Adopting Cordelia in 2014 utterly transformed my life. Almost four years later, she's thriving--talking more and more, sleeping in a new big-girl bed, and learning to read. Our days are filled with parks and beaches, favorite storybooks, "cooking" in our play kitchen, and dancing to The Wiggles before bed. It seemed like life was complete.
But it wasn't; not quite.
I always wanted Cori to have a sibling. I knew she'd make a great big sister, and I had decided that "one day" we would likely return to China. I often visited the Waiting Child page on our adoption agency's website, idly looking at photographs. But I was completely unprepared for my response to one photo, my sense that the little girl was staring directly at me, my need to return to it repeatedly over the course of weeks. Over and over, I read the brief description: three years old, Down syndrome, loves music, outgoing and people-oriented. But then I'd firmly shut the computer. I'd just bought a house. It wasn't time to adopt.
But adoption is never convenient; it's never the "right" time to upend your life. In March my agency posted the photo I'd been staring at to their Facebook page with a note saying a generous donor had provided a large subsidy to help with the cost of her adoption. It fell significantly short of covering everything, but seemed to put her more within reach. I reposted to my own page with a note about how great this was, how great she seemed, and how happy I'd be to answer questions about Down syndrome adoption. Then I resolutely closed the computer, again, and went to bed.
And did not sleep.
A week later, I said yes to Zhang Su Yun and informally named her Susanna Rose Zeuli. Susanna, of course, is for Su Yun--I'll call her Susie--and Rose is for my grandmother. It's now almost five months later, and I'm working hard to bring her home. I sold my racing bike to cover adoption expenses and launched several fundraisers. I bought books about being a big sister and began to read to Cori about what it would be like. I completed our home study and gathered the stack of documents China needs to consider our application. I left administration and accepted a teaching position in my school to give me more time at home with both children.
At the end of this phase of the journey lies another trip to China, accompanied by Cori and her grandmother. We anticipate going in the late fall, maybe November. We've been honored and gratified by the support we've gotten from friends and family, and we invite you to walk with us as we enter this new chapter of our lives. Check back often for updates, and thank you for caring.