightly he didn’t want to go back to China, ever again. His life in China was nothing short of awful and the more he talks about that time, the more our hearts break all over again, but not just for him, for all the kiddos still living there without a mommy, daddy, or family. Unfortunately, a lot is happening at a governmental level that is only going to further hinder international adoption. China is also making changes and it is still unknown how their changes will shake things up, for better or worse. But what I do know is that orphans are still there, in fact they are everywhere and the problem is only getting bigger while adoptions (particularly special needs adoptions) as a whole are falling fast. Around this time last year Jay and I started looking at our lives a little more closely. We noticed we still had an extra seat in the van, an empty bedroom in the house, another seat at the table, and a huge area in our hearts…..
A lot transpired between those initial thoughts and feelings and our return to the paperwork bundle. We did try for a baby, I figured I should address that as it seems to be a question many have asked. We briefly went through some fertility treatments but our hearts were never really in it. We never shed a tear for this inability and it is not something we feel is missing or incomplete in our lives. As I told many close friends, I think perhaps our hearts were made for adoption from the start. We were still thinking about them…the little ones still abandoned, alone, sick, abused, and afraid. We saw many over there. We see many still being advocated for on social media (which I believe will be coming to end soon as well), and we see many families being told they can no longer adopt given new rules from China and increased fees from the United States.
So, we decided its time for US to go back! Time to shake up our home, our finances, our children, our marriage, and our hearts all over again. Two years ago we never saw ourselves going back but never say never right?! God tends to laugh at our well laid plans doesn’t he? And I am certain he had a chuckle to himself when 2 years ago Jay and I were sitting in a crowded train station in China whispering amongst ourselves how the families who were there for their 3rd or 4th adoption were “out of their minds!”. I distinctly remember asking one of the mommas, there for her fourth adoption from China, if the process was something like child birth (at least from what I had heard of it), ya know awful the process is but somehow your brain forgets and you willingly do it again and sometimes again... She laughed at me, and said “well kinda”. This same women, Beth, has been very instrumental in our return to China and we maintain contact to this day.
So, we are headed back and back soon! What took 4 years the first time around for Jude will likely be 11 months from start to finish this time. It has been a whirlwind, but once again we are in love with a little person on the other side of the world who needs a chance at a normal life. We first heard about her in January and just recently got the official approval from China. She is one of the last files prepared from a partnership that has since been closed by China between our new agency and an orphanage and so our process will be very different from everyone else’s going forward. She will be 2 in June (which puts all my kids, husband, in-laws, and mothers birthdays in the same month) and we are hoping for a July/early August travel date. She is tiny but strong, darling but resilient, just like her big brothers. Jay and the boys will not be traveling to bring her home this time. I will be going with my aunt who I think has dreamed of this day for many years now!
Finally, last but not least, her name. Many already know it, we have been calling her it since we first saw her face in January. It is a name we knew one of our children would have, at least in some form. A name that dates back decades in the Reichert family and a name that carries with it strength, perseverance, and beauty. A name also in remembrance of not just the life that started a long standing family tradition, but also the name of a life who was taken away far too soon but whose legacy continues in her parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends lives to this day. Our little girls name will be…
Wynifred Bec Reichert (Wynnie or Wyn for short)