Saturday, February 28, 2009

Special thank-you

So I have been writing and re-writing this post in my head for weeks now, but I never could bring myself to put it on paper, until now. I'm afraid that things are going to start getting busy with our LSC and traveling coming soon and I'll forget to write this.

I haven't spoken about our adoption agency at all on this site or the people who work there. There's no real reason for that omission -- except that not much happened with the adoption during the first 29 or so months, so there wasn't much to say about them. But that's changed, so now it's time. Our agency is Great Wall - or officially, Great Wall China Adoption - for those of you that aren't involved in the international adoption world. Simply put , we LOVE our adoption agency. Love is a very strong word but it fits here in so many ways. And their love for us also shows in so many ways. I know what you're thinking -- "sure they love you too" -- "this girl is crazy" -- "you are just another customer to them". But they really do. And they love our daughter and all the children in China waiting to be adopted too. This makes me get teary-eyed just thinking about it. Their love is real.

While we where thinking about completing our Waiting Child/Special Needs application - it took us about 9 months to pull the trigger on this - I called and emailed Great Wall a few times just to talk about my fears. I wasn't looking for them to help me make a decision. I just needed a friend to listen without judging, to tell me I was wasn't crazy, to laugh with me, to tell me my thoughts were normal , and to comfort my fears. I got all of this and more. They were there for me when I needed them. They understood.

Back in December there was a 'mix-up' in some paperwork. I can't get into details here, but those who were familiar with the situation compared it to a miscarriage. I'm not sure I agree completely with that comparison, but the emotional impact seemed every bit as severe. And just when we needed them most, Great Wall was there for us. When I literally hunted down the phone number of one of the Great Wall employees at 9:00pm at night and called crying -- she was there. She listened. She cried with me. She had no words for me. But she was a friend. She let me vent, cry, get angry and still she didn't judge me or the things I said. She then called and emailed more GW employees -- and more of them cried with us. Why? Because they really did care about us. They invest there hearts into every family and every child. The next morning another employee of GW called. She called even through she had no words to comfort us, knowing that I needed a friend. Not just any friend but a special kind of friend who could understand exactly what we were going through. Someone just to sit and listen to me breath because I had no words. These 'employees' of GW were never employees during this time -- they were and will always be my friends.

For the next 6 or 7 weeks I got at least one phone call or email a week checking on me, just to see how I was doing. And I made a few extra calls to them too when I needed someone to talk to about the situation or to just have them ease all my fears once more. And they were always there for me. This is what friends do.

And there was another 'friend' of our family that I will never get to meet. A GW employee in China who was also spending a great deal of her time trying to help us through some difficult times. We'll never get to meet this person -- but she will always be remembered. We are forever grateful for her love for our family.

We got 'the call' about Cassie on January 22nd, 2009. The 'employees' at GW actually fought over who was going to get to call us. Why? Because they care -- each of them wanted to be the one to tell us that our daughter that we had waited for and longed for was here. Her paperwork was in their hands. They had seen her sweet little face and knew that in a matter of minutes she would be forever in our hearts. When we got the call -- it was wonderful to hear the news from a friend -- a friend who was just as excited as we were. I could hear it in her voice - she was as excited as we were. Once that phone call was over -- another friend from GW called to give us more details about our baby girl. And she too was excited for us, excited with us. It was such a comforting feeling to know that these friends had been there with us through the worst and the greatest moments of our journey.

So that is why we love Great Wall. I know our journey to Cassie isn't the typical one but it's comforting to know that one of the best decisions we made along the way was to choose Great Wall to walk with us on this journey. We will be forever grateful to our friends there for helping to complete our family.

Think about this for a moment: We live in a world where "customer service" means calling an 800 number and talking to a robot for 5 minutes before finally you are transferred to a human being who reads a script and is pressured by his/her management to get off the phone in 30 seconds or less, so they can go "handle" the next customer.

Great Wall doesn't live in that world. In GW's world, the "customer" is the most important person they have ever met. In their world, the "customer" is a close friend who has placed their trust in GW to help them build a family. In their world, the customer is someone to whom you connect with, someone for whom you care. A rare world, that. And a rare group of people, those GW "employees". And we are grateful to occupy a little corner of such a world with them.

So to Beth, Stephanie, Leigh Anne, Corrine, and everyone else at Great Wall --- THANK YOU for everything. You all have a special place in both our hearts for being our friends.

We also would like to thank the China Center of Adoption Affairs - aka "the CCAA". Yes, the CCAA. We know that they DO care about the children, the families adopting the children and the process that they follow. Because of our situation we know first hand that they have big hearts, felt for us as soon-to-be parents, and that they have honor and integrity. We will be forever grateful to the employees of the CCAA for showing us compassion and for understanding our situation. We will never meet these people, yet we owe them a lifetime of gratitude.

Much love,
Sherry & Sonny


Susan said...

I'll second that! Love you guys all!

Susan, Roger and Maiya

3peas1pod said...

Well put...times 3!

Lesa said...

Very nice post. I have one of these persons in common so far. Beth has been my sounding board. Thank you Beth! Hopefully we will know these others very soon.

Lesa said...

Sherry, check out my blog for your "Lovey Award". I tried to share it with ones who haven't gotten an award before.

Love ya!

Melissa said...

I had a similar bad situiation with Darby's file and Stephanie was awesome and looked for her everyday to come back on the list and called me immediately when she did and locked her file for us. It was amazing and we wouldn't have our precious daughter if it wasn't for her dedication. They are all great there, but I have dealt with Stephanie the most and she always listens and answers my questions (no matter how silly they might be). Great Wall has been wonderful so far!