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Fa m i l i e s

by Heather Duininck

Finally Finding Hattie

O

Hattie Duininck

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SUMMER 2012 | her voice

On my 36th birthday in 2006, I cracked opened the folder from the adoption agency. The letter read, “Dear Heather, I would like to personally thank you for considering adoption… Whatever your specific circumstance may be, I know that God has ordained [it] as a way of placing children in our homes. If you proceed…we know you will claim this decision as one of the best you have ever made in your life!” For the next six months, my husband and I diligently prepared numerous documents to send to China. In our initial letter to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, we expressed, “We are grateful for the opportunity to present our desire to adopt a child from your beautiful country…[as] a baby girl from China would bring much joy and satisfaction to our family. …We graciously request that you might grant us a referral…Our young boys…would also care about, enjoy, and benefit from a younger Chinese sister. We promise to receive this child as our very own… We are grateful for your careful and thoughtful effort regarding this vital matter. Respectfully yours…” The next four plus years were spent busily parenting our active sons—watching them move from toddlerhood into the tweens. We collected storybooks about China and plush panda

bears for our unknown child. Friends and family members persistently inquired about “our baby from China”—Have you heard anything yet?” As the years elapsed, I became disheartened about the unavailing process of bringing home a baby. In January 2011, our adoption worker contacted us about 2-year-old, Jing Ziwen. Rather than being categorized as a “Healthy Infant,”—for which we had originally applied—Ziwen’s status was a “Waiting Child.” She was slightly older and she had an obvious medical condition involving her face (what we now know is OAV Spectrum Syndrome). Our family could review her photograph and personal file. We would then have 72 hours to decide if we would pursue Ziwen’s adoption. Promptly, we presented the following to the China Center for Adoption Affairs: “We are writing to request your approval to adopt Waiting Child, Jing Ziwen. We desire to bring this young girl into our home to love and care for her…We will love [her] unconditionally…We will provide [her] with the best care possible …Our family has a strong desire to parent and care for sweet Jing Ziwen…When our sons saw [her] pictures, they all had a fondness for her… Thank you for considering our family for the adoption of Jing Ziwen...Most sincerely…”

Her Voice - Summer 2012  

• Sandy’s Country Roots - Here’s a nursery east of Brainerd whose owner re-creates her “country roots.” • Reliving History, One Bead At A Ti...

Her Voice - Summer 2012  

• Sandy’s Country Roots - Here’s a nursery east of Brainerd whose owner re-creates her “country roots.” • Reliving History, One Bead At A Ti...

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