Friday, May 29, 2015

I Haven't Even Seen Him... (Referral Part Two)

We got off the phone with our case worker still stunned that "the call" with our referral just happened. We had not requested his picture and referral packet yet, because we needed to digest what in the world was happening. Through tears, I said these words to my darling husband:

I haven’t even seen him, and I think I already love him.

Those words have stuck with me throughout the last few months. God, in his good will and timing, chose to bring this little one into our lives and us into his life. Love for him did not come because of how he looks or what his circumstances are. Love for him came because God ordained our and his circumstances so that we would be family. And so I loved him before I ever saw him.

Later that afternoon, we texted our case worker and asked her to go ahead and email us his documents. I could not wait through the night. We decided to wait until our big kids were in bed to sit down to look through his paperwork. We had not breathed a word of this to them. They had no idea we had received this life changing call. They were just enjoying the extra Xbox and movie time.

Donny and I sat down, took some pictures using my camera's timer holding Donny's iPad which held the long-awaited documents, prayed, and then went to open the email...

Nothing. The document would not open. "Anti-climactic" would be a huge understatement to describe that moment. We texted our case worker again, and she needed a few minutes to take care of her own family before she could try re-sending it. We waited, did some dishes, played some Candy Crush, and then it arrived.

And there he was. This sweet little face with a bit of a furrowed brow was staring at us, and all I could think is that I wanted him in my arms where I could stroke his face, relax his brow, stare in his eyes, soothe his cares, soothe his pain, and help him begin to heal from some of the intensity and brokenness of his very young life.

We read through his papers and medical reports. There were no major concerns except for one - his basic measurements seemed a little off, a little out of proportion. None of the other paperwork led us to believe that he had any major health problems, but the measurements did not make sense. We felt confident that this was likely a mistake or a typographical error, but we needed to have him checked out. We were ready to say "yes" to this little boy, but we were not approved for every type of special need. We needed to make sure that we were the right family for him and any needs he might have, so we requested that his measurements be retaken. Our agency was incredible and went through extra effort to fulfill this request, but we would have to wait to receive the results. 

And so we waited...

Donny and I getting ready to open the email that would show our soon-to-be son's face.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

There Is a Little Boy (Referral Part One)

So there's this boy on the other side of the world. He's not ours yet, but his picture is on our fridge. His name is frequently spoken. Our family is preparing for him. He is our soon-to-be son, and we could not be more excited.

Now, here's how it happened. Buckle up. This could be a long post (or series of posts).

One Monday in February I received a phone call from our agency case worker in Birmingham. I was expecting to hear from her, because I had emailed her asking some questions about our home study update. After a little small talk, Cyndi asked me if Donny was available to talk as well. She said she had tried to call him first but was unable to reach him and asked if I could get him.

My response to her: "OOOOOOOOOOOHH. You want to have THAT conversation. OOOOOOHH."

I told her that I would get in touch with Donny and we would get back with her.

This was it. A referral. Could it be? It can't be. But I think it is.

I called Donny. And I called him again. And again. And again. He was in a lunch meeting. Thankfully, his meeting was wrapping up, but I was definitely interrupting it, and I definitely didn't care. He told me he would be home in about 20 minutes. It definitely took longer than 20 minutes, but he finally got home. We sent the kids to either watch a movie or play XBox (I can't remember), and we went up to our bedroom. Cyndi (our case worker) called us, and we talked with her on speaker phone sitting in the floor of our bedroom.

Cyndi's words: "I want to talk to you about a little boy."

Done. It's a boy. IT'S A BOY!!!! A boy. A little boy. I remember just staring off while Cyndi filled us in on a little of his story. From that point on, I was spaced out and in shock. We had waited for this day for over two and a half years. Now that the day had come, I had no idea how to respond. No idea. Cyndi asked if we wanted to receive a picture of him and more information in a packet via email. Donny asked Cyndi if we could hold off on receiving the packet in order to have time and space to process what is happening before we saw pictures and received more detailed information. He said we would call her for the packet tomorrow. I quickly interjected: "Or maybe later this evening after our kids are in bed. Would that be ok?"

And so it happened. The call. "There is a little boy." Five words that forever changed our family, because that little boy, by God's grace and sovereign good will, will become ours - a Friederichsen.

Mid-phone call selfie with Donny's iPad to document "the call."
Notice my red eyes. Many tears were shed that day when we first heard of our soon-to-be son.

Here's a little real life look into our referral call.
Can't believe it!!! We're thrilled (and in shock). 
Our case worker had no idea we were taking these pics while she was talking.

More to come...