Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wishes Do Come True!

What were you doing this time last year?

Can't remember? Well, we sure can. One year ago today, the beautiful face of our daughter and sister was revealed to us for the very first time.




A few days prior, Rob celebrated his birthday. When it was time to make the wish and blow out the candles, we all knew what his heart desired. We had been so disappointed when our referral did not come by Christmas time. Terrified to get our hopes up and then dashed, we glided along. Rumor Queen posted some hope of referrals brewing, but our agency emailed a notice that we may not know anything until the following week. WEEK??? Several of us from our travel group were preparing to stalk, I mean visit, our agency in hopes to catch a glimpse of our precious girls sooner. I was the closet geographically, so I joked that it would be simple to camp outside their office until they assigned each of us our children. (Truthfully, I don't think any of us were really joking - we wanted our daughters home!)

We kept ourselves busy by creating Chinese New Year packages for Emily's four year old class. We used Chinese stampers to stamp the bags and then filled them with an assortment of fun celebratory items. It was a nice project, over the course of those lonnngg weeks that helped keep our spirits up and focus on the prayer that our daughter was never alone, she was living well in our hearts. We also spent time lovingly preparing a care package that we could send once Hannah was chosen and we knew where she was.





I believe we read this book a thousand times. To this day, I cannot get through it without weeping.



But, on February 1, 2007, life changed in the way that we had prayed for since October 8, 2005, when we were logged into CCAA to adopt a baby girl from China. I left for work the same as any other day and since I had not heard anything, I assumed that Thursday would not be the day. Just in case it was, I had brought with me (as I had done everyday that month) my formal Referral Sheet, loaded with questions to ask at the time of referral. Heading out the door to take a student for a walk, my cell rang. It was my mother. Emily was recouperating from pneumonia, and I figured she had a question. When I heard her voice though, she was frantic. The house phone had rung - the caller id reflected a number she thought could be our agency. We hung up and at that very moment (3:57 PM, to be exact), I heard the most wonderful words...

"Hi Mrs. AdoptingMama, this is Agencyangel and I'm happy to tell you that you have a little girl, her name is Feng, Xiaowei. She is from the Jiangxi Province." My head was swimming, I was not writing on the neatly placed lines of my referral sheet, I was crying and shaking, still standing in the foyer of their home. At one point my knees buckled ever so slightly, I lowered myself to the floor and wrote fiendishly to capture every word. Not the glamorous moment I had pictured in my brain, but it was certainly a moment that will remain etched upon my heart. Many say that referral is amazing, honestly, it is indescribable. I know during that conversation, I managed to commit to my memory that she was 8 months old, yippee! And she ended our call with, "Heather, wait til you see her eyes, she has the biggest, most beautiful eyes." SEE...When can we see her???

Agencyangel advised us to sit by our computer and she would email our pictures and the formal referral as soon as all the families had been notified. My feet did not touch the ground as I squealed away from their home and landed in my own family room to see, finally see, our daughter. So we sat, and we sat, talked a little, sat some more and then, this came...









I recognize that I am biased, but we thought she was breathtaking. I actually gasped when I saw her, she looked perfect in every way. Until Emily's birth, I did not believe in love at first sight, but that perfect little creature changed my heart. And now, our second daughter captivated just the same. I felt such devotion to her, I wanted to bring her home and I prayed that I would do well by her. As delightful as those moments are, it always sends home the reality that soon she will leave the only family she has ever known and the only home she has had. I prayed we were enough.

The following week, the agency scheduled a meeting so we could have the actual documentation and hard copy of the pictures. The meeting went very well and Rob and I carried around poster size copies of her pictures. EVERYWHERE! God bless all those who had to see this child over and over again! Emily got the joy of showing off her sister to her classmates, what a miraculous experience.

We received some updated photos of Hannah, which thrilled us to no end (and I am sure all the people who had to see the poster size referral photos were so happy to view yet another set of poster size pictures). One of these pictures is in a small frame and Hannah sometimes touches it and tells me, "Hannah, tiger!"






Knowing where Hannah was from opened up some new Yahoo groups for us and I joined them immediately. I would be blessed to find pictures of her Social Welfare Institute and even more blessed to find pictures of Hannah when she was very young.




Today, Hannah has been home with us for almost ten months. Hard to believe. She had stretched us in so many ways, her daddy who thinks going next town over is "far" travelled across the ocean to bring her home. Her sister, convinced she'd be the queen forever, now gladly shares her space and time with this adorable little girl. And me, well there are no words for how deep the river runs. It is that red thread, she is our destiny. For all of you waiting, I hope for speed and for you to have your own wish come true. I will pray until your referrals come in and until all our babies are home safe and sound.

"I have told you these things for a purpose; that my joy might be your joy, and your joy may be wholly mature in it's time." John 15:11

28 comments:

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Sweet friend,

This is such a beautiful post Heather. I am tad bit sad I didn't know you then because I would've loved to have been celebrating this very special time with you. I am so glad I am getting to celebrate it now. I have told you I think Hannah's picture is the most beautiful referral I have ever seen. I also know there is so MUCH more to this little girl than her outward beauty and you will ALWAYS remind her of that.

Having just celebrated the second anniversary of seeing Lindy's face for the first time, I understand what an amazing time this is for you and a great time of reflection and rejoicing.

Thanks for a beautiful account of this most special day. God is so good.

Happy Hannah Day!!!

Love,
Lisa

DiJo said...

Heather,
I loved reading about your beginning with Hannah! Such a beautifully written post about a day that I know is etched on your heart for all of eternity! Happy one year Referral Anniversary!
I will close with one of my favorite referral verses:
~"He has made everything beautiful in His time." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Blessings,
Diana

mommy24treasures said...

oh happy happy special day!
It is such a wonderful precious memory. The day we saw our little miracles that our heart had been yearning for, praying for, waiting for.... Beautiful beautiful... she could not have been anymore perfect! What a blessed momma you are.
Enjoy each memory as you continue remembering all through the day.
I love all the pics, I can't choose a favorite. She is such a little miracle. Dreams do come true. Espeically when your hope is in Him,
Love
Connie

Linette said...

Oh Heather..I'm sitting here crying! This is just beautiful!
I feel like I was there with you on referral day. I too wish I would have known you back then. The pictures of Hannah are breathtaking. Enjoy the day and remember all the excitement of a year ago. :)

Kelley said...

Oh, I am covered with goose bumps now! What a beautiful story! No, Mama, you are not biased at all. That is one beautiful baby!!!!

I've tagged you for a "seven things about you" list...see my blog for details. Have a happy day!

Kimber said...

Heather,

Happy referral day! I must totally agree with Lisa that Hannah's referral picture is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen also. She is so beautiful now too and although I don't know her I am sure the beauty is on the inside as well.

The light from her eyes reflects joy.

What a heartfelt and beautiful post. I actually remember talking to you and you saying that you would stalk the office that week;) I had forgotten about that until now. My new neighbor is anxiosuly awaiting her referral today!!!! Isn't that ironic?

Next time we come up there (summer, likely) we must get our angels together.

I thought of you and your family 1st thing when I woke up this morning.

Happy referral anniversary!


Love,
Kim

Lisa said...

Heather-
I wept as I read this post. I remember the day of our call. I know that through prayer God can makes things happen, and He has certainly blessed you with an amazing;y sweet daughter. Thank you for the great example you are to me.
Love, Lisa R

Liz said...

What a lovely story..bawling over here! I also gasped when I saw Lili's picture, so I can totally relate...These Fengxin girls ARE beauties, aren't they? Happy Referral Day! Liz

Dawn said...

Heather~

Happy Refferal Day!! Your little Hannah is truly so beautiful. I loved reading your post, I wish I had known you then too, but glad I get to share in your happiness today.

~Dawn

redmaryjanes said...

Honestly,
I think those are the cutest referral photos I have ever seen.
She is just beautiful!

nikki said...

Your family is just beautiful and I always love hearing "referral day" stories! Brings back so many wonderful memories - like the sobbing and knees buckling! (We saw Lily's face for the first time on Feb 1st too...3 years ago.)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be back!

Tiffany said...

Heather~

Nice to meet you! Thank you for stopping by our blog!

You have a beautiful family and blog!

I loved reading this post!

I see that you are also a Matilda Jane fan!

Tiffany

adele and dan said...

2/1/07 was on LID. What a beautiful little angel! Blessings, Adele

Jake and Taryn said...

What a incredibly sweet post! I was in tears reading the entire thing! Hannah is such a beautfiul little girl and her referral pictures are simply gorgeous. What a special day to celebrate a VERY special blessing!!

Kate said...

Heather,

I saw your blog for the first time today. What a beautiful post about your referral day. Hannah is a beautiful girl and she looks so happy. Thanks for sharing.

Kate

Jan said...

Your post brings up such emotions about our own little girl's referral pictures arriving last March... what an awesome day. And to think she is here growing up so fast... wow! All these memories are treasured in our hearts... thank you God for such blessings!

Christy said...

Oh Heather!!! THat was so touching. REferral day is amazing and something we all will remember forever. I am struck with how beautiful Hannah is. Her eyes are not only HUGE and beautiful but they are so full of life and expression. I just love her little personality!! I remember the whole thing with you back a year ago. I remember seeing Hannah's face when you posted it on the Oct DTC Yahoo group. I remember thinking how beautiful she was and how happy I was for you guys. I remember all those feelings like it was yesterday-- I cant belive it has been a year!

CONGRATS on 1 year of knowing your daughter. It has been an amazing ride!!!

Christy :)

Sheri said...

Congratulations on one year since the referral of your precious Hannah! Those eyes are just incredible! I had tears in my eyes as I read about you receiving the call and what you were feeling. It's been a blessing watching Miss Hannah grow up through your blog. God has truly blessed your family!

Leslie said...

So beautiful Heather! I never tire of hearing about those first precious moments when your child is revealed to you. Little Hannah is very lucky to be in such a warm and caring environment. I think my pulse went up just reading your story, the anticipation and excitement are so contagious!

Danielle said...

Heather,

Congratulations on your one year referral anniversary. Hannah's photo was absolutely beautiful. I know you're biased, but she really is just gorgeous. This was a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings to many many more celebrations with both your girls.

Lots of love,

Danielle

Stefanie said...

What a beautiful story, what a beautiful baby! Happy Referral DAY!! God has blessed you all so richly :)

prechrswife said...

What a precious post! Referral day is such a special time. Hannah has grown so much!

Meredith Teagarden said...

Heather,

I remember that day like almost no other. I was like you, a wreck of tears and overloaded with joy all at the same time!

Hannah was perfectly beautiful and remains so still. I love seeing how she is growing, your beautiful, beautiful girl.

I will probably cry all of my life when I read the accounts of Feb 1, 2007, that are written by the one's who shared my hopes.

God blesses us beyond measure and we got to see Him move in such an amazingly personal way and yet, wide world view way all at once!

Angie said...

Such a sweet post! I remember seeing Hannah's referral as soon as it was announced on Adoption Voyages. I thought it was probably one of the best referral pictures I had ever seen. She was and is a beautiful child and so blessed to be home with her forever family.
What a beautiful day this was for you and your family. Thank you for sharing it with us. These real life stories from you and others remind me that my dreams will come true too. :)

Lori said...

Heather, this is such a beautifully written post about that special day~ I always enjoy reading these moments, they are always very moving.
I can see why you gasped~ she's beautiful and such lovely eyes~ and feeling that moment of 'she's mine'~ how wonderful!!
Happy Referral Anniversary! :)

redmaryjanes said...

Heather,
Your box came today for Starfish and my eyes actually filled with tears when I opened it.
Thank you so much. And I did those little red maryjanes in there : )I can't wait to see them on one of the little Starfish girls!

Mob said...

What a little darling you have been blessed with. I have a little Hannah too (adopted from the states). I loved reading about how you got the call, how exciting.

Ashley Winters said...

Beautiful post! What a difference a year makes! Tomorrow we will celebrate our 4th annual Gotcha Day for DD#1. February 11th 2004 was one of the very best days of my entire life! We are both so lucky!

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