Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Referral Day!

On this day, one year ago, we received a very important phone call that would change our lives forever. I dropped Michael off at work and was heading to my parent's house, which was 45 minutes away. I have no idea why Michael did not drive himself to work that day, but he didn’t. It was a few days before our production week for Grease and we were swamped. I had gotten about 15 minutes away and my phone rang. I looked down and saw the famous 817 area code. I answered and Kristin said, “Katie, your referral is ready”. I think I responded with, “That was quick.” Yes, it had been almost a year since going on the wait list, but we had only changed our referral request from siblings to one child on November 30. I told her I had to go back and pick up Michael and we would call her back. I called Michael and told him the news and went and picked him up. We went to our performing arts academy, so we could have a place view the emails by ourselves. We got everything ready and called Kristin back….voicemail. We called her back several times in the next thirty minutes. It was the longest thirty minutes of our lives. She finally called back and said she had been on a conference call with Belay. She sent us the email and we opened it up. We saw this tiny baby and asked how old she was and she told us she was two months old. These are the first pictures we saw...

We heard her story and Kristin went through all of the info with us. I said awkward, stupid things, because I was excited and nervous. The phone calls to our families began soon after. It was such an exciting day and one we will never forget!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Having Sophia home for Christmas was such a joy! For years we dreamed of what it would be like to have a child at home during the Christmas season and we loved celebrating the birth of our Savior with Sophie.

Sophia opened so many presents. She was given lots of wonderful things and we are very grateful! My sister made her the cutest outfit. Everyone loved it and so did we! Thank you, Aunt Amy!

This picture was taken of Michael and I during Christmas 2009 and we included it in a baby photo album we sent to Sophie.

This is a picture of her in Ethiopia, taken on January 20, 2010, with the photo album. What a difference a year makes!

Christmas 2010 - a family at last!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

We forget...

My daughter did not grow inside of me. I did not experience morning sickness, feel her kick or hear her first cry. I will never know what her first months in Ethiopia were like. There are things we missed – things we did not get to experience. We did, however, get to experience a deep love. A love for a child we had never met. Michael and I will never forget the moments when we opened the email and saw the tiny face of our daughter. For three months we stared at pictures and longed to hold her in our arms. We looked at them over and over again, hoping to notice something new. We bought her clothes, dreamed about what our lives would be like once she was here and shared our story with others. Adoption consumed our thoughts and we busied ourselves with preparations to travel to Ethiopia.

Adoption. It was all we could think about. And now...we forget. It is true. We forget she was adopted. Her skin does not match our skin, but we don’t think about it. We look at her and see our beautiful, precious daughter. She brings so much joy to everyone she meets. She is a blessing and is as much our child as one I birthed would be. I do not say these things lightly or in a way that appears that we forget about her heritage or her story. We do not. We love Ethiopia and it is the country where Sophia Mekdes was created. She will know her story and we will tell her about the wonderful country that allowed us to bring her home.

I am not writing this to downplay the importance of adoption. Rather, I am writing this to share our story of love. Love created our family. God’s love for us and our love for Him, brought the three of us together. I know there are many people who consider adoption, but think they won’t be able to love their adopted child like they would a biological one. I believe those feelings are very normal. However, in most cases, those feelings go away the moment you meet your child.

We chose adoption. We will choose it again. To us, adoption is an amazing gift God gave us and we feel so blessed to be able to know Him in this way. We were given the chance to fall in love with a tiny baby 8,256 miles away. We loved her before we even met her. Naturally, meeting her was amazing. Holding her for the first time and kissing her soft skin, was surreal. The love we have for her grows deeper everyday.
Choose adoption. Let God turn your world upside down. You will experience a love deeper than you could ever imagine. Trust me. You will not regret it. If we had said no, we would have missed out on this…

Choose love. Take the jump. It may seem scary, but it is SO worth it!