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.
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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Williams Family - THAT'S US! - Remember, we are waiting for the referral of a girl, age 2 to age 6.
- Unknown family
- 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.