i have been waiting to write this blog post since july 20th but so much has been top secret because adoption is tricky.
i'll give you a little timeline of what has happened since the end of july to catch you all up to speed:
july 20-alicia at CHI e-mailed us about a waiting child. it was a tuesday and evan was at college age and i was probably at home dying from my parasite like i did all summer. i sent him a thousand texts FREAKING OUT about it and dying until he came home. texted our moms and my bible study girls and was like "Y'ALL BETTER PRAY RAT NAOW."
--the referral was for a little girl who matched our profile (you have to specify medical/emotional/physical needs that you're willing to accept) and was in our desired age range (younger than Maddox) and had a medical necessity that required us to say yes or no within 24hours so they could get the funds to move her to a better orphanage and get whatever medicine/tests/whatever done.
--we literally said, "the only thing holding us back is money. we're saying yes." SO WE SAID YES. we would owe over $15,000 when we accepted the referral.
--here's another part of this story: we didn't even have our homestudy done. NO HOMESTUDY. but we've got a child. i had just turned in the last piece of paperwork FIVE DAYS BEFORE this e-mail. typically this is not how this happens >>>> more on that in a minute.
july 21-we said YES!
--since our homestudy wasn't done, we couldn't officially accept so we were only given a "soft referral," which meant that she would be ours if we could get our stuff turned in quickly. it also meant they wouldn't show her profile to any other families.
--we didn't even have our homestudy scheduled and my agency was like PLEASE DO THAT A MONTH AGO. and so my gf callie was like, "give me something specific to pray for." i'm all, "my homestudy needs to be done and i don't even have an appointment for it." within an hour, my social worker had called us and set up our homestudy for that saturday, as in two days from the phone call.
july 22-clean the entire house. buy one million stupid outlet plugs. freak out about the rugs that move too much and the book case that isn't nailed to the wall (hint: IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL).
july 23-our social worker came for a few hours and interviewed us and questioned maddox about how he shares and is he excited for a brother or sister (I DIE, SO CUTE) and toured our house. she's amazing and we love her.
--we then went to shoot a wedding for the rest of the day. ALL THE NERVES.
july - august-meet with our social worker two more times to fill CHI's quota. do a million hours of online training.
august-feel like we're going to get our homestudy back any day and stressed about having no money (started with about $6,000 in july). i prepare all the grant stuff.
september-feel like we're going to get our homestudy back any day and still stressed about having no money. i complete all the grant stuff but can't send it in because lack of homestudy.
october-CRAZIEST MONTH OF MY LIFE. i don't know why i thought it was a good idea to schedule everything in one month but i did: a conference at our church (well, i didn't have anything to do with that), mini session and a spa night fundraiser ALL IN THE SAME WEEK. i almost died of lack of sleep. still feeling like we're going to get our homestudy back any day. i thought that because our social worker TOLD me she was finished with it and waiting on CHI to send it back. there was some sort of miscommunication about some papers so i waited for over two weeks from the point of it being finished and actually getting it back.
november-NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH! our homestudy is approved by CHI! we can accept our referral! we accept! WE ACCEPT! we find out we have 14-days to make a payment and we've got our $15,000 ready to go! i have a weird feeling that it's not $15,000. guess what? it's not. there were two financial statements and i wasn't looking at the correct one when i was getting all excited about hitting our goal. i beat myself up, have a quick panic attack, cry to evan and FIGURE IT OUT. the actual total that we owe is almost $24,000. so we're about $8,000 away from our total THAT IS DUE IN FOURTEEN DAYS.
here are some things that i find incredible:
1. we got our referral acceptance on november 2nd because God knew i would straight up KEEL OVER if i found out that i can't read and was $8,000 wrong in my crazy stressful month. because i had a week of "rest" (it was not restful in the least) at the end of october in preparation for this new kind of crazy.
2. last year i wanted to announce our adoption during national adoption month. this year we get to accept our referral! WHO KNEW?! this year has flown by.
3. God is in the details. i know this. otherwise he wouldn't have made us do this completely backwards.
so, we get asked all the time about what a "referral" actually is. when you apply to adopt and are eventually matched with a child, the referral is basically the child. our babe came with a bunch of papers explaining why she's an orphan and her medical needs and height and weight and the things she can do like walk and talk, etc.
we filled out several applications for grants but because we're doing this out of order (proper order: homestudy > grants > other stuff > referral. our order: child > rest of the stuff), we don't even have time to receive any grants. this is literally a test of my faith, RN.
reasons we won't get any grants (probably):
grants take a bajillion weeks to be approved.
grants won't cover anything you already paid.
grants won't cover any loans you take out.
grants won't cover travel expenses.
we have a few more payments that we'll make to our agency so we can probably get a grant for a few thousand dollars but i was reading this other blog where they broke down their financial situation after their adoption and they received like $20,000 in grants and i'm like YES! I LOVE GRANTS! FREE MONEY! and then God was like, "actually no." so we don't know where this money is coming from. but we have faith. and $8,000 is a lot of money but shoot. i serve a God of miracles. #praisehands
we can't share many details about our babe but since we accepted the referral, we did announce that it's a girl! i may have secretly, not so secretly shared that on FB already but for those that missed it, WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!!! i can't believe those words! we've known since july. her picture has been on my fridge for months. but it's real now! THIS IS REAL LIFE!
if you made it this far, THANK YOU. thanks for praying. thanks for sharing in our JOY. thanks for being a part of our tribe to bring our love home. more to come. this story isn't finished.