Well, Emily got into contact - through a chat group - with a wonderful woman named Bonnie who had just adopted from China. (Big deal, you think. What the heck does this have to do with you guys? Does her cat pee on her stuff? Does the man in her life eat foods of questionable lineage? (By the way, I'll deal with that subject later.) Why bother to talk about some other person who's just gotten a child from China?) I'll tell you: Bonnie's child, Zoe by the way, came from Dang Yong's orphanage, or maybe Dang Yong comes from Zoe's orphanage. I'm not quite sure of the ownership issue over there, but either way, they come from the same place, and Bonnie said she might have pictures of Yong. Of course our first question to her was "How is little Zoe? Is she adjusting alright? How was the food? Were the airline seats comfy enough? How has the upcoming Year of the Rat affected Chinese relations with the rest of the world?
Heck no. I could care less (right now selfishly enough) about Zoe. I want to know where the pictures of my boy are. We all know that it can't be possible for anyone with a heart beating within them to not take a picture of the most beautiful Chinese child ever. Sorry, Zoe, you're going to have to take the Silver in this event. Well, Em shot an email to Bonnie within one nanosecond of receiving her email, politely yet desperately requesting any pictorial documentation of our son. I like to think that I handled the matter in a very mature fashion. Every three to four minutes that passed by found me furiously checking email on any computer with an Internet connection. As of three o'clock this morning, we still had no reply. As of three oh three this morning, we still had no reply. At this point, I exercised the ultimate in self control and waited until a reasonable hour (seven am) to check again. Cursing the day Bonnie was born, I promptly powered down the computer after still no reply and headed off to our Saturday morning Deacons meeting at the Church. Upon arrival home however, our Henan correspondent had sent an email with an attachment or two (or three or four). I quickly retracted my curse and electronically tore into the email with the gusto that I usually reserve for the all-you-can-eat buffet lines.
There were a number of children in the pictures (all four pictures were basically of the same kids) and immediately I picked him out. He was the tallest and least happy looking of the bunch. Quietly watching all of his other friends and their toys and candies received from Bonnie. The look on his face nearly broke my heart. It was a look that seemed to say, "Why aren't you bringing me home? Why did you pick the little girl?" I doubt it if anybody else noticed that look, considering the commotion and number of kids involved, but I saw it instantly. I wanted to shout into the picture so loud that my voice would carry through the limitations of the picture and of time itself and declare, "You know why she's not bringing you home? It's because I am! I'm the one God picked for your father, not anyone else. I'm sorry I can't be there right now, Yong, but we're going to come and get you as soon as we possibly can. Just hold on for a little bit longer. I'm coming!
Then I got a chill running down the back of my spine. What if that picture wasn't of Yong? What if I was mistaken. Had I just bonded with a child I would never know as my own? I felt like I might have just cheated on my son. Why did I pour out so much emotion without making absolute darn sure he truly was my boy?
With fear mixed with paranoia, I brought up one of our pictures of Yong that was on the Hope for Children Child Waiting website, and studied it as furiously and intently as I could, going back and forth between the pictures. It's amazing how a child can change over a relatively short period of time. After very close scrutiny of the pictures I sat back with a sigh.
They were the same boy. I hadn't emotionally strayed at all. Now I could unabashedly admire my son's most recent picture. He is the most handsome boy I have ever seen. He must take after his new daddy that way. Even as I write this, I have to keep looking back at his picture to make sure it's all real. Yup, just looked: it's real.
I'm looking back over this posting, self editing as I go, and I realize that my emotional outpouring over wanting to go and get Yong could be taken the wrong way. I don't want to be thought of as some hero, going to save a poor orphan halfway around the world. If I wasn't going to adopt him, God would find someone else to. I don't want to be thought of a someone who wants wants to be seen as a "good person" or selfless for adopting.
I just want to be his daddy, and that's about as selfish as I can get.
Hey, do you want to see my son? He's the tall one on the right.