I must admit, it feels a bit strange calling you that. I had spoken to you as Jayne in my thoughts and prayers for so long. But don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful that I get to address this to you as Madison, as that is the name your family has given to you – your forever family. It means you are home where you belong. In my letters to you (here and here), Madison, I did what I could to share you with the world, in hopes of finding your family. Little did I know that your Mama, who I had met in China during the same trip that I met you, was reading these letters. Her heart ached for you as mine did, but in a more powerful way – in a Mama’s way. It started as one casual sentence in an email, “Ok, don’t read anything into this but do you have any additional information on Jayne? Just curious.” I shared everything I knew about you with them. 11 days later, and after many conversations, your Mom emailed me and it simply said, “Guess what? Can you call me?” With my hands shaking, and my heart pounding, I called your Mama and Baba. I was on speaker phone with both of them when your Mom simply said, “She’s ours. Do we have enough time?” I’m not even sure what words came out of my mouth at the sound of those words!!
12 weeks. We had 12 weeks to complete your adoption start to finish. Considering the average adoption takes roughly 36-52 weeks, to say we didn’t have much time would be an understatement. Every day counted. And every day during those 12 weeks your Mama and Baba moved heaven and earth to get to you. With each passing week, and another step completed, there was still so much to do. Fast forward to the last couple of weeks before your 14th birthday. On February 23rd, a mere THIRTEEN DAYS before your birthday, we were still waiting on a crucial document in order to proceed. Your Mom probably called 3-4 times a day for a good week about this document, on hold each time 1-2 hours. She wasn’t giving up! None of us were! We KNEW your parents would get to you in time…..they just had to! Finally, that document came in (followed by a few other crucial ones….your Mom can fill you in on those details if you’re curious), and on February 28th, with only one week to spare, your Mom booked her flight to get you. Your adoption was finalized on the day before your 14th birthday. I think the sighs of relief from all of those who love you both in China and in the US were heard around the world. We made it.
Madison, I never gave up on you. Of course, I had moments of panic and worry that your family wouldn’t find you. And, when they did, that there wasn’t enough time. I’m sure you had your own worries and panic! You had dreamed of a family for so long, and now that it was actually upon you, the reality of leaving your entire familiar was upon you. I used the word resilient in one of my first letters to describe you Madison, and I am going to add brave to that. You are one remarkable girl, and I am honored to have been a small part of your story! I ended my last letter to you hoping that I would get to meet you living out your forever – I know that day will come eventually! But I have peace in knowing that we have plenty of time, forever in fact, to make it happen. Until then, I will be satisfied with the pictures your Mom sends me of you in a family. In YOUR family. Welcome home Madison. You are loved by many.