I love listening to the girls as they get ready for school in the morning. I couldn’t help but smile a couple Fridays ago when I heard Mary talking excitedly with her sisters. I could hear her exclaiming, “This is going to be the best day ever!!!! Chocolate milk! Free Dress Day! Show and Tell! And root beer floats!” Life is so simple and grand when you’re six. And it’s pretty grand to listen to the girls as they squeal and exclaim over the real pleasures in life. Little did I know as I listened to Mary that morning that something even more exciting than chocolate milk and show and tell was going to happen.
When I left the house mid-morning to meet a friend for coffee, Steve was doing yard work. Now at this point in time we were anxiously waiting (well, I was anxious- Steve was waiting patiently) for our log-in date (LID). Our dossier had arrived in China almost two weeks earlier, and we were waiting for confirmation that it had been processed and logged into their system. The LID is a big deal because once you have it, you are then completely eligible to receive a referral (a child’s file). So naturally, I was ready for the log-in date. But it hadn’t yet come, and I was at coffee with a friend. We were sitting outside and we’d been there about a half hour.
All of a sudden, I heard someone calling my name. It didn’t register at first, but then I looked around and saw Steve in his car, yelling to me out the window. I ran over to the car, thinking something bad must’ve happened. Steve for sure wouldn’t have been done with yard work that fast. His face looked serious. But when I got to the car, he said our coordinator at the adoption agency had called and she had a possible referral for us. I couldn’t believe it! We weren’t expecting this at all. The typical order of things is LID first, and then the referral. I asked why he said “possible” referral, and he said our coordinator mentioned that the child was a little older than the age we had requested. He had asked her to not say anything else, because he wanted us to hear it together. She was going to call back at 10:30, so I needed to be home by then. My mind was racing.
As I drove home, I prayed. I was nervous. During all the months of paperwork and appointments, and craziness, I had one question and fear. Could I love another like I love my girls? I love them so. I just couldn’t imagine loving anyone else in that way. I knew that I would love our adopted child and that I would take good care of him or her. But I wanted to feel the depth of love that I feel for the girls. I wanted to be overcome like I was when the girls were born. But would I be? I wanted to see the referral picture and read the file and know.
I had prayed about it so many times. Over the months of praying, I had gradually felt a peace about it. God had answered, and in the last month or so I was feeling pretty calm about it. A friend reminded me that the huge love we feel for our children comes from God. We feel like it comes from us, but it doesn’t. He floods our hearts with it. It is from Him. He had led us to adopt and He would give me that same love for our new child. I felt at peace. But as I drove, I suddenly felt nervous again. This was it. This was the moment I had prayed about. I felt all a flutter- exhilarated, nervous, and excited.
As we waited for the phone to ring, Steve prayed. We reminded ourselves that our adoption agency also prays. They pray for each family and child, make the matches, and then each family chooses whether or not to accept the referral. We prayed that there would be no question and that we would know. Because the child was a little older, our coordinator gave us some details and asked if we wanted to look at the file. We did. She emailed us the file, along with three pictures. She said to look everything over and let her know what we thought on Monday.
We prayed again and nervously and excitedly opened the email. We saw the pictures and read the file and then looked at the pictures again. It wasn’t dramatic, but a peace flooded over me. I loved him right then. I didn’t say anything, but asked Steve what he thought. He didn’t hesitate. This was the moment we had prayed so much about, and God had answered. We were sure. There was no question. We were required to have his medical file reviewed by a doctor, and we had no idea what that would or would not reveal. But we wanted him. God answered my prayers. I love my Peter (that is what we have named him) just like I love my girls. I am overcome.
All of a sudden, we were flooded with excitement! We just couldn’t wait to tell the girls! They were at school, and it was just about lunch time for Emily and Mary. We thought that was perfect timing and we went on over. Steve went and got Hannah out of class, and I went and got Emily and Mary. We were just about bursting with excitement! When we got them all together on the playground, we showed them the pictures. They squealed and jumped up and down with excitement! There was definitely no hesitation with them! They were flooded with love for their brother. They excitedly showed their friends, and then Steve and I excitedly showed everyone we could find.
It really was the “best day ever”- and the root beer floats and show and tell were only the beginning.