Well, as fast as we moved to get our paperwork and as hard as our agency works, it looks like Ethiopian courts are closing soon for the summer. The Ethiopian staff at our agency got word yesterday that there will be no more appointments given until they open again sometime in October. I physically felt sick when I heard this. We, along with a few other families, just missed this cut-off by 10 or so days. That means there are families that got their referrals just 10 or so days before us and have appointments the last week they are open.
I was just enjoying my referral "high" so much I hadn't really thought much about this. It kind of hit me hard. I was mentally prepared for this possibility, but really hoping for a miracle. What does this mean? Even though we received our referral July 6th, we won't be making our first trip any sooner than October. And second trip November or December. That means a probable 5 month wait to bring our baby home. This feels especially "wrong" because she is so tiny and has so much growth to make up. I want to get her here and into MY arms. I want to monitor her progress and not have to wait for emails. That's very hard. I know she is being very well taken care of, but there is no care like "mommy-care".
It's hard not to feel a little bummed. After almost 10 months of waiting for a referral, when we expected 8 at the most, and then just missing the one trip plan by 2 months, which adds another month at least, and now just barely missing court closures, I can't help but feel a little short-changed! We seem to be (pardon the cheesy quote) "a day late and a dollar short". Not at all the outcome I was hoping for. And everyday that I don't get to hold my baby girl, I am very aware of her absence in my arms. It makes it all that much harder for me knowing that she has already been at the orphanage for three months! She didn't just arrive and then get a referral. So, she will spend the first eight months there. It just seems wrong, somehow. We know all of these things are part of the process, but it just still feels so wasteful. She's there....we are here.
There are things that I know to be true, though. There will be an "END" to this journey. I am just ready to get there! God loves our daughter more than we do and He won't let her down. For all of the milestones that we will miss over these next months, He will give back to us in joy, I know. He will comfort her for us. And us, too.
Good news! this weekend there is a group traveling and I have four mothers who volunteered to check in on Baby 'S' for us. They are going to take pictures of her, love on her and most importantly, pray over her. I really feel grateful to them. Wish I could be there, instead, but am so happy to know that they are going to be with her. It seems unnatural to have other people meeting your child before you do, but that is part of the craziness of this whole thing. I am so thankful for our agency's adoption group, what a blessing they have been. And they don't hesitate at all to do something like this for each other. I pray I have the opportunity to do the same for someone else.
I recently made a "baby book" for Tony. It just kind of describes what kind of baby he must have been. I really prayed about it before making it, and felt that God just kept inspiring me. Since we didn't get him until he was 5 1/2 and the youngest picture we have of him is when he was roughly 3 years old, I had to be creative. But, he loves it. It gives him a story! Everyone needs a story. It makes him feel important. At the beginning and at the end of the book I wrote, "and even when we weren't there with you, Jesus was." That is our daughter's story right now; if I were to write it down. We are not at the "END", but while we aren't there with her "Jesus is".