"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land." Proverbs 25:25
For a few years God had been orchestrating a special event in our lives. He had called us to adopt a child from China. I will write about that later one day as it truly demonstrates that God can move mountains, tear down doors, and change a heart for His purpose and will. This is going to be a long post, so grab a snack, and settle in. Maybe grab a Kleenex, just in case.
Anyway, just to give you a little background info. We began our paperchase in October 2003. Our dossier was logged into the China Center for Adoption Affairs on October 20, 2004. Yep, took us one whole year to put together that bundle of papers, approvals, dotted "i's", and crossed "t's". We were finally paper pregnant for The Queen!
Up to this point CCAA had recently lifted their imposed "quota system" on adoption agencies, and the SARS epidemic was just beginning in China. Being the type of person that thinks you can never have enough data, I was vigilant in tracking dates of all kinds to try to predict when we would receive our miracle, our referral. This was all before the Rumor Queen started her website with referral rumors and predictive calculating. When we started the adoption process, the "wait time to referral" was taking about 18 months. But during this period referrals began to "speed up" with wait times shortening to 6 months. We were anxious for our referral, but also realized that we had to wait until the end of tax season and the school year before we would be able to travel. It finally looked as though we would be getting our referral in April 2005! The April referrals came in and we were not among those receiving referrals. The CCAA had only matched about half a month's worth of dossiers with the cutoff date of October 19, 2003. We were one day shy of the cutoff! We were so disappointed! But we trusted God and knew that He had a daughter for us.
The next month (May 2005) was extremely busy with end-of-school testing activities, etc. I trudged through the month. The CCAA takes a week long holiday the first of May, so we weren't sure that we would receive our referral in May. Now we were getting worried that we wouldn't travel before the kids started back to school in August. Of course, NOTHING, was going to keep me from traveling to receive my baby (more on that another day:)!
Everything had been so quiet on the boards, no hint of a rumor, nada. Days went by and no referrals came. Finally, it was the last week of school. I had spent the weekend cleaning as I had all kinds of restless energy. On May 23, 2005 (Monday) I had just come home from taking everyone to school. Captain Daddy was at work. I made coffee and logged onto the computer. I scanned the A-Parents China Yahoo group to see if anyone had any news. There it was “re: Referral.” Could this be the day???? There was another referral post! I logged onto our agency travel group. Everyone was posting that this HAD to be the day! As our agency is located in another state, we were going to have to wait for a few hours for them to open before we could contact them. We began discussing who should call the agency. I finally could not take it and I called. I explained who I was and asked if they had received referrals. I was told, “Yes, they had received referrals, and yes ours was included.” They would call us in a few hours after they had processed the referrals.
WAHOO!!!!!!! (I have tears in my eyes as I write this). I called Captain Daddy to let him know to be near a phone because this was our REFERRAL DAY!!!!
Boy, did things liven up on our Yahoo group. One by one the ###REFERRAL### posts began to appear. I was happy, excited, nervous, nauseous, and did I say happy? I didn’t want to leave the house or the computer. But, in the afternoon I would have to go pick up Godzilla and Big Tuna from school.
Around 1:00 p.m., I got “THE CALL” from our agency. I tried so hard to be calm. I had a list of questions, but all I could do was just scribble down the information as it was given to me. And not even coherently! I was told our daughter's name, where she is from, orphanage name, birth date, and probably much more. Our agency was going to send us an email with photos and the basic information shortly. As soon as I got off the phone I called Captain Daddy. I could tell he was so happy and excited. Everyone at his office was just waiting for the news.
As a family, we decided that when we got our referral, we would wait until all of us were present to open the email with the photos. That was going to be a hard thing for this Beach Mama to do! I left to pick Godzilla up from school. When I returned home, the email had arrived from our agency! I did not open it. I called Captain Daddy and told him to be home by the time I got back from picking up Big Tuna. I told the boys on the way home that we had gotten our referral and they would get to see their sister for the first time!
We all gathered around the computer screen and clicked open “Photo 1.”Oh my gosh!! It was The Queen! We were giggly happy! All kinds of thoughts and emotions whirled around as we gazed upon her face for the first time. "Beautiful!" "How could someone so little have such a serious face." "She doesn't have any hair" "Is her hair red?" "She's wearing a Hello Kitty shirt." "She is so young." "Look at those lips."
Next came “Photo 2.”The Queen looked quite inconvenienced by the whole photographic experience!
Little did we know then, "Photo 3" gave us a glimpse into The Queen's uniqueness.
We were head-over-heels-totally in love with The Queen! Our baby! Our sister! Our daughter!
There was a flurry of activity in signing our acceptance letter and printing out photos so Captain Daddy could take them back to the office. Phone calls were made! I sent out the emails to family and friends announcing our referral.
"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27-28
It was a happy, happy day!
It was a happy, happy day!