As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Saturday, June 22, 2013

2 Years Ago...

...our family grew by 2. On June 22, 2011, we received a call that changed our lives forever - a referral call for 2 1/2 year old twin boys from Ethiopia. And we can't imagine our lives without them!! Here are two sets of photos...some of the very first pictures we ever saw of our boys next to some recent ones:

God sets the lonely in families!! And we are so thankful. Happy 2nd Referralversary, Jalen and Jordan! We love you so much! XOXOXOXO

And here is a copy of the blog post that I wrote about that eventful day 2 years ago:

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

Our Referral...........

I had a feeling on Wednesday morning that it was the day our lives would change. But let me back up a little. Several months ago, I prayed and asked God to give me a feeling - to just let me know - when we were about to receive our referral. I hoped and prayed that I would open up to Isaiah 43 on the morning of our call and that I would just know that it was the day. The beginning of that chapter has been very special to me all throughout our adoption journey: "...I gave...Ethiopia...for thee....Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west....bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." Anyway, now fast forward to Tuesday afternoon of this week, when I received a call from the library. A book that I had ordered was ready for pick-up, so that evening, I drove to the library to get it. I wasn't planning to read it yet since I had another book already at home that was due back at the library in a few days. However, something told me to read this one first. Wednesday morning I picked it up to read a bit before the kids got up; and guess what I read? My special verses from Isaiah 43 were there in print, right before my eyes, right at the beginning of the book. I got that warm, tingly feeling.........

Later in the day, I ran across the verse a second time. Again, I got that feeling that something was about to happen. But as the day wore on and it got later and later, I began to lose hope. After all, most people receive their calls earlier in the day, and I knew that our agency would soon be closing. About this time, the kids went outside to play. As I watched them through the patio doors, I noticed that although the sun was shining brightly, a few drops of rain fell onto the otherwise dry cement. I'm not sure that the kids even noticed; it was literally just a few sprinkles. I thought to myself, "Maybe if I look out and see a rainbow, it'll be a sign that today is still the day. After all, like we talked about at VBS last week, rainbows mean that God does keep his promises." I crossed the room and peered out the window, and there, hanging low in the sky, was a large, DOUBLE rainbow!! I just stood there and stared......

I walked outside to join the kids and watch them play for a bit. Chris was flying home on a Cessna from a business trip to New York, and had told me earlier that he would be flying directly over our house, as he had done when he left. He gave me a website to track the flight status, and said that the pilot had agreed to circle over our house a few times so the kids could see the plane and watch their daddy fly over. We watched the sky for him, and then I ran back into the house to check the flight map again. As I stepped in the door, I heard my cell phone ringing. It had stopped by the time I got to it, so I picked it up to see who I had missed. "AGCI," read the screen, in about three-foot-tall letters (at least it seemed that way at the time)! I honestly think my heart stopped for a second. I dashed back outside, yelling, "Shana!!!!!!!!!!!! It's our call!!!!!!!!!!! Keep all the kids outside - I have to call Kiersten (our case worker) back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I punched the button to call her back, my heart pounding a mile a minute. When she told me she had two little boys to talk to me about, I gave out a little shriek. We just KNEW we were supposed to get siblings after God had spoken these words to me about a year ago: "Adoption is no longer one, but two."

At that point, I frantically texted Chris, "Referral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Kiersten went on to tell me that they were 2 1/2 year old twins. Twins!!! I couldn't believe it! She then told me that they were born on October 10, 2008. "How perfect!" I thought. In our family, we have birthdays in February, May, June, August, and December. At one point several years ago, I remember telling Chris that if we ever had another child, it would need to have an October birthday. We didn't have any birthdays in the Fall, and October just seemed like a good month for one since it was right between Adrian's birthday in August and my birthday in December. Just one of those little things...... Anyway, Kiersten went through all of their background and medical information with me, and then we connected Chris in via conference call as he had now landed and was driving home. Kiersten emailed all of the paperwork to us so we could start filling it out, along with about 10 photos of the boys. When Chris got home, we opened up the photos and stared, for the first time, into the faces of the children we had waited so long for. Had prayed so hard for. Chris's first comment was, "Those are my boys!" They were absolutely adorable, and in my mind I asked God the question, "Are these boys really ours?" I then picked up the Bible and opened to several verses in Deuteronomy that I had just read and highlighted that morning at breakfast. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever." Deut. 29:29  "In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it......I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Deut. 30:16&19.

We are choosing life for these two precious boys. After consulting with our International Pediatrician about their medical reports, we realize that there are possible health and developmental risks involved. There are always many unknowns in an international adoption; however, we are committed to caring for and loving these beautiful children that God has given us. Yesterday, I opened up to and highlighted these verses in Deuteronomy, "And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.....Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children...into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee." Deut. 8&23. My God is so great. I stand amazed in His presence.

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