For about 2 weeks now, we've had the feeling that our referral call could be anytime. We were really hopeful that we'd see our girls face by Christmas. Then Monday rolled around, when we woke up that morning we talked a little bit about our expectations. We kind of decided to let go of that expectation to hear anything before the holidays and just be patient for January to roll around. I'm so glad we did, it was really nice to enjoy a few days without feeling like my phone had to be on me at all times, or jumping every time it rang.
So the week went by and we relaxed. Christmas Eve was so nice with our family. We opened gifts, including many for Miss Lucy. Then, we returned to my folks on Christmas morning for our traditional big breakfast. We opened our stockings...and again, a few more surprises for Lucy. We thought about how fun it would be to put cute headbands and girly socks on her in the future. Our day went by, we were all relaxed, still wearing our new Christmas jammies (except for Matt, he has issues with wearing sweats or pj's in public).
About 2:30 my phone rang with an odd 'number withheld" showing on the ID. I figured it was one of our out of town family members calling to wish us a Merry Christmas. I was too slow, and it stopped ringing before I could answer. Immediately after, my hubby's phone rang, showing the same thing "number withheld". He answered, and calmly said, "Hello. Merry Christmas to you, too." I figured it was my father in law or brother in law. After a minute or so, he said "OK... hey, honey, It's The Call, get the computer!"
I said, "WHAT?? You're kidding!" I really thought he was. Surely they wouldn't be calling on Christmas...Gladney was closed for the holidays and the weekend. He assured me it was THE CALL and it was real. To which I promptly replied, "I LOOK LIKE CRAP!!" I had not showered, I was still in my jammies and grubby glasses. No makeup. Greasy hair. (yes...I am that shallow to be worried about how I'd look in the pictures my mom was going to take!) I realized there was no hope of improving that, and grabbed the camera for my mom. We opened the laptop and Kristin from Gladney told us she was sending us a few emails to go over with her. It took a few attempts on her end...she was spending Christmas at her parents house and using her dad's computer to send our emails. We couldn't believe that she took the time on CHRISTMAS to call us and make it the best Christmas EVER for us. We got the email, opened it up and saw the sweetest face ever looking back.
Kristin was busy telling us all of the details, which we only vaguely heard...we were too distracted by the beautiful girl we were looking at! We finally started paying attention to what Kristin was saying, which was that she was 4.5 months old, described by her caretakers as "Happy, Happy!" and engaging and personable baby who is generous with wide smiles. Kristin gave us her background story, which broke our hearts for her. We knew that our blessing would not come without heartache along with it. We knew that the reason she would be ours, would be because of tragedy in her family. No matter how much you think you're prepared for that, you just can't be.
We were beyond blessed that we got our call on Christmas Day. It was the best Christmas ever. We were so happy that our loved ones were there with us when we got the call to enjoy the moment with us. Our kids peeked over as we looked at her pictures and then quickly ran off to play with their new toys. Since then, they've gotten really excited that their sister is coming, that we have a face to love.
Hayden wanted his own copies of her photos to put in his own little book, and he's making up stories about a tiny little girl named Lucy, who came one day to a boy named Hayden's house. He is already in love with her. Jack, honestly, is a little bit oblivious. He will catch on soon enough.
We are totally smitten with our sweet girl. We are thanking the Lord for giving us such a precious gift this Christmas. We continue to pray for him to be glorified through the remainder of this process. We get asked constantly, what is next. What's the next step...unfortunately for us, we don't get to hop on a plane just yet. Our next step is waiting for a court date in Ethiopia. Gladney will shortly be submitting our files to the court system to move forward with finalizing the adoption. We expect it to be 3-4 months before we get to travel to Ethiopia to bring her home. In the mean time, we're forcing our photo books with Lucy's pictures in them on anyone who stands still long enough to see them :) I can't share them online until we have passed court, but believe me, she's so lovely!!