Tonight, I'd like to tell you a little about one of Morrissey's best friends from her 1st year of life, the friendship that I was blessed with because of this, and the amazing work of our God, that brought our paths together.
Shortly after being matched with Ri, I posted a question on a Facebook Group for adoptive families from China. Let me just say, that this is a very large group. There are probably hundreds of posts a day. And unless you are friends with someone in the group, you definitely have to be scrolling through the feed to see all the questions that post. So I posted about Ri's name. I asked about the possible meaning of her name and received multiple responses. In addition to the responses, I received a message from another adoptive mom named Melinda. She had seen my post and noticed that my daughter's name was Ri. She asked was there anyway that Ri was at Little Flowers in Beijing. She proceeded to say that her daughter had been in that home her first year of life, and she had a friend name Ri. I quickly answered the question, that No, Ri was in Quanyuan Children's Home and she was only 18 months. Something in Melinda (Holy Spirit!!) pushed her to ask a few more questions. I started contemplating the possibility, that not all records are accurate or complete in China...actually, records are rarely complete...so really, I had no idea what her past entailed. I had 3 pictures of her. And I did have a report of her current living situation and a few hospital reports. Not knowing anything about Little Flower (LF)....I asked Melinda, did she by chance see a scar down her chest? She said yes! Then she sent me a picture of her daughter with "Ri".
Was that her????? Remember...I only had 3 pictures of her, and they were all 12-18 month pics. Babies change a lot over 18 months! I then sent a picture back to Melinda....do you think this is her??
Melinda was confident! I was speechless. I sat there as my eyes filled with tears and my heart started racing. I kept flipping back and forth between the pictures. How could this be? They told me she was at Quanyuan??
Then Melinda sent me the 1st picture Little Flower had of "Ri". This was a link to their Facebook page. I was able to suddenly search "Ri" in this group....and there she was. The date that they posted saying Ri arrived, matched my paperwork of when she got to Beijing from her providence orphanage. The picture of her coming home from the hospital 6 weeks later, matched my paperwork on one of her hospital discharges. It was her. There was my baby....as a baby. My baby. I literally was shaking as this became a reality that I was staring at my daughter...only 3 months old. Pieces of her story slowly came together over the following weeks. I was still in a little denial, so I emailed my agency and asked if they knew of this home. They said they would look into it, but I never heard anything. So, I reached out to Little Flower directly. I provided them with private information that only I would know and they would know. They quickly emailed me back...it was her. And better yet, they sent me over 900 photos over Ri's 1st year of life. WHAT?!?!? I just went from 3 pictures, to over 900!!! This huge chunk of her past...was suddenly visible in pictures.
And sure enough..as I scrolled through the pictures, one after another, after another, of Ri and Ying (Morrissey and Jaelyn). Best buddies. They arrived around the same time in Beijing, both had CHD requiring immediate surgery, they were in the same hospital, at the same time, operated on by the same surgeon and both returned to care at Little Flowers for their care.
Jaelyn (Ying) was brought home to her forever family when the girls turned one. At that time, we think Ri was medically stable enough, to be transferred out of this home, into another home..the home she lived at until October 2016, when I brought her home.
Do you see God in this??? I mean, the chances that Melinda would see my post. The tug in her heart to just ask (by the way...she was currently staying out of state, with her family, days away from Jaelyns open heart surgery!), the tug to keep pursuing the possibility even when it seemed unlikely. 2 little girls, with an undeniable similar background, and an unknown bond that will be interwoven in their hearts and stories.
This...this story...gave these 2 beautiful girls a chance to connect. They get a chance to talk one day with someone who can truly "get it". They walked in the same shoes. They shared the same room, the same nanny, the same surgeon, they were essentially sisters. They may not remember each other now, but one day...they will have each other. And I have no doubt, that this was God's plan. For these girls to have each other.
This story...gave me a HUGE piece of Morrissey's background. Without Melinda reaching out, I would still, to this day, know nothing about her prior to 1 year old. I have pictures now that I can one day show Ri. These pictures even provided huge insight to her medical background. (Pictures of her on oxygen, feeding tubes etc).
This story...gave me Melinda. I wish I could say she lived right down the street from me, but she lives WAY north!! But, even so, thanks to technology, we have been able to communicate and support each other in so many ways.
So I will once again give all glory to God for this. Thank you God for working in the details, for giving Morrissey and Jaelyn each other. Thank you for being their Father, for being our Father. Thank you for the gift of miracles, and thank you for the gift of peace and hope even when our days are dark and miracles don't seem possible.
Morrissey and Jaelyn....I think it's about time we get you reunited. But I will save that for another night...
Until then...sweet dreams our little heart warriors.