I can't believe I'm actually typing this- but we got our referral yesterday!!! The best April Fools Day EVER! Our baby "A" is 5 months old and absolutely perfect. She has the most beautiful dark eyes and the chubbiest little cheeks. We are already head over heels in love with her and just can't wait to bring her home! For those of you wanting to know the story of how it happened (and for me to keep a little journal of how our day went):
Drew and I had talked Thursday night about how it had been several weeks since we had touched base with our adoption agency and he suggested we call yesterday (Friday) and see what the status of everything was. I woke up Friday thinking about our baby more than normal and even put on my Africa shirt. I just had a different feeling. So I called and talked with our agency's director Friday morning for quite a while. She totally had me fooled and although I felt very good about where we were in line and everything else we had discussed, I had NO idea that we would be getting our referral that day (she knew and was waiting on one more paper before she could give us our referral and she knew her instructions were to call Drew first). I called Drew and relayed the details of our conversation and we were both happy and relieved that we were making progress and getting closer to our baby girl. I even had a conversation with Evan and cried (happy tears) telling him that I thought we were closer to seeing his baby sister's picture. I put him in his room for rest time and got to work doing some things around the house. Then, strangely at about 3:30 I heard the garage door go up and Drew was home. His eyes were all red and I could tell he'd been crying. He said "We got our referral." Immediately, I started shaking. He said Sheila, our agency's director, had called him at work and told him (since we had instructed her to call him first). He told her he didn't want to know anything yet and just to email him pictures and him and I would look at everything together when he got home and then call her back. So we set up the videocamera and taped ourselves seeing our daughter's face for the first time. It was a precious moment I will cherish forever. Then we got to introduce Evan to his baby sister. He was happy, although I'm not sure he's going to be over-excited until he actually gets to meet this sister he's been hearing about for so long!. Then we called Sheila back and got more info and made a TON of calls to family and friends. I have no idea how many times I have looked at her picture. I just can't get enough of her and can't wait until I get to hold her and tell her how much we love her and how much everyone has been praying for her before she was even born.
To answer questions for those of you who have been asking:
-No, we do not have a name picked out yet. We wanted to wait until we saw her picture and African name. We may try to incorporate part of her African name into what we choose, or keep one of her names for her middle name. Not sure yet.....
-We hope to travel sometime at the end of June/early July for our court date and to meet our baby girl. Then we are hoping to go back in September and bring her HOME! I'm so praying that we get to celebrate her first birthday as a family together.
We treasure all of your prayers as we continue on in this journey. Please join us in praying for our baby "A", that she continues to receive great care at her orphanage, and that she can be moved closer to the capital city (Addis Ababa) soon so that she can receive even BETTER care and we can have more access to updates about her in the next few months (right now she is in an orphanage north of Addis-very remote). And please pray that as we file for our court date this week that things will go as smooth as possible so we can bring this precious little one HOME as quickly as possible! We continue to trust in God's perfect timing and know that he is in control of this whole process and every little detail involved. Thank you all for the prayers and support you have shown us since the beginning of this journey. We are beyond blessed.