Sunday, September 16, 2012

referralversary #2!

a year ago today, we got the most amazing picture.

it came after a week of praying that the last document for a three-year-old girl would come in quickly so that she could be referred to us. our agency had told us up front that there weren't many pictures of this little girl, and they understood if we decided not to accept her referral. maybe there really are people out there who say "no" to a child because there aren't enough pictures of them, but i can't really fathom that. when i saw that picture, i knew she was ours.

the day we got the call about kal's referral, jamie was out of town on business. it was a friday, and i was leaving work mid-morning to drive to ohio for our nephew's fifth birthday (jamie was flying directly there from his business trip). it was a bummer to be separated on such a momentous day, but i'm honestly grateful for the 6-hour drive i had that day alone. it gave me a lot of time to reflect on kal and her story, and there were many tears shed -- both happy and sad.

before we got kal's referral, we had almost given up hope that we'd be able to adopt two kids at the same time. things had been moving so slowly, and no toddlers had been referred in months. so it was not only a huge miracle to get this second referral, but it was such a surprise to be referred a girl. though we had prepared the entire adoption for two boys based on the wait times for girls being longer, i began longing for a girl.

kal is actually nothing like the first picture we got of her. she is loud and sassy and talkative and energetic. i remember studying that picture over and over again thinking this little girl was the most prim and proper, reserved, innocent girl in the entire world. time went on, however, and we started to realize as we got more pictures that this girl was quite spunky :)

as much as i treasure that first picture of kal, i'm so glad healing has begun in her heart. we still see the scared little girl from the picture sometimes, but more often than not, we see our bubbly girl with a huge grin. and we're so glad she's ours.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

referralversary #1!

today marks one year since we first saw our son's face.

we waited 28 months for that day to come -- 9 months raising money and doing paperwork, 19 months officially on a waitlist. i know it doesn't seem like a lot compared to today's wait times for ethiopia, but it felt like an eternity given the original wait times we had expected.
you can read about rebuma's referral day here. one of my favorite parts of that day was the meatloaf i was eating for lunch while casually talking to jamie on the phone about this child who would be our son. when we got rebuma's referral, he was 9.5 months old and had lived in an orphanage for almost all of his life.
rebuma has endured a lot in his little life -- he is such a miracle. the thing we heard over and over from the staff at our agency's transition home when we picked our kids up was how amazed they were at how rebuma progressed. when he arrived there in december (he'd been at another orphanage previously), he was sick and extremely malnourished. when we met him for the first time in january, he weighed just 11 pounds at 13 months old and literally didn't make noise (no crying, cooing, etc). in the months between our court date and embassy date, he almost doubled his body weight. now that he's been home for more than three months, he has grown even more, started walking, and is on the verge of a major word explosion (thanks to his big sister). he has the goofiest personality (think class clown type) and is, in general, just a really fun kid (with a name like rebuma, i'm pretty sure you're required to have a huge personality). we still have hard times with him, and it's not like the last three months have healed all his wounds. but he has come far, and for that, we are thankful.
he is undoubtedly living proof of God's power and grace. and we are blessed to be his parents.