Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Keith and I spent the day hanging out with friends.
Friends that are in from Florida to lead worship for us this week.

After a day full of shopping, sight-seeing, and just hanging out, we dropped everyone off at the church so they could get things ready for Sunday and I headed to an appointment.

After my appointment, I got in the car and looked at the clock.

3:15 PM

My first thought was...
Well, another week without a referral.

I was so disappointed.

My phone rang and it was Keith.
He called and asked me to come to the church to pick up a couple of the band members and run them to our house to pick up something they forgot.

On the way to the house, I heard my phone ringing.
I assumed it was Keith calling so I didn't even look at it right away.
That isn't normal for me, but we were in the middle of a conversation so we just kept talking.

When I finally looked down, there it was...

It didn't compute as fast as I thought it would.
I found my head kind of spinning trying to remember what area code that was.
I lived in that area code for 3 years, but I still couldn't put my finger on it.

By the time I answered the phone, there was no one there.

At that point, I really thought my mind was starting to play tricks on me.
I mean, when you are waiting for something for that long, it kind of does something to you. It kind of makes you crazy.

On our way back to the church, my phone beeped. Voice mail.
"Hi Jackie, this is Sara with Gladney and I wanted to call before the weekend because I have a referral to offer you..."

I called Keith immediately and told him then called Sara (our caseworker) to let her know that I was on my way to the church and would call her right back.

When we arrived at the church, I went and found Alex and we met Keith in his office. We sat in front of the computer, with Sara on speakerphone, and the realization that our lives would never be the same.

She told us that she was sending us a couple of emails with several attachments.
As we started opening them up, Sara started telling us all about him.

We saw his face.
We heard his story.
We fell in love.

We received a referral for a precious 4 month old little boy.
He weighs 13 pounds and is 24.3 inches long.
He is just perfect.

It is such a mix of emotions.

In one instance we were so excited to get the call.
The call we have been waiting on for over 8 months.
Then, the next minute, we were overwhelmed with information.

Just trying to take it all in.

I was so surprised at how overwhelming it was to come face to face with the realness of adoption. The pain involved. The decisions that have been made.

I felt a kind of guilty for being so happy.
For being so excited.
Don't even know if that makes sense.

Everyone told us that the call would come when we least expect it, but I didn't think that was possible. I mean, I expected that call every minute of everyday the last couple of weeks.

But, they were right.

So, on October 23, 2009 at 4:10PM, our lives changed forever.
We were finally able to put a face to the little boy we had prayed the last 426 days for.

So what now?
That is the question we get the most.

We have laughed the last couple of days at how we sort of speak a different language. Keith sent a text to couple of friends telling them we received our referral and their response was...'Referral for what?'

We didn't realize that we live in our own little world where words like...

Homestudy, Dossier, I-171H, CIS, Waitlist, Referral, Rainy Season, Court Date

...are used everyday without need for explanation. Adoption has not only changed our lives, it has given us a whole new vocabulary.

So what now?
We wait for a court date.

We accepted our referral for our little one. Now, the Gladney staff in Ethiopia will make sure our file and his file are in order and they will send them to court and the court will assign us a date to hear our case.

There is no rhyme or reason to how they assign dates so the next question we get a lot, "How long until you go get him?", we can't answer.
We have no idea.

Now we are back to waiting.

I have been told that this waiting is hard because we actually have a face to go with our wait. We know who we are waiting on and just want him home.

I can see how that is true.

We waited for 8 months and 14 days to see his face and it was worth every second.


  1. oh, jackie! I couldn't be more excited for all of you. this brought me to tears - God is so good! I can't wait to meet baby harmon. love you!!

  2. I am so excited for you! Congratulations! And you depicted all the emotions to a T. No one really understands the adoption lingo like those who have gone through it. Praying for patience while you wait again for a court date!

  3. Congratulations!! Hoping and praying for a speedy court date!!

  4. Congratulations, so exciting!

  5. We can't wait to meet him and are so happy for you guys. We love you.

  6. How wonderful! I'm so happy for you guys! Can't wait to see your beautiful baby.

  7. Perfectly said. :) We are so happy for you! Glad we got to be there to share in the excitement!! He is SO precious and we can't wait to meet him!! :)

  8. Wonderful news! Hoping for a successful court date soon so that you can travel to your little one!

  9. Hi Jackie, this is John Phillips sister Tarrah. I have been following your blog for months now through Jennifers blog and reading your posts about this adoption process. When I read this post I cried with joy for your sweet family and that sweet baby boy. I am overjoyed for all 4 of you. Our baby boy is four months too and it really hits home to think of another 4 month old little boy whose life will forever be changed because the Lord chose you guys from across the world to be his family! =) So happy for you all. Blessings! Tarrah Zimmerman