Our Son.

We have officially accepted the referral of a 2.5 month old baby boy.  We won’t be posting pictures here, but if you would like to see him, this proud mama will happily e-mail you his referral picture!He is beautiful.  A head full of hair and sweet, pouty lips.  Just 6 lbs 8 ounces at the time of his referral.  Please keep him in your prayers.  He is very small and it is a miracle that he is alive.

We received the referral Friday morning.  My husband and I share a cell phone and a car, and he was out on business with the cell and the car while I was having breakfast with a friend and my daughter.  When he came to pick me up from breakfast he asked to talk to me outside, and told me that we have a son.  Our agency had called him and told him that a 2.5 month old boy was referred to us.  His story is absolutely heartbreaking.  Even though I knew it would be, I don’t think I could have possibly prepared myself for how much my heart would hurt for him and for his first family.  It still takes my breath away.  We shed many tears of joy and tears of heartache yesterday.

But he is a survivor and a little miracle.  And now we get to be his dad, his mom, his sister.

We have two very precious, very wonderful gifts that not many parents who adopt from the DRC have:  we know our little boy’s actual birthday, and we also have a few pictures of him at just a few weeks old when he was getting his blood work done.  What a gift!

We spent the day calling our family and closest friends, and sending them his referral picture.  It was a beautiful day and one of the most memorable of my life.

Because we were third in line, there were two people ahead of us who received the referral first.  The first family had accepted a referral with another agency, and the second family wanted siblings.  And so they called number 3.

Can you believe how God orchestrated this so that we could be together?

Because he is so little, chances are he will get malaria in the next 7-10 months before we bring him home to us.  Chances are that he will also be in the hospital from time to time as health issues arise (we suspect he was  born prematurely).  This is so hard for me to prepare myself for, and it is going to truly be an agonizing wait.  Lord, please give me trust andpatience.  Friends and family, please pray for our son.

We are working to get him formula through families going over to pick up their children or by paying for a special service to get him formula in country from time to time.  We were warned that we should not try to ship him any formula because it will never make it to him.  We learned he was only being fed once at 6 am and at 1 pm, so they are having someone who works for our agency go visit him daily to help the orphanage workers ensure that he is fed more frequently.

We spoke with a social worker today along with our case worker who did a conference call and basically warned us about the risks involved with international adoption.  The fact that the blood work may not be reliable because it was done in Africa, and things may show up here that didn’t there.  The fact that the country’s program could close at any time.  The fact that the Congo’s fees could go up.  It was a sobering phone call.

They did tell us that because of our little boy’s young age, attachment therapy and speech therapy issues will be less or nonexistent.  However, they did encourage us to secure an occupational therapist.  There is a chance our little boy may be spending a lot of time in a crib and not moving around much, so he will need help learning to use his muscles.

I so pray he will be home before his first birthday so that we can witness some of his firsts–first word, first step, etc.

The next steps for us will be taken care of next week, we hope.  We have to fill out a ridiculous amount of contracts and come up with 1/2 of our country fee, the first installment of our agency fee, and all of our blood work and orphanage care fees along with our post adoption visit fees.  We have obtained a loan and combined with our fundraisers so far, we are most of the way to this point and hoping we can secure the remaining funds over the weekend.  Only after the remaining funds are turned in will they begin the adoption process.  For the next three months we will be working with the Congolese government, and the three months following that we will be working with the U.S. embassy.  We are praying the process will go smoothly and quickly, of course.  Our baby is so young and fragile, and the sooner he is in our care the better.

We ran our Scramble for Ethiopia today.  It was extra special for us for two reasons.  One being that we were able to raise every last dollar of our $1,000 matching grant–thank you family and friends (and especially to our mysterious anonymous donor who made sure we achieved our goal). And the other, most extra special thing about the day was that we had our sweet baby boy’s face in our minds as we ran.

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