So … we sent our two-month-old a picture of us. This picture.
Eeek! What do you suppose he thinks of us? 🙂
We have been matched. Him to us, us to him. After four years of waiting for a referral, we got to see a couple of snapshots of Baby ‘S’, some brief medical notes, and a short description of who he is and where he comes from. A play-by-play will fall flat, but folks, this was an amazing time to be alive.
Just know, he is awesome. We’re blown away at even the suggestion that we could be his family.
The BIG-ness of this adoption is not lost on us when we really consider the last four years.
Year 1: Paperwork-amundo – After acceptance into America World’s Ethiopia program, we were initiated into the document and legal side of adoption, culminating in a giant send-off of all of our paperwork to Ethiopia. DTE (Dossier-to-Ethiopia): 4-8-2011
Year 2: Withholding – This was the year of being stingy – with our finances, with our experiences, with life in a lot of ways. We put ourselves on hold, with anticipation of getting “the call” – a really important exercise as we now look back on it. Still, our apologies to all of those people to whom we said, “I dunno…we might not be able to..make it to/commit to/participate in/lead/organize/think about [such and such] because we could be traveling to Africa…” Hey, we didn’t quite have a handle on this “increasing timeline” yet.
Year 3: The “Increasing Timeline” – When we applied to the program, Ethiopian adoptions took a maximum of two years. The maximum became our minimum, and truly, we rolled with it. We were steadfast in our desire to adopt, and we also embraced the time to enjoy our three-person family while we waited for a referral. The wait increased, but so did our experiences, our education in this kind of family planning, and, of course, our anticipation.
Year 4: The Surprise – See above. 🙂 We settled in to our wait, and we made a point to both keep our ears to the ground on all things adoption and also hit that same ground running. (It’s okay to use cliches sometimes.) Nathan decided this was the year he’d go fishing in Canada, I started seriously looking at job boards, and we made a list of things we wanted to accomplish before we turned 30 (like decorate a nursery). We explored kindergarten options for Luke and decided to enroll him.
We were getting downright good at this waiting business, and while we were making stuff happen, we followed “The List” – an unofficial way to track referrals. We could see “Hall” moving up that list, but it wasn’t an exact predictor.
On the day we registered Luke for school (the day before I turned 30), we got a call for a surprise Baby S. Imagine, we really could be surprised, even in this wait. We had our miracle referral. RR (Referral Received!): 4-9-2014
These years have been blessed.
We said from the start, “We know this won’t be all rainbows and butterflies.” True story: Heartache. Check. Tears. Check. Unknowns. Check. We’ve had some low points, for sure, but who doesn’t? This is just the way of anything that takes time to build.
We’re building our family, and we’re so very jazzed about the new addition.
A disclaimer that is kind of a drag but necessary nonetheless: We aren’t allowed to post pictures or personal info of our newest Hall until … well, he is an official Hall. Until then, we’ll have to talk in code and stick to pictures of hands and feet. 😉