Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy 10 months!

 Happy 10 months sweet boy! Daddy, Mommy, and Olivia love you!                    
Our little boy turned 10 month today. I'm praying that we meet him before he turns 11 months. Can you please pray with us? We are praying that things move quickly so we can bring our little boy home soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


   As I stated in my last post, we had to wait until our baby boy's HIV results came back to accept our referral. On December 12, our case worker said that the results should back on December 28. I sent her an e-mail on the 28 and she said the results were not in. Since it with New Year's Eve/New Year's Day on Monday and Tuesday we had to wait until Wednesday to contact her again. Yesterday I sent her an e-mail and she said the results were still not in and that she was going to ask them (people in Ethiopia) for the results again.
   Today I was in a pretty bad mood because I wanted to hear that he was officially our son. I sent our case worker another e-mail asking if she received the results today and then I tried to keep my mind off of our adoption. About an hour later Jeremiah (who had been checking my e-mail throughout the day with anticipation of receiving this news too!) called me and said, "Check your e-mail." I quickly got on the computer and saw that Alicia said, "The HIV results are in and everything looks great. Here are the labs." I immediately started sobbing. Finally....we know that he is OUR BOY!!! That obviously put me in a great mood.
    It was another fun day of e-mailing friends and family and posting our video on Facebook. When Jeremiah came home we rushed to the bank to have them wire our money ($10,030 to be exact!) to Children's House. We got there at 4:55p.m. and the bank closed at 5:00p.m. Then we rushed to fax our acceptance form to our case worker. She was surprised that we sent our form in so quickly.
 We don't have really know anything else. We know that our files will be translated and submitted to court soon. Then we have to wait for the first court date (when either the birth parent or police officer shows up). After the judge declares that our son is an orphan we will be assigned a court date. This will probably take a few months. We are praying for a speedy court date (please pray with us!).
    We ended our night with a dinner out to celebrate! We will keep you updated as we hear updates. Please pray for speedy court dates and that everything goes smoothly (and quickly!). Our baby boy will turn one on March 13 and we would LOVE to meet him before his birthday. Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement.

 *Jeremiah and I faxing our Child Acceptance Form to CHI.

*Jeremiah, Olivia, and I right after we sent our referral acceptance.

*Celebrating with a special treat!

December 12, 2012-REFERRAL DAY!

 Jeremiah and I were pretty pumped after receiving the e-mail from our case worker on December 11. Jeremiah (as he has been through this entire process) was calm and kept saying that he wasn't getting too excited until we received the referral. I, on the other hand, was thrilled and couldn't focus on anything else.
  Luckily, my school had an early out day and our meeting finished a bit early. I decided to call Alicia and ask her a few questions. When I called her she immediately responded, "You have been so patient today. I thought you would be calling first thing in the morning." I laughed and said that I was pretty happy with hearing that we would be matched (probably) around the end of the month. She then said, "Well..I can do better than that. I can tell you about your little boy right now. I can also send you pictures soon." I was speechless. This was not how I pictured getting our referral. I was by myself, at school, and Jeremiah was not there. I said, "When do you mean soon?" She said that she was sending me the pictures right then. Alicia went on to say, "Kortny, let me tell you a bit about your son. He is 9 months old and just adorable. He has beautiful eyes and curly black hair. He is just beautiful." Again, I was speechless. At this point, I was crying but I wanted to soak everything in and remember every word she was telling me.
  I told Alicia thank you and that I would get back to her later that day. I told her that I was not going to open the pictures because Jeremiah wasn't with me. I literally ran to my friend Nicci's room in tears and told her the news. Then I got it together and called Jeremiah. Jeremiah was in the grocery store (again, not how I thought our referral day would take place) and I told him the news. He was speechless too. I told him that I was going to pick Olivia up and then I would meet him at home to open up the pictures. I also asked him to set up the camera so that we could tape our reactions. Before Olivia was born we took video of us telling our parents about Olivia, so we wanted to do something similar for our little boy. Before I left school I *may* have sprinted down the hallway to tell a few of my other teacher friends.:)
  I went to pick up Olivia and then met Jeremiah at home. Jeremiah and I kept telling Olivia that we had a huge surprise for her. She felt horrible and kept asking for medicine (again..not how I pictured our referral day). As soon as we set the camera up, we opened up the e-mail. OH.MY.GOODNESS. Our hearts just melted and tears started flowing. We could not believe that were seeing OUR son. I lost it and Olivia looked at me like I was crazy. For the past two years I had imagined this moment, the moment I saw my son. It was EXACTLY as I had hoped our referral day would go. As soon as we saw his face we knew he was OUR son. I'll be honest, I was nervous that maybe I wouldn't feel any connection to him, but that was not the case. I knew from the moment I saw him that we he was destined to be in our family.
   Let me tell you about my boy. He has beautiful eyes that shine, precious lips that I can't wait to kiss, big cheeks that I want so squeeze, a perfect fro, and chunky little legs that means he has been fed.
 This entire time I've been praying that his birth mom or whoever was taking care of him was feeding him. This prayer request has definitely been answered because my little buddy is chunky and I love it! Praise God for showing me answered prayers just through these pictures.
  Olivia beamed with joy as she saw her baby brother's pictures. She kept kissing the screen and saying that she couldn't wait to bring him home. Olivia also pointed to Jeremiah and said, "He kind of looks like you." We cracked up at this and she said she thought they looked alike because they both have black hair.
  It was a fun night as we called both sets of parents and then showed all of them our little boy. We also told my sisters and I will never forget their reaction. We waited until Friday to tell Jeremiah's siblings because we were all going to NYC together for the wedding. We told his siblings at the airport and they were happy for us.
  After we told our family members we called Alicia back and I asked her to retell me some of information she had told me earlier that day. I wanted Jeremiah to hear from her and I also couldn't remember some of the information because I was so pumped. Alicia told us that our little boy had just been had the Thomas Center for two days. (Sidenote-our little boy had been in an orphanage for 5 months and he was then transferred to the Thomas Center when he was ready to be matched with us). She said that they were going to do tests on him and that most of the tests would come back by the next week. However, the HIV test would not come back for 10-15 days.
  Jeremiah and I both had a peace about the whole situation. We knew there was a possibility that he could have HIV or some other disease, but we were hopeful that he did not. We decided to tell some of our close friends here in Champaign (so that they could pray for us) and I told my co-workers (because I could not go to work knowing I had a son and not tell them!) However, we wanted to wait until his HIV results came back to announce it to the rest of the world.
  Our referral day did not go as I had envisioned because it was better than anything I could have dreamed of or imagined.

Here is the video:

A little glimmer of hope!

***I wrote this blog post on December 11, 2012 after talking to our case worker. ***

Here are parts of the e-mail I received from our case worker today:

  "We had two new little ones arrive at TC today and their documents are in translation.  I should be receiving pictures and at least an idea on their history or medicals tomorrow. You and a few others will be matched officially very soon. "

When I received this e-mail I ran into the other room and told Jeremiah to listen to the e-mail I received from Alicia. I was SO thrilled to tell him about this e-mail that I forgot to actually bring my computer to Jeremiah so he could hear me read the e-mail. You can't imagine me doing this, can you?:) 
Our little boy is there. He is at the Thomas Center. He has a name and he is OUR boy! We don't know who he is yet, but she implied that he is there. They still have to do a few tests on him before he can be referred to us. Our case worker said they should start these tests by the end of the week and then the results will take 10-15 days to come back. I assume we will be matched after the tests come back (praying they come back clear!) and we are willing to accept him. 
You have no idea (okay some of you do!) how great it was to read the words "You will be matched officially very soon." I know by now that "soon" may not mean what I think it does. Soon to me means tomorrow and I know that won't happen.:)
My heart is filled with joy as I think about adding him to our little family. My heart is also hurting for my boy and what he has gone through during his short little life. Like I've said from the beginning, my boy NEEDS his mommy!

I can't wait to update this blog to let you know that we have been matched.

Never far from our thoughts...

  When we first started this blog I said I was going to take pictures every month and obviously that didn't happen. I want our little guy to realize that even though he wasn't with us, we still thought of him during every special event (and actually multiple times every single day). I just found these pictures that I meant to post a few months ago.

*Olivia's first day of pre-school. She was thrilled to attend her first day with her little friend Ava.

 *Olivia and Daddy carved a big pumpkin together. Olivia bought a little pumpkin for brother and decorated it on her own. She was proud of herself! Olivia asked if we could keep the pumpkin until baby brother comes home. I had to tell her no and she was not happy about that!

 *We were number 2 when Olivia painted this pumpkin.

 *For many months we waited patiently for God to reveal our sweet little boy's face to us.

*Our Christmas season started with us being number 2 on the list....
 and on December 12, 2012 we saw our little boy's face for the first time. What a glorious day for our family!! I will post more about this day soon!

 *Olivia gave my parents and Jeremiah's parents a picture of baby brother for Christmas. This is a picture of my mom opening her gift.