You Wan lives in a foster home in China–and I found her. As in, I found the foster home, online. I found pictures of her. I found out more about her than I ever thought I’d know at all, let alone before we went to China to get her. Chalk it up to the magic of Google.
Wan’s file has been in China since 2007, when someone, somewhere, declared her ready for adoption. The latest information we had dated back to 2006–hooray, we know she was quite a normal, healthy size for a one-year-old! Since she’s three now, I think we can be forgiven for being a bit…curious. And when I’m curious, I google.
I googled her province. I googled adoption groups from her province. I googled “update” “Adoption” “china” “How long”. You name it, I googled it. I didn’t get a whole lot of work done…but I found a small Yahoo group, of lovely people who’d traveled to Wan’s city and brought home kids of their own. All agreed that yes, they’d had updates–and yes, we needed one!
One had a blog, and that blog led to another blog, and so on (they’re like eating Tings, aren’t they?). And one of the blogs had a teeny tiny little link to a teeny tiny little foster home in this teeny tiny (ok, not so much) province. And there was this picture. Of a girl, clutching a crayon. Same tugged up nostril as Wan. Same look of fierce determination. Same….je ne sais quoi.
I know. I thought it too. I had to be kidding, that I would find this needle in a haystack when, realistically, the vast majority of the needles aren’t even in the haystack (because if you think the average Chinese foster home has a website, well…suffice it to say, nope. And even if they did, they’d be in Chinese, right? Right.)
I didn’t even bookmark it. Which meant that a week later, when I really, really just wanted to see that picture again, I had to roll through most of the google/yahoo/blog process all over again. But there it was. And above it, there was a link. “About the kids.”
Reader, I clicked it.
And there was the determined girl. I clicked again. Birthday–match. Date of arrival in foster care–match. Same scar, same lip, same nose, same province, same city…
At some point, it became less likely that there would be two children with all of those things in common than that I would find the child we’d been matched with on the website of an American-run foster home in China. I’m no statistician, but I’m pretty sure the numbers are on our side.
Here’s the thing: we can’t check. Adoption regulations forbid direct contact between orphanages or foster care and prospective adoptive parents. I called our agency, absolutely. She’s checking. She’s checking.