As promised, here is what actually transpired last Friday:
My dad and I had gone out to lunch somewhere on the east side, the Tie Dye Grill (side note: they have amazingly fresh hamburgers). I had had a strange but comforting feeling all morning that today could be the day, but I was trying hard not to get my hopes up. Spending the last three weeks on high alert had been very taxing on both of us. Then, just as we were getting up to leave, my cell phone rang. I recognized the 703 area code, and my heart leapt in my chest.
"Hello, Sarah. This is Terra. I have some good news for you, this is your referral call!"
Even now, as I write, I can still hear her say those words and I can't help but smile and cry. We have waited so long for this moment, it is hard to believe it's actually here. I grabbed my dad's arm and said, "It's our referral call!" and Terra asked if I wanted to conference Travis in. A few seconds later I heard Travis answer; my voice was almost too full of emotion to say a single word.
"Good afternoon, Travis. This is Terra and I've got your wife Sarah on the line." I have to say it was an awesome blessing to hear Travis' reaction to the call. Terra went on to tell us about our beautiful one month old baby girl. After that, the rest of the conversation is honestly a blur. As soon as we hung up with Terra, I called Travis right back. We both just laughed with amazement and utter thankfulness. My dad took me back to work where I promptly excused myself to rush home where Travis was waiting. By 1:15, we were looking into the eyes of our daughter. I wish I could share her picture or even some more details with you all, but because of privacy issues surrounding the adoption, we can only post after we pass court.
So, you might be thinking, what happens now?
More waiting on our part. We returned our acceptance letter to AWAA on Monday, and now they begin petitioning a court date (CD) in Ethiopia on our behalf. Court dates have been traditionally been scheduled 2 - 2.5 months out, so we're anticipating a date in early June. We should hear within 2-3 weeks what our court date actually is. Soon after we receive a court date, we'll also receive tentative travel dates (TTD) of when we will actually go to pick her up. Typically, you travel within 2 weeks of passing court. However, 30% of families do not pass court on their first attempt. It is nothing we can control, so we must continue to pray that the orphanage has their paperwork completed correctly, MOWA writes our recommendation letter, the judge shows up, they have electricity, etc. You can be sure that when I know more, I will share what I can.
For now, Travis and I are continuing to marvel at her precious face and I've begun full-on nesting in her room. If you would, please pray for peace for us during this last (but oh so important) phase of waiting.