There is a fun little thing around the China adoption community called a "ladybug sighting." Ladybugs are considered good luck in China, and are often used as a symbol for these beautiful adopted children. "Ladybug sightings" are magical signs you get during the long and frustrating adoption process to let you know everything is fine, and this is exactly what you are meant to be doing in life. I have had several "ladybug sightings"...some even long before I knew I was going to adopt. I feel as though this was truly someones life plan for me....they were just a little slow in letting me know!!!
Looking back many years...ladybugs were a special symbol between my mom and I. On valentines day, she used to give me pink tea roses and a ladybug. I dont really know when or why it started...but it was just our thing. One of the cute stuffed ladybugs is sitting on a shelf in the baby's future room right now.
When my mother was sick, she sat me down and told me not to be sad... that she would always be around me. She said she would come back as a ladybug...so whenever I saw one, she was there checking up on me. Hmmm....did she know something I didnt??
My first "official" ladybug sighting came, when I was on a layover, sitting in my hotel room, working on stacks and stacks of adoption paperwork. I have to admit my frustration level was quite high, and I was overwhelmed looking at all of the work ahead of me. All of a sudden a ladybug came crawling across the desk and onto my papers. I had to laugh to myself....I knew my mom was checking up on me...I also knew this was a sign from my daughter...to keep going...I was doing the right thing. I worked relentlessly on my paperwork for the rest of the day.
My next "sighting" came one day when I was working on the airplane and met a lovely girl from Shanghai. We were having a wonderful conversation about China, her families story and plight to keep her and her sister. It was very inspiring to hear her story. Gary and I had been thinking about names for our daughter, and we wanted to give her both an American and a Chinese name...as well as keep her given name from the orphanage. I asked her what a beautiful Chinese girls name is...and her reply was this..."I already know what you should name your daughter....her name should be Jun Li." I just remember getting chills and feeling my eyes well up with tears. Especially with her Chinese accent...the name sounded so close to my mothers name...Judy. Yes...this was another sign. (I think we now have a middle name!!)
Yet another "sighting" came yesterday, indirectly, in a phone message from my dear friend Lori. I was having a long day at work, feeling tired and a little discouraged (still waiting to hear about our LID) When I listened to my messages...there was one from Lori...telling me about a sign she got on my behalf. She was at the museum with her daughter Mia (also adopted from China) when a mother came to the play area to round up her two kids. She called out to them..." Sabrina...Griffin....it is time to go!!!" For those of you who dont know yet...Sabrina is the first name we have chosen for our daughter...and well...you all know by now who Gryffin is. Lori had a good laugh to herself...and knew the story would make my day.
I know these stories may not seem like much to you...but for those of us that have been through so much, and have waited for so long for our children...any little glimmer of hope keeps you going!! I hope to have many more "ladybug sightings".....until the day...I can bring my own little ladybug home forever.