Monday, September 13, 2010

We Received A REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am NOT joking! I am totally serious! I have been itching to tell you all for days, but now things are official so grab a snack (This is REALLY LONG) and a tissue or two and settle in for a story that, even though I am living it, it shocks me more greatly than words. Faith Like Potatoes prayers get answered in amazing ways!!!!
*Note* If you have been following the recipes, they will return in a few days... I will manage to get 30 on here... I will!

I have been pondering how to write this entry for so long! I have longed to be a mommy my whole life. I have cared for and loved others children. I have watched friends announce pregnancy once, twice, and truly three times in more than one case. I have rejoiced, I have loved, I have prayed, I have hoped, and I have cried and longed and cried some more.

Now, the moment is here! Our moment has arrived! Part of me wants to tell you of the excitement of this story every day for the next, oh, ten years. Another part of me wants to say very little. I know very well how hard it is to see the seemingly never ending excitement of others when your time has not yet come. If you are reading this today and you are still waiting for the call, for two lines on the stick, for a ring on your finger... I have been there. I will try to honor you as I write, and pray that your wait will not be long! I will not stoop to trite comments like, “the wait is worth it” or “your time with come” as they never really lifted my spirits. Keep clinging to Jesus friends! He is more than enough!

So, lets get this story going! Some of you will want the short version so I will start with that. Last Thursday at 1:00pm I came home from church to find a message on the phone from our agency. S asked for one or both of us to call her soon. I ran over to church (13 second commute remember) and told Brandon to call the agency. We talked with S and she asked us if we would like to view the referral information for little boy. We said YES!!!!!! He is 13 months old. He is delightful! He has huge eyes and LONG eyelashes, just like Brandon. He has delicious looking lips (well they are, will he hate me for saying that one day, yeah most likely) and an adorable smile. He has a long torso, just like me. I am totally, completely biased, but he is BEAUTIFUL! Others are confirming this to me, though what else can they say... I have never had the heart to tell anyone their child isn’t beautiful so I will just stick to knowing in my eyes he is one handsome boy!

We read through his medical reports and consulted with our Dr. We know there will be risks, (another post about this is coming, but not today) but we can see God working so many miracles here that we knew, even with bits of fear, the this sweet boy was indeed our son.

OK, for some of you that was enough, but if you really want to hear how God orchestrated this amazing story settle in, this is the sort of stuff they make movies about! I have been told once or twice that I have a lot to say. This will be one of those times, so I understand if you have to skim, or read part and come back for the rest a bit later!

This story really begins on August 8th 2009 as that is when our sweet baby entered this world. Crazy enough that is also the day we moved to the parsonage and began our new adventures near the Lake! Check out these photos of the day of baby’s birth. We were a mom and dad and had no clue! *Disclaimer* Much of the next section won’t seem important as you read it, but I promise it is!

Last fall we were quite sure we knew which agency we would be using, but then after a late night phone call, we realized we could not go with that agency. Thankfully my dear college friend and floor-mate Sarah and her husband were in the adoption process and we quickly grilled them about their agency. We were sold. We had peace. We had chosen our agency.

We paper-chased very quickly and we truly enjoyed our home visits and our training. Heart of the Matters Seminars are AWESOME!!! We so highly recommend “Because They Waited!” In the middle of our dossier element collecting we received a wonderful call from Sarah announcing they had received their referral! We rejoiced with them and prayed for there little one to come home soon. Their 4 month old Baby M sounded perfect! We were so excited to follow their journey and count up the days so we could know what to expect.

In January we celebrated paper pregnancy and our DTE of 1.21.10. Soon after that we learned that things were not looking great for Sarah and Jack’s Baby M. He was stuck in the middle of a court situation that I still don’t fully understand. I do know that the judge was not very interested in signing his papers and it appeared it would take a long time for Baby M to come home. We joined Sarah’s family and prayed and fasted and begged God to allow the judge to sign Baby M’s paper.

Around this time we also learned that Baby M was not doing great physically. He was very very sick. He had been sick for a while. I can give you more details about this in person if you are curious. We prayed for his health and we were overjoyed to hear he was able to be in a place where he could get good care. His life is a miracle! Truly and honestly, God saved this child’s life through the loving hands who rescued him and nursed him back to health!

Meanwhile, we waited and saw our names very low on the list. Our hearts longed for the call, but it seemed we were so far from the top it would never come. Everything was very slow in ET and corruption of other agencies caused areas of ET to close, areas where our agency worked. The closed areas seemed to have judges who would not sign forms... like Baby M’s judge.

Months passed and we learned that Sarah and Jack we asked to lay Baby M down. The agency said his case was “hopeless” and there was no way he would ever be able to be adopted. He would live all his days in an orphanage. Through tears and pain that I can’t imagine, they laid their “Isaac” (Baby M) down. We mourned with them, and prayed that some how, some way, he would be released one day.

This summer God called Brandon and I to update our home study. We sang, “break my heart for what breaks Yours” and He did. We realized God was calling us to a mission bigger than we had imagined. He was opening our hearts to children with greater needs.

Soon we rejoiced with Sarah and Jack at the news of a pregnancy! How exciting. This July, I was able to visit my college town and spend some great time of food eating, fellowship and prayer with Sarah! We talk frequently on the phone, but time is person is so special. We prayed for Baby M, that he would be released and be able to be adopted one day.

God heard our prayers! We were shocked to learn of another miracle which happened in Baby M’s life! He is a miracle baby. Sarah and Jack received a call that blew them away. Baby M had been released! Did they want to adopt Baby M? Of course they did, but his homecoming would most likely be the same time as “new baby” would be entering the world. Again they had to make a decision that I can’t imagine making. If you would like to read more about this I will provide a link to Sarah’s blog at the end of this post. Her entires are beautiful and you will be blessed to read them. In the end, they decided it was best for their family to release Baby M and to pray that God would lead him to the family He had chosen for Baby M.

Cool God details here I am leaving out. I would be very happy to answer any questions on email or in person.

Last week Baby M’s information was given to a family on the list. With prayer they realized they were not his parents. I pray they will meet (through photo) their little one very soon.

More cool God details here for those who wish to inquire...

Then on Thursday we received a message on our answering machine that changed our lives! When we called S and realized we were being given the referral for Baby M! THE Baby M who had overcome so much. The Baby M we had prayed for and fasted for and asked others to pray for. The Baby M we had watched our dear friends release. WOW! God is SO AMAZING!!!!! As we waited for the emails to come, we were in awe of God. We were shocked that THIS is how things were happening. We laughed as we anticipated the emails. We KNEW Baby M already. We knew much of what the medical reports would say. We knew what he looked like, we had stared at his photos for months as praying friends.

About this time I was supposed to go for a walk with a dear friend who is on her own adoption adventure. I told her I would be a little late... she knew something was up, most likely my crying gave it away :)

After Brandon and I read the medical file we prayed and cried, well I cried enough for both of us. We located and emailed an International Adoption Doctor in California. We called Sarah and cried and rejoiced and cried and rejoiced! We were just so in awe of God!

I did end up going on a walk with that friend and I KNOW it was a divine appointment as I am not sure anyone else could have quite understood the situation as she did! Yay God!

Thursday night we called our parents and printed photos at Walgreens. Our parents excitement brought tears again. My mom actually asked if it was Baby M! Brandon’s parents raced to Walgreens and called us from the parking lot as they met their new grandson.

Friday we waited all day to talk with the Dr. Finally we did and we knew we could accept the referral! We were able to tell our small group and share the joy with them! So special! Saturday was FILLED with phone calls to family and friends. Sunday was filled with tears as we shared photos with friends we were able to grab at church.

Today we talked with S from our agency and officially gave her the YES!!! There are many levels of “official-ness” Actually, we are waiting for forms to come which we will sign (yes, more forms) and that will make it officially official... our referral anyway. Passing court is what makes the adoption official!

So what is next?

*all of these dates are estimates... it might be interesting to see what actually happens here. I am trying to be very conservative here so we will be pleasantly surprised. Our God has PERFECT timing so we are trusting in that!!

This week: We should be getting his birth certificate in the next couple of weeks.

In the next month: Hopefully within the next month our case will be filed for court.

Within 2 months: We should learn of our court dates. The first date will be legal stuff without us needing to be present, the second date will be our first travel date.

Within the next 4 months: Our first trip to ET to meet our sweet boy

Within the next 6 months: Baby M comes HOME!!!!!!

Yes, we want to get on a plane TODAY and meet him, but we will have to wait. Please pray that Baby M causes NO hold ups this time and the court process goes very swiftly. I wish I could reach into the photos and take hug him right now. I am so trilled to have the opportunity to be his momma!

We are not allowed to post any photos on the blog until we pass court. The “M” in Baby M refers to the first letter in his Ethiopian name. We have not decided on a name yet, but we will be revealing that after we pass court as well. I am not sure if his full name with appear on the blog. We have not decided this yet. The meaning of his ET name is so beautiful!

I will keep you posted on all of the latest information on this journey to our little man! Today we give God great GLORY for a story he had been orchestrating for SO LONG!!!

If you would like to read Sarah’s blog click HERE, or click on “Keller’s Miracles” on the side of my blog under Ethiopian Adoption Blogs.

Thank you Lord!!! There is NO ONE LIKE YOU!!!! We are in Awe!

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