Markers in Time

It has been one year since we received our referral of Aseres.  I am not a real big fan of Father’s Day or other days designed to get everyone’s focus on a particular issue or group.  But I do like celebrating birthdays and anniversaries — to remember and to respect and to measure what has come since in year long bites.  Maybe it is my Old Testament reading or my exposure to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church where everyday commemorates something.  Anyway after we had some time and I got around to posting, we shared what we were allowed:

Baby A is currently in a private home run by our adoption agency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She was moved there from an orphanage in Gondar at the end of last year. While we have pictures and the name she goes by, we are not sharing that information online until the court grants us custody.  A referral means that our agency has matched our family with Baby A, and by accepting the referral, we are moving forward to seek custody under Ethiopian and American law. 

We really wanted to share more at the time, but our agency forbade any online identifying information until the Ethiopian court acted on our case.  So although she was beautiful and her birth mother had given her a beautiful name, no pictures and we had to refer to Aseres as “Baby A.”  We are way past that now, so here is what it was like to live through..

I received a call at my office from Sara saying she had our referral and asking if I could go home to receive the information with Marissa.  I did not ask any more questions, but literally ran down the stairs and into my car.  I was shaking.  I called Marissa even though I only live five minutes from my office to make sure she was at home.  She was, as were all the kids because school had not started.  She asked some questions I cannot remember but it was clear from the questions she was a little bit dizzy with anticipation.

When I opened the front door Marissa was vacuuming.  It will always be one of my favorite memories.  My beautiful wife wanting to let loose some of her nervous energy so bad that she was frantically vacuuming the living room and sending the kids across the house to put their toys up.  I let her know that we did not have a video phone, so Sara would not be able to appreciate how clean and neat the house was. When she looked up, she was already crying.  I can’t remember if Sara called us or if I called her back.  Either way, we put her on speaker and Owen had the video camera.  Despite our excitement, Sara was an old pro and marched through in calm, clear Gladney speak.

“I have a referral for you of an eleven and a half month baby girl, and I am emailing referral information right now.”

“A girl,” Marissa noticed before I did, “oh my goodness.(one second, two seconds).. the hair,” in a tone of excitement mixed with fear.  Roni shrieked across the living room with joy.  She made no secret that she wanted a sister but we knew the odds were about 80% we would get a little boy.  I pulled up the first email with the referral information and some photos.  We learned in real time the details of Aseres background from this very document and got our first look via these very pics:

Aseres.Referral

This little, beautiful girl was in an orphanage?  More pictures came and more information later, but there was something overwhelming when we looked at these first pictures — something awe inspiring; there still is.  When we decided to adopt, I dismissed the idea that there was one child for each family as mommy talk.  Then we got our first look at our new daughter.  She was the girl for us, the girl God had picked for us.  Call me a sap but there are moments when the only play is to accept the feeling of joy God gives you as a child and with thanksgiving, and not let the skepticism of the world undermine your praise.  Matter of fact, there should be more such moments, but this was one.  She was our daughter — just because an idea is romantic doesn’t make it untrue.

We let Sara know that we would be accepting the referral.  We prayed over the night, but we knew and had peace that Aseres was the answer to the prior evenings’ prayers.  Most of you know the rest of the story.  We just wanted to observe this time marker by sharing what we couldn’t share then.  It is only a couple weeks before Aseres’ birthday.  By and around that time, we will be sharing with everyone what has happened since we landed in Austin, more pictures than you probably want, and lots of details on how and what she and we are doing.

Advertisements