Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh Happy, Happy Day: We Got Our Referral!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is with joy, thanksgiving, and very much a sense of wonder that Geoff and I announce that we have received a referral of TWO Ethiopian-born children!  We can hardly believe it.  The call came just after noon yesterday, and we have been in a state of euphoria since!  We are about to add a four-year-old boy, and a two-year-old girl to our family...a long-awaited brother and sister for our six-year-old Matthew (who has been praying many times, daily, for twenty-eight months for his "brother and sister").  We could not be happier!  At long last, our dreams of completing our family through adoption are coming true.

I will not be posting their pictures until after we have successfully completed Ethiopia's federal court process, but we already love their sad, scared little faces, and look forward to the day when we can offer them the comfort and security of our home, and the love that we have carried for them for so long already.  Our new son's name, so coincidentally, is Mathewos and he will be five in December; and our daughter's name (I have a daughter!) is Elfnesh and she will be three in early October.  We will likely be giving them different first names, particularly given the similarity between our boys' names, but we'll work through those details a bit later.  When Matthew came into our lives, and we named him Matthew, it was with the knowledge that his name means 'gift of God.' What beautiful gifts these children are, too.

When we changed our child request at the beginning of June, to be open to either siblings or a single child, it was with the knowledge that we would likely be receiving a referral of one.  Our case worker told us at the time that, given our openness to age and gender, and given how long we'd been waiting, we would essentially receive a referral of the next child or children that became available.  That was the statement that made me comfortable with changing our request, knowing that we could then leave to God the orchestration of whichever scenario he envisioned for our lives.  Interestingly, in the past couple of weeks, believing strongly that our referral was about to come, I kept fighting the feeling that we were going to be referred siblings (and yesterday discovered that Geoff had been feeling similarly), knowing that (statistically) we were far more likely to receive a referral of one.  And we would have loved that one as well.  But, as my sister said to us yesterday afternoon, "God has spoken."  We got the siblings that I had longed for!  A boy and a girl!  How blessed are we.  I am overwhelmed.  We completed our first adoption homestudy over eight years ago and now, so many years later, we can breathe a sigh of relief and know that we're finally done!

Of course, our joy has come at great cost.  The mother of our children had to do the unimaginable; she relinquished her children to the care of strangers, hoping that they will have a better life than the one she could provide.  How many times I have prayed for her over the years.  The other cost is, of course, borne by our children, these precious little innocents who have been separated from their first family and who will carry the scars of that separation for a lifetime.  I ache for what they have already had to endure in life, and can only hope that Geoff and I will possess enough wisdom to help them cope with their grief and transition.  Adoption is a multi-faceted, complex series of events, and our joy of today is marked by that knowledge.

So much needs to be said, and there will be time to say all of those things.  But for now, we are simply basking in the glow of our news.  In the coming days, we will consult with a physician who specializes in international adoption; and then sign our acceptance of our referral.  Next to come is the federal court hearing in Ethiopia, which I'm guessing will take place in November or December.  Geoff and I will travel to Addis Ababa for that.  We will be able to meet our children, and then appear in front of the judge to indicate that we commit to bringing them back to Canada once immigration processes are complete.  The last step in the process is the immigration process, which will begin after the court finalizes our adoption, and will take a further, estimated, period of about 10-12 weeks.  Finally, at that point, we will be able to bring the children home.  You are all, already, invited to the airport for that occasion!

I sit here crying (again, still) as I near the end of this announcement that Geoff and I have waited over eight years to write.  So many things are going through my head as I remember bits of that journey:  I think about the vision I had as a teenager that I would someday parent a boy of African birth (whose face has finally taken on the appearance of our little Mathewos); the grief of infertility and the decision to adopt 8+ years ago; the miracle of Matthew's birth; the hope that was wrapped into each adoption homestudy that we completed; the utter despair of last year's July when Imagine Adoption declared bankruptcy and we thought our dreams were finished; the gratitude that I feel for those incredible people who put Imagine back together again; the beauty of relationships and friendships we've made along the journey; the ups and downs of the endless waiting; and, of course, the joy of this outcome.  The pain of that wait hasn't disappeared for us because of our referral; that wait has shaped and changed us, and deepens now our feelings of thanksgiving.

Words are not enough.  The God who knows our innermost thoughts and needs and dreams has been faithful.  Why He has chosen us to parent these children instead of one of the other many families who are waiting to create or complete their families through adoption, I'm not sure. But we are thankful.

Thank you so much, all of you, for being our supporters along this journey so far: for praying for us; for thinking your best thoughts for us; for giving us a boost the many times we've needed it; for celebrating with us now.  To our friends and labourers at Adoption Options and Imagine Adoption, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for working towards yesterday's big news - we are so grateful.

We're not sure why we've had to travel this road towards completing our family, but we are mostly thankful to God for guiding us along the way, and for the blessing of our three children.  Three children!! Wow - does that have a great ring to it!!

I'll be continuing to track our progress here, towards bringing our children home.

With love,

Geoff and Ruth...and for Matthew (6), Mathewos (4), and Elfnesh (2)


  1. There is no possible way I can adequately express how happy I am for you! And I've only read the title and the bolded text! Wonderful, wonderful news Ruth :-)

    Now to go read the details!

  2. Ruth, this is the most splendid news. Congratulations! Our prayers are with you and your family during this next period of waiting. Yipee!!!

  3. Beyond excitement - is what I feel for you. Thank you for sharing your special announcement with me. I knew we would be doing this together - I just knew it.

    Lot of love,

  4. Here I am again to say...YIPPEEEEEEE!!! Thrilled for you, beyond words. Our God is truly an Awesome God! What a gift beyond description. Congratulations...there are no words to say how much I mean that. darci :)

  5. AS you already know from my email... I have no words. Enjoy this moment. A

  6. YAY!!! It is amazing that even though you changed your request you still got a referral for siblings. Congratulations on this wonderful news and can't wait to hear about that court date!!!


  7. Oh my OH my, finally!!! You must be over the moon and be on cloud 9 and whatever expression will make you feel the way you feel!!!
    So happy for you!!! 28 months of waiting and there you are mommy of 3


    Congrats and hope you have them in your arms soon!!!


  8. Ruth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have stopped crying and can now try and type.

    I have bounced back and forth from your email, to the board to your blog. Trying to digest that is really really true !!!!!!!

    I am so happy your day has come I must say as trilled as I am about it all , I am extra extra trilled that you have a daughter as well. I could never stopped the feeling I had that you would be getting a girl ! I just felt as such a wonderful strong and loving woman you would be raising a strong and loving girl !!!!!! and now you have a baby one at that !

    Guess you will need to order "Noami " after all !

    I so look forward to all the posts from this day forward as you digest and celebrate this emotion filled day.

    Thanks so much for sharing this magic with us all.

    You have made my day and I am so so happy for you all.

    Much love

  9. Beyond wonderful, that's all I can say. Congratulations again!

  10. Ruth and Geoff and Matthew...
    Congrats on your news! So excited for you!! Thanks for sharing the 'gift' of your news with us...it made yesterday such a special day! Enjoy the excitement and the pictures as you await the day when you tuck them into bed at home!

  11. Congratulations Ruth and family!

    I know you'll be great at loving these children through some tough times.

    And what a beautiful referral post.

    Woo hoo - onto a successful court date ....


  12. So thrilled for you and your family, Ruth. Congratulations! God is good.

  13. That is absolutely wonderful!! So very, very excited for you.

  14. Congratulations Ruth. Speedy travels.

  15. Oh Ruth, I'm so excited to read this news. I have goosebumps all over! I first read it on the yahoo site a moment ago and had to keep re-reading what was posted. It was like I didn't quite understand English and needed to make sure I was reading your post accurately!! Awesome, Awesome news. So excited for you I can;t even express it, but I know your feeling of utter joy and peace so well!! Enjoy these days floating on your beautiful cloud of pure euphoria.

  16. Ruth, what great news to read first thing this morning! Congrats on your referral!!!

  17. I hope that you know already how special this announcement is for me. You have walked such a long and winding road with many obstacles along your path and now you have seen your reward! I am so happy for you and Geoff and Matthew! I am so happy for your new son and daughter who have such a loving family waiting to help them heal their hurts and create new memories. God is in the business of miracles and He has heard Matthew's prayers, lifted up to Him in complete faith and given him the desire of his heart, a brother AND a sister! You now have the son from Africa that God placed in your heart so many years ago and you have a daughter...God knew the perfect children to complete your family and the perfect family to complete these children.

    My friend, I am so happy for you!

  18. I am so happy for your family! It's been a long road, but ended up the way it was suppose to be. Congratulations!!

  19. Congratulations Ruth! I am so happy to hear it was a sibling referral too - and a boy and girl!

    So excited for Matthew as well - that little guy knew all along.

  20. Ruth, As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I could not be happier for you!! I am ecstatic that this part of your journey is over!! You deserve all of this joy, and I am sending all of you a big hug as you venture into a family of 5.


    Jessa xx

  21. Ruth, Geoff and family!
    I am so excited and happy for you, I can't imagine the wait you have had, and that it is finally coming to a close after so long...incredible! Enjoy this moment, I will be following every step of the process, and praying that our Gracious Heavenly father is guiding this process and caring for those children until you physically can!


  22. Wow ! is the first word who came to my mind when I see your email this morning. What a wonderful fit for your family, a brother and a sister for Matthew. Your story as been a example for me and give me the hope that one day I will receive my referral. God know the desire of our heart and he answer.... Glory to him !!!

  23. one who heard the good newsAugust 24, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Congratulations! Such an exciting time for you!

  24. Oh Ruth, this is the BEST lunch time reading ever! I smiled, I laughed, I cried... I'm just so happy for your family!


  25. Very very excited for you, Ruth. May the remainder of this part of your family's journey and the beginning of the rest be filled with triumph, joy, and peace and you join together and complete your family.

  26. Very very excited for you, Ruth. May the remainder of this part of your family's journey and the beginning of the rest be filled with triumph, joy, and peace and you join together and complete your family.

  27. Had trouble reading your blog post about Mathewos and Elfnesh because of the tears in my eyes. THRILLED that you got to this moment!! Blessings to you, and those two little special ones as you wait to meet each other. Although you now have referrals, the waiting doesn't stop, only changes...praying that the next steps will go smoothly.

  28. WOW Ruth!!!! Congratulations!!! That is the most AWESOME news!!! I'm so VERY VERY happy for you! Can't wait to read the rest of your journey towards that wonderful day when you bring your children home forever.

  29. Ruth, what an exciting time! I can't imagine what you've been through, yet I can imagine part of it myself as our story is seen in some of your story also.

    I can't wait to hear that your visas are ready and you can travel to pick up your children.

    waiting for referral of 3

  30. That's wonderful! Congratulations!
    I am so glad for your family that you received a referral for two children. Enjoy the moment.

  31. woo hoo. What more can I say...

    Have a great day (month, year) celebrating this Ruth...

  32. So very happy for you and your family... May your court date be just around the corner.


  33. Hi Ruth,

    I'm popping by from Sharla's blog to wish you a warm congratulations!! What a journey it has been for you! Praying God will bless you as you go through these last steps to bring your little sweetlings HOME!! Congratulations!!


  34. WOW RUTH!! HUGE congratulations!! I am so, so happy for you because I know your story because you have shared it all so candidly. I like that your daughter's name sounds like "elf" - that's so cute!! I look forward to hearing all the details of the rest of your journey, and I will share mine with you too as my path unfolds. Such great news.
    - Katie

  35. Congrats once again!! We are so absolutly thrilled for you all!
    I laughed when I read Shannon's comment about Naomi! You will def need the practice head! Yay!


  36. Congratulations Ruth and Geoff! It's been a long wait for you guys. I hope that the wait won't be much longer for the day you will have them in your arms. I look forward to reading about your journey to Ethiopia! I wish you all the best!


  37. Hours after hearing your news, I still catch myself smiling thinking about your referral. Thinking how it could have been one, but against the odds it's two.

    Congratulations on this long-awaited moment. I'm so happy for you and your family, Ruth!

  38. Ruth, i haven't even read your blog. I just saw the title and your post on Yahoo. I have tears in my eyes. So excited for you and your family. So happy that it was siblings. I bet the wait is now worth it. Blessings on your family for the next crazy part of this journey. Just got back from camping and need to make supper and then I'll read your blog.

  39. Aaaaaaa! I knew it was coming and I've been checking your blog obsessively this week! But this STILL made me scream and cry when I checked in today! So happy and excited for you! I read lots of these referral posts, but few make me cry like this one did today. Congratulations, congratulations, a MILLION times over, congratulations...

    (Regular reader. Also with Imagine. Waiting, waiting, waiting...)

  40. WONDERFUL! Congratulations to you all!!

  41. Hhhmmm, I wonder if your blogging time is going to lessen once you have three little beings to take car of. I suppose that could happen! A pretty good trade off, though I would say, for you, not for us :) - Katie H. again (from the Ecuador Imagine program)

  42. Wow!!! Siblings!!! I am so happy for you :)

  43. Blessings on all of you! What a wonderful and gracious God we serve! He heard your hearts cry and blessed you beyond measure.
    Congratulations to you on this VERY happy day!
    Candice & Marc Tews

  44. Ruth,

    I'm still overwhelmed by emotion for you and your family! What a journey for you, and what a long way we've come from meeting at Milestones in Kitchener last July (after the creditor's meeting) to now. God's plans are unstoppable! Just ecstatic for you all! Congratulations!!! God is so good!!!


  45. YaYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

    So happy for you guys!

  46. What great news. Congrats to you all. I can't wait to see their sweet little faces and you all together. Good luck in the coming months. I hope all goes nice and smooth from this point on.

  47. When I showed Ben the pictures, his comment was, "PHEW...now Matthew has a little brother for Josh to play with so Matthew and I don't have to play with Josh all the time...this is super good news mom!"

  48. Congratulations! I've been reading your blog since the bankruptcy and have been waiting for this post, as I'm sure every other reader has. My husband and I are also with Imagine (#161) and are also waiting on God's perfect timing.