I remember vividly receiving that call. I was returning from the grocery store and bank with Madi and Julianna Debonis in the back seat of the van. I remember answering my cell phone and the Holt agent telling me that they had a baby boy who needed a home. It was impossible to keep the tears from falling. I was barely able to speak.
I should back up two weeks prior to June 24th. My Mother-in-Law, who we were all very close with, passed away from a formidable battle with uterine cancer. That morning, Jimmy and I went in Madi’s bedroom to break the news to her. They had been very, very close. We explained to Madi that Grandma had gone to Heaven. At that time, we also told her that Grandma had a job to do—she was going find us a baby.
So when the phone rang with our news of a baby, I knew in my heart that he would be the one. I tried hard to keep my composure, especially with the kids in the car. I raced home and inside the house to call Jimmy praying that he would feel the same.
The same day, we were emailed the file about our son-to-be, a baby boy from Nanchang, Jiangxi province born 2/2/08 with multiple heart conditions. We read his file over and over soaking up every detail. We stared at his pictures, studying every beautiful detail. We cautiously did our homework on his condition and met with doctors for the next month until we knew we were ready to take this leap of faith. It was then we shared our news with our world.
Just this morning, Madi woke up saying, "I miss Daniel". We all miss Daniel. Thank God for memories, for pictures, and mostly for videotape--which reminds us where Daniel started and where he ended up in our home, as a happy little boy who was so full of life. We will always love you, Dan Dan...