Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gabe and Rachel's Referral....

I have cherished the stories of excitement and bliss, seeing your children for the first time. I have loved reading through the process of families being formed...from the signing of the contract until they are being held by those who longed for them so much. It's a joy watching these kids grow and flourish in their families.

Today I'm going to share with you how we received our referral of our sweet twins, Gabriel and Rachel, yesterday....this ones for our books.

You'd think that since we've done this before, there would be no surprises. With Max we knew it was imminent. Yes, we still screamed and cried. With Bekah, we requested a match (she was our sweet waiting child) and knew that we would have an answer the day they called. Yes, we still screamed and cried. This time was different though.

God is just so amazing like that....

On October 6th, 2009 our Dossier was registered in Ethiopia. Last Saturday, January 6th, 2010 we celebrated our four months waiting for our referral. The average time for a referral (receiving the names, pictures, and medicals) for our agency is 5-6 months, slowly becoming slightly longer than that. But unlike other agencies, they don't match the children with the families, the orphanage does. The orphanage doesn't even necessarily match in the order of those waiting, but they match each individual child with the family that seems the best match.

We are hoping we get the opportunity to talk with these individuals and ask them what they saw in the twins and in us that brought them to this point. Of course, we know what it is....God.

Monday came TOO soon for us though. Anna and I hadn't been feeling very well during the weekend and we were really questioning our field trip plans for Monday. We thought we may be getting a mild cold.

Monday dawned and we woke up feeling much better! We scrambled around trying to find clean clothes (due to the LARGE stack of unfolded laundry sitting on the end of our couch). The rain just poured and poured. It looked like God had turned on a faucet. We huddled together in the cold and made a dash for the car!

We thoroughly enjoyed watching Slim Goodbody perform. He even had us adults laughing. Yep, even I understand the human body better (and yes, this is for kindergarten through fifth grade, which makes that VERY sad :)).
By the time we got out (our three youngest and I...the two oldest were at home), I had a rager of a headache, but I had to go to the teacher store for new Bible Curriculum.

I had all kinds of other errands planned, yet drove on by the stores. I felt YUCK!

As we walked in the door I heard the phone ringing. The closest phone to me was in my bedroom (in front of the computer).

As I answered the phone and started chatting with my mom, I clicked on email (or it was up...I SOOO don't remember...it's a blur). There just a few emails down from the top was an email from our agency. It's the subject line that made me double take. It said, "Referral". It's like one of those dreams where you read it again and again, because you know it's going to change.

I said, "Wait mom (my eyes filling up with tears and my voice raising in excitement) I thiNK WE MAY HAVE GOT THE REFERRAL!!!!!"

"WAIT!", I said clicking on the email, "MOM MOM MOM MOM WE GOT OUR REFERRAL!!!!"

At this point my oldest daughter Sarah heard me do a scream cry thing and ran to tell the rest of our brood. Ok, really she screamed at the top of her lungs running through the house.

Meanwhile, I had lost all ability to think...seriously. (I'm even having to have some help retelling this story.)

As I clicked on the paperwork attachment (I wanted to wait to view the pictures with my husband).

My mom, sounding just as excited as I was, asked if the babies were boys or girls. Ummm...I couldn't tell (even though it was on the VERY first page...I noticed later). I had to scan through all the paperwork and ALL the tears to share our wonderful news...a boy and a girl.

I quickly told my mom I needed to call Thomas. She says I hung up on her after telling her that...seriously, no memory (poor mom!)

I called my husband TOTALLY crying now...he thought someone had died. After he got over the shock and came to the realization that these were good tears, he was AMAZINGLY calm. I emailed him the referral and we opened the pictures together...the picture of my little happy girl and my football player boy (seriously the first thing that popped into my mind). Our sweet boy looks a little scared or worried....

So, this was it. We've seen our children and their faces have permanently been etched on our hearts....

We have LOVED everyone's reactions...here are a few AWESOME ones that come to mind...

OH MY GOODNESS!! I almost spit my cereal out! (From seeing my post on Facebook)

I cried and the kids thought I was crazy...

"YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!!!! How super super exciting!!!! What a wonderful day!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? :)"

One of my son's co-op teachers (that is very special to us)got tears in her eyes as she said, "I am just SO happy for you..." and gave me a HUGE hug. Of course this made the tears of joy come again....

We have such amazing family and friends that are rejoicing with us. We are treasuring all of your responses up in our hearts....Thank you.
_________________________

Questions We've Been Asked....

1. What's next? When do you get to bring them home?
Next we wait for our court date. We hope we truly have God's speed with this. It usually takes 1-3 months. We don't travel for court, but the twins will be ours legally after court. We then wait 6-7 weeks for our embassy date (which we travel and bring the twins home after). Most likely we will travel in June...maybe. We are praying...seriously...for a miracle though. We are praying we get a super sonic court date. Pass the first time. (It is common to have more than one court appearance because of missing paperwork or training being scheduled for those days.) We are also praying for quick travel and for a miracle....us to be able to travel before May (when our agency is not allowing travel because of the elections).

2. Can you share more info?
We REALLY REALLY wish we could. We want to respect Ethiopia's government and insure that no identifying information be posted on the Internet. This is to protect the children that will not be legally ours until court...of course they are already ours in our hearts. After court we're allowed to post...just WAIT for the pictures!!!!! :)

3. Are Gabriel and Rachel what they call them at the orphanage or what you are going to be calling them?
In order to protect them and follow government wishes, we are only posting the names we will be giving them (With their Ethiopian names and family names as middle names to be announced after court!)

_______________________________________
PRAYER REQUESTS AND PRAISES

PRAISES!!!
*Our AMAZING God has blessed us with two more little ones! He has blessed us financially and physically...Our Heavenly Father is beyond words!

PRAYER REQUESTS
*That the funds pour in like water in a surge of blessing and that GOD BLESSES US WITH THE FUNDS WE NEED!!!!
*That God’s hand is on the remaining paperwork and that they proceed with not a glitch, quickly and correctly. These are the papers we will need to accept this referral of our sweet little blessings, the papers to pass court, and the papers to bring them home.
*PLEASE PRAY WE GET A COURT DATE QUICKLY AND THAT WE PASS THE FIRST TIME...AND FINALLY TRAVEL QUICKLY!! There will be no travel in May (elections in Ethiopia) andmany are starting to have multiple court dates and a LONG wait until travel. The Ethiopian government is being very cautious and caring with their wonderful children though and for that we are so thankful.
*That our twins may be gathered into our family and arms with a quickness blessed by God.
*For these little ones God has chosen to place in our family…for THEIR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH.
*FOR THEIR BIOLOGICAL FAMILY…that God has His hand on them and brings them peace in whatever they must face and have faced. Also, please pray that THEY COME TO KNOW CHRIST AND THE PEACE ONLY HE CAN GIVE.
*That God has His hand on this adoption, guiding us, bringing peace, and financially providing.
* That we have peace and not stress, trusting God in every step.

We also pray that hearts are convicted daily to open their families and lives to orphans around the world.

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Also, please join us in prayers for three beautiful Christian families and five sweet children who are facing obstacles above and beyond what a adoption process usually looks like. This used to be four families, but God brought sweet Jubilee home from China just about a week ago. Governments will literally have to move for these older and special needs children to come home. Families are waiting for them and we are SO excited to see God work in these lives and these governments to bring these adoptive blessings home!

Olivia Mame (Ethiopia)-I would like to ask your prayers for a little sweet young girl in Ethiopia named Olivia Mame. There are some very immense road blocks, serious ones, that have to be conquered in order to finish the adoption of this precious young lady.

Daniel (Liberia)-A little one with hydrocephaly awaits his family. Please pray that Daniel does not deteriorate farther and that people in authority to move this case feel the passion to see this through quickly. There are also two more beautiful sweet blessings this family is trying to bring home as well. Update: Daniel's case is moving! He still needs these prayers though, they're not done yet!!!

Ronaldo and Julia (Guatemala)-For years this family has been trying to get their beautiful future children out of Guatemala. Every time it seems close there is another glitch. Please pray with us. Please pray that EVERY problem is resolved and every piece of paper has the perfection only God can give.

6 comments:

  1. What a great story--and how fun for your mom to get to hear that first joy!!!! Congratulations again--{HUG}

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  2. Congratulations on the referral. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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  3. I can't wait to see the pictures! We are lifting you up in prayer, as well as the babies.

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  4. How very exciting! I just realized that you got your referral this week! And this week there is a team from our church in Ethiopia. They are witnessing the power of God's Spirit working in incredible ways as they share the gospel and pray for people. To think that your twins are there and have been matched with a wonderful family. So happy for you!

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  5. Oh Congratulations - I just saw your post on the group site - this is so amazing!

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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