Repost: We Got The Call!!!

Referralversary 3

Today marks three years…THREE!!!…from the day we got Cocoa’s referral. I can hardly believe it. On one hand, time has flown by. On the other, I can’t remember a day she wasn’t a part of my heart and our family. In celebrations of this milestone, I am reposting the wonderful news we were so overjoyed to share three years ago.

Enjoy…

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“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. WAit for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14

I am in AWE! I had a feeling about this week…Monday even…but I had no idea how PERFECT it would be =)

You see, my husband worked last night and needed to sleep this morning. He told me early this morning that I was under STRICT orders NOT to wake up until at least 11AM (and ONLY if we got “the call”)! Was he trying to TORTURE me?!? SERIOUSLY?!?! It sure felt that way, but I agreed…with a huge frown on my face.

Sometime early this morning he crawled into bed, careful not to distrub me. Shortly (I’m assuming) after that, I was awoken with this nervous-nauseous feeling that came on so fast it felt like a punch to the gut! That, and I was FREEZING! (Have I mentioned the crazy snow-wind-rain weather we’re having in Seattle this week???) I nudged at hubs until he curled next to me and wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm. Suddenly I was so overcome with emotion I felt like his arms were the only thing holding me together. It was almost like I couldn’t breathe! After the weekend I had…and then this morning…I was SURE today was the day!! I barely stomached laying in bed until 8:00am, but then I got up thinking it would be perfect to get a shower in now so that I’d look at least somewhat pulled together if and when Kiersten (our caseworker) called!

{TEXT: “Praying for you today!” – Ashley}

In the shower I prayed and prayed and prayed and pleaded with God and prayed some more….more and more until I felt my heart rate slow down to normal. When I turned off the shower and stepped out, it sped right back up again – now I had to actually FACE the day!

After I got dressed, I couldn’t resist and went to check my email. Right away I noticed an email from Kimberly (who was one ahead of us on the girl’s list, as well as being #4 on the siblings list) that over the weekend they had made the decision to pull themselves off the girl’s list and wait for siblings – WE WERE NUMBER ONE!!!! (That was the point in which I posted the good news in my last post!)

After she called AGCI, Kimberly gave me a call and excitedly explained how God had brought them to their decision throughout the weekend – AMAZING! I was just in AWE that someone could be soo close to the end like that and slow down and step away from it enough to HEAR God’s change in direction!

Kimberly, I am so GRATEFUL that you were willing and able to seek
HIS PLAN and I am BEYOND excited to see the little lives
that He has in store for your family!!!! 
Their decision was just one more stepping stone!

And THEN my phone was ringing off the hook (from mostly my family) with congratulations and “what’s next?” questions! They were on pins and needles almost as much as we were! Little did they know, each call was giving me a mini HEART ATTACK! I was jumpy, and shaky, and literally running to the bathroom every twenty minutes feeling sick to my stomach! I’d waited THIS long….I knew I could wait another day, or even a week if I had to!  But I wasn’t sure how long my BODY could take this…

Fortunately, I didn’t have to…
At 11:24 am (yes, merely 24 minutes after I was “allowed” to wake my husband) my phone rang….and my heart stopped. I paused with my hand next to the phone waiting for the caller ID to register. KIERSTEN. As I held my hand to my heart, I could see Hollywood’s “c’mon mama” expression from the corner of my eye. This is it!!!! I picked it up.Me: {in as smooth a voice as I could muster….which ended up sounding rather cholked up} Hello?!
K: Hi Mimi, It’s Kiersten from AGCI, how are you today?
Me: {still cholked up} Emotional!
K: {laughing} I understand.  …I’m calling because we have a little girl within your parameters that we’d like to discuss with you, do you have a moment?
Me: {hardly able to breathe} yes
K: Great! Is your husband there? Should I conference him on? Or did you want to take the call before talking to him?
Me: Just a moment, I’ll go get him. You know…he made me promise this morning not to wake him up before 11am! I just can’t believe this!
K: I have a knack for the perfect timing! {I could just hear her wink!!}
Me: Alright, just a second!
Can you picture me running into our bedroom and shaking my husband awake while hastily whispering “IT’S TIIIIIME!!!!  IT’S KIERSEN – WAKE UP!!!” Can ya??? ‘Cause that’s what I DID!!!  =)Hubs quickly picked up the phone and groggily said “hello” and listened as K caught him up to speed. In the meantime, I was throwing clothes in his direction and flipping on lights telling him in an oh-so-sweet manner to GET HIS BUTT OUT HERE while grinding my teeth in anticipation (I KNOW you can picture that, lol!).Kiersten explained in detail some recent things that had come up with some of their medical testing in Addis…but in all honesty, as Hubs was asking great and detailed questions my mind was wondering, “How old is she? How much does she weigh? What’s her name? Doe they know of a birthmom? What is the first thing I’m going to learn about my daughter?” It’s a good thing both of us were on the call, that’s for sure!
See...Pokoyo!
See…Pokoyo!
As she was finishing answer Hub’s questions, she informed us that she was emailing us some documents and a picture of our little “T” now. I stopped in my tracks as I repeated her name. Over and over. It was not one I had heard before, but I instantly recognized it as Ethiopian! As it rolled over my tongue, it went from feeling unfamiliar and awkward to perfect and beautiful! As we fumbled to set up our camera and get our son situated with some Pokoyo cartoons, Kiersten continued to tell us that our “T” is 8 weeks old and a teeny 6 pounds!!! OH MY WORD – so tiny!!!!!! I’m dying to see her!!!!!
During all this, hubs is growling that the camera won’t read the memory card….WHAT?!?  So I toss him the smaller memory card out of the video camera…frustrated that we won’t be able to use both. (If this sounds awkward and complicated….then I’m portraying it correctly….it felt so completely silly to be dealing with these kind of mishaps at this point, but seriously!! What were we to do?!? Kiersten giggled at us and assured us that there was “no such thing as an organized referral call”. Okay then…there’s just a lot of great writers out there who know how to embellish their referral story to sound that way then!  😉  Well not ME! This is REAL folks! My mind was ALL OVER the place! I was disorganized, and shaky, and all my electronics were messing up on me!) So just as hubs gets the camera set up I get this BRILLIANT idea to record our conversation on the web cam! But do you think it would cooperate?? NO! In fact we had to RESTART the computer because it froze EVERYTHING! ARGH!!!!!! Okay…at THIS point I was FED UP! I HAD to see my baby girl! So video-less this would be! And no…we don’t have great pictures because that was just life. But not like it matters….I think this moment will forever be ingrained on my brain just like Hollywood’s birth story!
My cheeks hurt already!
My cheeks hurt already!
Okay….so everything that’s GOING to be working is working. We log into our email and download her picture. Let me tell ya – looking at your two month old daughter’s face for the first time is the strangest feeling! I’m gazing at her beautiful, but unfamiliar face…
Opening the email...
Opening the email…
“Oh she’s so tiny!  Look at those eyes!  Babe – her little fingers…awww!!!  
She has so much hair!!!  I can’t believe how little she is!”
First glimpse of my DAUGHTER!
First glimpse of my DAUGHTER!
In love already...but OH so tired!
In love already…but OH so tired!
She looked nothing like I had imagined her to! But how could you possibly dream up the perfect child that God had chosen for your familiy? I certainly hadn’t expected Monkey to look the way he did either, and yet now I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful child!Then suddenly – it happened! I was in love! As Kiersten was walking us through each separate document, I kept flipping back to her picture and finding one more thing I loved about her! The way her curl flipped back in front reminded me of my Hollywood. Her tiny little lips that look just a tiny bit chapped – I just can’t wait to kiss them! Her feet curled up so close to her body – I bet she’s a snuggler! I can’t stop gazing at her…I can’t pull my eyes away from her face, those eyes just draw me in! She’s a stranger to me, and yet I love her.  Unconditionally and completely. And each time I glance at her face, she feels just a little more like mine =) Do I really have to wait to hold her? How long will it be before I can smother her with kisses?
Can't stop smiling =)
Can’t stop smiling =)
As Kiersten spoke, so many details stood out to me. Her birthday: December 20, 2010!  Oh how I looonged for a Christmas baby….of course, I thought she’d be HOME by then, but God had other plans! She was brought to Hannah’s Hope on February 16th.  Her pediatrician report was filed on the 23rd – my hubby’s birthday! She loves eating – oh this makes my mama heart SMILE! Baby Girl, you need to put some weight on! Her name means “God saved her”! Aww…this broke my heart and made me smile all at the same time!  Of course God saved you! We need you just as much as you need us!!! Of course there are many more….but we are choosing to keep those private for “T” to share someday with those she chooses.
"She's soooo beautiful!"
“She’s soooo beautiful!”
We are just in AWE! I still can’t believe that God chose US to be this little girl’s parents!  And HOW MANY TIMES have I posted or reminded myself that“God is bigger than the numbers!” We were technically number TWO!  If Kimberly hadn’t pulled herself off that list today, we would not have our baby girl! GOD IS BIGGER THAN THE NUMBERS!!!! He will move MOUNTAINS!  He can and WILL do what it takes to bring a family together – it was in His plan from the beginning!
Thank you, Jesus!!!
Another photo...this one she's asleep.
Another photo…this one she’s asleep.
Lord, we thank you SO much for this little blessing!  
She is PERFECT and far more amazing than we could have ever dreamed!  
Thank you for being patient with me in my times of grief, in my times of anxiety, 
and in my times of doubt.  Thank you for loving me in spite of it all 
and choosing us to parent this precious child of YOURS!  
Please show us your mighty powers again so we can get her home SOON!  
Amen.
“His unchanging plan has always been to ADOPT us into His family, by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.  And this gave him great pleasure.”  
Ephesians 1:5
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You know, it’s funny. Over the last three years Cocoa has changed a lot. When we finally brought her home, I couldn’t believe how much her little face had already chubbed up and changed. But now, three years later, I can’t believe how similar she looks to that tiny 6 pound baby I feel in love with so long ago. I will never forget this day as long as I live. Reliving it just makes me praise Jesus all over again for this little world changer He brought into our lives!
 
 

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