Tuesday, July 17, 2012


We have to start with a quick flash back...

It was a typical week night in our apartment this spring... After making a big decision about which agency we would work with, Cary and I had eaten dinner and were sitting on the couch having just finished a video session from the adoption series "If You Were Mine." (Highly recommended.) I was finishing some notes on our study guide. It was pretty late, and we were both feeling a little punchy. The session had in some way touched on decision making, and the types of child care you as a couple are open to/prepared for. I joked with Cary... "Let's just bring home a sibling group of 4 or 5, and then we're done! Instant family." He gave me a you better be joking look and teased back, "No - we'll get twin boys!" I sat back with a grimace - boys are not my comfort zone. And two at once?! But seconds later, I melted. "Awww, think... blue shirt, green pants, green shirt, blue pants! They'd be SO cute!!" Cary rolled his eyes. We cleaned up dinner and called it a night.

The next day I called Susan, our coordinator-to-be, and told her we'd chosen IAG as our adoption agency, and we would mail our application soon. Susan and I talked about what would happen next, beginning our paper work, etc. She told me that IAG's director, Jim, was on his way back from Ethiopia, and that she could send me the IAG waiting list, but it would be updated soon. She said she knew of at least 2 kids to be added to the list; twin infant boys. *My stomach flipped* I asked... "Twin boys? Infants?" She said yes, they had a medical condition that mandated they be added to the waiting list immediately. But sensing the interest in my voice, she cautioned me - every IAG family waiting to bring a child home would get a chance to accept them. (I tried to tell myself that was great. They'd be taken home to a good family - but I also couldn't stop the resonating feeling that these were the boys Cary and I had envisioned last night!)

The next time I talked to Susan about our paperwork, I asked about the twin boys. She told me one of them was sick. *Dismay!* I told her if they needed anything - we could help... Money for treatments, anything... We'd like to know. When Cary got home, I told him the news and that I hadn't heard back from her all day, so I was going to call Susan back. Maybe our church could send money... Maybe she had an update... He told me no - I was already becoming that obnoxious waiting parent we knew we didn't want to be to our coordinator. So we prayed for the boys, and I waited.

                                                               *                          *                        *

We had plans to meet my Dad and Katherine in Roanoke on Thursday, May 24 for a last dinner with Kath before she left for Leadership Project (and to announce that we were starting a family through adoption! This was last post.) A few hours before we were supposed to meet them, I was walking around Pier 1 looking for a wedding gift for a friend, and stuffers for Katherine's gift, when Susan called. Still browsing the store, I picked up the phone. (I imagined we'd probably done something wrong in our paperwork.) Susan asked how I was, etc. And then she asked if we'd be interested in getting more information about the twin boys. I was excited that she'd remembered our interest- "Of course we'd like more information! Is the one who was sick better?" Yes! She kept talking and I became aware that I was talking too loud to be on the phone in a store, so I tried to find a more private area of the store - I was a little distracted. I contemplated putting the sale item in my hand back down, and then decided to just completely focus on the phone call and make shopping decisions later. She was saying "You'll have 5 days..." And I didn't know what she was talking about. "5 days?" I asked. "Yes, 5 days from the time you get our email." "Email...??" I'd missed something. "Yes, the email will share all of the information we have about the boys. We'll send it as soon as we get off the phone. Then you'll have 5 days to think about it and get back to us..." Yikes. This sounded a bit weird. I knew this agency was very careful about the privacy and interest of the orphans they took in. They  only shared information like this if... "Susan-" I interrupted, "Is this a referral?" "Yes!" she said. "This is a referral." (For the twin boys we'd been praying for!) I screamed! I jumped, and made noises I'm glad I can't remember - and then realized I was way too loud to be in a store - people were stopped and staring, and so I ran outside to the sidewalk and called Cary who was at work. He didn't pick up, so I called again. And when he didn't pick up, I called again. And again. Poor guy. When he DID pick up under the assumption this must be an emergency, I sprang the great news on him!! In hind sight... I probably should have waited until we were together in person. :) Over the phone, I felt the color drain from his face when I yelled, "You're gonna be glad you picked up. You wouldn't want to miss that we're getting our babies!" (What?) "We got a referral!!" (Silence.) Ooops. "Hunnee, sorry - let me back up. Are you ok? I didn't know this could happen yet either. But it's for the boys! The twins we've been praying for that we thought we couldn't possibly have! Are you sitting down?" He regained composure. I paced back and forth in front of that glorious Pier 1 display window - it's never looked better - and filled him in. And when he was feeling better and on his way home, I continued pacing while I called my mom.

As I hung up and thought about walking back into the store to make my purchase, wondering if I was as visibly glowing as I felt, a song drifted into my head... "Oh, Lord, You have been good, You have been faithful to all generations." I didn't think much of it. I made my purchase. I drove over to Target to finish getting what I needed. Shopping seems weird on the heels of something so great. As I walked through the aisles, I was thinking, I just want to take off running. I think I could run 5 miles without "growing weary" the way I think the Bible tells us we'll be able to in heaven. And then I thought, I just want to get my hands on someone who knows how crazy it is that we just got this phone call... Someone who would totally GET my joy right now - like Jody Hilt, a mom from our church who not only has been through the same Ethiopian adoption experience, but is headed back to Ethiopia this summer to serve as a missionary for the next 2 years.

I'm learning, folks, don't speak it to God unless you mean it.

I walked toward the sock section, turned the corner, and there sat a wailing Ethiopian child in a cart being consoled by the one and only Jody Hilt! I stopped in my tracks. Jody turned around, and said "Hey." I was thinking... Don't casually "hey" me. I just transported you here through time and space... this is crazy.

"Hey." (I scored zero on social graces here. Pretty sure I made no attempt at how are you? let me introduce myself or ask about the (sister-in-law) standing next to you?) Shameful. "Guess who just called me." Jody looked puzzled. We'd just been at their house a few weeks ago discussing agencies and the beginnings of the adoption process. "Who?" I had zero restraint. "Our coordinator. With a referral." Jody yelled, "Shut up!" Haha. See! She understood how ridiculous - how impossible it all was! She was exactly who I wanted to be standing there with. I continued, "And seriously, Jody, I prayed you here. I JUST said to the Lord, I just wish I could run into Jody Hilt, and... you're here! Seriously, if there's anything you need... tell me. I'm pretty sure anything I pray for right now will happen." After more debriefing, more processing, finding real comfort in her putting her life on hold at that minute to share the moment in mine and enjoying all of her kids who were standing around, chiming in or coming and going, I went to check out.

I had to meet Cary to go tell my Dad we'd decided to start our family by adopting. And to tell him, we already had a referral. Whew!

For the duration of that evening, the same song continued to play in my head. (God even provided music for the most beautiful thing He's done for us.) As I drove to meet up with Cary, I listened to what the words were saying, and was blown away by their truth. I lost it as I sang the refrain.

                                                           Oh Lord, You have been good
                                                  You have been faithful to all generations
                                                            Oh Lord, Your steadfast love
                                                 and tender mercy have been our salvation

                                                       For by Your hand we have been fed
                                                      And by Your Spirit we have been led
                                                                                              -Twila Paris

Over the next 5 days, Cary and I did a lot of praying. I made 32 phone calls. We called doctors, government agencies, social workers, an MD at Veterans Affairs ("The V.A.," easily confused with UVA) and most wanted to be extremely helpful. We asked hard questions. Were we equipped to handle the boys' medical condition? Did we have enough money? Were we ready? I'm being completely truthful when I say, we heard zero "No"s. Not a single one. And I tried to get them. I needed to hear some. But there were none to be had. The more "yes" I heard, the deeper I dug for a "no." But I found none. Every door flung open. God said yes.

And so, on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, we accepted our referral for OUR BOYS. 
Our precious, twin boys. Forever.

(Next post: Our Mighty Men.)

No comments:

Post a Comment