A Community Event

Today, we said good-bye to the pile of paperwork we've been constructing for nearly 6 months.

"The Wait" has officially begun.

We double and triple-checked the packet for errors, certain we had missed something. It felt strange to put the forms into an envelope, out of sight. We have been living and breathing this documentation for so long - in a strange way, these papers have come to represent our child. It's hard to "let them go" out of reach - away from the safe blue adoption binder that has become their home.

I went to the bank to get our final money order (this time for the Ethiopian Embassy) and convinced the tellers to let me take a photo of them. I have worked with two of them on everything involving the adoption. They ask about the baby, and I share updates each time I go in.

After the bank, I drove out of my way to the FedEx by the church - there is one clerk who has helped me with each adoption-related mailing and I wanted her to be the one who sent the final paperwork. As I was waiting in line at FedEx, I struck up conversation with a family I recognized from church. Although virtually strangers, we ended the conversation in hugs and tears of excitement. Another couple nearby overhead me and began talking about THEIR adoption nearly 45 years ago, and how proud they are of their adopted daughter and all of her children. The clerk was thrilled to see me, and pulled me aside to confide that there were problems with her Visa and she'd have to return to England before we'd be home with the baby. With tears in her eyes, she said she'd never forget us and was honored that she was able to partner with us during this process.

It is amazing how the mere topic of adoption turns the smallest errand into a community event. People love to hear the stories and are eager to participate via encouragement, advice, or just kind words.

And from the perspective of an adoptive parent, all of those things are always relished and very much needed.

When our child does finally make it home, it will be the result of the collective prayers and diligent work of a community. Now that's a homecoming to be proud of.


USA Says "OK"

We got the official "go ahead" from our agency (dossier is ready!) AND our country (our I-600 was approved). It's always nice when your country is ok with what you're doing. :)

We will mail our documents immediately to Washington DC, then to Ethiopia! Everything is moving right along. It's a little scary, actually. We're quickly approaching the "hypothetical meets reality" stage... kind of like a State Farm commercial. "I'm there."

In other news, I had the strangest dream last night. It wasn't my first dream about our adopted child but it was definitely my most vivid. In the dream Daniel was a little bit older, and we were living in what appeared to be a modified version of our current house. Our second child was a little girl - a tiny bundle of energy who was crawling at warp speed all over the place! In fact, I was having to jog to keep up. She wore purple, was named Lily, and her hair was tied up in lots of small ponytails. What I remember most though was her smile - it was brilliant! Lily had endless energy and was fearless. In fact, in the dream I commented to Fernando about how adventurous she was - unlike Daniel who tends to be very cautious when trying new things. Lily was a dare-devil!

It was a beautiful dream - I'm curious to see how much of that turns out to be prophetic and how much was just last night's dinner!