Many of you have asked for the rest of the story about our referral day and of course this being the second biggest day apart from Gotcha Day in the adoption process, I am happy to oblige. :-)
Monday, March 2nd 2009
It was just an ordinary day to begin with. Randy had already gone to work. I actually got up and was excited because my online photography class was starting that day and I was anxious to open up and take a look at the first lesson after I finished school with the 2 boys. I remember actually thinking to myself that morning that this will be a good distraction for the next 6 weeks to keep my mind off of not having a referral. funny.
The boys and I had started school at about 9:30 (Mondays are always hard to start on time) and were dragging a little. I was in the middle of a chapter of the book I was reading aloud and the phone rang a little after 10:00. Most of the time I just let it ring and call the person back after school, especially since the phone is downstairs and we do school in the loft upstairs. One ring, two rings, I hesitated about whether or not I wanted to run downstairs to answer it. I decided to go for it on the third ring and as soon as I saw on the caller ID: Holt International, my heart started racing. This is it, I thought, this is the call.
It was Jessica from the Waiting Child program and she was wondering if this was an ok time to talk? Um, yeah! As she started to tell me about this precious tiny little girl, my heart was beating so fast and I just knew. She asked if we wanted to see her file to review and it took about everything in me not to scream YES! OF COURSE! AND NOW PLEASE! I calmly said yes, she could email me her file and we would get back to her. I couldn't stop shaking.
I hung up the phone and just sat there for a minute, in a state of shock. The boys were restless because they wanted me to finish the chapter that I was reading in the book, so that we could move on with school. I said, "hey guys that was the call- we have a little sister!" I told them what little information I knew about her including that she was only 3 pounds when she was born. Austin heard this and said, "Oh great, a midget baby!" (we can pray for his heart and attitude)Nathan said "Yay now we can take the day off of school and celebrate!"
Austin just wanted me to finish the chapter. So, I grabbed the laptop and brought it upstairs so that the minute I finished reading I could check to see if that super important email had come. Let me tell you, I have no idea what I read during those 10 minutes! Something came out of my mouth, but my mind was totally someplace else! As soon as I was done I opened my email, opened the first picture and the tears came. There she was, this chubby little thing staring at me with the cutest smirk on her face. As I studied her I was thinking, "so, you are the one we have been praying for, dreaming about, and aching for so long? Oh, you are so worth it." Austin saw her picture and remarked, "Aw man, she's a FAT baby!" :-/
Nathan abruptly woke me up from my daydreaming and said we have to call daddy. Daddy!!! Yikes, I hadn't even called him yet! And here I had just seen our daughter's face for the first time and hadn't even shared it with my husband. I know, what a great wife I am huh? At the time I really could not think clearly so that is my excuse! So, I called him at work to tell him the news that he had a daughter and he was pretty shocked. As I blabbered on about her he was so amazingly calm. He said he wasn't going to be able to come home early so I asked if I should email him her picture atleast. He said no, he would just wait until he got home. What??? I could have never done it, but he is different and he managed to wait the entire day. I love how patient he is- so opposite of me sometimes!
I managed to call my in-laws and tell them the news. They are out of town until next week, otherwise we would have told them in person- it's more fun that way! The rest of the day was very surreal feeling. I went over to my sister-in-law's and showed off her picture and had fun just talking about our little girl. The kids were so cute and I loved each of their reactions. Noah (age 4) looked at her picture and asked "who's dat baby? I don't know her. Is she from the baby home?" (the orphanage in Russia where he was from) Samuel (age 3) Just looked at her and smiled with his adorable grin. Taylor and Makenna were happy, but Lauren (9) was the cutest. She sat down right in the middle of Allyson and I as we were talking and paid close attnation to every word. At different times she would say cute things like "Auntie, now we will have to go shopping huh?!" and "oh I can finally get her that baby." (she has noticed that we don't have a single baby doll at our house and that is a problem since we will be having a girl. She told me a long time ago that she wanted to buy our little sister a baby when she came home! SO CUTE) She was very excited!
Because Jensen was at school, I had to wait until I picked him up to tell him the news. I knew how much he wanted a little sister, so this would be a big deal for him. As he got into the car and I asked him about his day, he said "Mom, today was a great day!" I smiled and was trying not to burst as I asked him why it was such a great day. He said he had a surprise for me and he pulled out a bumper sticker from his bag that said something like My Child was awarded the Character Counts award. After only being at the school less than 2 months, he had already got an award for great character! I told him how proud I was of him and I said "You're right Jens, today is a GREAT day! I have a surprise for you too!" He looked at me with the biggest, most excited eyes and said, "Little Sister????" I nodded trying to hold back the tears, and his eyes started welling up. I showed him the picture and he just started crying. As he stared at her he said "she's just how I thought she would be. She's SO cute!"
This mommie's heart was full!
The rest of the day was a whirlwind of activity as I realized life must go on. Homework, baseball practice, Perspectives class- it was all still going on that day. Randy came home and we shared a sweet moment as he saw his daughter's face for the first time and he even got teary as I told him about Jensen's reaction. We celebrated by going to dinner at our family's favorite place: Red Robin.
It was such a sweet day and one I will never forget.
It was the day we "met" our little Elliana Sa-Rang and she will forever be a part of our lives. In a few months we will hold her in our arms and meet her for real, and bring her home to be a part of our family forever, but for now we will stare at her cute face and keep on praying for our little girl!
Jensen on referral day
One more thing: Because she is special needs, we needed to have an IAP(international adoption pediatritian) look at her file and go over it with us to make sure we knew what we were dealing with. Because of this we weren't really supposed to share the news until we heard back and then were officially matched. This actually took a whole extra day, that is why you didn't hear about it until Wednesday!
More about Elliana coming soon!