We're not posting photos or videos online right now because we're still waiting for approval from St. Lucy's. If you know me in real life, ask to see a photo and I'll have one on me, of course. (Duh!) But, I can't resist sharing with you here her non-identifying little double chin. I think it's just about the cutest thing there ever was, and I'm falling in love with that photo more and more every day. We joke, "Look... her chin looks like ours!" :) Kevin framed this photograph in a frame that says "believe." It's on my nightstand, and is the first thing that I see in the morning and the last thing I see what I go to bed at night. We truly believe that we're going to be the right adoptive parents for his child, and we pray that St. Lucy's will think so too. How long will St. Lucy's approval take? Well, we don't know. Days, weeks, maybe a month, or maybe even more? It varies. We're just so happy to get to this step that we (oh, well... we means I) haven't started obsessing about how long we've been waiting for approval.
Here's the back story behind the referral. On the Friday before we learned that the referral was coming. I had the weekend off, and I didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to stay by the phone and check the e-mail every 20 minutes. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday came and went, no referral. Tuesday night after work I couldn't sleep. I stayed up really really really late putzing around, and at 3:30am finally told Kevin that I was going to check my e-mail one last time, and then I'm going to bed.
Well, I checked my e-mail... and there it was. Our "Hallelujah!!!!" I gasped. I said, "Kevin... we have an e-mail from the agency... and it says Hallelujah!!!! What do you think that means?" Kevin's such a smart-ass sometimes. He replied, "I think (adoption agency representative name) wants us to go to church." I was starting to cry. I was so nervous, so scared. "I.... I can't open it." Kevin says, "Look, it's easy!" and takes the mouse from me and opens the message. We saw a PDF file and then lots of picture files. We decided to "read the card" (aka read the paperwork) before "opening the present" (looking at the photos).
We started reading about our preemie, and how many weeks gestation she was. We didn't have memorized the length of human pregnancies... and we so freaked out when we used Google to learn that it's supposed to be 40 weeks. Then we read her weight in grams and had to google to figure out how many pounds that was. I was stunned with how little she was at birth. In my head I was prepared for an older and MUCH BIGGER baby... and was just really surprised. We looked at the pictures, and oohed and ahhed at how great she's doing.
And I know you're asking, "So why did you wait so long to tell everyone?" Well, we like a good surprise! We had plans to be at my grandparents' home for the holiday weekend, and thought that would be a good time and place to tell my family. We didn't tell anyone... until we told my grandparents' Friday night. Saturday my mom and dad came over, and we were ready for the BIG REVEAL. I purchased a board book about Christmastime called "My Granny's Purse," and had been saving it for this occasion. We printed the baby's photos out and inserted them inside a cardboard envelope in the book. I didn't wrap the book because I didn't want to make it seem like too big of a deal and give away the surprise. Saturday morning I told my mom that I had a book for her, and handed her the purse. She seemed to like it and started reading the book, going through all of the little windows you can open and pieces you can play with. Then... she got to the part where the envelope was and saw the photos. Her face scrunched up like she'd eaten a sour pickle, turned red, and the tears came. It was beautiful. It was just the effect that I'd hoped for!!! Kevin got Dad to come over and look too. It was pretty neat. We had fun all weekend doing "the reveal" for other family members, having them find the photos while reading the purse book.
Of course, Kevin's needed equal drama for his big reveal to his mother. We bought him a plane ticket to Florida, and he flew in Friday afternoon unannounced and rented a car. Kevin drove to his grandma's, told Grandma and then they went to his mom and dad's in the rental car. Kevin went and hid at the side of their house while Grandma went inside and got Kevin's parents to come outside to look at this car that she was thinking of buying (aka... Kevin's rental car). Kevin had the pictures of the baby framed in the trunk. Kevin's mom and dad took a look at the car... all the while Kevin was on his cell phone with his mom on her cell phone. Kevin's mom thought he was up here in Indiana. Kevin snuck through their house and waited. Grandma opened the trunk to show Kevin's mom and dad what someone had left in the truck of this car. Kevin's mom started looking at the framed photos of this baby, and remarked "What a cute baby." With the view of the house blocked by the trunk lid, Kevin stuck out the front door and came up behind his mother and surprised her with, "That's your grandbaby!" Obviously she was very startled and surprised and overjoyed and there was a bunch of screaming and crying outside of the house last night. They called me a few minutes later so I could share in on the excitement!
So, sorry there's no baby pictures to ooh and ahh over, and sorry that I had to wait 10 days to post about it... but it's been lots of fun surprising people! Everyone keeps asking... how long until you get to bring her home? Who knows... I'm telling people 4-10 months. I'd be thrilled if the adoption is finalized in Taiwan before the end of the year, but I'm not betting on it. Everything thus far has gone so much slower than anticipated, that I'm trying very hard not to place any more expectations on a timeline. It happens when it happens, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it except to complete my paperwork thoroughly and timely when prompted and do a lot of praying.
You can add our itty bitty girl to your prayer list as she needs to grow grow grow and learn all she can. Pray that she attaches to her caregivers and feels loved and secure. Pray for her caretakers as they help this preemie and many other babies through challenges. Pray for her birthfamily and their loss as they cope with not being able take care of their child. The baby is truly loved by them as evident by the meaning of her name... worthy of celebration.
And... I'm starting to cry again. She's so worthy of celebration, and we're been having a lot of fun celebrating her. We love you so much already, little one.