September 21, 2011. Just before 5:00 pm. Brian came home a little early because he was wanting to spend time with us as he had to go back to work that night after the kids went to bed.
(sidenote: Earlier that morning, I had emailed our case worker ("B") with our agency, AGCI, to see of we could extend our age parameters to 0-28 months so that we wouldn't have to redo our homestudy (again!!) as Eliana got older. Our agency typically stays in birth order, and the adopted child must be 10 months younger than your youngest child...essentially, however a birth could happen "naturally" in your family is how they get their parameters. They feel that all of the children adjust better that way. )
So, I was bathing the girls and Brian came upstairs and said "B" called on your phone. Then she called on my phone. She needs to talk to us tonight. I was completely NOT thinking our referral...at first I didn't even know he was talking about our case worker!! Then, he clarified..."B" from All God's Children...
Then, I knew!!! I started crying and saying, "THIS IS IT!!!! THIS IS IT!!!! IT IS OUR REFERRAL!!!!!!" Brian wasn't so sure. He told me to not freak out, that she probably was just responding to my email. I was insistent! I said, " Brian! She would NEVER call on YOUR phone for that!! I know this is it!!!" He said, " Well, call her!"
She picked up the phone right away and said that she got my email (I am calmly saying, "Oh, yes...good..." And then! She said, "But I REALLY want to talk to you about a LITTLE GIRL!!!!" Oh, melt my heart! I couldn't wait to hear every detail! We both got on the phone and she went through all of the details that she knew of. We put on a movie for the kids to distract them, and we asked our case worker every question we could think of! She really wanted us to talk through her age (she is 28 months), as she is older than they originally wanted our parameters to be, and get back with her the next day.
We already knew we wanted to move forward! I think I asked Brian 500 times that night, "Oh my goodness, what are you feeling right now!?!" We sat down to eat about 20 minutes after we got off the phone. We wanted to all look at her pictures together as a family (Our case worker went over all of her info, but then she puts it all together on an email with her pictures and sends it when you get off the phone. They know we wouldn't hear a word she was saying if we could stare at her beautiful pictures the whole time!). The kids are so excited and they talk about her all the time. This morning Olivia made up a song about how we are "going to the airport to pick up _(my little sister!)__" They pray for her all the time, showed their classes her picture, and we talk about what she is doing at whatever time of day it is!
So, we pull up that email with her pictures...oh, melt my heart...we look through the first few, and then there is one that looks like she is looking in our eyes, ready for us to bring her to her forever home! I still think about that moment and tears just well up in my eyes. Our daughter. She is amazing, and I don't even know her yet.
There are so many "God details" in all of it...
- her name and what it means and means to us (We can't share her name or her picture until she is legally ours...sorry!! But if you see us, stop us and ask and we will show you in person! We can't put anything on the internet, though.)
- the age parameters and that I had JUST asked for "up to 28 months" that morning. She is 28 months. Our case worker said, " I just had to laugh when I read that email!"
- The fact that Brian is a twin and has experience with twins and how to encourage and give them separate identities (Because of Eliana's age compared to our newest little girl, they call that "artificial twinning").
- A couple of weeks after we decided to move forward in pursuing adoption (2009), she was born!
- some significant dates in her life and what we were doing at the time
Well, the next day we had planned to go to Nashville (just Brian and I) to go to a conference that ShowHope was doing with Dr. Karyn Purvis. It was incredible. I admire her so much, and I love all of her research, studies, books, videos, and conferences! She has researched and speaks/teaches on parenting children who "come from hard places." Another post for another day, but it is incredible information.
So, we headed off for what Brian refers to as "The Amazing Race," adoption edition in Nashville! We had some time-sensitive phone calls to make and reports to write up on our daughter and her transition to our family. The first part of the day, we were in and out of the conference taking phone calls and heading to office stores to print, fax, etc! It was hilarious looking back!
It was a sweet time filled with so much excitement! We canNOT wait to meet our sweet girl! Just before I started writing this post, I looked back over a little bit of our adoption journey. Trusting in God's perfect will and sovereignty, and sifting through all of the unknowns. Assuming we would get a referral right away, and wondering why we didn't. I know that God already knew this little girl would be a Crenshaw. He has orchestrated every step of her life and ours. Hard times and good times...He knew they would all happen. Any other time we would have gotten a referral, it wouldn't be HER. I can't wait to let all of you meet her!!
Since I can't show yall a picture of her, I will leave you with one from last week. We went to the beach, and it was a sweet time to get away as a family (my parents got to come, too!), have fun, relax a bit after a crazy couple of weeks, and connect! But, we missed her so much. So, I will leave you with this:
I will post all of the "next steps" and prayer requests soon!!