here is our REFERRAL day story part one (and some prayer requests, especially since we're expecting a referral day part 2)!
i want to say, if it's not already obvious, that we waited a really, really, really long time for a referral. i don't think the adoption process is a competition. it's a hard process for everybody no matter what your journey looks like. but after waiting 19 months just for a referral, the process really starts to wear you down.
last thursday night, i was sitting with our small group from church. we had laughed with each other that night and had a great discussion about 1 john and prayer and just struggling to live for God's kingdom. when it came time to share prayer requests, i told this group of people who has been walking alongside us and praying for our adoption for the past year that our adoption was causing me to ask lots of questions about my faith. i couldn't understand why God continued to allow children to live without families. i couldn't understand why God continued to allow babies to be born here but why he let orphans die in africa. i told them i didn't feel like God cared about me or them. i had gotten to the point where i just didn't want to pray and ask him to give us a referral because i felt like it didn't matter. "i'm at the point where i'm just ready to say, 'f*** it,'" i said.
and then i prayed to close the group and confessed our weaknesses as humans and just how freaking hard it is to be human and live in this world. and i thanked God for the laughter we'd experienced that night and for his gift of grace that makes it possible to become more like him and for allowing us to become his children. i left feeling renewed.
the next morning, i prayed for a referral as i have every morning for 19 months. the day progressed as it always had every day for 19 months. quite honestly, and i know everybody says this, i wasn't expecting to get a call that day. i went downstairs at lunch time to get something to eat (meatloaf and mashed potatoes...i want to remember that). and when i came back upstairs, i had a missed call and voicemail. i called back and the case manager told me about a 9 month old boy and a 3 year old girl. the little boy had all his papers, the little girl was missing one small non-legal document that the agency expected to get soon. "we can go ahead and make the boy's referral today or you can wait and receive the referrals together," she said. at this point, you would not have known that i'd waited 19 months for this to happen. i calmly called jamie and told him what was going on. he says i had on my professional voice (i also believe i was still chowing down on the meatloaf during our conversation). after seeking wise counsel, we decided to go ahead with the first referral since it really didn't make much sense not to.
and that's how we "met" our son for the first time! he is 9 months old and pure sweetness.
as i'm sure you noticed, we expect this story to have a second part. there is a 3 year old girl, and we pray she's our daughter. the agency was surprised the one missing document didn't get sent on friday. they believe it's been prepared by the orphanage and just needs to be emailed. please, please pray it gets sent this week. we are so ready to have our family together, and it seems she is the last missing piece of the puzzle. i would also ask for prayer for steps down the road. we are praying for a miracle in regards to a court date. our case manager said it will be near impossible to get a court date by the end of 2011, but will you pray it happens for us? will you also pray, assuming we get little girl's referral, that both cases stay together so we can bring our kids home at the same time? while we have certainly entered a new phase in this journey, it's not over yet.