Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Referral




I've started writing this at least 4 times, this is not counting the dozens of times I've written it in my head since Friday.

In short, on Friday we found out we were to be parents again. To two boys.

T (we will call him 3T), age 5
B, age 3 - just younger than Dailah

And they are beautiful, and precious and sound amazing and I'm in love.

To rewind a bit, around Thanksgiving we started talking about our "ideal" new kids. All parents do this, this is not just an adoption thing. Parents touch the pregnant belly of the woman and imagine a boy with his hair and a girl with her smile. In adoption we imagine ages, and personality types. How they will fit in with our family. So when I asked Zach what his "ideal" children would be he said, "The gender doesn't matter so much but I would like one in between our boys and one just younger than Dailah, no babies."

I had to agree. I love babies, and am excited for my Ethiopian niece who will be younger than 2 and my nephew who is a few months from popping out of my sister-in-law's uterus. But I feel "done" with babies as well. So I really liked his idea of our next kids.

A few weeks later we were looking at the Waiting Children list from our agency and saw two boys. Ages 5 and 3. Their descriptions were perfect. They were waiting because they were older. They were the exact thing Zach and I had pictured. So we asked about them. No one else had inquired about them and we were given their file.

So we've been staring at all of their information for almost 2 months. One of the reasons I like our agency is because with waiting kids they don't just give the referral to the first person who asks. Interested couples go before a committee (well, all of the couple's information/homestudy does) who decides whether they are the best match for the waiting kids. It is literally the best case scenario for the kids.

And so we went before our first committee about a month ago. We were the only couple at that time but the committee decided we needed to have an official homestudy (at that time a social worker had just talked to us over the phone) first. This is why our homestudy was so intense. She asked us everything. Our social worker even wanted to see if we had a car big enough, a table big enough, plenty of space and beds for the kids to sleep on. If we didn't have all of this (which, thankfully, we do) she wanted to see how we were going to afford all of that. I mean, incredible.

So after our homestudy we found out there were two other couples interested in the boys and they would be going to committee with our file. Though our social worker said she would give us a glowing recommendation, Zach and I did not feel optimistic. We knew the committee was concerned about us having so many kids so close in age so we figured one of the other couples wouldn't have that same issue and would thus be a better fit.

I am not lying when I said I had convinced myself the boys would not be ours. We wanted them, don't get me wrong, but we've been down this international adoption road before and know that getting your hopes up or heart set can lead to some pretty dark days. So after we didn't pass our first committee I just told myself this must not be God's plan for our family and felt content in whatever happened.

Then Friday at 1pm happened. Zach and I were wandering around getting stuff for Chicago, we knew the call would be coming soon but since we had prepared ourselves for bad news we weren't in any hurry to have them call. We were in different cars at the time and talking on the phone when I saw it was our social worker.

Me: "Hello?"

SW: "Tesi? This is SW." Then she started coughing and looking for water. All I kept thinking was, "Do those sound like happy coughs or sad coughs?"

Me: "You ok?:

SW: "Yes, well, congratulations!"

Me: "(Scream) WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Are you serious?"

SW: "Yes I'm serious, that would be a really bad joke if I weren't. What did you think we were going to say?"

Me: "Honestly I thought you were going to say 'no'".

SW: "Well, we think you're crazy but we also think you're perfect for them."

And that was it. Zach was pulling into the parking lot at the time. I wanted to try to act neutral to not give it away but I saw that man I love so much and just started jumping up and down screaming. When he rolled down his window all I could say was simply.

"They're ours."

And my goodness. What a 3 hour car ride to Chicago! Calling loved ones, emailing loved ones. Dreaming and planning for these boys (since Trysten is "TT" and Tariku is "2T" is T "3T"?). The kids were at my parents and knew nothing about the boys so we also dreamed abut telling them.



Now, I cannot post pictures (or list their full names) of them until after we pass court (another few months) but let me describe them to you.

3T. Is beautiful. He actually looks remarkably like Tariku and not really at all like B. He has Tariku's cheeks and chin. You can tell in his eyes he is ready for a family in the way Tariku did as well. His measurements put him just shorter than Trysten and just taller than Tariku. He is said to be playful and sociable with an eye always on his little brother.

B. Also beautiful. HUGE eyes. Loose curls that frame his face. In a lot of the pictures it looks like he's been so active he's visibly sweating. In a few of his expressions it's easy to tell he's got a spunk to him that reminds us of his big sister. He is said to be very close with his older brother. His measurements put him just shorter than Dailah and slightly lighter. He is said to love playing with dolls.

So yes, they sound perfect. Though I know right now I love mostly the idea of them, I am so very excited for the day I can love them for them.

And today, we got to tell our kids! Zach went to his parents' to print off their pictures while I picked up the kids from my sister's house. I told them we had a surprise for them at the house.

When we got home we told the kids to go down to the table. Zach was going to show them the pictures while I captured the moment in photos.

Before the surprise.



The moment they saw their brothers.



Tariku after he pointed at 3T and said, "That one looks like me!"



Dailah after hearing she was going to be a big sister to B.




And the brothers looking at the pictures of their brothers.



So what next? Well we have our final homestudy a week from tomorrow. As mentioned, the dossier is officially done so after the homestudy things should be pretty much done until we get closer to travel. We're planning on travel around August or so. Who knows? Thus far our approach to this adoption is much calmer, much more-shall we say-sane? And I'm going to try to hang on to that for as long as feasibly possible.

If it's any indication as to my success so far, I've already gone 3 days without eating an ounce of cookie dough.

It's been a great few days.

33 comments:

Allie Haley said...

TESI!! CONGRATULATIONS! I can say with absolute authority that 3-year-old Biniams (Or Binyams) are great. I am sure that Tomases are too. I am so, so, so happy for you guys!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I am so excited for you!

Paula

Anonymous said...

Tesi~ Wow and Congratluations to your family. I must say the "reaction" picture of Tariku is Amazing. I have tears in my eyes, you and Zach are simply amazing people. May God continue to bless you both! Amy

M and M said...

Seriously....how fantastic and inspiring! Congratulations to you; all SEVEN of you!

rebekah said...

This was so worth waiting for. I am so so so happy for you guys and thankful for the committee that rewards craziness.

Can you imagine if we are there the same time again?

Deepest congratulations from all of us.

Alex said...

Lots of tears here too! I am so glad people like you exist and care so much about these children. Congratulations!

Jess said...

wonderful wonderful news!!!!!

terre said...

oh my gosh, I am SO excited for us!

Andrea said...

Reading the process puts me in tears! :o) Congrats!!

stillarockstar said...

CONGRATS to your ENTiRE family! These 2 little boys are about to be just as BLESSED & LUCKY as the other 3 kiddos. As always, you guys are AMAZiNG... :)

Erica Jo (mamasweetpea) said...

God Is Great!!! What a shower of blessings for all of you. So excited to hear the news, prayers of joy, speedy travel, and a smooth process for you!

Huge Hugs!
Erica

Lindsey said...

Tesi - Since I started reading your blog last year, your family has completely inspired me. Reading this entry brings tears to my eyes. What a wonderful blessing you have coming this year. I know I'm mostly watching your family from afar, but I am truly thrilled for all 7 of you. And, I look forward to 'meeting' your newest family members!!

Cindy said...

Woo-Hoo!! The post we have been waiting for!I am so excited for you all and I hope the rest of the crazy ride is as smooth as it can be!

Papa Frank said...

I am so excited. Wow, two more grandsons! That will make seven grandsons and princess Dailah. I am getting my head around having eight grandkids and one more coming with Jake and Leslie's little girl. We prayerfully she will soon to be on the way for a total of nine. Next Christmas will be an exciting adventure. I can hardly wait.

Nicole Anderson said...

I am so happy for you! Congrats from the bottom of my heart!

Sharon said...

Congratulations. We're still waiting on getting this new home study done. ACK!! Nice to meet another Holt fam. :)

ChiTown Girl said...

Woo hoo!!!! Congratulations on your ever-expanding family! You are so blessed, as are your two new sons. They probably have no idea how lucky they are that God has chosen you as their family. They'll figure it out real quick, though, I'm sure!

Julie said...

Congratulations Tesi! So fantastic!!

foreverisamoment said...

LOVE. IT. SO much, thank you for sharing!

Jovial J said...

Congratulations!! What a wonderful blessing for all 7 of you!!!!

Mama Papaya said...

Beyond thrilled on your behalf. Many, many, many congratulations!

Heather said...

Oh!!! Congratulations! I'm so happy for your family! Praise God!

Jodi said...

Hey, Tesi, My name is Jodi. We met you at the training for our adoption as well. I got the name of your blog from you then and have been reading it periodically. Congratulations!!! So excited for you and your family. Cannot wait to continue to read about this journey. So excited for you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tesi, i just want to let you know that i read your blog periodically and i hope you dont mine me saying, i find you extremely attractive. The stories are very sweet that you post but i just cant help looking past most of it to just find your beautiful face. Your husband must be one lucky man to have a wife who is so beautiful, let alone amazing in other ways that i don't know about. Please post more pictures of yourself so i have the opportunity to look at you more often. You have a beautiful family but they don't hold a candle to you.
ps. this is your husband...love you, hehe

Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing the details - Love them! Again, YAHOO!!!

Cameron and Megan said...

CONGRATS!

Jillian and Crew said...

I love that you were able to capture your kiddos pics as they saw their new siblings..what a great thing!

Beth said...

Made me teary all over again. Congratulations!

terre said...

ZACH! You are unconscienable....I wish I could spell that.
mom

Tamara B said...

Congratulations. I just saw your blog link on the yahoo group. Of course what really caught my attention is where you live. We're in the NE corner of the state and are always glad when others who've adopted from Et are somewhat nearby and on the yahoo group :) I love that you're getting the two kiddos. My heart aches when I see them waiting and pray that families will take them in!

Chrissy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJRF said...

Wow! We go on a trip and come back to see this. I am so happy for you all. I can't wait to follow along and hopefully someday sooner than later see you and your whole family of SEVEN!

Chrissy said...

Hey Tesi!
I was just going back through some old blog posts to catch up and realized I must have been on drugs when I posted my first reply! LOL!
I can't wait to see pics of your boys!
Maybe, just maybe... we will wind up traveling together!
Hugs...
Chrissy