Saturday, January 26, 2013

Linking Up

I'm a day late but I'm linking up to Kelly's (over at Kelly's Korner) Show-Us-Your-Life Friday link-up where the topic of the week is adoption.  If you're visiting from Kelly's little corner of the world wide web, WELCOME!

I'm thinking a fun way to catch you up on our story is to highlight (by linking you to) a few of our favorite posts.  So, here goes:

Thanks again for dropping by and PLEASE feel free to email us at if you have questions about adoption, in general or any part of the process.  I love to share my heart and what little knowledge I have on the topic.

Monday, January 21, 2013

We're Next (sort of)....and I got some explaining to do.

Within our agency, things on the referral front have been pretty quiet of late.  As you will recall, we didn't move on the wait list at all from the first of December to the first of January.  And, even since then, things have been disappointingly quiet.

Until Friday.

We learned, on Friday (1/18/13) that FOUR babies had been matched with their forever families.  There was so much excitement on our agency's FB page (and just on FB in general as many of us have become FB friends).

Let me catch you up to where we are and how these new referrals affect us.....

(Official) Wait List (as of 1/1/13)

  1. K Family - Doing a concurrent adoption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo / waiting to bring home their son from the Congo / unable to accept a referral from Ethiopia until he has been home for 6 months.
  2. H Family - I have become friends with this Mom and we spend a lot of time FB chatting, trying to encourage one another (along with family #5's Mom too) and keep one another "off the ledge".  : )  This family has been waiting for the referral of an infant girl.
  3. Williams Family - THAT'S US! - Remember, we are waiting for the referral of a girl, age 2 to age 6.
  4. Unknown family
  5. H Family - One of the other Mom's that I now consider a friend.  Waiting for the referral of an infant girl.

Now.....on Friday, the families shown above in the #2 and #4 positions received referrals for baby girls.  In addition, a sweet family who had the unfortunate experience of losing a referral also got a referral for a baby girl and a family further down the list got a referral for an infant boy.

So......based on this, the top of the (unofficial; only because the new official one won't come out until 2/1/13) list is looking like this:

1.  Williams Family - that's us!
2.  H Family (formerly #5 above)
3.  G Family

(The K Family listed above as #1 is still on hold.  Our agency may consider us #2 but we know we're really #1....wink, wink, smile).

Technically, because of our age parameters, we have been at the "it could happen any day" status for a while but, can I just tell you that things feel different lately?  Like it really COULD happen any day.

And since we're so close and because so many have asked, I want to take a moment to explain what's happening next.

What it is, at this point, that we are waiting FOR is a phone call from our agency saying that they have an available child that meets our parameters.  Our adoption coordinator has her own special ring on my cell phone so the moment that call comes should prove to be REALLY exciting.

When she calls, she will share with us the details that she has available and then she will forward us an email that will have copies of any paperwork that is available (birth certificates, medical records, etc.) and PICTURES!  Because we have contracted with the International Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt, we will promptly forward them any and all information for their review.  They have 24 hours to get back to us with any advice, recommendations, etc. that they might have/think that we need to know.  Once we accept the referral, more paperwork will be involved and our case will be filed with the Ethiopian court system.  Once we are granted a court date, we will make our travel arrangements and head to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where our daughter will be waiting for us in our agency's Transition Home).  This will hopefully happen 4-8 weeks after "the call".

While we are in Ethiopia (likely for about a week), we will be able to spend time each day getting to know our girl; we will also do some sightseeing and plan to visit with our sponsor child, Teraku and my sister Ashley's boy, Kumalechew.  One of our days will be spent going to court where the ultimate goal is to hear the judge declare, "she's all yours".

The most unfortunate part of this trip is that when it comes to an end, we will leave without her.  She will remain at the Transition Home until the US Embassy clears her to travel (which can take several weeks to several months).  There is nothing natural about that, so we could use your prayers (for us and for her) regarding this step in the process starting now.  From there, we will wait for another call saying that she is cleared to travel.  We will travel once more to bring her home.

It is our plan for both of our boys to go on one of the two trips; we aren't sure at this time which trip they will take.  It will depend on timing.

Thanks for praying for us, for loving our family.....all five of us!

P.S.  Other families with age/gender parameters different than ours could still receive referrals before us, of course.  So, technically, we aren't necessarily "next" but it sounds/feels good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

One Year

Earlier today, I shared the following as my Facebook status.  Thought I would post it here, for the record:

One year ago today we were paper ready and officially placed on the waiting list with our adoption agency. I didn't think we could ever be more excitedly expectant than we were on that day, but now I know, these 365 days later that I was wrong. God has grown a love for her in our hearts and taught us so very many lessons about Him and about ourselves in this time. We're ready, God, whenever you are.

What's funny is that as I was copying and pasting this status to post here, my FB friend and fellow Lifeline adoptive mom, April (whose family landed on the waiting list the same exact day as we did), commented that we actually had been waiting one year as of YESTERDAY (the 2nd).  Apparently, I'm getting so good at waiting that I've lost track.    

By the way, April and her husband received their referral several weeks ago and are now waiting for a court date.  Could you pray that their case moves along and they are able to travel soon?

A new year is always encouraging.  A fresh start.  And I have to say that starting this new year with the promise that our girl will join our family in the coming year feels great.  It has also been encouraging to reflect on the things that He has shown us during the wait; for the gifts that He's given us through friends that we've made with like hearts, and through the reminders from our dearest friends and family of the love that others already have for our girl.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Monthly Wait-List Update

Well, at least we can't go backward at this point.

We received our monthly wait list update email today from our ever-faithful Lesley and, just as we expected, we are number.......

As you recall, this is the same number that we received at the beginning of December.

This doesn't mean that there were no referrals in December because, actually, 9 children were placed with their forever families last month.  It's just that none were placed with families ahead of us.  There was one special needs placement made; there is also one set of toddler twin boys (oh what fun!), 3 infants and 3 older children who are now no longer orphans.  Praise God!  Please pray for their families as they begin a new and different kind of wait.

As for us, things look the same up here at "the top".  The family who is currently in the #1 position, as I've shared before, is on hold as they are currently adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (I marvel at the families doing this....many prayers for them).  It is my understanding that they will not be able to accept an Ethiopian referral until that child has been home for six months (and he's not home yet to my knowledge).  Selfishly speaking, I hope we get a referral before their hold is up.  The family in the #2 spot is waiting for the referral of a girl, age 0-2 which, since we are approved for 2-6, doesn't technically affect our referral.  On days when I'm being particularly upbeat, I just go ahead and consider us #1.  On days when I'm not, well.  (I mean, there is always the real possibility that their hold will be lifted before we receive a referral (they are approved for a girl, age 0-4) and, well, we'll still be hanging on).  God's timing.

In the meantime, this is Jeff's last week at his current job.  He has worked for the same company for 11 years, serving as their CFO until the company was purchased by another in May.  At that time, he became the Chief Integration Officer and has helped to merge the multiple companies into one, which has moved its headquarters here to Nashville.  Now that everything is moving right along, he has decided to do the same.

I think, at this point, we both vacillate between great excitement and nervous fear at what our future holds.  Earlier in our adoption, when we first knew that this career change was a possibility, we talked of how no one but God could make a way for us to adopt and bring home our new daughter at the exact time that Jeff would be unemployed and able to spend more than normal time at home, bonding with our daughter and strengthening the ties of what will soon be our new family.  It is exciting to see what He has in store for each of us.