Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our referral story: Receiving "the call"

The past month has been somewhat of a whirlwind of events in our adoption process! We wanted to take a few moments to reflect on what God has done and how we came to say "Yes!" to begin the process to adopt Yosef and Genet.

When we began the process to adopt in Ethiopia back in January, we changed our homestudy age perimeters to include children ages 3-8, with or without special needs. Our legal documents arrived in Ethiopia at the end of June and we began our official wait for a referral in July, estimated to be 12+ months. During this time, we learned that our agency recently began a special focus on older/waiting children and siblings. We noticed that a particular sibling set, with ages in our perimeters,  had been on the "waiting child" list for a couple of months. 

We were not sure about the process of inquiring about children who were waiting. Honestly, we were not sure we were ready for the increased fees associated with a referral for 2 children. We began to pray about how to proceed and soon felt led to call our program director, just to find out more about how the process works. 

When I called, she quickly responded that I had "beat her to the call." I was so surprised to hear that she had planned to call us that very day about the same sibling set who were waiting! I asked her a few questions about fees and was thankful to know these would not be a barrier to move forward. Because both of us were working that day, we set a time for mid-afternoon to hear more about the children and the process. I will never forget seeing their beautiful faces for the first time!

We were so thrilled, but cautious, and knew that part of our process was to seek the Lord. The honest truth about adoption is there is more to the story than heart stirring t-shirts and beautiful "gotcha day" videos and pictures.  Adoption is born from loss and stories that are very difficult and sometimes hard to grasp from half the world away. Our hearts were for them, and we had much to process and pray about. We are so thankful for our program director, as she was gracious to answer the questions we had. 

As God would so perfectly design, we were leaving the next day for a week in South Carolina to visit my (Lori's) family. We were thankful to have this time away from daily routines. We were looking forward to celebrating David's 9th birthday, spending time with family, and 2 days at the beach with my parents. I cannot express how grateful I am to the Lord that He gave us that time to focus on the referral, time with Katie and David, and the opportunity to share the referral with our SC family in person. What a gift!

We were so excited when we were ready to call our director and accept the referral for Yosef (8) and Genet (6). We took Katie and David out for ice cream and shared the news and their pictures. They were both, of course, very excited. When we returned to my parent's house, we shared with them as well. We were able to share with other family members later, both in person and on the phone. Again, so grateful for God's design of timing! Praying He will continue to remind me of His perfect timing (and that I will have a surrendered heart) in the months to come! 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all of your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

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