Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Referral!!

It's killing me to sit still at the computer to write this, but I know all of you adoption blog-stalkers are itching for the details of our REFERRAL today......

First....we received a referral for a little girl who just turned 6 years old. Some of the details are still a blur, so I'm not sure on alot of it yet (they're overnighting us a packet of info)....but we're not allowed to publish her picture or name(?) until we pass through the Ethiopian courts....however, if you see us in person, we'll be showing the picture to everyone!!

She has these eyes that scrunch up when she smiles, but you can still see them sparkling. It's hard to tell much about her hair from the picture we have - it's in corn rows, andn she's wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine sweatshirt. She has a toothy grin with a 5-6 year old's teeth - gaps and all! So, so sweet!!

So, this morning Todd and I were juggling schedules and the one car, so I was a little late for work (and a little grumpy). I checked my email around lunch time and saw that there had been a referral from our agency for Misty. I remember thinking that our families seemed to begin this adoption journey around the same time....I'm always thinking about which families we might get to travel with....but they had gotten on the list lots earlier than us, and there are many names ahead of us on the adoption list. About 30 minutes later, I was on the phone with a client, but saw my cell phone light up with Children's Hope in the caller ID. I was excited for about .5 seconds, until reality hit and I thought about Misty, who had waited for 29 weeks, compared to my measly 13 weeks. "It's way too early to start jumping every time the phone rings", is what I told myself.

I listened to the voicemail - Erin had a quick question and wanted me to call her back. When I did, I got her voicemail and left a message. About 10 minutes later, she called me back.

E: Gretchen, you requested a 3-5 year old....but you're approved for a 2-6 year old. How are you feeling about that? Are you wanting to stay in that range?

Me: Well, I think we'd be willing to go up to 6...but I better talk to Todd.

E: Yes, you need to talk to Todd. You'll be home at 2? When you get home, talk about it and then call me back this afternoon. Can you do that?

Me: Yeeees....(now getting suspicious)....Erin, you're making me want to go home now...should I go home now?


E: Yes, you might want to go home now.

Okay, so the next couple of hours involved talking and praying about adopting a child a little bit older than what we had been thinking....6 isn't that much older than 5....but 6 seems much older than 3....but a child is a child...but what if....

We called Erin back and told her we'd be happy with 2-6.

E: Great! Then I've got a referral for you!!

Me: Gah!!!...

We know she's 5 or 6 and her Ethiopian name means "conscience" or "understanding"....she's just been at the orphanage for less than a month and had been living with her mother until then. The orphanage says she's observant, a good listener, and beautiful!!

The next step is that we'll be assigned a court date and then a few weeks later we'll go bring her home! I haven't been paying enough attention to how long that's been taking other families, but we're wondering if we might able to bring her home before the end of the year.....what an amazing Christmas this will be!!

We introduced the girls to their new sister as soon as they got off the school bus, and they were SO excited to finally put a face to Peanut!

Tonight we sat around the dinner table and wrote our "welcome to the family notes" to Peanut. It was so sweet to hear the girls read theirs and talk about how long they'd been praying for their new sister and how excited they are to meet here. Our good friends, the Greens, brought a celebratory ice cream cake and let us gush....

Feeling thankful, amazed, clueless, and scared to death.....

25 comments:

Michael T said...

This is awesome. I'm so happy for you guys!

Mamushsky World Headquarters said...

I'm crying AGAIN!

hugs to you all.

Out of my mind thrilled!

3 beautiful girls. What joy!

Meg DeZutti said...

Gretchen -- I'm so happy for you guys!!!! You have showed us all that great things happen when we open our hearts to the unexpected and unplanned aspects of life. Bless you for that!!!

julie said...

Oh My gosh, Gretchen, That is so exciting!!!! Congratulations. I can't wait until you get through court so we can see pictures.

God Bless,
Julie

Kristin said...

How awesome! We are SO happy for you guys! Can't wait to see pics of her : )

Hollyann Decker said...

Wow Gretchen this made me cry. The picture of Sarah Jane and Sophia is what got me the most. Their look of pure excitement is everything.

Congrats again!!!

Sandi said...

Gretchen that is SOOOO awesome! Congratulations!

Misty said...

Great news for you guys!! And, we may well be traveling together! Congrats!!

Justine said...

Your post had me in tears. there was a reason you were approved for up to age 6! Isn't it amazing how things work out. Congratualtions to you and your family.

Jodi said...

Gretchen - ahhhh... I LOVE this post. It makes me cry thinking of how exciting our referral day was. Enjoy every moment and remember those little kids LOVE the photo album you send over... I saw one little girl who carried it with her and showed all the mommies and daddies.... start planning...

Stephanie said...

Congratulations!

Erin and Keith Sager said...

That is so exciting, can't wait to see her sweet face!!!!!!! Congrats

Jill said...

So excited for you! What a great day...bet you had butterflies in your stomach the whole way home. Hope you get to bring her home soon. I got my referral October 5th last year and flew to Ethiopia on Dec 31. I had some court delays otherwise we would have been home Christmas Eve. Just remember, if you miss the holidays here, Ethiopian Christmas "Genna" is not celebrated until January 7th! I got to celebrate with the kids at the HoH last year. That was pretty special too.

Bradjward said...

Congrats!!! Will have to share with Jen. Love the new blog template too. :)

emily welch said...

Yay! I am so happy for you and your family! Oh my goodness.. how exciting? And don't be scared.. I mean, yes its human nature.. but God always delivers!!! CONGRATS!

Annie said...

Oh, gretchen and family, Congratulations!! I always LOVE referral stories and I sit her with tears in my eyes...what joy you must be feeling now!!

Can't wait to see her photo :)

Teresa said...

What an awesome referral story! I had goosebumps while reading it, imagining how emotional it must have been. I can't wait to hear more about your little girl!

Michelle said...

Great News! I'm so happy for your family.

Sunita said...

I"m going to be an Aunt again!!! YEAH I'm so excited....

Toni Lynch said...

WOW I have goosebumps and everytihng.....what a woderful referral story. Your postes are so vivid and I feel like I am right there with you. Congratulations on "peanut" although I hope you find another name for her! hahah! Blessings to your entire family.

Kathryn and Kevin said...

Congratulations! This is so awesome

Missy said...

Such a wonderful story!!! Congrats!!!!!

losiloni said...

What a great referral story! I am so happy and excited for you guys! Congratulations!

Renee said...

this is awesome!! SO excited for you guys!! congratulations!

Maryann said...

Oh, Gretchen! I'm so excited for you. Reading this made me cry. I am just so happy for all of you. Adoption is something very near and dear to my heart, as I was actually adopted. I'm very passionate about it and hope to adopt someday. Congratulations!