One year ago today we got the call we had been waiting for. Our paperwork had been in Ethiopia for 8 months and it had been 20 months since we started the adoption process and it felt like it had taken forever. I must admit I didn't always wait well and the waiting after the referral was only more difficult.
I had woken up that day anxious because we had been having trouble with our phone and internet and as I realized that neither was working, I joking thought to myself that this would be "the day." I quickly reminded myself that it was Veteran's Day so I was convinced nothing could happen. Jeff went to work and was burning piles in the forest when he got a message on his cell phone. He called my mom, who came over and got me to call him back. It was then he told me our casemanager had called about a referral. That was such an exciting moment and those of you who have adopted know exactly what I am talking about. I looked at the clock and being that we are 3 hours behind our agency, I knew it was going to be close. Ben was just walking out the door when he answered the phone. He told me about a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I was ecstatic. I called Jeff back with the news and promised him I wouldn't open the e-mail from Ben until we were together. This wasn't going to be too hard because my internet still didn't work. Jeff couldn't leave right away because he was on a fire, so I had to wait. We made plans to meet in town at a restaurant with internet access. Lucky for us, our internet started working just before Jeff got home.
We sat down and opened the pictures, and I have to say, I didn't get the same feeling I know some people have of just knowing this was their child. This was unexpected because both Jeff and I thought we would open the pictures, feel an instant connection and call back to accept the referral immediately. This was not the case for us. We read all the medical information and we knew there were a few things that we needed to get more information about before we could accept the referral. We really thought we would be referred siblings although we were open to unrelated children and Kaleb and Emnet were not siblings. There were also parts of the kids stories which are truly heartbreaking. I know this is true of all adoptions, but when you realize that you will need to share certain details of a child's past with them at some point, you need to be able to accept what they have been through. At the same time, we were super excited. This was finally happening. As you all know we happily accepted the referral after praying and getting our questions answered and I am so thankful because I cannot imagine what it would have been like to turn a referral down. Although this journey has been anything but easy, it has been so blessed. I might have mentioned that once or twice :) So here are the pictures we saw first.
Kaleb Kebede age 4 (?)
Emnet Seyoum age 3 (?)
I can't tell you how often I stared at these pictures and prayed over them. We didn't receive a picture of Emnet smiling for months. How deceiving that was :) Kaleb's smile was and is magnetic. Here are the beautiful faces I kiss goodnight.
In other news, I have so many things to blog about. An amazing trip to Fort Bragg that was instrumental in our family turning a corner towards unity, Addie riding a two-wheeler, Toby showing incredible leadership, Emnet being the cutest little ladybug for Halloween and Kaleb's 6th birthday as well as making the paper twice in 4 months of being in America - oh. life in small town, we love it!