We have a REFERRAL! That long awaited moment has arrived!!!!! We are no longer waiting!!!! For those of you who are not privy to adoption lingo, this means we have been matched with a child! We have a sweet face to look at and to think about while we gather documents for yet another "paperchase". If we have learned anything, it is the lesson that God moves when we are least expecting it. Things began to pick up speed in February. We knew that our home study update was due. Because we had added another member to our family (Jude), along with the fact that we had moved, we had to update. As we began to prepare for this to take place, we also began discussing the Ethiopian wait times extending. Things have been a serious roller coaster in Ethiopia in recent years and we have felt the stresses. We affirmed our call from God to pursue adoption because of all of the many children in need of homes. Ethiopian wait times continue to increase, even for special needs children, sibling groups and older children. One day, as we looked at the waiting child list with our agency, I saw a beautiful little face that made my heart skip a beat. For a moment the world stood still. I cannot describe the feeling, I just knew. Her file name (which is not her real name, for confidentiality purposes) was "Jamie". I sent her photo to my husband. Later that night we discussed her information (the little bit that could be disclosed openly). We agreed to request her file, which we did. She was under review. I have to admit, I was crushed a little bit, but I was thankful that a family wanted her. From that moment, I could not get her out of my mind. A week later we received an email asking if we were still interested in "Jamie's" file. WE WERE!!!! We are given her file to review and we could not say no! Marcus and I talked about why we wanted to adopt and how this looks totally different than what we imagined. This is totally from God and we have learned to not anticipate. The only thing is....she is not in Ethiopia. And, our dossier IS in Ethiopia! Unfortunately they just do not send those things back! This means transferring programs and compiling a whole new dossier. It took us 8 months to complete our first home study and dossier. We knew all to well the road that awaits. SHE IS WORTH IT!!!
Here is what we can disclose. Obviously, she is a she! And, I mentioned that we would be transferring programs. This means sh is in a different country. She is from Chine. This means new standards, new qualifications. Originally, we did not meet the requirements for the China program. God opened that door just before He ever presented this sweet baby girl to us. We have been given official pre-approval from the Chinese government to pursue an adoption for this specific child. Anything could go wrong. They still have the ability to deny us at any moment. She is in an orphanage in China as we speak. She is considered special needs. She is almost 2! SHE IS PRECIOUS!!!!! SHE IS SO DEARLY LOVED!!!! So, we are ferociously collecting paperwork. We ask for prayer. We ask to be covered in it. All the more, we ask that you cover her in prayer!!! That her heart will be prepared for her coming family. That she feels a peace from God where she is right now. That she is protected from Satan who knows she is to be ours and will stop at nothing to foil this plan. We have experienced it in full force this year. Pray that she remains healthy. Pray that we do not experience hassles with paperwork or hold-ups that happen all of the time. Pray that when the documents are ready that the funds are there too. Pray like mad that we can bring her home this year!! Pray that we find favor with the Chinese government and we get final approval once they receive our dossier! Pray until you cannot think of anything else to pray.
From our previous post, we have introduced our children to her picture and videos. They are head over heels for her too. They ask about her all the time! She is going to fit in so perfectly with our family. We do not expect anything to be smooth sailing, but we do know that this is meant to be and it will be amazing! We cannot wait to bring our little Chinese butterfly home!!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11