And I woke up this morning with a smile in anticipation of how our morning would unfold.
Where to begin...
I guess I'll start a few months back when I read a post on our Yahoo "Shanghai Adoptions" board. It was the post by a mother, named Cheylene, whose son was about to undergo open-heart surgery. She was requesting prayers for his upcoming surgery. The fact that her son was Charlie's age did not register at the time, but my radar went up instantly because her son, Isaac, is a heart baby.
My radar always goes up for heart babies.
And this child has the same heart condition as Daniel had--TOF (Tetralogy of Fallot). I felt compelled to write back to this mom, immediately, to share another valuable network with her. For the past nine months, I have been part of a private group on Facebook consisting of all "heart moms," mothers of children with congenital heart defects. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I've learned from these amazing women, who are all tremendously dedicated mama bears. They are some of the kindest people I've ever met, without actually meeting them. They are a special group of moms, for sure, and I just knew inside that Isaac's mom belonged there, too.
When she joined the heart group, Chey quickly posted a picture of Isaac on one of his recent hospital visits. In the backdrop of the photo, I noticed a sign that read "Miami Children's Hospital."
Of all the crazy things, could this family be located right here in South Florida?
Divine intervention. They live less than an hour away.
We chatted on Facebook and began to digest the fact that our sons are the same age, and from the same Social Welfare Institution in Shanghai. And when we started "doing the math," we speculated that they must've been together in the orphanage for about nine months.
Of course, then, I was just drooling to meet Isaac. But Chey, understandably, wanted to keep Isaac in a bubble before his open-heart surgery. I could totally relate, because I'd been the same way with Daniel before his surgery three years prior. We forged a plan to meet once Isaac was post-op and home from the hospital. His surgery came and went, and he literally blasted out of the hospital after a strong and notable recovery.
Today was our day. We decided to meet at a park halfway between our towns.
I must admit that it was a little emotional for me as Chey and her family approached the picnic area. I believe Chey felt it, too. How could we not? I mean, our sons lived together, across the world, possibly in the very same room. And we are left to wonder...did they sense each others presence in lonely times? Had they heard each others cries when a comforting touch was scarce?
Our boys, perhaps, knew each other long before they were a part of our lives and our families. There's a special bond between us, just based on that alone. It was pretty awesome.
We asked them if they knew each other in China, but our two barely-verbal sons remained silent. We just don't know those answers. And perhaps neither do they. Charlie's been home for two years now, so for these little guys, their time together in Shanghai is ancient history.
But whatever the case, I have a feeling that a deep, lasting friendship has been formed today between two moms...two sisters in Christ. And we plan to get our families together soon.
These boys have a lot of catching up to do...