WE GOT THE CALL!!!!
As in, the call that we have been dreaming of for over two years. The moment I've been longing for for even longer.
The call from our agency, in which one of the family coordinators said the magic words: "We have a baby for you."
(Actually, I have no idea what she actually said. We were both in shock. Shaking, trying not to cry, frantically searching for a piece of paper on which to take notes. If she had asked me for my name at that moment, I do not think I could have recalled it.)
We are the soon-to-be parents of a beautiful, 8-month old baby girl. Her Chinese name is Bo Di. She is currently living at the Social Welfare Institute of Poyang County, in Jiangxi Province, located in the southeastern part of China. According to her medical report, she is a happy baby with a sweet smile, a deep sleeper (I pray it is still true, since the paperwork is 4 months old), is active and restless (like Mark) and likes to play. She apparently gets really excited and smiles and waves her hands happily when she sees food at mealtime (a girl after my own heart.)
Mark and I stared at each other, stunned, when we hung up with the agency. (I didn't know that they even worked on Sundays!) Then we opened up the e-mail with information and pictures, but we already knew. Mark said, "That's our Anna Kathryn." We devoured every scrap of information, and called AWAA back to say, yes, of course, we want to accept her referral.
Then we got to make the other best phone calls ever-- telling our families. And sending joyous e-mails to more family and friends. In between calls, we kept saying things to each other like, "Is this real?" "Isn't she beautiful?" "Did this really happen?"
We just spent a frantic 24 hours gathering paperwork and writing a "Letter of Intent" (LOI) to the CCAA stating that yes, we really, really, really truly want to adopt her-- and some other stuff. We have a 48 hour window in which to do this, or we could have lost AK's referral. Needless to say, neither one of us slept a whole lot last night. But today we visited a pediatrician to have her medical report reviewed, and he said the info indicates that she is quite healthy and developmentally on target. We e-mailed our LOI, some other papers, and more photos to AWAA. Around 5:00 p.m. today, we got the e-mail saying that our Electronic Acceptance was sent to China and she will be ours!
I know y'all want to see pictures, but we have to wait a few weeks before we post them. I promise they will go up as soon as we get the OK from AWAA.
We don't know exactly when we will travel, other than it will be sometime in the next 2-5 months. We feel pretty safe in thinking we will be home with AK before Christmas. I'm personally hoping we will be with her before her first birthday-- November 3!
In an amazing "God-thing," Anna Kathryn was born on a significant date in our family's lives. November 3, 2007 was also the day we held my niece Natalie's funeral. It was by far the most horrible day of our lives. I always wondered if I would know what I was doing on the day of my daughter's birth. I never would have dreamed that a day of such tremendous sorrow would also be the day of a new beginning in the life of my family. This is not a coincidence. I believe with my whole heart that the Lord and Nat-Nat were watching over Anna Kathryn on that day.
Mark and I are SO EXCITED. We are totally in love with Anna Kathryn. Last night, we were looking back through a little book about adoption that Mark got for me around the time we sent in our dossier. We saw this quote, and know that this is what we will tell Anna Kathryn one day soon, when we first hold her in our arms.
You are now a part of this family, my darling, wonderful child. You are and always will be the choice of my heart. Welcome home.