I have been waiting for about two weeks now to post this. We were hoping to be more official once I announced it here, but we cannot wait any longer…..
Our God has answered and we are over the moon excited!
On October 28:
Jason had taken the kids to the park to give me a little break. I was in the middle of reading a book when I noticed my cell phone had a voice mail. Our China coordinator had called and left a message for me to call her back. Our social worker never calls. I called her back without thinking. She answered right away and said, “Well, I have a referral for you to consider.” I was in shock.
First, I was totally unprepared and my heart was beating fast. I scrambled for a pencil and paper to write down the details. Of course nothing was official (still isn’t all the way official yet), but as she described to me this little one, I was cautiously optimistic. She wanted to run her medical diagnosis by us before she sent the entire referral for our review. As we talked, she was so excited to have found this little girl for us. I asked her, “What made you think of us?” I was thinking we had been waiting for only about six weeks. I was sure there were other families on the list who had been waiting longer. She replied, “Well, when I first saw her I immediately thought of your family for some reason [GOD!]. But I had to offer her to another family first because they had been waiting longer than you all. They were not comfortable with the amount of care she might need and they declined. So, I am offering her to you to consider.” I could hear the smile in her voice. She told us that we had until the end of the week to make a decision.
I told her we would review the file. I called Jason right away after hanging up with her. I think I yelled over the phone, “WE GOT A REFERRAL! COME HOME NOW!” He was home within twenty minutes. I had printed off her file and refused to look over it until he arrived home. We laid the kids down for naps and sat at our kitchen table, peering over her file. We read every detail, and then finally looked at her picture. She was frowning in three of the four pictures. We prayed. We made a plan of which doctors to call and what kind of things we would have to consider. By the next evening, we had made up our minds that we were going to say yes.
I cannot tell you the joy that I felt when we made that decision. God is so good. My heart kept saying, God is so good.
Now, for some details. We have not sent in our “Letter of Intent,” (LOI) which makes things official on our end. After we send this in, we will receive a “Letter of Approval” from China – that is what makes it 100% official! Because we have not gotten to either step yet, I cannot share a lot of details. With that, I will say she is adorable. She is 20 months old. She will be 2 years old in February. She and Emmalia will be seven months apart. She has been diagnosed with “high muscle tension.” Long story, she has symptoms similar to cerebral palsy – but is not diagnosis with that. I cannot share much else because we really don’t know much else. We are waiting to hear back from her caregivers for an updated report on her development. Once we receive that update, we will send in our LOI.
Here are the steps after that (generally speaking):
Letter of Approval (LOA)
Request an appointment for the US Consulate
Receive Travel Approval (TA)
Of course the most popular question is “When do you travel?” The answer is, we do not know for sure, but probably around 4-5 months from the time we send in our LOI. We are hoping to travel next February or March, but no later than April.
Thank you for praying friends. YOUR prayers have been answered! God has heard all of our prayers and provided a little face for us. He has always known her face, but now we know as well.
Our God has answered.
Let me tell you a little story, leading up to this news.
A few weeks ago, our pastor began teaching and preaching on how God answers prayer and how He always provides. He told story after story about God answering specific prayer requests. For example, he needed an AC unit by Monday (and it was Friday). He prayed for God to provide and over the weekend he was offered two air conditioners and then that next week 3 more -all for free! He encouraged us all to really involve God in every detail – asking Him for specifically what we want and need.
I began praying in October that God would give us a referral by Christmas. I thought, “What a special holiday present to have a little face!?” I knew I was asking God for a miracle. They had told us in September it would be a six-to-nine month wait for a referral. To have God do it in three months seemed like a long-shot. I knew God could to do it. I knew He had the power. I just didn’t know if He would do it.
It was like I was asking God, “Can you do this in three months?” – Hesitantly and cautiously optimistic
And then God, responds with, “Three months? I can answer your prayer request in two weeks!”
TWO WEEKS of praying specifically for that, we get the call – October 28.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude to Him. He has shown us how much He loves answering prayers. We are humbled and excited about how He has answered! To think, He answered our prayer -specifically- in just two weeks! We are amazed and so very thankful to Him. I began weeping that evening we received the referral. Not just because we had a little girl to consider (we hadn’t said yes yet), I was overwhelmed with the feelings of God answering my specific request. Overwhelmed. Humbled. Grateful.