How it all went down. Our referral story...
It had been an exceptionally down day in terms of how I was feeling about our adoption. That day on yahoo there were lots of people feeling the same way and people were talking about how referrals will now start taking 6-8 months. I decided to just turn off the message board a bit earlier that day. We hadn't seen a referral since mid August and I was feeling like it may never happen.
I got home and in my email inbox are two emails with extremely BOLD AND CAPITAL LETTERING from Dianne and Jenny asking me if I was freaking out over the referral that had just been posted. I immediately started shaking and saw that it was for a couple who don't normally post but who had their dossier arrive the exact same week as us in Ethiopia with the same request. I was so excited at the thought that referrals were starting up again (they always come in waves) but didn't want to get too excited either.
A few minutes later I checked my voicemail and got a message from our adoption agency that was sent at lunch! LUNCH! It was the person who would call if we had a referral but her message sounded so nonchalant and I knew that no one tried calling me at work so it couldn't be anything. I checked with my husband if he had any calls that day and he didn't either so I figured it was something annoying like, "Your paperwork has expired and you need to get another medical exam done." I honestly didn't feel too excited that we would be getting our referral because I always imagined our caseworker calling at home, and then at my work. I even considered emailing her a few weeks ago just to make sure she had all our correct numbers but thought that would be obnoxious considering I KNEW they had ALL our phone numbers. Hm... note to self: don't assume anything! Our agency was now closed since it was after five and I would have to wait for the next day to call her back at 9 am.
Well, as the night continued I became more and more and more consumed with the thought that we could be getting our referral the next day. I just had this feeling and my husband who never gets "this feeling" told me that just that day he thought that we would be getting our referral and trust me, he has NEVER spoken like this throughout our entire adoption. I on the other hand have "feelings" that this could be the day every other week or so. So Mike continued calling me mom and telling me that tomorrow was the day we would see our son's face and that he was totally confident in this!
Inside I think I knew it too.
(sorry this is really long....)
The next morning I seriously felt sick to my stomach. My first class started at 9:25am and I hadn't made up the vocab quiz yet. I got into my office at 8:45 and made up the quiz as fast as I could (4 minutes........oh yeah!!!!). I then had to photo-copy some midterm reports for student files and I remember the entire time feeling like I was on another planet just floating around the office. It was almost nine and my stomach had so many knots to it I had to visit the washroom!!! When I got back in my office I seriously just stared at my phone and I honestly did not want to phone the agency. I considered not doing it. The idea of NOT getting our referral and hearing some annoying news about re-doing paperwork was just too much. I didn't know how I could get through the day or weekend if I heard that it wasn't our referral.
I had prayed to get our referral before Mike's birthday in September and it didn't happen, before thanksiving and it didn't happen, and this was the Friday before my birthday on Moday and we all know most referrals come in on Fridays, right ladies? I checked my email again and got one sentence from Dianne saying "praying for you my friend". I had emailed her the night before telling her what was going on. With new found courage I picked up the phone to call them.
And then it just happened. She just said it, she just told me that the reason she had called was because she had a referral for us. A baby boy. I was in such shock at first and I think I sounded so calm, but when she told me his name it all became so real and I started crying and couldn't talk. She was so sweet.... she just kept talking for me and telling me random details about him since she knew I couldn't speak yet! Hearing his name felt so real. That this was a soul, a life, a baby boy that some how we have been chosen to raise. He has a name. Samuel. Meseret. I told her I wanted to be with Mike to open all the pictures and documents so I said I'd phone her back later that day. I hung up the phone and a few seconds later Mike was phoning me to see if it really was the good news he thought it would be and I got to tell him it was. Of course, by now my class was starting and I have a practicum student who put so much work into his lesson so there was no way I could bail out and not give him feedback. So off I went to two one hour fifteen classes. Luckily they were really good lessons but time still went by very very slowly. I got out of class and waited for Mike to pick me up and we drove home and sat in front of the computer.... and looked at our son.
Honestly, seeing his face for the first time was so surreal. It felt like we were looking at someone else's referral pictures. I was almost thinking, "Emily, why aren't you freaking out right now? This is your baby" But it was just too crazy. It took a bit to sink in, but it feels more and more real every day.
That night Mike had already planned to take me out for dinner for my birthday but it turns out he had a whole other surprise already planned for me knowing that if we didn't have our referral by then it would be good to get away. So we did, Mike took me to this beautiful remote B&B on Harrison River. It ended up being the perfect way to celebrate getting our referral! We drank lots of wine, relaxed, ate amazing food, and got to take it all in somewhere so peaceful.
I can't WAIT till Samuel is in our arms in a picture like this. Just looking at this photo of us now and it feels like he is missing!