Monday, August 30, 2010

Referral Story Part 2

*Note: This is Part 2 of our referral story - Part 1 is here*

I shook the whole way to the pediatrician's office, trying to calm myself, listening to praise songs and praying:  "God, please show us the way.  I know if this is not mean to be, You will hear our broken hearts and take care of N.  It's in your hands."

Billy met Shep & I at the doctor's office and I filled out medical history forms for N - unable to answer most of the background questions because I don't know the answers - no one does.  It hit me hard that this will always be the case for him - his family history, genetics, and first 8-9 mths of life are a mystery to us all.

As soon as we sat down with Dr. Walker, she immediately put us at ease, explaining that she would do the best she could to piece together N's medical information to help us make the best possible decision for everyone involved.  She was the kindest, most compassionate doctor I have ever met with and she counseled us for over an hour on N's conditions.  Upon looking at N's photographs, she said, "This child is going to be somebody - you can tell just by looking at him.  Look at that sparkle in his eye!"

And at the end of our consultation, she said she is 80-85% (with no guarantees, of course) sure N will catch up to his peers in time and live a typical, healthy life.  We were absolutely shocked.  After all our concern over the things we had read (because everything on the internet is scarier than reality), after crying all afternoon over this appointment (just me, not Billy!), we began to feel that everything was going to be O.K.

We left Dr. Walker's office and went to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Fenwick's.  I haven't enjoyed dinner so much in a long time & completely gorged myself!  We had our server take a picture of us in case this turned out to be a celebration dinner (we had not yet made our decision).  I almost didn't post this because of my no make-up, puffy crying face and Shep's scrunched up "I will not cooperate for this picture" face, but that's just reality, right?!  At least you look good, Baby :)

After we got Shep to bed, we laid in our bed to talk things over.  We talked and researched for a couple of hours before coming to our final decision at 9 p.m:  We were ready to welcome N into our family!  After nearly 10 days of emotional ups and downs, it was official!  We excitedly emailed Erin, the Special Needs Coordinator for AAI and let her know our news.  She responded within minutes (she's great like that), congratulating us and letting us know what steps we would take next.  It was truly surreal.  We finally knew who we had been praying for all these months!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Referral Story Part 1

Our referral story begins 10 days ago when I emailed the Special Needs coordinator at AAI about her recent post regarding 2 infants with special needs waiting for families.  She replied:
"I have a baby boy right now that is waiting. He almost was not even put into the special needs program as he seems to be doing well overall, but then there were enough risk factors that we put him in the SN program. Baby N came in quite malnourished, and we are unsure if his symptoms and delays are from that and he will "catch up" or if he will have some long-term delays and special needs."

Over the next week, we emailed back and forth, speculating over N's current condition and possible future health.  Billy and I discussed the things we were learning about, did a lot of research online, and did a lot of praying.  Billy felt an overwhelming sense of peace about N's medical issues and I was in love with N from the start.  It was REALLY hard trying to remain emotionally detached as we considered the possible medical challenges in N's future.  We knew we needed to be wise and consider how those challenges could impact our whole family.  At the same time, there was this baby who needed a family and God was increasingly filling our hearts with love for him.  The last step in our decision was to meet with a pediatrician in town who specializes in international adoption.  I was dreading this meeting, sure she would scare us away from committing to this child.  I cried all afternoon Tuesday leading up to our appointment, sure that this was the end of our journey with baby N.

To be continued (0r else this would be such a long post you would skip over most of it!)...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We are very excited to announce that we will soon be welcoming our second son!  He is 9-12 mths old and absolutely precious.  Unfortunately, we cannot post pictures of him or share his name until we pass adoption court (a rule which protects the privacy of children).  Hopefully, we will be traveling for court November-ish and our baby boy will come home January-ish.  We will keep you posted on that & another post to come soon with referral details!  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we have awaited this glorious day!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
                  ~ James 1:17

Waiting Children

Got an email from our adoption agency this morning with this info if anyone is interested in adopting a little boy:

"We are currently in need of families for six basically healthy little boys between 4 and 7 years of age.  You are free to mention this on your blog if you have one, and refer anyone possibly interested to Linda Lyver in the AAI office.    Families must have an approved homestudy and dossier to actually put a child on hold.   If anyone of you with a dossier already in Ethiopia is interested in one of these boys, we would love to hear from you as  well."

Linda's email is

Monday, August 23, 2010

Through the Fire

Do you ever feel as if you are going through the fire?  Today I am tired.  So tired I can't sleep - do you know that kind of tired, too?  Too much on my mind, not enough sleep, sick hubby, sick baby.  I know God is refining us in some way but we're ready for this to be over!

"This third I will bring into the fire; 
       I will refine them like silver 
       and test them like gold. 
       They will call on my name 
       and I will answer them; 
       I will say, 'They are my people,' 
       and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "

                     ~ Zechariah 13:9

Lord, may You be lifted up through our present suffering.  We trust You to bring us through this refined and renewed, as You always do.  Amen.

*Totally unrelated pics but blogs are just more fun with them*

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Time Last Year...

my baby was still a BABY!  How time does fly.  But I wouldn't say it's gone too fast.  Since Shep has been born, I've learned a lot about slowing down and savoring every moment.  Each day I try to "capture" in my head one moment that will be my favorite for that day.  Maybe a moment of quiet snuggling.  Maybe seeing Shep and Billy play.  Maybe watching Shep experience something for the first time or say a new word.  I want to soak it all in while I can because I know as a parent, "The days are long but the years are short."

I love to watch them play (last August)

Shep's first plane ride (last August)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Run-In with An Unethical Agency

The last couple days have been painful.  Night before last, I was surfing adoption blogs, looking for other families who are also in the waiting phase.  There are no words for the comfort it gives me to know we are not alone - there are MANY other people out there in the same boat.

Unfortunately, on this particular night, I came across a blog that links to waiting children around the world.  I clicked on some of these links (innocent enough) and, sure enough, found myself reading about a set of 3-yr-old twin girls waiting in Ethiopia.  I mentioned it to Billy, contacted the agency these girls are being placed through, received their pictures and medical info in an e-mail, and fell head over heels in love.

Fortunately, Billy, who is much more rational about adoption-related decisions, reminded me we needed to find out about this agency's ethics before proceeding further.  I agreed, thinking all the while, "It's just a formality.  What are the chances this agency will be disreputable?"  How naive.  There are scathing reviews all over the web about CCI, not to mention the fact that the agency is under investigation by authorities, AND has been denied Hague accredidation - not once, but TWICE.  That says it all.

My heart sunk.  Here are these precious children - many precious children in their orphanages waiting but we can do nothing about it because we cannot support an unethical adoption agency.  I know this is the right thing to do but it hurts so bad.  I have been begging God to act on behalf of these children and to do justice against this agency.  It really needs to be closed down.  I feel the need to warn other potential adoptive parents to steer clear of this agency - it's initials are CCI (shouldn't take you long to figure out which agency it is).  We are all in this not just to grow our families, but to do what is right by the children - even when it is really, really painful.

Monday, August 2, 2010

"The Cry of the Orphan"

I came across this blog post tonight & had to share because it completely describes our sense of calling in adoption, which is so hard to put into words.  Charity describes it perfectly here if you have a minute to read...