Thursday, January 12, 2012

God's in the Details

The last two (or is it 3?) days have been a blur. Texting, emailing, calling, responding, and a whole lot of 'hit refresh, go check Facebook, go hit refresh, stare at photos, go check yahoo group, stare at photos, hit refresh, go check Facebook'. My days have sorta been sucked into a baby time warp which I know I am going to have to break out of pretty soon as the left overs are now vacated from the fridge and the laundry is starting to pile up.

I have been so, so blessed to have 4 (or is it 5?) great friends who all had photo consent forms (meaning they had my permission to see and take pictures of Olivia) - all in Ethiopia at one time to either pick up their children or see their children and attend court. And congrats to one on getting to come home and two on now being legal members of their new families!! (We still need prayer for the US Embassy to step it up and start getting some more of our littles home. There has been a huge lag time in the processing of cases lately.)

These friends have been so, so sweet and have loved on Olivia and been excited to send me photo after photo of her sweet little face. And when I say I am lucky - I am REALLY lucky. Some families have to wait weeks to have another family travel with a form and be able to get new photos back to them. I had them in hand two days later.

As a friend of mine said, "God loves you. And he knew how impatient you were so he planned your referral just right so your friends would be there to be able to send new photos back to you." Yep, my Daddy is into details.

I also am ecstatic that my Ethiopian sister Jerry, who lives in Addis, is so excited about her new niece. (AND she also happens to have a photo consent). Jerry was able to go yesterday to play with Olivia, hug/kiss on Olivia, and report back to me how happy she was and how beautiful a smile she has. I think it is so special that although I cannot give Olivia back her biological family, I can help to give her a loving Ethiopian family to form lifetime bonds with. Jerry also has a friend who's family member works at the center so she knew exactly where it was and was able to get clearance to go and see the baby. Just another little sweet detail.

And one of my most thrilling presents to open has been this little tidbit:

This is a watercolor print painted by another yahoo group member Katie, of Mossy Rock designs. Katie sells these gorgeous prints to raise funds for her own adoption, and does custom orders - so go check her out on etsy, hint-hint.

Last week, Katie emailed me to ask for my address as I had been so down and she wanted to send me a print to try to cheer me up. It is entitled "I will Protect You."

I received the print last Monday. Absolutely fell in love. I even wrote Katie to tell her the baby was exactly how I had pictured Olivia in my mind..

Then we received our gorgeous girl's photo on the following Monday... and pals - LET me tell you ----- I am not allowed to share Olivia's identifying information such as her real name, place of birth, or photos --- but this print painted back in October - could not look more like Olivia if Katie would have had her referral photo by her side as she painted it. of the baby's referral photo. It is enough to give you chills.

So once more, God's little details... he had me staring at Olivia's face for a full week and I didn't even know it. Someone told me - "I would consider THAT the first photo you received of the baby!" Better than a 3D Ultrasound!!

And what is really amazing is how I kinda needed that little bit of assurance that yes - this was my baby. This was perfectly planned and she was THE ONE. When you give birth, there really isn't any denying that yes - that little messy, squirming thing is yours. But in adoption, love at first sight has a bit more haze in it. Because I have to admit to you, my mind held that baby, but she was a little, itty bitty, frail, in your arms kind of baby. So when we first saw this healthy, sitting up and playing with a rattle baby - I had a couple moments of 'what?'..... are we completely positive this is our Olivia?? But the moment I set her photo beside the painting, I knew. God planned this. And he even sent me a little message to say - "see.... I knew her before the foundations of the world." (Remember how I need him to thump me in the head to get things through sometimes??) And the peace that I have felt with this adoption, of this child.... and the love that continues to grow day by day with each glance at her photo.... this is my baby. And that

His plan is perfect. And all that waiting. And all those tears. And all that time... he was just putting stroke by perfect stroke on the masterpiece he is creating that we will call our family. It will be perfect. It sure feels perfect.

Monday, January 9, 2012

First Care Package to be delivered to OUR GIRL!!!!!!!

I sadly sent our first care package to my friend Angi last Tuesday as she was leaving Friday.
Figured it would be coming back to me unopened after a week.
It barely got there on time Thursday.
It flew to Ethiopia and arrived Saturday.

And hopefully it will be delivered to baby girl Olivia Wages tonight as we sleep as we got our referral today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is 8 months old. And I just keep telling people, she is just so healthy. We are so blessed as she has been very well taken care of. Her sweet little photos though, so, so sad. Can't wait to see her face light up in smiles! (however, I do NOT think she will be in any photos in that 3-6 month p.j. outfit)

So the call:
I was leaving a visit at 12:30 and as I went down their steps I heard the 'African Lullaby' song I had set. So I scramble to pull the phone out of my pocket ------- and hang up on her.

So I call Jennifer back, as I shake like a leaf, and she tries to get Tony on conference as "this is your referral call!!"

Tony doesn't answer (he was in court and couldn't)... so I go ahead and get the scoop! But don't even think to ask her name! Then drive 15 min to try to find him at the courthouse, run down a handicap ramp to jump in his arms and say "we have our girl!!!".

But then he has an appointment (arg)... so I go and pick up the kiddos..... and then we go home to wait for Daddy to get home to open up our email cause for Pete's sake, it's been going on 2 hours and I don't even know her name yet!!!

When Tony comes home we all sit on the sofa and open up our referral email and photos together... so, so, stinkin sweet.

And then we go into shock for about 10 minutes.... the mental picture I had of an itty bitty little Olivia is now a pretty big, almost toddler Olivia?!? BUT you know what, I am really happy about that!! As I said, she has been taken care of VERY well. And from her history, she was VERY loved. So we are VERY, VERY blessed to have a healthy little girl and can't wait to go and hug on her and get some more smiles!

So when do we go? Now (after we submit the acceptance paperwork), we wait for a court date. Recent families have traveled around 2 months after referral. So maybe late February??

Do we bring her home then? No. We will attend court and if we pass, she will officially be ours and we can post her photos all over the internet and Facebook (until then, as she isn't legally ours, we can't share her precious photos, sorry! But come see me and I just might have one on me, maybe, probably)

So we hopefully will be able to bring her home after passing court, then making it through embassy, and THEN we can go back and get her... maybe a Spring baby??

Whew, my head is pounding. I think it's from all the spinning it did today! And I know this post is almost as choppy and incomprehensible as my speech has been all day - my apologies!!!