Lindsey Li

By Kathy, mother to Lindsey Li from China with cleft lip and palate

Did I know I would adopt from China before 2006? Well that answer is no. I knew nothing about Chinese adoptions let alone special needs.

My oldest daughter, Chelsea left us to be with God on January 6, 2006. She was healthy without any problems until October 5, 2005. Long story short, she died of a brain bleed caused by a sagital sinus venous thrombosis. Basically, she had a very old blood clot in her brain and many smaller blood vessels that had formed burst and she died after 3 months of traveling back and forth to Seattle from Anchorage. The doctors figured out what was wrong only 2 weeks before her unexpected death.

I had to tell that part to make you understand more of how we were led to Lindsey. I was sitting in the hospital on December 6, 2005 with Chelsea and she asked me if I could ever have more kids. I told her no because I could not have more children from “my tummy”. She went on to tell me that yes I could have more..”…we could adopt…but it would HAVE to be a girl” You see, Chelsea had her little brother, Jesse.

I thought nothing of it…I was concentrating on her getting better. Less than one month later my daughter was gone. I had no idea how much that conversation would help me to understand what was to come.

I still had a deep desire to be a mom, for my son to have a living sibling. I was in the midst of dealing with life without my daughter and had to finish up some things for a new job that I had started only months before. I met with an instructor that was helping me that expressed her sorrow for me and my husband. She went on to tell me that her neighbor had offered to talk to me as she had lost her daughter 6 years before. This neighbor had a daughter adopted from China and to top it off, this little girl had known my Chelsea!! If this was not a sign, I don’t know what was!!

Lindsey then

We sent our DTC on 12/22/06. It may have seemed soon to some but we were “in line” and we knew the line was long. The very next week I was up in the middle of the night and missing Chelsea very much. I checked my email and our agency, ASIA had received a waiting child list. On that list was Zhang Jia Li. She was cleft affected. I immediately was drawn to her and emailed the agency for her file. I had not even talked to my husband yet. I showed her his photo and he agreed, she was our daughter. Our adoption timeline also proved to me more then ever that this little girl was met to be with us. We sent our LOI on 1/31/07. We receive our LOA on 5/16/07, Lindsey’s 1st birthday. We received our TA on 6/11/07 my son’s 5th birthday and we landed in China on 7/4/07 the 6 year anniversary of my step father’s passing. Chelsea was helping us the entire time.


Lindsey now

Lindsey will never “replace” the daughter we lost. She is definitely our daughter and the events of my life have proven to me without a doubt that there is a plan. My family is proof of that. Lindsey has had her cleft lip and palate repaired at Shriners Hospital in Portland, Oregon. She is thriving and we can’t imagine life without her.

Visit our family blog here.

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