We're in the teens!! And two nights ago we were moved to 17 after a 2 yr. old little girl was matched with her forever family. It's all still a little surreal for me to be in the teens. We will be making a paper chain to help the girls count down now that we are closer. I'm actually having to think of "what's next?" A lot of people have asked the same question so here is the run down:
- right now we are still waiting for our homestudy to be officially renewed. We've done everything we're supposed to after we completed our home visit on the 15th. Just waiting for our FBI clearance to come back so please pray for a speedy return! We can not get a referral without an updated homestudy.
- When we get in the single digits (YIKES!!) we will be starting our rounds of vaccinations for travel and finding an international pediatrician who we can have on deck to look at our son's medical history when we get "the call"
- We get "the call" which will include knowing his name, full history and first time to see his face on pics sent to email while we talk to our case manager.
- Print pictures of our sweet boy =) We won't be able to post pics on facebook or blog until after our US Embassy is passed which is the second trip.
-We accept referral after completing a ton of paperwork, paying a hefty fee and hearing back from the international pediatrician.
- Wait for another call for our court date. Then we will know when we travel. We won't be able to buy tickets until we get confirmation for our court date which could be only days before we have to leave.
- We (Neil and I - girls will be staying here) fly to Ethiopia for the first time and meet OUR SON for the FIRST TIME!! This still feels like light years away and another surreal moment I've been dreaming about for so long. Hard to even imagine how this will take place. On this trip we will spend time loving on him and the other kiddos at Hannah's Hope, learning about Ethiopian culture, hopefully have a birth parent meeting, delivering donations, connecting with other adoptive parents, learning as much as we can and most importantly, bonding, holding, wearing, kissing and loving our little guy as much as possible.
- We fly back to SA without our baby =( This will be so hard... then we wait for a US Embassy date in Ethiopia and fly back for that date for our second trip. There is usually very short notice for travel so we have to just be ready and buy whatever tickets we can. We are reunited with our baby and will never have to let him go again!!!
- We come home and start our cocooning and bonding as a family of 5 - THANK YOU LORD!!!
So there is the heads up on what the next steps of our process are =) As far as the wait, I've had a harder couple of weeks. I've just been more emotional than usual about everything. Really longing and missing him which blows me away... how can you miss someone you've never even met? don't even know his face or name? Oh but my heart knows him and this is almost an indescribable feeling. Once again the Lord is teaching me through this waiting period in my life.
This Monday marks one year on the waitlist and 18 months in process. This timeline keeps ticking with every passing day which grows the yearning to have him home even more. I've been super calm and at peace up until now but I've found myself a little more consumed with the wait lately. The other day I starting crying when I saw my sweet friend Kristin rocking her newborn baby boy in bible class - it just hit me! There are babies and pregnant people all around me which makes it even harder sometimes although I sincerely rejoice with each blessing that comes!
This past week I started my BSF for the year and we are studying Acts. There was a great lesson in how the disciples and Jesus' family waited for the Holy Spirit to come after Jesus had ascended to heaven. They were together praying and just simply surrounding themselves with other believers while they waited. What a great example to constantly be in prayer and have HIM as my focus during this time. What does HE want to teach me? What does HIS plan have for us? Do I trust that HIS timing is perfect and not my own? We've already grown tremendously in our faith during this process and I pray I can truly surrender to Him and His ways every single day while we wait and every day after the wait is over.