Well here is the post I have been attempting to publish for a few weeks now. This has been difficult for me. I have read and enjoyed many posts by other families after they received their referral call. Their posts were almost immediate. They describe every special moment of "the call". I on the other hand, have trouble knowing where to start. I have thought of Mary (because you know we have so much in common) when the angel appeared to her and revealed the Christ child living in her and she "pondered these things in her heart". Maybe I just haven't been ready until now to let all of this escape my heart. It seems like I will cheapen the experience and the moment by putting it into words......following is my feeble attempt.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20th I was on my way to church. It was about 5:oo and it was dreary and rainy. Syd, Hudson and Harper were in the car with me. Jody was a few minutes behind with Carson and a friend of hers that was going to church with us. We were on our way to enjoy dinner before Wednesday night activities began. The phone rang (see above picture), and I immediately recognized All God's Children's number. My heart jumped. This scenario had played out many times in my mind and I couldn't imagine any other reason that they would be calling unless it was a referral. Our case manager immediately explained that she did have a child for us to consider. She told us that he was 4 years old and that he did have a medical condition. They were uncertain as to the cause. "Do you want to know more (because of the condition) or do you not want to move along any further?" That was her question. I told her I would speak to Jody (we always ride to church together except this time, of course) and call her right back. Of course Sydney and Hudson caught on to the conversation. As I was explaining what I knew of his medical condition and my concern, Hudson said "Well mom what does that matter. God made him and if he is sick then that is OK." Whew....the tears started then!
As soon as Jody got to church I (pounced on him) calmly explained the phone call. (Did I mention we were standing in the church hallway with all our kids and a friend)? Jody immediately said "yes, call her back". While he attempted to get the kids some dinner I talked more with our case manager. She gave me a brief description and emailed the rest home. We poured over the information, his pictures, personality profile, and background information (other picture above). His beautiful smile is what I saw first, the look on his face was precious. It looked like he was tickled at something or someone. How could a sweet baby that has experienced so much loss smile? The information we received stated that he was "smiley, playful, and had adjusted well. He can put on his shoes, run, brush his teeth, and plays well with other children. He also enjoys being around adults and will look them in the eye" We had limited family background.
We also read (and re-read) his medical information. I have to say that by now I was an emotional mess. I now see that I was overwhelmed by God's sovereignty. Jody and I had prayed many, many, MANY times about the child God had for us....our prayer was that we wanted who God wanted.
When we began the adoption process we didn't expect to get a baby. It was always our intention to get an older child, but as the months ticked by and there were no referrals for us (no older children from Hannah's Hope that were adoptable and within our parameters) we began to believe that we would bring home a baby. It felt a little wrong (for lack of a better term) to accept a referral for a baby when there were many families on the wait list that were doing just that. If we would take an older child, then why wasn't that working out. This is what floored me, this little boy (we are going to call him AJ) didn't arrive at Hannah's Hope until just a days before. We had waited all this time (when it didn't make any sense that there were no older children to be adopted) because God was waiting on AJ to get there! He was waiting to bring this little boy to us!
I wish I could say that I never feared, but I did...immediately. I am so thankful that Jody remained strong and steadfast. There was never a question if we would take him or not (we had prayed to many times that we would take whoever He had for us), but it took me a while to accept that we could be bringing home a very sick little boy. We weren't given much hope that we would have a diagnosis before we came home with him. The next day I forwarded all medical information to the International Pediatrician. It is her job to access his condition with the limited records we give her. I knew that she needed to lay out all scenarios, good and bad, but I could have done without. Some were very serious, life threatening. The days that followed were mixed with joy and anxiety. God was showing me who was boss. Again, I am so thankful for Jody's steadfastness. He was confident and I needed that. I will never forget a conversation between the two of us on Friday evening. We came to the conclusion that we never ever would wish that any of our children would be sick. We prayed for them when they were in utero and would have taken them, loved them, and cared for them no matter how there were born. It was no different with AJ and that was freeing for me.
So fast-forward a few weeks and here we are. We are going to court on Feb. 22nd. I have grown to love this little boy. We don't have a moment as a family that I do not picture him with us.....taking a bath, playing around the house, going to church, eating around our table, etc. I can "feel" myself holding him. I pray that he will know the saving grace of our Father at a young age. I pray that he will feel safe and loved from the moment we meet. I pray for the awkward moments that may come as he ages and is asked about his adoption.
We have received a handful of medical test results to date. The doctor seems comfortable ruling out some of the more serious concerns at this time, but there is so much we don't know. I am thankful. I am scared. I am resting in Him.