December 28, 2012 is a day that will always be very special to us. We finally got the call. And because I'm a detail person and I love hearing details of birth stories and adoption stories, I of course have to give you all the details on ours! So here is how it went down....from the call, to announcing, to what happens next.
(and just a side note....I'm going to type this through and publish right away. Both kids are sleeping and if I don't do this right now, it will be another month before it happens, and hopefully by then there are many more blog posts with more updates! So forgive me if I ramble and it's all over the place!)
It was 6:00pm on Friday night. We had sweet potato fries in the oven. We had received an email earlier in the day from West Sands about a new policy going into effect in Ethiopia. As I was cutting tomato and onion for our hamburgers, I told Brent he should read the article. He brought the computer to the counter, sat at the bar stool and didn't get past the first sentence of the article when his phone vibrated on the counter. "Hello, this is Brent." I, of course knew when he answered it that way that it was not just a friend calling and wondered who was calling on Friday at 6:00pm. Then he says, "Yes, we are. Can I put you on speakerphone?" Whoa, those words. I knew. I looked at his phone and saw the name West Sands on the screen as he popped open the phone. I don't think I can even describe the feeling that went through my body at that moment. Life was about to change. We heard the words that we were going to have a daughter. A two month old little girl. A precious gift from God.
The phone conversation didn't last much longer and we eagerly waited by the computer screen watching for the new email to pop up. She said it would be there within ten minutes--in reality, it probably only took about four minutes to arrive....but it seemed much longer. We couldn't wait to see her name and see her sweet face. We just stared at the photograph for quite a while. Then wiped away tears and then looked at the rest of the documents in the email.
I'm not entirely sure what I'm allowed to say other than the agency told us we cannot post her photo on any website, blog, or facebook. But I am allowed to show you in person! We have studied every pixel of that photo and she is just beautiful! We only have one picture right now, but we heard that more will come after a few weeks. So if you'd like to see her sweet face, you know this mama wants to show you! Even if you have already seen her....I'd be happy to show you again and again:)
I'm not going to blog about her history either. Not right now anyway. This is something I'd be willing to share with you in person, or if you are a friend who I won't be seeing in person but would like to know, just ask. I don't mind sharing what information we do have....just not on the blog.
Our little sweetheart does have a name and a birth certificate. Currently, her first name starts with the letter G. That will one day be her middle name, so one day, after court, I will write on the blog what that is. But we have decided to give her a new first name, given by us. We will call her Elliana.
Elliana G. Frazey
Elliana is Hebrew and means "God has answered my prayer" or "The Lord has responded"
It has been our prayer that God be glorified through this adoption. We have sought His wisdom and guidance and it has taken us down different paths than we originally thought. We have prayed many prayers for a child we had not seen or known. We prayed for His will to be done in His perfect timing and we knew that He would give us the exact child He had planned for our family. God has indeed answered our prayers. He is so merciful and gracious to us even though we do not deserve it. One example of His goodness was that it was our heart's desire was to have an infant but we did say we were willing to go up to 14 months. But God gave us this sweet little girl that is two months old. This is the youngest referral we have ever heard of for international adoption. He is so faithful to His children. This is just one small portion of what He has done and we know as we trust in Him, He will continue to guide and direct us as we seek to raise Elliana and our other children in the fear and instruction of the Lord.
A couple other neat little things are about the city Elliana is from. It is Adama, which is one letter off from my maiden name; Adams. Also, Adama is better known as Nazret, and was derived from a word that means 'cactus'. Pretty cool, considering we live in Arizona:) God has every detail planned and ordained.
So, back to the sweet potatoes in the oven....
We had always said that when we got our referral we would go to the Ethiopian cafe to eat and celebrate. So, Brent walked over to the oven and turned it off and said, "We're going out!"
Before we left, we did a little face time with my mom and dad in Michigan and sister and brother in Ohio. Then, it was off to Tina's Ethiopian Cafe!
Funny story here. We had the video camera and everything, thinking it would be a great memory to have. Got our referral and went to eat Ethiopian food. Great idea, right? We pulled up with Brent's mom and dad at 7:00pm. We snapped this photo before we went in. Right after we took the photo, a woman walked out and asked if we were going to come in. I thought she just didn't like that we were loitering and taking pictures, haha! Nope, it wasn't that. Instead, she informed us they were closing. That day was reservation only day. She felt so bad. I assured her it was ok, that we should have called first, and that we'd be back the next day. Well she said they were closing and would be reopening in February in a new location. haha! Well, at least we tried!
So, we went to Joe's BBQ instead! A great second choice:) And they donated gift cards to the auction, so what a great place to celebrate!
We could hardly keep in our excitement, but we wanted to hear back from the agency before announcing the news. Since we hadn't officially signed or sent them our referral fees yet, we thought we should get their permission first! At 10pm Saturday night we heard back that we could announce! We also got a 20 page booklet sent to us with lots of information from what to pack, to immunizations, and also what to expect in country.
So what's next? No, Elliana will not be here next week or even next month. Adoption is a process of waiting. First you wait for your fingerprint clearances, then you wait for your homestudy, and approvals, you wait in the doctor's office to get your medical check ups, wait for passports, for state clearance and federal clearance, then of course you wait and watch your number drop lower on the waiting list. But now the real waiting has begun. The waiting just got so much harder now that we see the face we are waiting for. Now that we know it's a daughter we are waiting for. It's hard to describe how much it can change in an instant, but it does. She was always on our minds before, but now it is just different. Now we know her age and what orphanage she is in. But I want to know more-- who is holding her? Who is feeding her? What does her crib look like? Is she crying? Is anyone looking her in the eyes so she can smile at them? I'm here on the other side of the world wanting to rock her to sleep and cover her with kisses and all I can do is stare at a picture. These thoughts consume my thinking and I must remind myself to trust in my Father that He would protect her and comfort her and that He would be pleased to have this process go speedy and smoothly.
But I digress...
So, what's next? We are currently waiting for a preliminary hearing court date. That is the hearing that our agency director will appear and someone from the orphanage will appear. Once that is done, they will issue a new court date. This is the big one! The important date we are praying to be soon because that is when we will travel! That is when we will meet Elliana and hold her in our arms! I will be sure to update the blog with those dates!!
Right now, Elliana is in an orphanage. Once we pass court, she will be moved to the transition home, which is run by the agency. There, they have nannies and all the other children who have been matched are also there. I'm praying that she would be moved before we go to court because I have heard that happens sometimes. I know that she would receive much better care there. When we travel, we will go to the orphanage and see her. We cannot take her out of the orphanage though. In fact, they say we will only get to see her on 2 days of our trip for a few hours each day. We will stay in the transition home. The director will pick us up from the airport and drive us while we are there. They also provide food or we can go get it on our own.
They told us that we should be prepared to travel in approximately two months. Some families though, traveled as quick as four weeks after their referral. My birthday is January 30. 2 years ago I had a wonderful gift of my first born, Raelynn. I went into labor on my birthday and she was born the next day. Maybe this year's gift will be a court date!!! :)
I'm going to stop there for now. I have so much more to write. If you have questions, either drop them in the comments or email me! I'd love to try to answer them and maybe you have thought of a question that we haven't. So much going through our minds right now and so much to do now with Lord willing, little time to do it in.
So I will leave you with some outtakes....because who doesn't love some good bloopers?
|Such a great smile, but no sign!|
|She did a great job of looking at the sign...|
|Did you want me to smile?|
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and our story. We appreciate your support and your prayers. More updates to come!