Early last week, Imagine's Board of Directors sent out a communication to all families waiting for a referral. In it, the Board expressed empathy for the waiting families, knowing how hard the recent lack of referrals must be for all of us. The communication also said that "many" child proposals are being worked on and that referrals will happen; which is obviously music to me ears and to the ears of every waiting family. Today, two families that I know of received their long-awaited referral calls - my hope is that this is just the beginning!
These last months since we lost our first referral have been very hard. Though we waited exactly twenty-eight months for our August 23 referral, the two and a half months since that referral have been harder than any single of the pre-referral months. The joy and relief of that referral phonecall was like the day I learned that I was pregnant with Matthew after such a long time waiting: unmatchable; euphoric; we were full of awe and thanksgiving. Our referral phonecall brought me to my knees, the same as it did the moment I learned I was carrying a child. It seemed to be perfect: a child of each gender, and a little on the older side, and the boy being closest in age to Matthew. It has been hard to contemplate why would receive such a great referral, only to lose it just over two weeks later. It felt like a joke, a cruel one.
But time has helped, as has the hope that we will receive another referral sooner rather than later. Although I think about Mathewos and Elfnesh many times throughout every day, the thoughts aren't painful any more, and not usually sad. Though I may never understand why their lives meshed with ours for so short a time, or why the loss of them had to factor into our journey, I have moved on. When I think of them now, it is with a sense of love and longing for their future, and with a desire to pray for them. I feel an assurance that they are all right...maybe because I need to feel this way, but maybe because God has provided that assurance.
One of the things I have worried about more recently is whether I will feel the same kind of excitement about our next referral as I did about our first. I jealously want to experience that again, to be as excited about the children of our future as I was about the children of our first referral. Hence the importance to me of the Board communication last week. When I read their words about referrals coming, what I noticed in myself was excitement. A huge, rolling wave of anticipation that overcame me: referrals will come, and I will be amongst the recipients, whether in this batch or another that comes soon. It's coming...and I am ready to see my children's faces with all of the excitement, wonder, awe and thanksgiving with which I greeted the news of my first-born. The day is coming.