Looking back, I realize it's been almost a year since I blogged last. There was a drastic slow down over the winter and spring of 2013-14. The very depressing standstill made it difficult to keep our chins up sometimes, and honestly, we didn't want to discuss it too much. Sometimes when people meant well and would ask, I would literally reply with, "I don't want to talk about it." Since nobody likes a depressing blogger, I just stayed silent here.
Oh, but then.....
Monday July 28th, I got "the call".
I had just finished shooting a session of an amazingly squeezy little 8 month old boy at my photography studio. I saw I had a missed call and as I buckled in to drive home I listened to my voice mail.
"We are excited to show you a file of a little boy...." was about all the message I had to hear before I flew back into the parking spot at my studio and called them back. As my case worker gave me information- his age, name, birthday, my hands were shaking so hard that I couldn't even write on the scrap of paper I had tried to make notes on. She kindly promised to e-mail me all the information. I cried, and laughed and I think probably scared our case worker.
I took several deep breaths and drove home. I walked to the babysitter and picked up our daughter. By the time we made it home, Brett was there. As Madigan sat down with the iPad, I pulled up a picture from our referral e-mail and called Brett downstairs. I calmly handed him my phone when he reached the bottom and said "Would you like to see this face? We have the rest of his file to review...." More tears and laughing, prayers and combing over the info with a fine tooth comb. We reviewed all the information with our pediatrician and by Wednesday, July 30th, we knew it was right. We accepted the referral.
As is most of the adoption process, a lot of the information we have is confidential. But I want everyone to know he is so handsome, so loved and so amazing. :) We had recently spoken with our case worker and discussed the upper end our 'age limit'- although we had originally requested that our son be less than 18 months, as the years passed we felt comfortable with an age closer to 3. This little man is not quite three, but will be before we can get him home. I want to share his face with the world. I want to kiss his cheeks, and tell him I love him, and introduce him to the most excited big sister in the world. I want to watch his daddy give him piggy back rides. I want to snuggle him to sleep. I know those things will come in time, but I'm so happy that it seems that it will be sooner rather than later.
The support that's been shown is overwhelming. So many texts, facebook messages, emails and in-person hugs. So much support. I think every person is asking two things. "What now?" and "How can we help?"
We wait more. Although this part is hard, it's the validating of all the documents and approval from government offices that must happen. It's waiting with a purpose. We will wait to 'clear embassy', and be given a date to travel for our first court date. There will be two trips to Ethiopia. One for our first court date, and then we have to return home to wait for final approval. We are hopeful that we will be allowed to travel before the end of the year- however- with the 'rainy season' upon us we won't hold our breaths. I know that our agency is working on his behalf to get him home to us as soon as possible. That gives me a deep sense of security.
How can we help?
Pray. Pray for us, pray for the process, pray for him, the orphanage workers, everyone involved.
Share. Share this blog on your page- because you never know how deeply adoption has reached into the lives of your family & friends. Ask them to pray and to share and to help. However they can.
Buy. Financially, two international trips isn't easy. Although we have been working and saving, (and we will continue to do so), finances will be tight. You can help by buying something:
www.justlovecoffee.com/bringhomehille is our coffee sales site. If you want to buy coffee for a cause, this is the place to do it!
www.teespring.com/hille Is a site for a t-shirt sale we are doing. I designed the shirt, and we need to sell a minimum of 100 before they are printed. The proceeds go directly to offset our travel costs- the "end" date is August 18th. (I'm looking into child sizes if we can go to print!)
Give. If you have room in your heart and your budget to give a financial donation, it would be deeply and sincerely appreciated. A few ways are to click the "donate" button on the right side of the page and donate directly there via paypal. If you or your organization needs to donate to a 501(c)(3) account for tax purposes, we are have our account set up with AdoptTogether, the link to the right should be working to donate there.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to let us know they are supporting us. The excitement we have is just hugely increased when we know how much love & support we are getting from those we have known forever and those we have yet to meet!