The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for us. I can barely believe it actually happened! Except it did. I know it did because every time I look at my phone, I see this beautiful little girl on my screen staring back at me. My little girl. My daughter. I get shivers when I say that now. Because there’s a person attached to that word. She’s attached to that word.
If you’ve ever watched What To Expect – imagine the scene where Jennifer Lopez and her husband see their son for the first time. Yeah, aside from his reaction, it was like that. I sobbed. I could barely talk (We’re going to try to upload the video we took). I knew. I saw her face and I KNEW. Search YouTube for referral day videos. There are tons. That’s exactly what it was like. FINALLY seeing the face that you’ve been praying months, years for.
A face to go with the name you picked. Only to realize, it doesn’t “fit” her. As soon as we heard her Ethiopian name, and KC (brilliant man he is) immediately thought ‘Bertie’ would be a perfect nickname. A better way to keep the old and the new – exactly what we want to do. The boys love saying her Ethiopian name, though it is a bit hard to not call her ‘Effie’.
An adoptive momma-friend posted this on her Facebook yesterday. And goodness, it. Is. Perfect. There she is. Ours.
I know it’s only been 3 weeks since we received her picture and 1 week since we officially accepted her referral, but this wait time hasn’t been too bad. That’s likely because life got crazy all at once. My mother had heart surgery, my little sister is getting married, my father could possibly be released, my mother-in-law broke both her feet, and work has been crazy as I’m training my co-worker to do my job of payroll in anticipation of being out. So while we think of her often, we still have other things on our minds too. So it has helped.
It hasn’t been too bad… yet. We’re currently waiting for our PAIR letter to be issued. A process that can take 6-12 weeks. We’re praying daily that we see it in 4-6 weeks instead of 12, so we could use your help taking that request to Him.
It’s crazy. We’re at this place right now, where we’re okay with whatever. Because we know who she is. So, it won’t be pleasant waiting, but we’re okay with this time before our first trip being our longest. Because, once we meet her, it will be TORTURE coming home without her. Leaving her half way around the world….
The wait time before our first court date is about 2-3 months (if everything goes smoothly) and the wait between coming home after our first trip and going to get her on our second trip will only be 2-4 weeks instead of the 6-10 that it used to be. All because they’re moving a few steps to the beginning. I’m thanking God for that!
And we’re praying fervently, every single day that USCIS performs their investigations and interviews and issues that precious PAIR letter in just a few weeks’ time. That would be just fantastic! If that happens, we could travel 4-6 weeks after that for our Ethiopian court date. That could be at the end of April guys. I’m trusting and believing in God. Whatever His timing.
We’re working overtime to add more funds to our travel account and to pad our main bank account since I will be off for 10 weeks on unpaid leave. Luckily, it will be during the summer, so we won’t have pre-school costs and KC’s work tends to pick up in the summer months. So that will be a BIG help. The boys will also be home, so it will allow the 3 of them to bond. God knew just what he was doing…. :)
Guys. We’ve been so blessed by all of you. And you continue to amaze us. You’ve helped us from day 1 and are still doing so. One example: We gave away Oliver’s old crib we had been saving since we increased our age range. KC and I really felt like she would be older – around 3 or 4, so we knew we needed to find her a bed. A friend at work gave me a twin bed at the very end December. I was so thankful! But I was sure I had plenty of time to paint it and find a mattress and box spring. Wrong. Haha! I painted her bed over the weekend and had 2 friends give us a mattress and box spring. One had a mattress but no box spring, and the other had a box spring but no mattress. It worked out perfectly!! You guys.
KC and I will thank you as often as we can. I know I end most posts like this, but I want you all to know how important you have been in this process. You have given one little girl a chance at a new family. She lost hers, but has given another. She is a daughter again. A sister. A granddaughter. A niece. A cousin.
We cannot thank you enough. We can’t wait until she gets here and can see all the amazing people who helped to bring her home. ❤️