Big News… our referral story!

Hello All:
Welcome back from a lovely spring break week and we hope your family time and/or travels provided you with some well deserved  R & R.

We have BIG NEWS around here… and forgive us for using email but we thought it the best way to share the next step with all of you.
First we have to share how grateful we are that God shows himself in the details.
Now that we are back on US soil from a family vacation we won’t soon forget, we are able to share with you that we received a referral while trying to make our way home from Costa Rica last Friday. It is quite a tale and one that only God could have orchestrated!


I must say I had a feeling this was all going to go down while we were away from our “usual technology” so as we neared the end of last business week I decided to email Julie, our caseworker,  just to let her know we were not available by phone. Our emails literally cris crossed as she was emailing me to let us know our new number. By Thursday night we were feeling a little hum drum about our number but feeling deep gratitude for the time we were having experiencing a new country, a new culture and many quiet discussions with our three boys. On Friday morning a new email came through from Julie saying that she was needing to talk with us. Needless to say she had Big News!  The entire wait, the energy, the work, the endless prayers and tears were all worth it when we were lead into this sweet little girl’s file and into her world. There have been more details than I can even remember which have lead us to the gates of adoption, details that have lead us to spend an entire year wait listed in the Nepal program only to feel God pulling us toward Ethiopia, details that helped us heal after spending a year taking care of a family member who went back into a dark marriage and who nearly caused us to have to give up our adoption dream, details in which other Ethiopian adoptive parents were placed in our lives to help guide us when we needed it most. God’s hands have been all over us. HE has been holding us in the palm of HIS hand and teaching us each and every day to LET GO! 

Finally God’s plan has been revealed and we see who our hearts have been yearning for. So much of this journey is grander than anything any of us could hope for and for that we feel deep gratitude and sheer joy. Is there fear? Of course there is fear. We have questions like any parents should, but we know that she has been chosen for us and we have been the family chosen for her and after all, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” -Hebrews 11:1.  So remember to hold fast to the dream that God places on your heart. We are all on this road for a reason and whether you are frustrated with all the paperwork, waiting on a fingerprint clearance, hoping to receive a number this week, planning to travel soon or waiting to head to the mailbox for the piece of mail you so desire… remember this… God knows! Really God knows! I never knew until this past 36 hours just how much God truly knows but trust me… If you trust in HIM and LET GO, the desires of your heart will come to you and HIS child will become yours.

The child that drew us in from the moment we saw HER precious photo is approximately 15 months old. SHE is from the southern region of Ethiopia and SHE was brought to Hannah’s Hope on March 26th, 2010 after being at a government run orphanage for some time. SHE is tiny for her age and needs the love and care of the Special Mothers of Hannah’s Hope to help nourish HER. We are told SHE points to what she wants and SHE enjoys interacting with the other children. SHE babbles and changes toys from hand to hand. 

So the call, the day, the weekend has been incredible! We are all over the place with emotions but I am so grateful that there we were so isolated in San Jose, Costa Rica as one family unit. It was just Bob and I sharing a single hotel phone and watching our reactions in the Hampton Inn mirror. The boys were outside the door in the hallway with snacks playing their new favorite, hearts. They were troopers as we had the good thirty minute talk with Julie about the history and the medical information of the precious little peanut we hope to soon bring home. Bob could feel me shaking and I could see him breathing. It was a feeling like no other as we listened. It was a feeling like no other when Bob opened the email with her pictures and information. Bob was amazing just staring and taking her all in. I loved watching him react to seeing her almost more than seeing her myself. 

 For us this journey has been long… nearly five years long in total from the time we seriously began to contemplate adoption. I remember the days years ago when it was me and me alone who wanted to adopt a child. Then came numerous hardships and family situations that required all of our energy and time and then it seemed to be Bob who helped to keep the adoption dream alive. Next it was both of us feeling called to adopt but not on the same page as to where our daughter should come from. We explored domestic adoption, we considered fostering children and we grappled with the choice between Nepal and Ethiopia. We chose Nepal and spent endless hours of energy and work only to sit on the wait list for an entire year with neither of us feeling like things were right. It was Ethiopia all along… It is THIS child that we have waited years to find. SHE is the reason for our journey and our faith and our faith is the reason we are certain SHE is the ONE. SHE is the daughter of our hearts! 

Please join us in celebrating through prayer this awesome journey. We would welcome your prayers for the following:

1) Pray for the team at Hannah’s Hope. That they may continue to nurture and nourish her in many ways.
2) Pray for the doctors who treat the children of Ethiopia. They have an enormous task in making certain each child’s medical records are complete and accurate and with far fewer resources than we  have available.
3) Pray for HER birthmother. That she feel our heart’s desire to raise this precious gift of a child and that she make her way to the upcoming court appointment to relinquish her fully. Pray for her continued courage.
4) Pray for us as a family that we might grow to know how best to bring this little one into our world. Help us to slow down and truly be open to a new sister and daughter.
5) Pray for HER. Pray that she continue to develop and grow and that she is loved and protected as she waits for us at Hannah’s Hope.

Today I have wanted to call each of you personally and tell the story over and over… Of course that is not possible so I am happy to have this blog to share our news.  Each one of you reading this has in some way touched our lives and our hearts as we make our way down this winding road called adoption. Nothing has been easy and of course we realize that bringing HER home may not be easy. International adoption is tricky business, a place where rules constantly change. We thank all of you for being there as our greatest treasures of support, caring, hope and understanding. Let’s bring this little one home to her forever family. We cannot wait to share HER with all of you!

8 thoughts on “Big News… our referral story!”

  1. What wonderful news!! Your family and beautiful baby girl will continue to be in our prayers, with hopes that you can all be together soon!

  2. I am so excited to meet my new niece! I am so proud of you and Bob for holding on to your dream with grace and patience until your new daughter came along. What a joyful world this is!
    Love Shannon

  3. Melanie, I have been following your blog for a while, long before we signed with AGCI and got on the waitlist for ET. I originally found you when you were in the Nepal program, which I too had my heart set on for quite some time. You switched to ET long before I knew that that was God's plan for our family. I explain all that to say that I feel like I know you and I am so excited and thrilled for your family! We also have 3 little boys and are excited to add a girl ( or 2! ) to our family!
    Blessings! Betsy Emerson

  4. I am so very happy for your family!! I will pray that the rest of your journey will contintue to go as planned until you bring your daugher home. I have been following your blog for along time. We brought our daughter Anita home from Nepal in September and trust me she was sooooo worth the wait!!
    Bonnie

  5. Rachel came home and said, "Mom, Hayden's sister is coming! He is going to bring me a picture of her!" I ran to your blog… of course I'm sobbing!! I am so happy for you all. Remember, I was adopted so it is so amazing to read it and hear your perspective… I, too, pray for the birth mother and that she finds peace in all of this. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is an inspiration to us all.

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